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What you need to know: BYU vs Utah State (Basketball Edition)

Up next the Cougars will travel to the daunting Spectrum to face the Aggies in their first in-state rivalry of the year.

Jalen Moore goes up for a shot against BYU last year.
Jalen Moore goes up for a shot against BYU last year.
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The History

The BYU Cougars and Utah State Aggies face off for the 230th time. In a series that started in 1905, and was last played on a neutral court at Energy Solutions Arena in 2013, the Cougars lead with 138 wins to 92 losses. Dave Rose is 5-3 against the Aggies with wins in the last two meetings.

Salt Lake City, UT 2013 (85-74)

While playing in the Utah Jazz home arena, the Cougars took care of business behind the play of Frank Barley IV and his 14 points, five rebounds. The game was close throughout and the Aggies even had a five point lead at the half, but a BYU 11-2 run late in the game proved too much for the Aggies. Tyler Haws led all scorers with 21 and Matt Carlino added 18. The loss was the first for the Aggies on the year and improved the Cougars record to 6-2.

The Outlook

Coming off a dominating second half against Eastern Kentucky, the Cougars looked good on both offense and defense. The Cougars appear to be clicking on all cylinders as they again reached the 90-point mark, even after a low scoring first half. There are always things that need to be worked on, but the Cougars seem to be clicking as they head into the meat of their non-conference schedule.

The Positives

The three-point shooting was tremendous on Saturday as the Cougars ended 15-28 for a 53 percent shooting percentage. Tyler Haws and Chase Fischer both hit four, and some at key times. Skyler Halford and Anson Winder added three apiece and that type of shooting is what has propelled the Cougars. BYU improved in the last game as they dominated in most categories against EKU and will need to continue this if they are to make noise in the WCC.

The Negatives

The Cougars had an uncharacteristic amount of turnovers on Saturday, although facing one of the top teams in the nation in forcing turnovers may have been responsible for that result. Against the Colonels the Cougars turned the ball over 19 times and a number of them were on lazy passes or trying to dribble through double teams. The Cougars will need to be much more careful with the ball against better teams.

The Match-ups

Jalen Moore vs Cougar Defenders

Sophomore guard Jalen Moore is not your typical guard as he comes in at 6-8 and 215. He leads the Aggies in minutes per game (32.8), points per game (14.6), rebounds per game (6.2), and shooting percentage (58.5). He is an all-around player that could cause the Cougars defensive fits, regardless of who he matches up against. The Cougars aren't small but they may have a hard time defending his size.

The Keys to Watch

When the Aggies have the ball:

Watch for the Aggies to feed off of Moore, but not rely on him exclusively. The Aggies have four players that average in double digits and any one of them can go off on a given night. Along with the 14.6 points per game that Moore provides, David Collette averages 12.2, Darious Perkins averages 11.2, and Chris Smith provides 10.8. Smith and Perkins are both shooting better than 40 percent from the 3-point line and so watch for them to sit out on the perimeter as that has been a BYU weakness.

Watch for the Cougars to play a physical style of defense as the Aggies have struggled from the free throw line, only hitting on 66.7 percent of their free shots. Not only will the Cougars force free throws instead of easy shots, the physicality should force low percentage shots from the field, lowering the likelihood of scoring with an already low shooting percentage.

When the Cougars have the ball:

When the Cougars have the ball look for them run the floor and wear out the Aggies big minute guys. The Aggies don't have much depth and so if the Cougars can wear them out, or get them into foul trouble, the Cougars gain another advantage. Haws and Fischer will get their touches, but look for guys like Anson Winder and Kyle Collinsworth to add to the point total. The Cougars also have four guys averaging in double digits and average 20 assists per game. Watch for the extra pass continue, leaving guys open for the three.

Watch for the Aggies to put an emphasis on defending the three point shot as the Cougars have lived or died by it. The Aggies defense will also need to force the Cougars out of the paint on their drives and into longer two point shots if they want to contain the Cougars. Watch for the Aggies to focus on the defensive rebounds, limiting the Cougars second chance points while trying to slow down the Cougars offense.

The Broadcasting Details

Time: 7 pm MST

Where: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum- Logan, Utah

TV: CBS Sports Network

Radio(BYU): KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM, BYU Radio-Sirius XM 143

Listen Live via Internet(KSL): Click Here