After a week of disarray, injury, a defection and what was essentially three road games - all losses - against three of the best teams in the Big West Conference, things have become even crazier for Utah State's basketball fortunes.
The Aggies will apparently be without scoring leader Jay Goodman (17.6 average) for tonight's 7:30 game against Cal-Fullerton in the Spectrum. Goodman, who played on a sprained ankle last week and turned it again in Monday's late-night game with UNLV, sprained the other ankle in Tuesday's practice and will likely miss both home games this weekend.Those games are important to USU's conference well-being because the Aggies, 7-11, 4-5, despite their three-game losing streak, are just a game out of third place and have played the most difficult part of their schedule.
Fullerton, 11-8, 4-6, has also lost three in a row - in fact, it's lost five of its last six, although the win was against No. 2 New Mexico State.
The Titans are in a state of flux, too, as they are without injured center Aaron Wilhite and forward Ron Caldwell, who is suspended indefinitely.
Several Titans also missed practice this week, although two of them - leading scorer Joe Small (21.6 points) and backup center Agee Ward (13.2 points, 7.8 rebounds) - had proper excuses. The others are guard Wayne Williams and forward J.C. Green. It's not certain if they'll start tonight. Williams has played all but 58 minutes of this season.
Wilhite has missed the last four games with a knee injury, and that's a big reason for the Titan losing streak. He's a double-figure scorer nearly every game and averages 12.8 points and 8.5 rebounds. Ward is a forward playing out of place at center; the result has been extra fouls.
Utah State, of course, is without forward Jeff Parris, who notified Coach Kohn Smith he'll not return. Smith left him home from last week's trip in hopes he'd catch up academically, but Parris instead went home to California.
The Aggies, struggling to fill Parris' first-off-the-bench slot and struggling to score with Goodman not shooting well, perhaps because of the first ankle sprain, lost at Long Beach State, New Mexico State and in the Spectrum Monday night to top-ranked UNLV in a game that was like a road game for USU because of a difficult travel day Sunday and a 10 p.m. start Monday.
The Aggies host San Jose State Saturday night.