Utah State played like s*** for the entire three-game homestand, pretty much like they had all season up to this point. They escaped disaster in one of those three games and let the other two stay way too close. But the main thing is that there's been little-to-no improvement in this team throughout the year. And seeing as how usually by this point in the season the team has found its footing and taken things to the next level, the lack of improvement is disturbing.
If there was any legitimate positive to be taken from those three games, it was that the team at least finished games strong.
And that wasn't all that far off on Thursday against New Mexico State either. Only problem is that USU was down by 21 when they decided to get hot from downtown and throw the tiniest shred of interest into this game.
Outside of that, this one was agony to watch. Utah State was out-hustled, out-manned, out-shot, out-passioned, and out-coached... Yes. Marvin f***ing Menzies out-coached Stew Morrill in a basketball game. That is not ok, and is a frustrating indication of where this team and program currently stand.
Speaking of which...
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PASSION?
For good reason, this game still means a hell of a lot to New Mexico State. They get up for it in a big way and always seem to play a little bit better than what everyone thought was their best.
For some reason, this just seems to be another game to Utah State now, and that just should not be the case. This is the one team that's given USU the most trouble throughout these WAC years, but it seems like the team was content to kill over and die each of the past two visits to that hellhole.
Back in 2009 when USU won at NMSU for the first time in WAC play, the good Aggies were the ones outplaying the bad Aggies. Not just in execution, but in all-around passion, hustle, physicality... everything.
This team might finally break out of this funk once they start taking pride in kicking some ass up and down the basketball court. I still believe they have the talent, but without any sense of urgency to become those kinds of sharks, the rest of this WAC schedule could eat them up pretty badly.
- Sure would have been nice if, at some point, the team would stopped trying to throw up shots in the key. Sim Bhullar, unathletic as he may be, has ridiculous height. When he's standing right around the basket, you're going to have to find different ways to score than taking it right at him. He may have only had five blocks, but he altered plenty more attempts plenty far enough off course to miss the bucket.
- It seems like ever since that article came out about how good Marcel Davis was doing, he's being struggling. No different Thursday. Really, it's only two games, but he's shot 2-12 from the field in those game. It's probably fair to say that this NMSU team has more size and athleticism than any other team he's faced yet, and it definitely seemed to be a wake-up call.
- It seems like ever since that article came out about how good Marvin Jean was doing, he's been struggling. No different Thursday. In his case, it's six games now with only a combined 15 points scored.
- 15 offensive rebounds and only nine 2nd-chance points for USU.
- 39.3 percent shooting from the field for the good guys, 57.8 percent for the bad guys... There's your biggest difference-maker.
- Preston Medlin... Only USU player to shoot above 50 percent from the field Thursday.