Utah State (5-0) vs. BYU (5-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: EnergySolutions Arena (19,120) -- Salt Lake City, Utah. Television: BYUtv. Home Record: USU 3-0, BYU 3-1. Away Record: USU 2-0, BYU 1-0. Neutral Record: USU 0-0, BYU 1-1. Conference Record: USU 0-0, BYU 0-0. Series Record: BYU leads, 137-92.
GAME NOTES: Utah State tries to remain undefeated on the season, as the Aggies clash with the BYU Cougars in a non-conference battle at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City tonight.
The Aggies are off to a 5-0 start for the first time since 2008-09 thanks to a 77-71 win over the Weber State Wildcats earlier this week. Not only did the outing result in a positive outcome, it was also the 500th game for head coach Stew Morrill with the program.
As for the Cougars, they kicked off the 2013-14 campaign with four consecutive victories, but the run ended with a 90-88 setback to Iowa State 10 days ago. On Tuesday the team was up again nationally-ranked Wichita State during the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City and came up short in a 75-62 final.
This is the 230th all-time meeting between the programs, but only the second time that they've played on a neutral floor. Back in 2008, the Cougars captured a 68-63 win in this same building. Overall, BYU owns a 137-92 advantage over the Aggies.
Except for TeNale Roland who tallied just two points, every starter scored in double figures for the Aggies in the win over Weber State, led by Jarred Shaw with 20 points. Kyle Davis stole the spotlight with a huge double-double consisting of 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Spencer Butterfield contributed 14 points and Preston Medlin 13 and seven assists.
Through five games the leading scorer for the Aggies is Shaw with his 16.4 ppg, shooting 54.7 percent from the floor while also clearing a team-best seven rebounds per contest as well. Medlin (15.0 ppg) and Butterfield (13.8 ppg) have not only combined to convert 23-of-46 behind the 3-point line, the duo is also responsible for 32 assists in an effort to keep the offense moving smoothly.
Tyler Haws managed to produce 17 points for the Cougars against Wichita State, but he was rather quiet in the first half and ended up shooting only 3-of-15 from the floor overall as the team bowed to the Shockers. Instead, it was Matt Carlino who kept BYU in the mix as he tallied 21 points, but at the same time he shot only 7-of-19 from the floor. Eric Mika tallied 10 points and Nate Austin 12 rebounds for a team that shot only 31.0 percent from the field and 5-of-20 beyond the arc.
Haws, who made all 11 of his free throws in the latest outing, remains the top scorer for the Cougars with his 24.2 ppg, although there should be some concern with his mere 39.3 percent accuracy from the floor. Carlino (19.1 ppg) is also struggling a bit from the field (.398), but at the same time he is making sure to take care of his teammates with 35 assists. Carlino is second only to Kyle Collinsworth (11.9 ppg) in assists as the latter has 37 dishes.
The Aggies have gotten to this point against some weaker competition, but still the talent should be strong enough to get them beyond BYU, especially if Haws again has trouble getting started.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Utah State 76, BYU 72
11/30 10:37:36 ET