LOGAN – After three-straight conference losses, each one by a bigger margin than the last, the Utah State men’s basketball team is looking to get back on track tonight at home against Air Force.
Head coach Tim Duryea said that even though his team is 1-3 in conference play, it is no time to be discouraged. He said he doesn’t see that from his team either.
“This is a league that nobody is going to skate through,” Duryea said. “Nobody is immune to having losing streaks and winning streaks. You have to be critical of your own performance and look in the mirror and understand what is causing you to lose games, but you also have to be realistic in knowing we have played three really good teams in a row and came up on the short end.”
Duryea said there are “legitimate reasons” his team’s record is not where they want it to be.
“We have to own up to ourselves that we are not playing well enough defensively,” he said. “Our shot selection needs to improve offensively, our patience needs to improve offensively, but those are fixable things.”
Air Force is 1-2 in conference with its only win coming against San Jose State, the same conference win USU got before its three-game skid. Duryea said the Falcons are a “nightmare to figure out” and usually take a lot of 3-point shots, but could be a little different due to personnel. Still, Duryea said his team could see a lot of perimeter shots depending on how they play against them.
“You can prepare to take away the back-cut layups, but that will leave you more susceptible to give up more threes, or you can prepare to take away their threes and live on the edge with the back-door layups,” he said. “They’ll go game-to-game with how people prepare to play them. They are a very read-and-react offense in how they are being played in what shots they will get. They do not take a lot of mid-range jumpers. They either get to the rim by driving or passing, or they shoot a lot of threes.”
The Aggies were 2-0 against the Falcons during last year’s meetings. The last defeat to Air Force was a 73-72 loss in Colorado Springs on Jan 1, 2014.
After Tuesday night’s game USU will travel to Fort Collins to take on Colorado State Saturday afternoon.