Utah State vs San Diego State preview: How to watch, projected starters, injuries

FILE PHOTO: Big Blue gets the crowd excited during a Utah State men's basketball game in the Spectrum. Photo by Lorene Hale.

LOGAN – Utah State is on its longest winning streak since the opening week of the new year and thanks to the three-game winning run, the Aggies have a chance to place themselves at the top of the Mountain West standings. They will host San Diego State, the team currently at the top (one game ahead of USU). A win on their home court would put the Aggies in a tie with the Aztecs for first place in the conference.

How to watch

  • Tip-off: 8 p.m. MT
  • Location: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum | Logan, UT
  • TV Broadcast: CBS Sports Network
  • Aggie GameDay Coverage on KVNU (102.1 FM/610 AM & KVNU mobile app): 7 p.m. MT
  • KVNU Aggie Call (102.1 FM/610 AM, KVNU mobile app): Immediately after game ends


Utah State

G – Rylan Jones (Undisclosed) – OUT

Jones has missed the last eight games with an undisclosed upper-body injury. No timetable has been provided for a return.

San Diego State

No injuries reported

Projected Starters

Utah State (19-5, 8-3)

  • G – Steven Ashworth (6-1, Jr.) – 15.9 points | 3.3 rebounds | 4.5 assists
  • G – Max Shulga (6-4, Jr.) – 11.3 points | 4.4 rebounds | 4.1 assists
  • G/F – Sean Bairstow (6-8, Sr.) – 11.1 points | 4.5 rebounds | 2.6 assists
  • F – Taylor Funk (6-9, Gr.) – 14.3 points | 5.4 rebounds | 2.0 assists
  • C – Trevin Dorius (7-0, Sr.) – 5.5 points | 3.7 rebounds | 0.3 assists
  • 6th Man – Dan Akin (6-9, Gr.) – 12.5 points | 7.4 rebounds | 0.8 assists

San Diego State (18-5, 9-2)

  • G – Darrion Trammell (5-10, Sr.) – 10.8 points | 2.4 rebounds | 3.7 assists
  • G – Lamont Butler (6-2, Jr.) – 9.5 points | 2.1 rebounds | 3.1 assists
  • G – Matt Bradley (6-4, Sr.) – 12.8 points | 3.9 rebounds | 2.2 assists
  • F – Keshad Johnson (6-7, Sr.) – 8.0 points | 4.9 rebounds | 0.6 assists
  • F/C – Nathan Mensah (6-10, Sr.) – 7.0 points | 5.9 rebounds | 0.4 assists

Team Statistical Ranks

Stats and ratings are from Basketball Reference (except the NET ranking). All ranks are out of 363 Division I teams.

Utah State

  • Pace – 69.5 (133rd)
  • Offensive Rating – 115.1 (8th)
  • Defensive Rating – 102.2 (226)
  • Field Goal % – 48.6 (17th)
  • 3-point % – 41.8 (1st)
  • Rebounding % – 53.5 (43rd)
  • NET Rank – 33rd

San Diego State

  • Pace – 68.0 (202nd)
  • Offensive Rating – 108.9 (72nd)
  • Defensive Rating – 95.7 (63rd)
  • Field Goal % – 45.8 (112th)
  • 3-point % – 35.7 (101st)
  • Rebounding % – 53.3 (52nd)
  • NET Rank – 22nd


Last time out against San Diego State, Utah State played good for all but a handful of minutes. Unfortunately, that handful of minutes included an 18-0 run by the Aztecs. It led to the Aggies losing by 10 points, 85-75.

“They have the ability to do that,” USU head coach Ryan Odom said. “They can blitz you in a half, whether it’s the first or the second. Obviously neither is good. You want to make sure that you’re within striking distance of this team at all times.”

A big part of that run, and SDSU’s win overall, was the play of bench guard Adam Seiko. The fifth-year senior scored a career-high 25 points (his next-highest scoring total against a Division I team is 14) which included an also career-high seven made 3-pointers.

“He can shoot. He can really shoot,” Odom said of Seiko. “When you allow him to get the quality looks that he got in that game, you’re playing with fire.”

Odom said there were other factors in the Aggies losing such as offensive rebounding (SDSU grabbed 12 offensive rebounds). Despite that, Utah State did make it somewhat of a game, drawing within six points and making the Aztecs take some timeouts to regroup.

“For our guys to come back the way that our guys did, certainly a lot to be proud of but that’s certainly not the goal,” Odom said. “The goal is to play better and have a chance to win right there at the end.”

Playing at home and on the road, though, is something that has meant a lot in recent years of this series. Utah State has won three straight home games and four of the last five home contests against San Diego State. Even last year when the Aggies lost by 19 points in California, they had earlier beaten the Aztecs by 18 points.

San Diego State does boast a very solid trio of Matt Bradley, Darrion Trammell and Lamont Butler, but the team is very deep, boasting eight players averaging at least seven points per game.

They’re the deepest team in the conference. Their bench is very, very strong,” Odom said. “They sub two pretty much at every position so they can withstand stretches where their starters are not in the game. Their bench can even elevate at times and do elevate at times their level of play.”

That depth was on display in full force as the Aztecs blasted Boise State by 20 points on Feb. 3 despite Bradley, Trammell and Butler combining to score just 14 points (normal average between the three is 33.1).

This will be the fourth Quad 1 game of the season for Utah State, the first the Aggies will play at home. USU is 0-3 in the other Quad 1 games which were road contests against Boise State, Nevada and San Diego State. This will also be the first game USU has played against a team ranked in the AP Poll at the time the Aggies played them. They have lost the last four games against ranked opponents, the last win coming in 2020 in the Mountain West Conference Tournament championship game when USU downed fifth-ranked San Diego State.

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