After polishing off a Double Double and fries at In N Out — hey, when in California that’s kind of an automatic on the must-do list, right? — I made my way to the Save Mart Center to take my seat for Utah State’s game at Fresno State.
On paper, this shouldn’t be much of a match.
The Aggies are the hottest basketball team in the nation in terms of overall wins and road wins. Fresno State, meanwhile, had lost seven of nine before beating up on Houston Baptist Wednesday.
Games aren’t played on paper, though.
The Aggies may very well own the longest win streak in the country as well as the longest road winning streak in the country. But Fresno State gave USU all it could handle and then some a few weeks ago in Logan and nearly upset Utah State.
Well rested and playing at home, the Bulldogs present as stiff a test as the Aggies could expect in the WAC.
There are, however, a couple of changes in the two teams since the first meeting.
For Utah State, freshman forward Brady Jardine has settled down and is now a player USU coach Stew Morrill can actually rely on for quality minutes off the bench. In the first meeting, he played 12 minutes but mostly because Tai Wesley was in first-half foul trouble. Now, Jardine is a regular in the rotation.
For Fresno State, Dwight O’Neil is a out of the lineup. The senior guard was arrested this week for driving with a suspended license. The point guard is averaging 12.8 points per game and 5.5 assists. With him out of the game, the Bulldogs will be hard-pressed to run their offense efficiently with freshman Bryce Cartwright manning the point.