LOGAN – With a losing record more than halfway into the season, Utah State basketball needs wins. The two-straight losses have put the Aggies at 8-9 overall with a 2-4 mark in conference. Saturday night, Colorado State comes to town for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
It could be a perfect opportunity for USU to get some traction. At 3-3, Colorado State has a slightly better conference record, but USU has enjoyed recent success against CSU. The Aggies and Rams have met six times since becoming conference foes in 2013, but USU has come out on top in all but one of those. Head coach Tim Duryea said each game was different and couldn’t really find a theme in those victories. The only similarity, he said, was that USU shot the ball well.
“We won two starkly different games last year,” he said. “We went up there and won a shootout, where both teams were in the 90s. It was an out-of-character game for both teams … The other game here last year they were in the 50s and it was more of a grind-it-out, possession game.”
CSU has three players that average more than 10 points per game. On average, the most points are scored by senior guard Gian Clavell, who is averaging 16.4 points per game. Sophomore guard Prentiss Nixon is averaging 12.8 points per game and 6-foot-9 Emmanuel Omogbo averages 12.9 points. Even more impressive from Omogbo may be his 10.4 rebounds per game.
“Anytime you have a guy averaging ten a game, especially on a team that is as good at rebounding as Colorado State is, that is very impressive,” Duryea said. “Omogbo, Nixon and Clavell are the big three on offense.”
Duryea said Colorado State doesn’t normally utilize more than seven guys, plays physical basketball and runs a man defense with a little zone mixed in. He expects them to do the same Saturday.
“You know what you are going to get and who you are going to get it from when you play them,” he said. “There isn’t a lot of mystery.”
With a full week separating last week’s game at San Diego State with this one, Duryea said the team focused on defense during practice.
“When you look at our stats on the offensive side in league play they are all pretty good,” he said. “But when you look on the defensive side, none of them are good enough.”