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

LOGAN – Utah State is on a two-game winning streak and have won four of its last five games. The Aggies will take that run of form on the road to take on a struggling Colorado State team that has lost four straight games and may be without one of its key players. This game will be the only one between the Rams and Aggies this season, barring a matchup in the conference tournament, so all the tiebreakers and bragging rights are at stake in this game.

How to watch

  • Tip-off: 6 p.m. MT

  • Location: Moby Arena | Fort Collins, CO

  • TV Broadcast: CBS Sports Network

  • Aggie GameDay Coverage on KVNU (102.1 FM/610 AM & KVNU mobile app): 5 p.m. MT

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


Utah State

G – Rylan Jones (Undisclosed) – OUT

Jones has missed the last seven games with an undisclosed upper-body injury. No timetable has been provided for a return.

Colorado State

F – Kyle Evans (Thumb) – OUT

G – Josiah Strong (Illness) – OUT

G – Jalen Lake (Undisclosed) – QUESTIONABLE

Lake left CSU’s game against UNLV with no info available on whether he’ll play Saturday against the Aggies.

Projected Starters

Utah State (18-5, 7-3)

  • G – Steven Ashworth (6-1, Jr.) – 15.4 points | 3.2 rebounds | 4.6 assists

  • G – Max Shulga (6-4, Jr.) – 11.4 points | 4.5 rebounds | 4.0 assists

  • G/F – Sean Bairstow (6-8, Sr.) – 11.1 points | 4.5 rebounds | 2.3 assists

  • F – Taylor Funk (6-9, Gr.) – 14.0 points | 5.5 rebounds | 2.0 assists

  • C – Trevin Dorius (7-0, Sr.) – 5.5 points | 3.6 rebounds | 0.3 assists

  • 6th Man – Dan Akin (6-9, Gr.) – 12.6 points | 7.5 rebounds | 0.8 assists

Colorado State (10-13, 2-8)

  • G – Isaiah Stevens (6-0, Sr.) – 18.4 points | 3.5 rebounds | 6.6 assists

  • G – Isaiah Rivera (6-5, Jr.) – 10.0 points | 3.6 rebounds | 2.3 assists

  • G – John Tonje (6-5, Sr.) – 13.2 points | 5.1 rebounds | 1.1 assists

  • F – Patrick Cartier (6-8, Jr.) – 13.0 points | 3.0 rebounds | 1.2 assists

  • F/C – James Moors (6-8, Sr.) – 6.2 points | 4.3 rebounds | 0.9 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 – 69.5 (143rd)

  • Offensive Rating – 114.6 (8th)

  • Defensive Rating – 101.7 (227th)

  • Field Goal % – 48.5 (23rd)

  • 3-point % – 41.5 (1st)

  • Rebounding % – 53.5 (51st)

  • NET Rank – 32nd

Colorado State

  • Pace – 67.3 (252nd)

  • Offensive Rating – 107.8 (94th)

  • Defensive Rating – 105.0 (292nd)

  • Field Goal % – 49.1 (12th)

  • 3-point % – 36.2 (72nd)

  • Rebounding % – 47.4 (322nd)

  • NET Rank – 133rd


Utah State lost all three matchups with Colorado State last year, but the Rams have struggled this year. A big portion of that has come from injuries but its star player, Isaiah Stevens, is dominating as much as he ever has. The senior guard is averaging career highs in both points (18.4) and assists (6.6).

“Stevens is a dynamite player,” USU head coach Ryan Odom said. “Is probably, if not the best, one of the best guards in our league. He plays the game at his pace. Sometimes that’s fast and sometimes that’s right on point. He’s just a really good player. He knows when it’s his time to deliver at key times at the end of games when it’s tight and they need a basket or a stop. But he’s also really good at getting his teammates shots.”

The Rams aren’t exactly highly rated defensively, barely keeping themselves in the top 300 in defensive rating, but Odom went to bat for Colorado State’s defensive capabilities.

“I think that their numbers don’t say that they are (good on defense),” Odom said. “But as I watch them and as our staff has watched them, they’re in a stance, they’re physical. They move their feet and they help out for one another. They have a very good plan in how they play defense and it takes teams a while to get baskets against them in terms of the tempo. And so we’re gonna have to be really efficient on the offensive end in a tough environment to have a chance to win.”

A huge key in this game will be which team can have the best 3-point shooting game. The Aggies have struggled shooting-wise on the road but still remain the best 3-point shooting team in the country at 42.1 percent on the year. Colorado State isn’t among the top teams in the country but is still well above average from distance. The Rams have his just under 37 percent of their threes this season and have seven rotation players that have made at least 38 percent of their triples this season.

It won’t just be guarding the three the Aggies will have to do. They’ll need to defend numerous places that the Rams will be looking to find points.

“First thing is transition defense, always. They’ll push the ball. Stevens is really good in transition. They run the court, they play a fast game of offense,” Odom said. “We’ve got to keep our chest in front of them. We can’t allow them to get baskets in and around the rim. Execution baskets where their bigs are cutting to the rim and catching it and laying it up.

“We’ve got to force them out further so they’re having to do something a little bit different, play with their back to the basket. We’ve got to get out to the shooters. We can’t allow them to catch and shoot. They’re a really good shooting team.”

Considering both the Aggies and Rams have struggled a lot on defense and both are very capable of lighting it up from three, there’s every possibility this game could wind up as a shootout.

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