For the second straight league game, the Aggies are favored by a lot.
However, it shouldn't take much for Utah State head men's basketball coach Stew Morrill to keep his team grounded. The Aggies can just look back at Wednesday's Western Athletic Conference opener against Hawaii.
USU entered the game as 20-point favorites, but were pushed all the way to the final buzzer. The Aggies made enough plays down the stretch to beat the Rainbow Warriors, 74-66, and extend their winning streak to seven.
Tonight USU (12-2, 1-0 WAC) welcomes another WAC foe to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in San Jose State (8-4, 0-1). Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and will be the last home game for three weeks.
"I kind of chuckle when I hear we are going to dominate this conference," Morrill said. "Come on now, there are some good teams in this league, and there are some athletic teams. We are not in a position to just dominate this conference. We have to grind out wins, just like everybody else."
Hawaii and San Jose State were two of the best teams in the conference during the non-conference portion of the schedule. Like the Rainbow Warriors, the Spartans stumbled in their WAC opener, falling at Fresno State Wednesday night, 75-62.
"We start off at home, which is nice, but we start off with two of the better teams in the league, as far as record wise," Aggie forward Tai Wesley said. "We got to feel about the Hawaii win, but tomorrow it's all got to be business. We need to focus on San Jose State, because they're not a walk through the park at all. No team in the WAC is."
Wesley had a big game against the Rainbow Warriors with game bests in points (27) and rebounds (13). He also played a career-high 38 minutes in the victory.
"I like to play," Wesley said. "I hate having to sit and not get into the rhythm of the game."
The Spartans come to Logan with the league's top scorer in Adrian Oliver. The guard is averaging 24.9 points per game and had a 42-point performance just before Christmas against Puget Sound. Oliver led SJSU with 15 points on 6-of-19 shooting against Fresno State.
"Adrian Oliver is tough to guard," Wesley said. "He makes shots with hands in his face."
And complimenting Oliver is Justin Graham, who is averaging 15.0 ppg. Graham had a miserable night against the Bulldogs, scoring just three points on 1-of-10 shooting.
"This conference is really guard heavy," Aggie point guard Brockeith Pane. "They (Spartans) have a good guard. They say he is pretty good. It's going to be a challenge, but every game in the WAC is."
San Jose State has not won in Logan since 1982, and the Spartans are 19-point underdogs. But don't be chalking this one up as a win for USU just yet.
"All of the games are tough to me," Morrill said. "It's not easy to win for anybody. Every game is tough. You got to be ready to play.
"San Jose brings in two guys that are averaging a bunch. ... Those two (Oliver and Graham) are awfully good players and veterans. They have some guys to go with them, but it is kind of their show a little bit. Those two really test your defense. We'll have to guard a little better than we did (against Hawaii)."
The Rainbow Warriors shot a sizzling 63.2 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from 3-point range.
One player the Spartans have added to their mix is a forward from Pocatello, Idaho. Wil Carter had a double-double on Wednesday with 11 points and 11 rebounds. He is averaging 8.4 ppg and 8.2 rpg for the season.
San Jose State began the season with three wins, including a road victory at Oregon. However, the streak ended with a loss at Cal State Bakersfield. The Spartans have proven they can be a dangerous team.
Wesley is echoing his coach and doesn't expect his teammates to overlook SJSU. Despite the winning streak and all the gaudy home records, Morrill is well aware of what can happen should his team take the Spartans lightly.
"We are not a dominant basketball team," Morrill said. "We have a chance to be a good team, but we are not there yet."