LOGAN — Stew Morrill can't quite find his happy medium.

A year ago, his Utah State basketball team hardly had time to practice between games as the Aggies' preseason was loaded with games in rapid-fire succession.

This year, while many teams have had four or more games, USU has played only two. In fact, it will be eight days between the Aggies' win at UC Santa Barbara and tonight's tipoff against Weber State.

"This time of year," Morrill said, "to find out where you are at, you need some games. So we're excited to be playing again."

Of course, tempering Morrill's enthusiasm is the fact the Aggies will be playing against one of his closest friends in the coaching business — Randy Rahe.

The Wildcats' coach is entering his third season at WSU after spending many years as Morrill's assistant. And it's because of that, Morrill said, that Utah State found itself with the large gap between games.

To help Rahe out with a scheduling quirk, Morrill agreed to move the WSU game to tonight instead of last weekend.

"If he beats our butt, I'll never do him a favor again," Morrill joked.

Niceties aside, Morrill said he's worried about the athletic Wildcats.

While USU may have an edge on the inside, the Wildcats have experience, speed and athleticism in their favor on the perimeter.

Led by speedy point guard Kellen McCoy and dynamic swing man Daviin Davis, the Wildcats are pushing the pace and capable of applying defensive pressure.

But Weber State is also a little road weary. The 'Cats have had three games in California to open the season and have yet to play at home.

The Aggies, on the other hand, are well-rested after beating the Gauchos a week ago.

Morrill is hoping the extra practice will have the Aggies playing better defense — especially facing a WSU coach that should be very similar in structure and game plan considering the familiarity the coaches have with each other.

"What worries me is we can't guard our own stuff in practice," Morrill said. "And now we have to guard it in a game."

The Aggies will hope to take advantage of their strong post players. Senior Gary Wilkinson and sophomore Tai Wesley should be the focus of USU's game plan as well as WSU's defensive effort. Wilkinson is averaging 17.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game while Wesley is adding 12.5 points and 7.5 boards.

Ags, 'Cats on the air

Utah State (2-0)

vs. Weber State (1-2)

Dee Glen Smith Spectrum

Tonight, 7 p.m.

TV: KJZZ Radio: 1230 AM,

610 AM, 1430 AM


E-mail: jeborn@desnews.com