OPINION: Getting reacquainted with basketball
As I write this column, the reality of basketball season is starting to finally hit me. Yeah, we had the two exhibition matchups against Simon Fraser and Grand Canyon, but now we’re actually playing games that count against the record.
Saturday’s win might not have been the best thing in the world, but it was still a win. It was still basketball, and that’s what I’ve missed for the past eight months.
It’s a lot like saying hello to that missionary you haven’t seen for a couple years when they step off of the plane with a semi-awkward greeting: Still a little weird, but after an hour or so you know things are headed back toward normal.
The Aggies didn’t mesh quite as well on Saturday as I remember basketball teams under Stew Morrill to be, but that’s to be expected for a season opener. The fans weren’t at the noise level I remember from the probably-unrealistic-Spectrum-volume standard in my mind from seasons past, also forgivable in a season opener.
But it’s okay, because things are headed back to normal.
There is comfort in knowing Utah State has had decades of winning season under head coach Stew Morrill. Even in last season’s so-called off year, the Aggies still won 21 games and were playing postseason basketball through the end of March. Hey, I’ll take all the accolades USU can get even if they can be considered ‘You Suck Awards.’
Aggie fans are used to seeing solid team unity on the court, a star at the post position, a lights-out shooter and a truck full of wins at the end of each season. They may not all have come at the same time, but they are memories built inside our minds of the people we haven’t seen in some time.
It’ll take a little while for the Utah State basketball team to adjust back into the swing of post-offseason life, but the challenges of facing and beating new teams are coming a lot faster than I think most Aggies realize.
While Thursday’s game against Saint Mary’s will probably be thought of by most Aggie fans as a warmup for the BYU game nearly three weeks later, the basketball team can’t afford to take its time in shaking off the awkward postseason life if Morrill wants to impress the NCAA Selection Committee at the end of the season.12
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