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Comparing them side-by-side, last year's roster and this year's roster say the same thing: Marcel Davis, guard, 6-foot-2, 180 pounds.

No statistic reflects the 16 pounds Utah State's freshman point guard lost over the course of a challenging rookie season last year. And gaining it all back took a lot of days in the weight room, and a lot of soreness after those days.

"Our team came out as a whole and worked really hard," he said. "Guys have gained 10 to 20 pounds, and if they didn't gain weight, they're a lot stronger."

Now a sophomore, Davis will have to be stronger, and not just physically. It's not just another year of maturity that drives Davis — it's the challenges the Aggies will face this year in the Mountain West.

He understands he'll have a higher calling. That means more leadership, a more forceful on-court role, and more big plays. One season behind him obviously helps in that effort, but he's not complacent at all.

"It's a lot more comfortable but we still have got a lot of work to do," he said. "Preparing for the WAC is not as tough as preparing for the Mountain West."

At point, Davis said he's looking to rebound more and add energy on defense after struggling at times in those areas last year. Coaches have also asked him to push the tempo on fast breaks, in an effort to add that element to Utah State's offense.

"That's what coach wants me to do to keep the defense on their heels," Davis said. "Just run, gun and have fun."

Medlin named to Cousy Award Watch List

The Aggies are already expecting big things out of their most experienced senior guard this year, but so is the college basketball world at large.

Preston Medlin appeared on the Bob Cousy Award preseason watch list on Tuesday, one of three Mountain West guards and one of 46 players nationally to be so honored. New Mexico's Kendall Williams and Boise State's Derrick Marks were also picked to be on the list.

The award goes to the best point guard in the nation, and Medlin is technically a natural two-guard. He has played point before for Utah State, and may see some limited reps there, he said last week, even though it's not his favorite role.

"I like it obviously, because it's more time I can get out on the floor, but I don't really enjoy running it in scouts and practice," he said. "But it's a good opportunity for me to learn the point and play well out there."

Exhibition opener

O Utah State vs. Central Methodist

At Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, Friday, 7 p.m.

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