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USU Hoops: Why the Aggies are playing better

Published December 27, 2011 4:48 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A lot of it is due to an overall understanding of Stew Morrill's system.

Guys are getting to where they are supposed to be. Cuts and movement within the offense are consistent, and instinctive, as opposed to the overall over-thinking that was going on during the earlier part of the season.

It's helped immensely that roles are being defined, Kyisean Reed is finally starting to play to his vast potential, and Morgan Grim has been better and more effiecient that anybody would've thought in the paint.

BUT....the key to USU winning four consecutive games, winning the Gossner Tournament and embarrassing a good Kent State team in the process has been the transformation of the perimeter.

Give Stew Morrill a ton of credit here. he has tweaked the system to adjust to the talent of his personnel. And give credit to Preston Medlin. Last year, the talk internally was that Medlin was giving Tyler Newbold and Pooh Williams the business in practice.

Now, we're starting to see that play out. Medlin, the sophomore shooting guard, is turning into a lethal offensive weapon right before our eyes. He's a very good shooter from distance, yet he's good in the open floor, good off the dribble and more athletic than he appears.

The other key is Danny Berger. He's offerend length, touch from the perimeter and most importantly a threat to score that Mitch Bruneel doesn't and Steven Thornton never did.

With Berger in the fold, having his redshirt pulled early, Medlin's seen more room than he did earlier. When there are two shooters on the floor, the floor gets spaced.

So what we saw in the Gossner was this: Passing lanes being opened up, room for Brockeith Pane to penetrate, room for Grim to do his thing in the post, and lanes for Reed to crash the boards.

A team that couldn't score seemingly by itself early on has turned into a very good offensive unit. As a result, we're seeing a team that all of a sudden has hope for a WAC title, when it appeared that Hawaii, New Mexico State and Nevada were the cream of the crop.

Tony Jones