LOGAN – The preseason is over. Head coach Stew Morrill and the Aggie basketball team now have less than one week to prepare for their first real game of the season. The four returning players and 11 newcomers finished their second of two exhibition matches Friday night with a 64-57 win over Arkansas-Fort Smith.
The Division II team challenged the Aggies and even had a lead with just over ten minutes left in the game. Morrill said his team is having a hard time making shots and executing plays right now, but is pleased with the effort he is seeing from the young team.
“It’s kind of what you expect,” Morrill said. “From a new team at this time of year, it doesn’t really surprise me.”
As a team, USU shot 32.2 percent from the field.
“Obviously we’ve got to shoot the ball a lot better,” Morrill said. “We’ve got to execute.”
Freshman forward David Collette led the Aggies in scoring with 18 points. Jalen Moore added another 10. Moore said the combination of him and Collette could be “a good force.”
“I think once we’re both playing well it is going to be hard for other teams to guard us,” he said. “Once our guard play picks up, which it will by next Friday, we’ll be a pretty good team.”
Morrill credited the bench with giving the Aggies a lift in the second half. They helped start the 12-0 run that gave the Aggies the lead as the end of the game approached.
“I think we were playing dull, the starters in the second half,” Moore said. “But I mean he took us out, put some of the bench players in. That’s their job, to come in and spark us a little bit if we need it and I think they did that perfectly.”
Senior Sean Harris played his first game of the year after sitting out last week because of ineligibility. Harris played 12 minutes and recorded six rebounds.
“He doesn’t have a lot of Division I experience,” Morrill said. “He’s just going to get nothing but better with the time he gets.”
Newcomer Chris Smith scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds. He said he feels he is “finally used to playing in front of thousands of fans.”
Weber State will visit the Spectrum next Friday night. Tipoff will be at 7:05 p.m.