LOGAN — When Utah State (5-2) hosts former Big West Conference rival Long Beach State (5-4), the Aggies will be looking to avenge yet another road loss from last season. Utah State has already dispatched Utah and Northeastern, two teams that beat the Aggies last season.
"They've got a pretty good team," head coach Stew Morrill said. "They thumped us pretty good at their place last year."
The game at The Pyramid in Long Beach last season was one of the low points of the year for the Aggies. The 49ers shot over 50 percent for the game and led the Aggies by double digits for much of the second half in a 75-62 victory.
Unlike many of the teams the Aggies are facing this year, Long Beach returns several of the pieces that were so damaging to them last season.
Specifically, junior forward T.J. Robinson and senior guard Casper Ware, who combined for 44 points in last season's meeting. Ware joins a long line of fabulous point guards the Aggies have matched up against this season.
"(Ware) gave us fits last year in the open court," Morrill said. "He's good in transition and off of ball screens. We need to do well individually and in our help defense against him."
Unlike in previous matchups, the defensive assignment on Ware will likely stay at point guard.
"They have too many weapons; we will have to play them straight up," Morrill said of the possibility of Tyler Newbold or Pooh Williams guarding the speedy Ware.
LANDMARK WIN: Stew Morrill will be going for his 300th win at Utah State when the Aggies take to the floor on Tuesday night.
"I knew where I was before the season started, but didn't realize I was that close until I read the notes before the Georgetown game," Morrill said of his accomplishment. "It was special when I hit 500 career wins last season, but these milestones aren't something I think about a whole lot."
Morrill is 299-101 as Utah State's head coach and 517-239 in his 25 year career as a head coach at Montana, Colorado State and Utah State. At home in the Spectrum, Morrill's numbers are an even more impressive 179-13.
"Being a college head coach can be tough," Morrill said. "I'm happy to still be doing it."
FOUL PRONE: A key for Utah State for the rest of the season will be keeping preseason WAC Player of the Year Tai Wesley on the court. The senior has logged over 30 minutes in a game just once so far this season, and fouled out in the Aggies two biggest road games at BYU and at Georgetown.
"We charted the game yesterday and there was quite the difference in scoring when Tai Wesley was on the court and when he wasn't," coach Morrill said about the Georgetown game.
Wesley has always been prone to foul trouble, averaging more than 3 fouls a game for his career. This season, with the team depending on his offense more than ever, Wesley's ability to stay in games will determine a lot about how good this Aggie team can be.
"He needs to eliminate the dumb fouls," Morrill said. "There were probably three fouls in the last game that were unavoidable, but the other two were avoidable. It's an adjustment that he has to make, he needs to be smarter and will be better in the future."
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