College Basketball action on Tuesday evening and the Summit League will square off with the Mountain West Conference as the Denver Pioneers tangle with the Utah State Aggies. This contest has a start time of 9:00 pm ET and will take place at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah. These teams last met back in 2013 and Denver won that game on the road by a score of 63-60. The Pioneers enter this game at 1-1 while the Aggies are at 2-0.
Pioneers Look For Huge UpsetThe Denver Pioneers are off a horrible season that saw them go 8-22 overall, including just 3-13 within the Summit League. This year may not be a whole lot better for them as the Pioneers have lost three of the top four scorers from that team. This is a team that is rebuilding and they are headed for the 2nd losing season in a row after having just one losing season in their previous seven. Ade Murkey averaged 11.3 ppg last year and is their leading returning scorer. The rebuild will begin around him and he has averaged 13.5 ppg through their first two games. He had 18 points in their 74-63 loss at Colorado State to open the year but had just nine points in their 74-62 home win over Utah Valley State.
Jase Townsend has returned after averaging just 6.3 ppg last year and he has averaged a solid 12.5 ppg through two games after hanging up 18 points in their win over Utah Valley State. Denver shot 48.5% from the field overall, including 58.3% (7/12) from long range. They will be facing a far better offensive team in this one. The defense for the Pioneers played well as they allowed the Wolverines to hit just 43.4% of their shots from the floor overall, including just 21.7% (5/23) of their shots from long range. The Pioneers were outrebounded in the game and they are now 331st in the nation in rebounding at 29.5. Do the Pioneers have enough defense or rebounding to at least keep this one close? The answer resides below.
Utah State Is Off To A Nice StartThe Utah State aggies had a strong season last year as they were 28-7 overall, including 15-3 within the Mountain West Conference. The season then ended with a thud as they lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies finished the year ranked 25th in the AP Poll and they could be better this year as they enter this game ranked 19th. Utah State comes in at 2-0 on the year after beating Montana State at home by a score of 81-73 and then Weber State at home by a score of 89-34. The Aggies have back five of their top six players in minutes played last year but we also note that there are nine players on the team that did not play a minute last year. Still, the recruiting has been strong and the aggies are picked to win the Mountain West Conference again.
From earlier on @CBSSportsHQ:— Bill Reiter (@sportsreiter) November 12, 2019
"Expectations are what you want, and you embrace it."
No. 17 @USUBasketball is ranked in the season's opening poll for the first time since 1970-71. @CoachSmith_USU knows his guys have earned it, and wants them to seize the opportunity. pic.twitter.com/g4pQ549Swp
Their leading returning scorer is Sam Merrill, who is one of the nation's best shooters. Merrill averaged a solid 20.9 ppg last year and he has averaged 21.0 ppg through two games this year so far. He had 14 points and six boards in the win over Weber State. Leading their attack in that win was Justin Bean, who had 18 points and grabbed nine boards while Diogo Brito was 3rd with 12 points. The Aggies shot 55.2% from the field overall, including 35.3% (6/17) from long range while they committed just seven turnovers. On defense, the Aggies allowed the Wildcats to hit just 21.7% of their shots overall, including 22.7% of their shots from long range while forcing 17 turnovers and outrebounding them 44-27. The Aggies are 86th in rebounding at 42.5 per game and they are facing one of the worst rebounding teams in the land.
Trends Are Courtesy Of Covers.com Denver is:
- 7-21 ATS in their last 28 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- 2-11 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
Utah State is:
- 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight-up win
- 11-5 ATS in their last 16 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400