Utah State report card: Aggies' guards, fans receive poor grades
I attended the San Diego State game, so you could say my perception of the Utah State student section is extremely high. I really do enjoy going to Aggie games just to witness the atmosphere the student section creates, and when it is full it is one of the must see arenas in the country. That being said, the crowd was noticeably empty and maybe it had to do with being an early game on a long weekend, but even with the lack of students the crowd was still loud all game long. With only two home games remaining the Aggie faithful should come out and support its team, because when the Spectrum is full the Aggies are a completely different team, just look at the San Diego State game in January.
UNLV Guards: A
The guards of UNLV were feasting against the USU defense, Kevin Olekaibe and Bryce Dejean-Jones led the Rebel attack scoring a combined 38 points and draining five 3’s along with it. Olekaibe sparked the Rebels in the second half nailing back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Rebels the lead. In the closing minutes Dejean-Jones made layup after layup on the Aggie defense. Let’s not forget about the Rebel defense holding the USU guards to 12 points.
UNLV Forwards: B+
The forward for UNLV played outstanding defense all night long and was the main reason why the Aggies had a terrible shooting percentage for the night. Birch had nine blocks for the game and no doubt he altered a few other shots as well. Birch also scored the first six points for the Rebels and was one block away from a triple-double. Roscoe Smith, the nation’s leading rebounder, had an off game from a rebounding perspective but he made his presence felt on the defensive side of the ball blocking two shots.
UNLV Head Coach: B+
UNLV coach Dave Rice is proving to be one of the greatest young coaches in the league. It isn’t a surprise that he has led the Rebels to the tournament all three years that he’s been their head coach. If it weren’t for Shaw the Aggies would have been annihilated by the Rebels, and that has to do with the UNLV coaching staff and its importance on defense. Not to mention rebounding, the Rebels seem to do all the little things to get the job done, and I have to give Rice and his staff the credit for that. However, this night the Aggies managed to control the boards throughout the game, but that is a rare scenario for the Rebels where the usually beat their opponents on the boards by a large number.
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