How to watch, projected starters, injuries – Cache Valley Daily


LOGAN – With a rebound win over UNLV under its belt, Utah State has a chance to build its first winning streak in a few weeks. The late time the Aggies had back-to-back wins was their three-game streak from Dec. 25 to Jan 3 (the Washington State, Fresno State and Air Force wins). Since then it’s been back-and-forth between wins and losses (admittedly it’s not been all that long, but it’s still a five-game stretch of back-and-forth). This will be the last home game of the month as USU will travel to California for a two-game road trip against San Diego State and Fresno State.

How to watch

  • Tip-off: 4 p.m. MT



  • Location: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum | Logan, UT



  • TV Broadcast: Mountain West Network



  • Aggie GameDay Coverage on KVNU (102.1 FM/610 AM & KVNU mobile app): 3 p.m. MT



  • KVNU Aggie Call (102.1 FM/610 AM, KVNU mobile app): Immediately after game ends

Injuries

Utah State

G – Rylan Jones (Undisclosed) – OUT

F – Zee Hamoda (Illness) – PROBABLE

Hamoda missed USU’s game against UNLV with an illness. He was a participant in Friday’s practice and appears available to play.

San Jose State

F – Max Allen (Undisclosed) – OUT

G – Myron Amey Jr. (Ankle) – QUESTIONABLE

Amey has missed SJSU’s last five games with an ankle injury. He averaged 5.6 points and 1.1 rebounds in a bench role in the Spartans first nine games of the season.

Projected Starters

Utah State (15-4, 4-2)

  • G – Steven Ashworth (6-1, Jr.) – 15.5 points | 3.4 rebounds | 4.4 assists



  • G – Max Shulga (6-4, Jr.) – 11.8 points | 4.8 rebounds | 4.5 assists



  • G/F – Sean Bairstow (6-8, Sr.) – 10.8 points | 4.2 rebounds | 2.1 assists



  • F – Taylor Funk (6-9, Gr.) – 14.5 points | 5.9 rebounds | 2.0 assists



  • C – Trevin Dorius (7-0, Sr.) – 5.4 points | 3.5 rebounds | 0.3 assists



  • 6th Man – Dan Akin (6-9, Gr.) – 11.7 points | 7.4 rebounds | 0.6 assists

San Jose State (12-7, 3-3)

  • G – Alvaro Cardenas (6-1, So.) – 9.8 points | 2.8 rebounds | 3.5 assists



  • G – Omari Moore (6-6, Jr.) – 15.6 points | 4.8 rebounds | 4.8 assists



  • F – Trey Anderson (6-6, Jr.) – 6.5 points | 2.9 rebounds | 0.9 assists



  • F – Sage Tolbert (6-8, Jr.) – 9.1 points | 7.5 rebounds | 1.2 assists



  • C – Ibrahima Diallo (6-10, SJ.) – 6.6 points | 5.5 rebounds | 0.6 assists

Team Statistical Ranks

Stats and ratings are from Basketball Reference (except the NET ranking). All ranks are out of 363 Division I teams.

Utah State

  • Pace – 70.8 (85th)



  • Offensive Rating – 113.5 (23rd)



  • Defensive Rating – 99.6 (177th)



  • Field Goal % – 48.6 (25th)



  • 3-point % – 42.6 (1st)



  • Rebounding % – 53.7 (50th)



  • NET Rank – 33rd

San Jose State

  • Pace – 64.2 (348th)



  • Offensive Rating – 104.4 (173rd)



  • Defensive Rating – 102.4 (247th)



  • Field Goal % – 45.0 (158th)



  • 3-point % – 33.2 (234th)



  • Rebounding % – 56.0 (8th)



  • NET Rank – 130th

Summary

The top player to watch out for from the Spartans’ lineup is Omari Moore. The junior leads his team in both points (15.6) and assists (4.8) while also grabbing 4.8 rebounds per game. USU head coach Ryan Odom said Moore is a “future pro” though he stopped short of saying that pro career would definitely be in the NBA.

“He’s got a complete game,” Odom said. “He’s really good at getting to the basket and getting to the basket and finishing at the rim. He gets fouled. He gets big-time assists for his teammates. He can shoot off the bounce from behind the three. He’s just a good player.”

Another impactful player is Ibrahima Diallo. Though not a scorer at just 6.6 points per game, he blocks 2.1 shots in only 18.3 minutes per game this year. In the Spartans’ close 67-64 loss to Boise State, Diallo blocked five shots to aid in the near-upset of the Broncos. Odom said a key will be making sure they “don’t try to challenge him in inappropriate ways.”

“You’ve got to get him out of position. You’ve got to move him around. You’ve got to shot fake,” Odom said. “You’ve got to do all of the things that you do to big guys and don’t let their advantage be an advantage because you’re wasting opportunities if you do that.”

San Jose State’s most elite aspect is it’s rebounding. The Spartans rank eighth in Division I in rebounding percentage. It doesn’t manifest from a great rate of offensive rebounding (though they do rank a solid 90th in offensive rebounding percentage) but they do grab a notable majority of defensive rebounds. And despite the fewer possessions played on average, SJSU has seven players averaging at least three rebounds per game (USU has just four).

“A big focus of theirs, both sides of the ball, they want to control their glass,” Odom said. “They don’t want to get out-hustled for rebounds. And certainly that’s going to be a major factor for the game.”

Since joining the Mountain West, Utah State has dominated this matchup winning 19 of the 20 contests between the two teams. The Spartans’ lone win came in 2018, a 64-62 victory in San Jose. While this dominance is a nice piece of trivia, it does little to win the game on Saturday and Odom said his team has to “approach every game in the same manner.”

“We have to be the aggressor and attack in every game that we play,” Odom said. “We can’t worry what’s happened in the past or get caught up in that kind of stuff because then you go down in a bad wormhole there.”







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