LOGAN – Utah State will take on Bradley in its second game of the season. Both teams came out victorious in their respective season openers. USU downed Utah Valley 75-58 while Bradley obliterated Wisconsin-Parkside by a score of 93-59.
This will be the first leg of a home-and-home series between the two schools. Utah State will travel to Bradley next year for the second leg.
How to watch
- Tip-off: 7 p.m. MT
- Location: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum | Logan, Utah
- TV Broadcast: Mountain West Network
- Aggie GameDay Coverage on KVNU (102.1 FM/610 AM & KVNU mobile app): 6 p.m. MT
- KVNU Aggie Call (102.1 FM/610 AM, KVNU mobile app): Immediately after game ends
Utah State: None
Bradley: Rienk Mast (MCL sprain) – OUT
- G – Rylan Jones (6-0, Sr.) – 6.0 points | 2.0 rebounds | 8.0 assists
- G – Max Shulga (6-4, Jr.) – 14.0 points | 6.0 rebounds | 0.0 assists
- G/F – Sean Bairstow (6-8, Sr.) – 19.0 points | 8.0 rebounds | 1.0 assists
- F – Taylor Funk (6-9, Gr.) – 18.0 points | 14.0 rebounds | 2.0 assists
- C – Trevin Dorius (7-0, Sr.) – 0.0 points | 2.0 rebounds | 0.0 assists
- G – Duke Deen (5-8, Jr.) – 5.0 points | 3.0 rebounds | 3.0 assists
- G – Connor Hickman (6-3, So.) – 14.0 points | 1.0 rebounds | 3.0 assists
- G/F – Zek Montgomery (6-6, So.) – 9.0 points | 4.0 rebounds | 2.0 assists
- F – Darius Hannah (6-8, Jr.) – 16.0 points | 7.0 rebounds | 0.0 assists
- F – Malevy Leons (6-9, Sr.) – 7.0 points | 6.0 rebounds | 0.0 assists
Team Statistical Ranks
- Pace – 72.1 (156th)
- Offensive Rating – 104.2 (161st)
- Defensive Rating – 81.3 (86th)
- Field Goal % – 45.3 (154th)
- 3-point % – 42.1 (57th)
- Rebounding % – 58.0 (70th)
- Pace – 67.3 (263rd)
- Offensive Rating – 138.8 (10th)
- Defensive Rating – 88.1 (124th)
- Field Goal % – 56.1 (28th)
- 3-point % – 50.0 (13th)
- Rebounding % – 52.4 (158th)
Bradley was picked to finish second in the Missouri Valley Conference, even nabbing one first-place vote from the overwhelming favorites of the conference, Drake. Eighth-year head coach Brian Wardle has made the Braves a perennial contender in the conference, winning back-to-back titles in 2019 and 2020. They’ll look to build off of a solid 17-14 season from a year ago.
“Really quality squad that they have,” USU head coach Ryan Odom said. “(Wardle’s) teams are obviously well-coached. They’re very physical. They have a very clear and determined way about them and how they attack you both offensively and defensively.”
Bradley will be playing without All-Conference center Rienk Mast for this game as he’s out with a knee injury. Last year, Mast averaged 11.6 points and 8.4 rebounds while also (sort of) being capable of stretching the floor as a center (he attempted 3.1 threes per game, but shot only 28.4 percent from deep).
“Obviously, they’re missing their starting big guy, but they’ve got others that have stepped up nicely so far early this season. Hannah is somebody we expect to start. Obviously he’s very quick, kind of like Dan Akin and has some athleticism there. So, a different look than the guy they lost.”
Hannah scored 16 points for the Braves in their opener, but a decent amount of damage could be done by Bradley’s bench. Their leading scorer against Wisconsin-Parkside wasn’t one of its starters. Ja’Shon Henry scored 19 points in 17 minutes off the bench, going a perfect 7-for-7 from the field and likewise perfect 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. Ville Tahvanainen added 11 points off the bench, going 3-for-4 from three.
In the opener, Utah State’s bench comprised of reserve center Akin playing starter minutes (27 vs the 14 from official starter Trevin Dorius), Steven Ashworth scoring nine points with six rebounds and five assists, and Zee Hamoda playing great defense. RJ Eytle-Rock only played seven minutes in the opener, but is a capable veteran wing.