If seasons were measured by exhibitions, Utah State fans should be thrilled.
The Aggies basketball team looked dominant against Grand Canyon and Simon Fraser. They put points in a lot of different ways, cleaned the boards for rebounds, and had stretches of absolute shut-down defense.
But beating up on a Division II team won't mean much against Saint Mary's or BYU, two of the tougher opponents on Utah State's schedule coming up. It might not even mean too much headed into Saturday's season opener against Idaho State.
A lot of experts and opposing coaches are expecting the Aggies to be a better team this year. Now they just have to prove it.
"We've only played teams that were not up to our level," coach Stew Morrill said. "You can only read into that so much. We still have a lot to prove."
The Aggies could get out to a good start against the Bengals at the Spectrum. It's a team that hasn't won the series in 30 years, and struggled in an exhibition win over Whitworth.
Still, Idaho State is surely the truest test so far. Defensively, the Aggies will have to deal with point guard Melvin Morgan and wing Andre Hatchett. On offense, 7-foot-4 Jacob Kusmieruk might be one of the biggest post players the Aggies face all year.
Of course, Utah State boasts a number of scorers this year. Preston Medlin has been nearly flawless in the preseason, rolling up points from long range and in the lane seemingly at will. Jarred Shaw and Kyisean Reed should create some havoc in the paint, as well.
Defensively, the team is looking to build on holding Grand Canyon to 29 percent shooting and Simon Fraser to 33 percent shooting.
But when the games really count, the coaching staff is looking forward to seeing what it really has.
"We're still seeing how the pieces fit," Morrill said. "It will be a good dose of reality for these guys."
Idaho State at Utah State
P At Dee Glen Smith Spectrum
• Saturday, 7 p.m.
Note • The Aggies have a 13-game winning streak against the Bengals.