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Aggies hoops hosting some pesky shooting teams

Published December 18, 2012 12:18 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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Looking at Utah State's stats this week, not much has changed after a win at Utah Valley.

The Aggies are still one of the nation's best rebounding teams, a high-efficiency shooting team and assist on many of their baskets. That's been pretty much the mold of the program for more than a decade.

Another thing is true: Their 3-point defense ain't the greatest.

That will be an interesting aspect for the Aggies in the next two games they'll play — ones in which they'll likely be heavily favored. Shooting 3-pointers is one thing Nicholls State (1-5) and UC Davis (2-6) do well. The Colonels shoot at a 35.5 percent clip, the "other" Aggies shoot 36.1 percent.

UC Davis actually could be hard to put away if they get hot: They shoot an average of 8 long-range shots per game.

Utah State is middle-of-the-road around the perimeter, holding opponents to 34.4 percent from beyond the arc. In all but one game this year, the Aggies have allowed six or more 3-pointers from opponents. It was a concern on Saturday, as the Wolverines buried eight long buckets that kept them in the game.

Welcoming in teams that thrive on the 3-pointer, Utah State has an opportunity to work on shoring up its defense on the outside. Stew Morrill cited it as an area needing improvement on Saturday — what better way to clean it up?

Utah State can also work on its 3-point shooting, which is pretty pedestrian this year. The Aggies are only making a third of their shots. It hurts that Danny Berger, who was expected to contribute from the outside this season, is out. But the Aggies need better consistency from Preston Medlin, Marvin Jean and TeNale Roland from outside to keep the production up.

Out of the visiting teams this week, Southern Illinois is the one where 3-pointers are unlikely to be much of a factor. The Salukis average fewer that four 3-pointers a game. Their interior will be the main thing Utah State must worry about.

— Kyle Goon

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon