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It's been a tough week for the Aggies; two conference road losses, and Preston Medlin and Kyisean Reed going down with injuries.
"It's a big challenge, I would be less than honest if I didn't say that," coach Stew Morrill said. "It's as weird of a situation I've ever had in 27 years as a head coach."
"At first I just felt bad for them, they're both our leaders, it sucks most for them," sophomore forward Ben Clifford said; but the team knows they can't dwell on the absence of their injured teammates.
It's as weird of a situation I've ever had in 27 years as a head coach.
"I feel like others guys will step up," junior center Jarred Shaw said. "It's just something we need to overcome; try to keep focused and try to play good without those guys."
With Medlin and Reed out, Clifford and junior guard Marvin Jean know they have to take on a bigger role.
"I'm definitely confident enough to come in and play the position," Jean said. "Play my role and try to get these wins."
I've tried to change my attitude a little bit," Clifford said. "Definitely try to be more of a leader, trying to be more solid; I feel like I'm ready to do that.
"We'll go play with the guys we got and I expect those guys to play their tails off," Morrill said. Utah State knows that with all the adversity they've faced over the past week, they'll have no time to feel sorry for themselves. Especially with the defensive minded Texas-Arlington coming to town Thursday night.
I'm definitely confident enough to come in and play the position, play my role and try to get these wins.
"They play very good defense; very good defense," Morrill said of the Mavericks. Texas Arlington comes into Thursday's game second in the WAC in scoring defense and the top defensive team when it comes to FG percentage. But where the Mavericks are really scary, is their ability to force turnovers.
"They pressure the hell out of you," junior guard Marvin Jean said.
This is bad news for a team averaging 12.5 turnovers per game.
"We've had a problem turning the ball over," Clifford said. "It's definitely something we're gonna try and work on."
Shorthanded and on a 2 game losing skid, Utah State knows the importance of winning these 2 home games before they go on a 3 game road trip.
"We gotta bounce back, we gotta get back on a winning streak," Jean said. "Those last two road games we're really tough so we just gotta bounce back and get on that win streak."