LOGAN — As Utah State coach Stew Morrill tries to shape the Aggies into a contender this season, Utah State (10-8, 2-2) will take a step out of conference play for a date with Seattle (4-12) on Thursday night at Key Arena, the former home of the Seattle SuperSonics.
The Aggies defeated Louisiana Tech in their last outing, 69-65 in Ruston.
The win was only Utah State's second victory of the season away from Logan.
Winning on the road has been a work in progress for Utah State this season, as the Aggies develop a new core of players. It's a far cry from the near perfection that previous teams were seeking with veteran-loaded teams.
"That was a satisfying win," Morrill said of beating Louisiana Tech. "It's really all relative when you look at our teams through the years and this team. The years we were going 14-2 and 15-1 in league you're fighting to win every game and now we are fighting to win any game ... It's the same but it is different, everything is relative to what kind of season you've got going and we just keep trying to find a way to get a little better and see if we can win the game in front of us."
On paper, facing Seattle should be just what the doctor ordered for a team that has struggled to find consistency on the road. The Redhawks have just four wins and are currently competing as an independent after rejoining NCAA Division I in 2009.
Moreover, Utah State already has a victory over Seattle back on Dec. 17. The Aggies won that game handily, 78-53, thanks in part to holding Seattle to 29 percent shooting.
In that game, the Redhawks' leading scorer Aaron Broussard was held to four points, well under his 18.4 points per game average. In the seven games since then Broussard has averaged 24 points a game. While playing the same team twice can be advantageous when it comes to schemes and knowledge of personnel, the Aggies are not coming into the game over confident.
"You know, basketball is so weird because you see through the years where someone might win by 20 at home and lose by 20 on the road to the same team," Morrill said. "The home and road factor is always such a big thing, I think. They had a really poor shooting night in Logan and we needed a win at the time, and played really hard and got a W."
Even though it's only been a month since the two teams met in Logan, the Redhawks are playing a different style of basketball.
"They're playing quite a bit different than when we saw them last time," said Morrill. "They're pressing a lot more, they've changed their offense, it will be a similar situation press-wise as to what we saw at Louisiana Tech, lots of presses on every opportunity they get."
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Seattle (4-12) vs. Utah State (10-8)?
Today, 8 p.m. (MT)
Key Arena, Seattle
TV: None Radio: 97.5 FM