Thoughts and observations from the USU-Utah game

Wow. What a game.

Monday night’s tussle between the Utes and Aggies was pretty much what most expected — a physical contest that went down to the last minute and with a little extra something to keep the conversation flowing the next day.

While Ute fans, understandably, might not enjoy the final outcome, it was the proper one. From my vantage point four or five feet away from the officials as they watched the replay of the critical offensive rebound and basket made by USU’s Tai Wesley the eventual call was correct.

Here’s the video of the play:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=BszK2LAczhU

What might not have been correct, but also might be understandable, was the fit of rage Utah coach Jim Boylen flew into when he realized the clock had not started. Slamming his hands onto the courtside table, sending the possession arrow flying into the air and screaming showed he has a lot of passion and energy. It also showed he’s not very good at expressing it in appropriate ways.

So, on with more observations:

Luke Nevill, when he gets the ball, is too much for just about anyone to handle. He’s too tall, too strong and has a sweet jump hook that is money from 10-feet in. Why he doesn’t get the ball more often is a mystery.

Carlon Brown had one of the most impressive dunks I’ve seen in years. Even Matt Formisano, the USU player posterized, was chuckling to himself and teammates after the play.

Jared Quayle is stepping up in a big, big way. The junior guard has emerged as the player the Aggies need at the point. While his shot is not always on — who’s is? — he’s playing heady ball with few turnovers, key assists and a maturity sorely needed in the backcourt.

Oh, and he’s a rebounding fiend.

USU coach Stew Morrill has tightened his rotation already. Quayle is the man at point and freshmen Deremy Geiger and Jaxon Myaer will split the minutes when Quayle needs a rest or USU wants to ramp up the tempo.

Tai Wesley is underrated but also needs to be more aggressive and demanding. He’s a tremendous passer and if he ends up getting his rebounding up to snuff, he’ll be a WAC MVP eventually.

As good s Wesley and Wilkinson have been, Tyler Newbold might be USU’s MVP at this point. His defense is outstanding and it’s defense that has been winning games for Utah State lately.

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