Bovine Blog: Utah State Needs To Find More Frontcourt Production

Nov 19, 2023, 6:10 PM | Updated: Nov 20, 2023, 8:51 am

utah state nigel burris...

Utah State sophomore forward Nigel Burris defends at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum during the 2023-24 season

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State opened Thanksgiving week in style, leading start-to-finish in a dominating 83-60 win over Marshall.

USU opened the Cayman Islands Classic with a 23-point win over the Marshall Thundering Herd on Sunday, November 19.

RELATED: Utah State Opens Cayman Islands Classic With Balanced Effort In Win

Former Montana State Bobcats Great Osobor and Darius Brown II continue to lead USU in the early-season. Brown II scored 11 points and dished out eight assists, reaching those levels in every game as an Aggie. Osobor notched his second double-double of the year with 18 points and 16 rebounds. It was the fifth double-double of Osobor’s career.

One of the Aggies lone home-grown players, Mason Falslev reached double digit scoring for the third time in his career with 11 points.

RELATED: Aggies Fight Through First-Half Doldrums For Win Over Southern Utah

Utah State is averaging 85.8 points per game this season with a plus-19.8 scoring margin. Shooting 52.5 percent from the field and 34.2 percent from three as a team, the Aggies have held their opponents to 39.7 percent shooting and 23.4 percent from beyond the arc.

Utah State Frontcourt Begins & Ends With Great

Great Osobor has taken the next step in his development. After following head coach Danny Sprinkle from the Treasure State to the Beehive State, the junior from Bradford, England has seen his production explode in Logan.

The reigning Big Sky Top Reserve is averaging team-highs with 22.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game for Utah State. Those numbers are a gigantic jump from the 10.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in Big Sky games for the Bobcats in 2022-23.

“He’s a really good player,” Sprinkle said of Osobor earlier this season. “He’s got to get better at making the right decision and taking care of the basketball.”

Bovine Blog: Great Osobor, Darius Brown II Raise Utah State’s Ceiling

It’s behind the 6’8, 250-pound wing where Utah State’s depth comes into question.

Redshirt sophomore center Isaac Johnson has the size but his game appears more suited for the perimeter. A third of Johnson’s 12 shot attempts this season have come from beyond the three-point arc. The seven-footer has collected a paltry 3.7 rebounds per game and was still looking for his first blocked shot three games into the season.

Junior forward Jackson Grant, freshman forward Karson Templin, junior forward Kalifa Sakho, and sophomore forward Nigel Burris have combined to play just 95 minutes this season. With 27 points and 30 rebounds amongst the quartet, Sprinkle will likely need one of this group to increase their production this season if USU has any shot of exceeding its ninth-place finish in the Mountain West preseason poll.

Following The Aggies With KSL Sports Zone

USU faces the Akron University Zips as they continue the Cayman Islands Classic on Monday, November 20. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m. (MT).

Listen to USU basketball games on KSL Sports Zone with Scott Garrard on the call.

Find KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics here. 

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Bovine Blog: Utah State Needs To Find More Frontcourt Production