Utah State may have had all week to prepare for its basketball rematch tonight with Brigham Young, to whom the Aggies lost 98-94 last Saturday in Provo, but the Cougars threw USU a couple of extra wrinkles to worry about Thursday.
That's when BYU beat Weber State 69-57, getting 22 points and seven rebounds out of senior Steve Schreiner and playing better defense while shooting 62 percent from the field - all with 7-foot-6 Shawn Bradley on the bench for nearly half the game with foul trouble."The thing that disturbs you," says Aggie Coach Kohn Smith, "is they played pretty darned good without Bradley. Smith noted more movement by BYU with Bradley sitting down, and, like everyone else who witnessed the game, he was impressed with the way Schreiner stepped up.
"They played really well defensively," Smith added, "and that was borne out with the shooting percentage Weber had (36.4). Their 2-3 zone really bothered Weber a lot, and they covered up their three-point shooters and got Weber rushing shots."
The Aggies got nine three-point baskets, a Marriott Center/USU record, out of their point guard, Jay Goodman, last Saturday.
BYU, which put its three-point defense into practice Thursday against Weber's Tony Nicholas, targets Goodman for tonight's game that starts at 7:07 at the Spectrum. It will be televised live by KTVX-Ch. 4.
"We've got to get out on the perimeter and make sure we stop that shot," says Bradley. "We can't trade threes for twos all night."
BYU Coach Roger Reid says the Cougars must do a better job against both Goodman (33 points) and Rich Jardine, who scored 28 including four three-pointers a week ago. "I've seen Jardine enough to know he can do that again," Reid says.
Reid also says the Cougars must set the tempo, the way they did against Weber. "We have to neutralize their quickness," he says.
Smith's concerned about the players who surround Bradley and Schreiner. He figures Schreiner and Bradley will get their points anyway. "We've got to be better defensively as a team on individual guys," he says. "We've got to make sure we don't give them easy baskets," he adds, remembering BYU got 11 layups last week.
BYU is 2-1 for the season, USU 0-1.