Being oh-and-three doesn't sound very good, especially since all the losses have come in front of Utah audiences and even TV cameras.

Kohn Smith, however, says he's not discouraged, and even with a 3-1 Boise State team looming ahead of Utah State tonight in the BSU Pavilion, 7:30 p.m., Smith figures the Aggies have gotten the worst out of the way."Two of the games were at Utah and BYU, and everything isn't all that bad," Smith says. "We've got the toughest part of the preseason behind us."

His impression of the 84-76 loss at Utah Tuesday night was not that the Aggies played so badly but that the Utes played so well the first half. "That happens," Smith says. "I was pleased with the way we played the second half."

Boise State has beaten Idaho State, Valparaiso and Gonzaga and lost its last game, Dec. 1, at Wisconsin-Green Bay, which is a better team than the name sounds. The Broncos are picked to challenge Idaho for the Big Sky title and seem ready to improve upon last year's 12-15 mark.

Ogden sophomore Tanoka Beard (6-foot-9) in the middle continues to impress. He was Big Sky freshman of the year in 1989-90. "A nice post man, looks really good on film," says Smith, "and I like the athletic ability they have put around him. I know a lot of their people are transfers, but they're good ones."

Boise's playing a quicker game than last year because of the better athletes, says Smith, and uses man-to-man and matchup zone defenses.

As for the Aggies, Smith says he might change some personnel, possibly starting Gary Patterson in place of freshman Eric Franson at forward. "I liked the play of some of our guys off the bench; we had some kids play well against Utah," Smith says.

Rich Jardine, the Aggies' top scorer through the first two games, is recovered from the stomach problems that slowed him Tuesday at Utah, Smith says. Sophomore guard Jay Goodman averages 22.3 to lead the Aggies.