Utah State looks to right the ship this afternoon against Weber State
The Aggies take on the Wildcats at 2:30pm MST in Salt Lake City
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USU and Weber both looking for a bounce-back game
Utah State squares off against Weber State this afternoon in Salt Lake City just days after a humbling loss at in-state rival BYU’s house. The Aggies plan to return back to their surprisingly efficient early season form by doing basically the opposite of everything they did against the Cougars. No, seriously — here’s head coach Craig Smith on what to change after Wednesday’s outing:
“Everything. It was one of those days where everything that could go right for BYU did, and it felt like everything that could go wrong for us did.”
Time to get back on track with these keys to the game:
Improve shot selection
Utah State fell behind early against BYU, sinking into an uncharacteristic rhythm-less rec league offense that included frequent contested threes and a rare half-hearted drive to the basket. The Aggies still somehow managed to shoot over 48 percent from the floor while going just 3-for-17 beyond the arc, but couldn’t keep pace with a Cougar team that hit 11 threes — most of them wide open.
Getting an offense back in sync is no easy task, but ball movement is always a good place to start. Utah State’s lack of flow Wednesday resulted in just six assists all game.
Defend the perimeter
See above. The Aggies won the free throw battle, obliterated BYU on the boards and still lost big due to a lackluster defensive effort. It’s hard not to point an accusatory finger specifically at the Aggies’ perimeter defense, which allowed 45.8 percent three-point shooting and an outrageous 55.9 percent from the floor. Lucky for Utah State, this is an easy fix — get out on shooters and play some freaking defense.
Don’t be shy about pushing tempo
Okay, so maybe running on BYU didn’t work out. The Cougars thrive on chaotic, ugly basketball and USU’s gameplan allowed exactly that — but against Weber, stepping up the pace is a good call. From coach Smith:
“I like to think we are who we are, and we are going to try to make teams stop us. If we need to adjust during a game, then we are going to adjust during the game… We wanted to run against BYU, but I don’t think we ran really hard against BYU. I thought that hurt us. I didn’t think we were running in transition and getting the easy looks.”
Eight of the last ten games between Utah State and Weber have been won by the better-rebounding team. Win the battle of the boards, and it’s likely USU gets back in the win column.
Utah State takes care of business, beats Weber 90-77.