The Cougar basketball team has done more than gobble up turkey and stuffing during the week of Thanksgiving. On top of the two back-to-back games the Cougars have already played this week, BYU will play again Saturday, Nov. 30, for its third game in seven days. The third game of the week is against in-state opponent Utah State and will be held in the EnergySolutions Arena at 7:00 p.m.
“We had a great game up there a few years ago with Utah State at EnergySolutions Arena,” said BYU head coach Dave Rose. “With the experience of their team, starting four seniors, and the youth of our group and where we’ve been and the fact that we’re coming off a loss, it should be a really exciting game. We’re looking forward to it.”
The Aggies will be led by head coach Stew Morrill, who just coached his 500th game at USU during its win against Weber State Tuesday, Nov. 26. Morrill is the winningest coach in school history and has started this season with a perfect 5-0 record.
Some key players to watch out for in an Aggie uniform include Jarred Shaw, Preston Medlin and Spencer Butterfield. All three of these players have double-digit averages in total points and have helped lead Utah State to a perfect season so far with high averages in rebounds, assists, and blocks.
Last season BYU beat Utah State in the Marriott Center with a buzzer-beater shot from Craig Cusick that ended the game 70-68. It was a hard-fought battle that could have been anyone’s game.
According to stats from this season, Utah State has better percentages in field goals, three-pointers and free throws compared to the Cougars. Both teams have already played Weber State this year with BYU beating the Wildcats by nine points and Utah State beating them by six. If the history between these two teams continues, the game will be a close battle coming down to the last few plays of the game.
“They’ve been really competitive games,” Rose said. “They usually go right down to the wire. Last year it was a last possession shot off a rebound that won the game for us. I know our guys are really looking forward to it, and hopefully there’s a great crowd in there and there’s good energy.”
Second only to the University of Utah, BYU has played the Aggies more than any other team in total of games. For the Cougars it is one of the longest-standing series on record, dating back to 1905, and includes 229 games with BYU leading 137-92.
“Our guys are excited,” Rose said. “There hasn’t been a lot of emotion on our part that we’ve had to put into these guys. They know the importance of these games, and they know how difficult it is to beat good teams. This will be a good game.”
The Cougars’ 230th game against the Aggies can be viewed live on BYUtv. The game will also be broadcast live on the Cougar IMG Sports Network on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM and 1160 AM.