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Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Is Utah State 'a very average WAC team?'

By Diamond Leung

Utah State is 13-2 and undefeated in the WAC, but coach Stew Morrill is not a happy camper right now. During Friday's 80-71 win at home against San Jose State, Morrill ripped into his team at halftime and then again to reporters after the game.

The halftime session that involved a lot of yelling and kicking things, according to forward Tai Wesley, was necessary in Morrill's mind.

From the Deseret News:
"It would be a crying shame if I acted like a complete idiot in here and they didn't respond," Morrill said. "I shouldn't have to do that."

The ugly performance by the Aggies reaffirms what Morrill has been trying to say all season, that the Aggies are not yet the dominant team that fans want them to be.

"Someone is going to believe me when I say we are not a good team," Morrill said. "We are a very average WAC team right now. We better get better or else we will finish in the middle of the WAC or lower."

The thing is, even if Utah State is average this season, the Aggies are likely still the best of the average teams in the conference.

Injury-plagued New Mexico State, last year's conference tournament champ, announced Tuesday that top rebounder and consistent double-double threat Wendell McKines would redshirt the season following preseason surgery on a broken foot.

Boise State has already beaten New Mexico State, and Fresno State is 2-0 as well. But with Hawaii and Nevada inexperience and San Jose State finding out that it will take more than Adrian Oliver's scoring to get them wins in the WAC, the path to another regular-season title appears to be clear for Utah State.

Wesley shoots 65.5 percent from the field, Brian Green shoots it well from beyond the arc, Brockeith Pane brings athleticism and Pooh Williams is a top on-ball defender. Nate Bendall is playing through chronic foot injuries.

Somehow, it seems Utah State will be a dangerous team like it usually is no matter how much the Aggies are currently struggling and drawing Morrill's ire.