Wow, what a Saturday we had at the Deseret News. We had four games for the four Utah hoops squads. Mad props to Whitney O’Bannon for her work managing the stories and getting everything just how it needed to be. My team here is a little bit stretched recently, and she really stepped up to the plate.
For those of you who may not know Whitney, she’s a student at the U and one of my interns. She’s a great web editor, as proven by what she was able to manage last night. She must have written five or six different articles beside coordinating with all our journalists to get their stories up and online as quick as possible. Give her a follow on Twitter if. @Whitney_Oban
There’s been some big news today on the recruiting front. Chasen Andersen, son of Gary, is on his way to Provo. Besides love, pride and respect — all of which any father must feel to have his son in D-1 ball — one can only imagine what Gary thinks about this decision. He was, after all, a star Utah defender, and certainly never beat around the bush whenever it came to how much he wanted to beat the Y. That said, congrats to Chasen, but I think I speak for all of Aggie nation when I say that we think he made a bad choice.
Also, buried near the bottom of this piece is a quickie about Joe Malanga, a straight up stud offensive lineman at Bingham high. At 6-foot-4 and an athletic 270 pounds, this guy had offers from Oregon St. and Hawaii, but opted for the home-state team. Apparently he didn’t need a whole lot of convincing either; he only came to Logan a couple times.
As for Denver, I went back and watched the last five minutes of the NMSU game, and I was totally oblivious to the fact that Medlin and Reed were injured. They were playing late second half vs. NMSU, so the news that they didn’t play because of injuries sustained during the Aggie game caught me off guard. That said, the fact that USU lost without those guys really isn’t that surprising. Our team is thin as paper right now. Furthermore, Denver’s a good team, and it’s tough to take a good team on without your star players.
Speaking of playing without players, this team as a whole really thinned out with the departure of Bair and Bradshaw. Berger’s near-death experience really didn’t help them out either. I don’t get the exodus away from Logan, but it is what it is.
At one point every season during the quad-squad era, the Aggies would pull out a win when I least expected them to, and that’s when I would 100 percent buy in. Road win at Nevada. Home win over Jimmer. Get my drift? This year, I thought it was the Santa Clara OT game. Then I thought it was the Idaho OT game. But the Aggies just aren’t there yet. It’s not enough to come back against a mediocre team. The Aggies need a statement win over a good team. LA Tech, anyone?
This week is make-or-break for the Aggies’ regular season WAC championship aspirations. The students, no doubt, will come out in force — as they should. I intend to be at the LA Tech game myself, which given my responsibilities in Salt Lake, is a big deal.