Aggie basketball taking time off for rest and recovery

LOGAN – Following his career-high 31-point, six-rebound night Wednesday, Utah State guard Koby McEwen was asked a question that made him think.

But only for a second.

Now that the team has won three straight, would he rather play Saturday in hopes to keep the momentum going? Or would he rather take the bye as scheduled?

“That’s a good question,” he responded, but then quickly answered. “I need this break. I need this break.”

With so many players injured, USU’s starting five is playing a high number of minutes. The team, head coach Tim Duryea said, is tired. The Aggies won’t play again until Wednesday, when USU travels to Laramie to take on Wyoming. Until then, Duryea is going to let his players take some time off.

“We’ve got some guys that are just flat out on fumes,” he said. “We need a bye. We’ve got four days until Monday when we start our regular week back with Wyoming and three of those four days we are taking completely off. It’s all about rest and recovery.”

McEwen never took the bench during Wednesday’s win. Diogo Brito played 38 minutes, Sam Merrill played 35, Dwayne Brown Jr. played 34 and Quinn Taylor another 32.

And that’s been about the norm lately.

Duryea feels confident that if senior guard Julion Pearre isn’t back by Wednesday, he’ll for sure be back by next Saturday when the Aggies host Boise State. Senior forward Alex Dargenton could be back Wednesday as well.

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Getting the pair of seniors back on the court will take pressure off the current starting five and provide them with some in-game rest. It will also give Duryea some experienced players he can feel comfortable putting on the court, a luxury he didn’t feel he had Wednesday night.

“Quite honestly, I thought our bench tonight was awful,” he said. “…That’s a tough feeling to be over there in the second half when your guys are scrambling and being pressured and we didn’t feel like we could sub at all.”

At 6-5 USU is in sixth place in conference, but should be able to move up a few spots if it keeps its win streak alive. The next couple of games will be a challenge as the Aggies have already lost to Wyoming and Boise State this season.

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