Wesley available for Friday's game

Utah State’s Tai Wesley was ejected less than two minutes into the game in the Aggies’ 70-67 loss at San Jose State Monday night. Not only was it a tough week for the Aggies, who lost their third straight game for the first time since the 1998-99 season, but it was also a tough week for Wesley, and luckily for him it didn’t get any worse.
The week didn’t start out too badly for the freshman. He scored 13 and ripped down 10 rebounds in the 85-80 loss to Nevada on Feb. 11, and before fouling out in a 71-66 loss at Hawaii several days later he had 12 points and three rebounds in 21 minutes.
The Aggies could have used him down the stretch on the Islands. The Aggies dropped a 14-point lead with 10 minutes left in what could be considered their worst loss ‘ or most disappointing loss ‘ of the season.
Less than two minutes into the game at San Jose, Wesley was called for his second foul, and after the officials reviewed the play for several minutes, he was ejected from the game.
With a not-very-loud crowd of 1,634 fans, it was easy for everyone in the arena to hear Utah State coach Stew Morrill get after Wesley as he came off the floor ‘ and that was before he was ejected.
A couple minutes later, after the review by the officials, Wesley was escorted from the bench. Morrill didn’t have much to say but his glare spoke volumes.
‘Stupid. Stupid on his part,’ Morrill said following the game.
Wesley walked nearly emotionless off the court.
‘The Utah State player (Wesley) threw an elbow coming off a screen into the San Jose State player’s mouth (C.J. Webster),’ crew chief Dave Hall told the Associated Press pool reporter following the game.
Morrill, nor did any of the four Utah State beat writers at the game, have a good look at the play because it happened on the opposite end of the floor. Morrill has since seen the tape.
‘It probably was a valid call,’ Morrill said. ‘…There was an elbow thrown and it did bloody a lip. I don’t think it was purposefully thrown to hit a guy in the face, but it was thrown nevertheless.’
Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson ruled Thursday morning that no further action would be taken and Wesley is eligible to play Friday against UC San Barbara.
‘That’s good news,’ Morrill said Thursday morning in a teleconference with the local media. ‘We’re awfully pleased that he’s available for play.’
The Aggies, however, needed him against San Jose State.
The Spartan big men ‘ Webster and Chris Oakes ‘ combined for 36 points and 17 rebounds, while three Utah State bigs combined for 14 points and 16 rebounds.
‘Mentally, no I don’t think it played a factor. I forgot he was even in the locker room,’ Utah State guard Jaycee Carroll said. ‘I love the kid, but I forgot all about him after he left. For sure, he’s been one of our toughest post defenders and one of our very top scoring options as a starter, so statistically, in the game we missed his presence. We missed the way he boxes out. We missed the way he defends, and at times, the way he rebounds.’
For the second time this year, due to suspensions or ejections, Matt Formisano was forced into duty and scored three points and grabbed four rebounds in 19 minutes.
Wesley, the Aggies’ self-appointed enforcer, won’t have additional loss-of-game time to re-think that role, but if you asked him now, he, will certainly accept the blame for his actions, and at the same time he would say it wasn’t worth it.

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