Utah State basketball: Aggies lacking depth at wings
Logan • It seems so long ago when Utah State had arguably its most depth at the wing positions.
Looking at a roster without Sean Harris (knee injury), Riley Bradshaw (transfer) and now Danny Berger, the coaching staff of the Aggies basketball team now has to cross their fingers that the team will suffer no more issues at shooting guard and small forward.
"Our numbers concern me a little bit," coach Stew Morrill said in a Thursday news conference. "We have to stay healthy. We've got to shorten practice a little bit."
Utah State welcomes center Matt Lopez to the active roster this week, but that should do little to alleviate the depth issues on the wings. Morrill reiterated that it's unlikely that any of the team's three true centers will share the floor at a given time.
Spencer Butterfield had a strong start in Berger's spot last week, scoring 10 points, grabbing eight rebounds and contributing seven assists. But Butterfield was one of the main relievers for Preston Medlin at the two spot.
Marvin Jean and Quincy Bair will continue to provide depth off the bench, with each of them likely to see a bump in their minutes. But the coaching staff is also looking at getting starting point guard TeNale Roland some time at shooting guard, which would put more responsibility on the shoulders of freshman Marcel Davis.
In each of the past two games, Davis has earned close to an even-minute split with Roland, and he scored a team-high 21 points against Western Oregon. He could make his first start on Saturday depending on how practice goes and whether Roland is a good fit at the spot.
"That might help us out at some point, but that's not an easy thing to do to play the one and the two in our system," Morrill said. "But it's something we may look at."
Lopez eager to get on the court
Lopez, the 6-foot-11 LaSalle transfer, could be another boost in Utah State's frontcourt. Coaches and teammates said Lopez was excited for his first game as an Aggie.
Morrill said Lopez has been aggressive in practice, which is a positive and a negative. He worried that Lopez's physicality could translate to a few more fouls. But still, it looks to be a net gain for Utah State.
"He will bang around, he'll try to guard, he'll try to rebound," Morrill said. "His low post scoring gets better week to week, so we're hoping he'll be able to score the ball down low a little bit."
Utah State at Utah Valley
P Saturday, 7 p.m.
TV • FOX College Sports
Radio • 610 AM (tape delay)
• The Aggies play only their second road game of the year locally, taking on the Wolverines.