Utah State moved to 3-0 on the season with a win against Santa Clara. The Aggies have now beat Weber State, Illinois State and Santa Clara. pretty good start. "If you would have told me we start 3-0 I would have told you to get a mental checkup" is how Stew Morrill put it. Every game they have started out slow getting down by double digits and coming back to win.
This Santa Clara game was unique though. The Aggies came back from a 15 point deficit to cut the Bronco lead to one then let Santa Clara get a lead of 11. The Aggies then started to hit big shots and pulled out a close win. This is probably more like what we can expect going forward. A back and forth game that will come down to the end will most likely be the norm, especially in the Spectrum.
So, can the Aggies be better than last year? Can they contend for a MWC championship? What would be a successsful season?
A couple thoughts kept going through my mind tonight at the game. 1) What is the ceiling of this team and 2) What would be a successful season?.
The Aggies have started out well but last year they started out 5-0 right. So that is not the only factor. They have two huge games coming up. They play at Mississippi State Saturday and then BYU on Dec 2nd. They also have UC Davis in between. Those 2 games with be the best barometer for this team.
The Aggies will continue to improve. These players are new and all are very young. Stew is trying to find the best rotations and players for certain situations. That is one reason that everyone should be watching this team.
The other reason to watch this team is I think they will continue to evolve in their style and tempo. This team has not played a 3/4 or full court press yet. That is one of the strengths of this team I think. With the length and athleticism of this team it could be a huge weapon for the Aggies to pull that out.
So if you want to know my answer: Success would be a finish in the top 1/2 of the league. A 6th place finish in the MWC would be an accomplishment. There are some weaknesses with this team, namely post depth. But this is going to be a really fun team to watch evolve. I like to call this team the Cardiac Kids so that will be interesting too!