Newbold steps up

Anyone who has watched Utah State bolt out to a nation’s-best 17-game winning streak with more than a mere casual interest knows the Aggie offense starts deep in the post with Tai Wesley and Gary Wilkinson.

Aggie opponents have certainly taken notice and it’s a common scene for the duo to be double teamed on the blocks.

What Aggie fans and opponents are also beginning to notice is there is more than one way Utah State can beat a team.

Thursday night against New Mexico State, USU pulled out the long ball and fired away. Tyler Newbold, especially, had a monster night and is most likely giving future Aggie opponents another thing to worry about during film sessions.

After silently playing along as Utah State’s fourth option on offense, the sophomore from Payson went off on NMSU. Typically known as a defender drawing the asignment of slowing down a high-scoring wing player, Newbold stepped his offensive game up and scored 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting. His 5-of-6 effort from 3-point range opened the game up when Wilkinson and Wesley went to the bench with foul trouble.

He also had four rebounds, three assists and zero turnovers.

A deceptively athletic player, Newbold is shooting better than 40 percent from 3-point range and, had he shot enough times to qualify, would have led the nation in 3-point shooting as a freshman last year. Instead, some guy named Jaycee Carroll had that honor.

One of the more cerebral players I’ve watched in years, Newbold seems to be in control at all times and, while perhaps not the best player on the court, perfectly capable of making himself known whenever he’s needed.

Utah State has plenty of options it seems. Newbold is just one of them and against New Mexico State he showed the WAC it had better not forget about him.

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