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Aggies basketball still tinkering with lineups headed into opening exhibition

Published October 23, 2012 12:42 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

With one scrimmage down, the Aggies have yet to set much about their lineup - yet.

With Grand Canyon heading to town Friday, the Utah State basketball coaching staff is hoping to see a lot from the dozen guys who will get minutes in the exhibition.

Stew Morrill said Tuesday that Saturday's scrimmage, though informative in some aspects, has its limitations. With no Blue and White scrimmage this year, the exhibition contests are all the more important.

"[The scrimmage] was OK - it wasn't awful, it wasn't great, but it's oftentimes that way," Morrill said. "This year, our exhibition games are on top of us so fast, we're going to have some nerves on Friday. We're going to have some slippage. But we'll try to play everybody."

The term "everybody" is a bit limited in scope: LaSalle transfer Matt Lopez is sitting out for the two exhibitions and five non-conference games until the fall semester ends and he's eligible to play. Quinn Taylor, a 6-foot-7 swingman who joined as a preferred walk-on, is almost certainly a redshirt this year before going on an LDS Church Mission next season.

But everyone else has a chance to show they can contribute. Morrill anticipates at least one more redshirt this season, but against Grand Canyon and Simon Fraser, everyone will play.

The one clue Morrill has given is that he feels - for now, at least - that the veterans are ahead of the newcomers. Obviously Preston Medlin will see a lot of minutes, and Kyisean Reed appears to be a big factor this year, but Danny Berger, Ben Clifford and Jordan Stone are making cases for time as well. Morrill said he also liked seeing the contributions from Spencer Butterfield and TeNale Roland on Saturday.

Don't read too much into who starts, Morrill said. Ultimately, minutes will be what matter. Who's earned some time? Still up for debate.

"There's good competition going on, but it's still early," Morrill said. "I don't think anything's fully settled. We'll know more as we go."

— Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon