One of the Utah State basketball team's goals this season has been to control the interior better than last season. It's early, and the Aggies haven't played the toughest schedule, but that goal is on track.
As they have been the past few weeks, the Aggies are ranked in the top 10 in rebounding margin. This week, Utah State is No. 3 (15.0 rpg) behind Colorado State and Maryland, thanks much in part to decimating DII Western Oregon 43-21 on the boards.
But that's not the only statistical area where the team is among the nation's best: Utah State is also No. 15 in field goal percentage (48.7 percent) and No. 16 in assists per game (17.2 apg). It shouldn't surprise that Utah State leads the Western Athletic Conference in these categories.
So far, junior Jarred Shaw has led the team in some of those key areas by shooting 59.8 percent (No. 20 nationally) and averaging 9.8 rebounds per game (No. 30).
The rankings are thanks in part to small sample size, as most other teams have played more than six games this season. In addition, Utah State has played a DII opponent and some of the weaker teams on its schedule, so it might even out. Still, these are encouraging trends for Aggies fans.
There are a few not-so-flattering statistics, however: 14.3 turnovers per game (No. 190 nationally); 4.8 3-pointers per game (No. 276) and allowing opponents to shoot 34.4 percent from 3-point range (No. 226).
You can bet the coaching staff is working on turning that number around.