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It's hard not to be impressed with what Utah State accomplished last week. Down to an 8 man rotation, the Aggies began the second half of conference play with 2 impressive road victories over Idaho and Seattle by an average of 16 points. That margin of victory doesn't really tell the story of those games; if you watched them, you know Utah State thumped them, thumped them good.
For the first time in a month the players looked confident; confident in themselves and confident in each other. They executed their offense and as the games went on, more and more shots fell for the Aggies. They looked like a team; a team that can still contend for a WAC title.
We're shorthanded but things are really coming together for us right now.
It's no mystery where things changed for this group, the second half of the Louisiana Tech gave the players an idea of what they were capable of. "They're the best team in the league right now," freshman guard Marcel Davis said. "We knew if we could play with them, we could play with anyone."
Davis looked like an entirely different player against Idaho and Seattle. He struggled against the press of Texas-Arlington and La Tech, he looked confused and timid at times; however, on the road against the Vandals and Redbirds, Davis was the aggressor. He scored the Aggies first 6 points at Idaho and then 4 of their first 6 points against Seattle. He attacked the basket and looked much more confident in his passing than he had in previous games.
"Coaches said we needed some players to step, so I tried really tried to get into a rhythm early on in the game," Davis said.
Davis averaged 14 PPG on the road trip and most importantly, he had zero turnovers in the Seattle game.
"We're just making a push right now," center Jarred Shaw said. Shaw had a career night against the Vandals, scoring 27 points. He followed that performance by dropping 16 on Seattle, averaging 76 percent from the field for the week. "We're shorthanded but things are really coming together for us right now. "
The Aggies will need their new found confidence with 3 of the league's best teams remaining on their schedule; Louisiana Tech, Denver, and New Mexico State. Not to mention their make-up game with BYU later this month.
First thing is first though, wrapping up their 3 game road trip with a win against San Jose State, Friday night.