Utah State basketball: California Aggies excited for homecoming
USU basketball notes • Scores of family, friends will cheer for Butterfield, McGlaston.
Published: February 27, 2014 06:58PM
Updated: February 28, 2014 05:10PM

Logan • Senior night at the Spectrum is fast approaching, less than a week away.

But Spencer Butterfield has a more personal night coming up on Saturday at San Jose State, where he will play a mere two hours from his hometown. Many of his family and friends are gladly driving the distance to get a final live look at Butterfield in an Aggie uniform.

“They’re calling it my senior night,” he said. “That’s how I’m looking at it: It’s like my senior night on the road. I’m excited to get down there.”

Not only will Utah State get a chance to get a conference win on the road against the Spartans — the last-place team in the Mountain West — the Aggies may get a hometown bump from Butterfield. Last time he played at the Event Center, he notched a team-high 22 points and 10 rebounds.

He’s not the only NorCal native looking forward to a homecoming of sorts. Freshman guard JoJo McGlaston said he’s expecting as many as 150 friends and family from his hometown of Dublin, Calif., only a 30-minute drive.

McGlaston’s first Division I offer came from San Jose State, and the game has been circled on his calendar, so to speak, since the schedule came out.

“High school, college friends, family — everybody’s going to be out there,” he said.

Freshmen getting more experience

The DNPs have tapered off for the Aggie newcomers as Utah State tries to find more answers in the current four-game losing streak. While Jalen Moore has been a fixture in the rotation since the season began, fellow freshmen McGlaston and Viko Noma’aea have gotten run recently.

McGlaston has played in the last nine and gotten double-digit minutes each of the last three. In his last three games, he’s shot 6-for-13 with 15 total points. But he’s been more worried about other parts of his game.

“Definitely defense and a more mature feel for the game,” he said. “Last time I got stuck out there, I tried to take a 3-pointer and got blocked. I shouldn’t have done that. I’m trying to feel more comfortable and to step up on the defensive side for sure.”

Noma’aea has played 22 minutes in the last three games, shooting 4-for-7 and scoring 11 total points.

Coach Stew Morrill hasn’t been shy about throwing his young players in to try to find a spark.

“Getting time at big games this year at The Pit and stuff like that, that’s big for us,” McGlaston said. “I think next year when we have our sea legs under us, we’ll be better for it. It will help us a lot.”

Readying for Muhammad

Speaking of freshmen, the Aggies will be facing one they missed out on last year and who has proven to be one of San Jose State’s most potent scorers.

Rashad Muhammad recently broke the Mountain West freshman record for 3-pointers, reaching 69 for the season in SJSU’s last game, against San Diego State. He’s in striking distance of the school record for 3-pointers in a season — 78.

Utah State is very familiar with Muhammad, offering him a scholarship last year.

Utah State at San Jose State

O Saturday, 6 p.m. MST

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