"It's going to be very different," Christensen says. "Our last offense was really structured around working the ball around. In this offense, if you have a shot, you take it."
The Aggies' new coach, Jerry Finkbeiner, has instituted a new way to play that served him well at Oral Roberts. Utah State will push the tempo instead of eating up clock, which means more early shots, more full-court press and, hopefully, a lot more points.
There was a rough reality check for the team after reaching its first-ever 20-win season when Raegan Pebley left the program to coach Fresno State.
But Finkbeiner's arrival has brought some new faith for Utah State, which was voted the preseason No. 1 team in the WAC. Finkbeiner is still adjusting to the personnel and working in a new program for the first time in 16 years. But he's been to the NCAA Tournament, where the Aggies hope to be this year.
"We're athletic as a whole, and we want to use that," Finkbeiner says. "We're still making it all fit together, but I think the girls are excited that I've been there, and we want to win the WAC in our last season there."
Christensen is the returning leader, coming off a season when she averaged 15 points per game and was a deep threat for the Aggies. Other returning meaningful contributors include Jennifer Schlott, Jenna Johnson and Elise Nelson.
But a lot of the faces are new: Freshmen include Makenlee Williams, who may be a starter, Stephanie Bairstow and Haylee Thompson. The team was hoping for more size than they have, but it appears 6-foot-6 Banna Diop will not be medically eligible and 6-foot-6 transfer Tanja Steed is not yet back from surgery.
That will make for a difficult nonconference schedule, with eight of their first nine games away from home. That includes incredibly difficult games at Utah, BYU and Notre Dame.
Utah State schedule
Monday • at Utah Valley, 7 p.m.
Nov. 15 • at UC Riverside, 5 p.m
Nov. 17 • at Loyola Marymount, 3 p.m.
Nov. 20 • vs. Prairie View A&M @ Anchorage, Alaska 8 p.m.
Nov. 21 • vs. NDSU/Alaska-Anchorage @ Anchorage, Alaska 4:30/7 p.m.
Nov. 27 • at Utah, 7 p.m.
Dec. 1 • Montana State, 2 p.m.
Dec. 4 • at BYU, 7 p.m.
Dec. 8 • at Notre Dame, 10 a.m.
Dec. 18 • UC Irvine, 7 p.m.
Dec. 20 • South Dakota, 12 p.m.
Dec. 29 • UTSA, 7 p.m.
Dec. 31 • Texas State, 7 p.m.
Jan. 3 • at Seattle, 8 p.m.
Jan. 5 • at Idaho, 3 p.m.
Jan. 12 • at San Jose St., 3 p.m.
Jan. 17 • New Mexico State, 7 p.m.
Jan. 19 • Denver, 7 p.m.
Jan. 24 • at UT-Arlington,6 p.m.
Jan. 26 • at Louisiana Tech, 6 p.m.
Jan. 31 • Idaho, 7 p.m.
Feb. 2 • Seattle, 7 p.m.
Feb. 9 • San Jose State, 7 p.m.
Feb. 14 • at Denver, 7 p.m.
Feb. 16 • at New Mexico, 7 p.m.
Feb. 28 • Louisiana Tech, 7 p.m.
March 2 • UT Arlington, 7 p.m.
March 7 • at Texas State, 5:30 p.m.
March 9 • at UTSA, 6 p.m.
March 13-16 • WAC Tournament, Las Vegas, TBA