Moving from the WAC to the Mountain West was going to be a challenge for Utah State, but now the transition will be even more difficult since the team's leading rebounder and scorer Jarred Shaw has been suspended indefinitely, say it with me, for violation of team rules.
This is a big loss since the Aggies rely on Shaw and for the season he is averaging 16.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game, plus he shoots 54.3 percent from the field. Shaw was the only consistent Utah State player to be at least a threat to pull down a double-double every game.
With Shaw out for the foreseeable future the Aggies will rely on a bevy of players. It starts with the 6-foot-10 Jordan Stone, who averages a mere 3.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. Also look for the combination of Ben Clifford and Sean Harris who could be used at the center spot when Utah State goes with a smaller lineup. Depending on how long Shaw is gone, it just might force Stew Morrill to burn the redshirt of 7-foot freshman Carson Shanks.
Up next for Utah State is the Basketball Travelers, Inc., Classic, where the Aggies will play three games in three nights; which include Western Illinois, UC Santa Barbara and Troy.
Mountain West play begins at the start of January and if Shaw's suspension goes through the end of the month then the Aggies first year in the Mountain West will be even more difficult than expected. There is a five-game stretch from Jan. 18 - Feb. 1 has Utah State playing at Boise State, at UNLV, home for San Diego State plus New Mexico and then a road game to Wyoming.
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