Smith Says Aggies Excited, Determined For NCAA Tournament Game

Mar 21, 2019, 8:48 PM | Updated: Mar 22, 2019, 4:49 pm
Head coach Craig Smith of the Utah State Aggies celebrates after his team defeated the San Diego St...
Head coach Craig Smith of the Utah State Aggies celebrates after his team defeated the San Diego State Aztecs during the championship game of the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center on March 16, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Utah State won 64-57. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – On the eve of his team’s appearance against Washington in the NCAA Tournament, Utah State head coach Craig Smith explained his team’s mindset on KSL Unrivaled.

According to Smith, his team is soaking in the experience of playing on the huge stage, and is enjoying being part of the festivities. But make no mistake about it, the Aggies are in Columbus to win.

“One thing you never have to worry about with me is that we’re always going to have fun,” boasted Smith. “We celebrate everything, we try to be super positive. Obviously, our guys know when to go to work.”

Smith continued to say wearing a happy expression is trademark of his mature and focused squad.

“We like to have a good time, we like to smile, we like to celebrate victories for a little while and then move on, which our guys do a great job of. And they know when we watch, when it’s time in between the line, they get after it,” said Smith.

The head coach went to say that in all his 22 years of coaching experience, that this year’s Aggie squad is as good as he’s seen at enjoying the moment and then moving on to the next task at hand.

That mentality starts and ends with the Aggies’ best player, Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Sam Merrill.

“We’ve enjoyed it, taking pictures and doing all that, but we have a determined, determined group and it starts with Sam Merrill. After we the conference tournament championship he said ‘My goal is to get to the NCAA Tournament and win when we get there’ like we had just talked about. When your best player says those types of things, and not only talk the talks, but walks the walk, that’s when amazing things can happen,” said Smith.

Broadcast Info

Utah State’s first round NCAA Tournament game against the Washington Huskies will tip off Friday at 4:50 p.m. and be broadcast on TNT.


  • Utah State Aggies Scoreboard

  • Utah State Aggies Team Leaders

  • Utah State Aggies Standings

Utah State Aggies

Red Rocks - 2022 Pac-12 Champions...
Michelle Bodkin

Understanding College Gymnastics Wins/Losses, Ranking System

Here we explain NQS (National Qualifying Score) versus traditional wins and losses and how they are used to rank college gymnastics teams.
2 days ago
Utah State T&F Devin Pancake...
Brian Preece

Devin Pancake, Krysthina Vlahovic Take Home Weekly Award For Utah StateTrack & Field

A pair of Aggie athletes earned Mountain West recognition for their performance and the Mark Colligan Memorial Meet last weekend.
3 days ago
Steven Ashworth - Utah State Aggies - Air Force Falcons...
Brian Preece

Utah State Prepares For Fresno State As Road Woes Mount

Utah State head coach Ryan Odom looked on as San Diego State dribbled out the final 12 seconds of the Aggies third straight road loss.
3 days ago
RJ Eytle-Rock - Utah State Aggies...
Brian Preece

Second Half Comeback Falls Short, Utah State’s Road Struggles Continue

Utah State made a game of it late, but the Aztecs controlled much of the game in an 85-75 win that leaves USU searching for road answers.
4 days ago
Dee Glen Smith Spectrum...
Brian Preece

Utah State Athletics Announces 2023 Hall Of Fame Class

Utah State will be honoring seven former former female student-athletes and administrators in its 2023 Hall of Fame class.
8 days ago
Brian Preece

Instant Replay: Utah State Defensive Coordinator Surprised With ‘Kiss Cam’ Smooch

Utah State football defensive coordinator Ephraim Banda can vouch, you're never safe from a camera in the Spectrum.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
Smith Says Aggies Excited, Determined For NCAA Tournament Game