Utah State unsure if Spencer Butterfield will play Thursday
With Texas State coming to Logan on Thursday, the Aggies are still holding out hope that injured starter Spencer Butterfield will be ready to play.
The junior aggravated a hip injury a week ago against Louisiana Tech, and was described earlier this week as "day-to-day" while managing his pain. At Stew Morrill's Wednesday conference call, the coach said Butterfield sat out Tuesday's practice and would likely be extremely limited Wednesday, not playing any "live situations."
Given how bad the injury looked a week ago, Morrill is grateful he still could have one of his team's best scorers and top leaders back this week or next.
"I thought for sure he was done for the year given the pain he was in at the time," Morrill said. "It's gotten to feel a little bit better. It's always difficult when a guy hasn't gotten to practice at all, but we'd much rather have him than not have him no matter what the circumstances. Spencer is a guy who you don't have to worry about his effort. He leaves it all out there."
It would appear that Butterfield's talents are especially necessary with Texas State ahead, a team that averages over 70 points per game. Morrill said the team's pace concerns him, especially since "we weren't exactly an offensive juggernaut last week."
The Aggies scored only 46 points in a 15-point loss to UT-Arlington on Saturday playing without Butterfield. The team only had 14 field goals - a season-low output - and shot 30.4 percent from the floor.
After the defeat, Morrill criticized his team's performance on the radio. He said Wednesday that the Aggies had taken his comments constructively.
"They wouldn't expect any less of me," Morrill said. "They wouldn't want me to say it's OK because we have injuries and we couldn't make a basket. ... I don't go off like that all that often, maybe a couple times a year. I think they needed to know that."
Morrill said watching footage of Texas State and UT-San Antonio was like watching tape from a different season. One of the keys in the earlier victory against the Bobcats was having Kyisean Reed guard star post Joel Wright.
Not having that luxury will make this contest tougher, even though Texas State is 9-20 on the year.
"A lot of things have happened since then," Morrill said. "We watched those first two games, and it's so long ago, we're playing obviously with different people. It's kind of irrelevant. You garner more by watching recent games, especially since we don't know who we're playing with."
Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon