Now that Texas Tech’s first-round opponent has been determined, we’ll take a quick look at some of the basics you need to know about the 2021 Utah State men’s basketball team.
1. They’re the Mountain West runners up
Utah State lost to San Diego State in the conference championship after defeating UNLV and Colorado State to earn its spot in the title game. The Aztecs were too much for the Aggies, winning 68-57 behind Matt Mitchell’s 14 points.
2. Their best player is their center
Stopping Neemias Queta will be the focal point for Texas Tech from a defensive standpoint. The 7’0 Portugal native is averaging a double-double with 15.1 points and 10 rebounds per game on an impressive 55.7 field goal percentage. He’s a traditional center who is not going to stretch the floor, but his dominating presence in the paint is still something to account for.
3. They play elite defense
It certainly helps to have a 7-footer locking down the paint in the Mountain West Conference, but the Aggies play solid team defense as a whole. KenPom ranks them No. 8 in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, which measures points allowed per 100 possessions.
4. They have four players shooting above 35 percent from three
Brock Miller, Alphonso Anderson, Steven Ashworth and Sean Bairstow all can hit from beyond the arc. They don’t do a whole else exceptionally well, but they can certainly cause problems for defenses who don’t guard the perimeter well.
5. They’ve played one of the weakest schedules in the country
Despite their 20-8 record, the Aggies have zero wins against ranked opponents, and have suffered some bad losses to South Dakota State and UNLV, while getting swept by Boise State. This will be by far the most talented and athletic roster Utah State has encountered all season.
Bonus: Marco Anthony is a legend
The San Antonio product wears the No. 44 in honor of the Wendy’s 4-for-4 promotion. He’s a key player for the Aggies, too, contributing 10 points and five boards per game.
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Group Name: Viva the Matadors 2021 Challenge
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