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Logan • Just as Utah State steadied the ship, the Aggies have been knocked off course again.
Senior forward Grayson Moore, who had emerged as a key component for size-challenged Utah State, will almost certainly miss the rest of the season because of a broken foot.
Although he was waiting for final word on the X-rays, Coach Tim Duryea said Monday morning there is "no doubt" about the diagnosis.
Moore was hurt midway through the first half of Saturday's 96-92 win at Colorado State. It was the Aggies' second straight win, which bumped their record to 11-6 overall and 3-3 in the Mountain West Conference.
Utah State plays UNLV on Tuesday night at the Spectrum.
The loss of Moore will have a "huge" impact on his team, Duryea said. He is "trying to figure out" how to proceed without the Aggies' most athletic front-court player, who only recently established himself as a rotation regular.
In three games before being injured, Moore averaged five points and 7.7 rebounds in 27 minutes.
After Moore finished with six points, nine rebounds, four steals and four assists in his first career start at New Mexico, Duryea said, "Getting Grayson Moore more minutes is something we need to do. He's a guy who is going to fill the stat sheet. … So he has to play for our team."
According to Duryea, he has "a couple of options."
One involves freshman wing John Middleton, who averaged 17 points and seven assists last year at Holy Spirits High School in Atlantic City N.J. Middleton, who is 6-foot-4, had hoped to sit out this season and have four years of eligibility remaining. But on his local radio show Monday night, Duryea announced Middleton will have his redshirt pulled.
"Right now," Duryea said, "we have our hands pretty well tied up. We lack depth … and we've got to make some hard decisions."
After Moore was injured at Colorado State, Duryea used a seven-player rotation, not including a cameo appearance by sophomore center Elston Jones.
Three players Jalen Moore, Chris Smith and Julion Pearre played all 20 minutes in the second half. Lew Evans, returning to the court after missing almost a week because of concussion symptoms, played 14.
In the end, Jalen Moore ended up playing 38 minutes five over his season average. Smith also played 38 minutes a season-high. Pearre played 32 minutes, which was a season-high and only three shy of his career-high.
Because Utah State was so shorthanded, Duryea was reluctant to call timeouts when Colorado State started to rally after falling behind by 10 points early in the second half and by 11 points with 9:12 remaining.
Duryea wanted to save his timeouts to give his players a breather or two late in the game. It worked out, partly because Smith scored 35 points, including 11 in the final 7:37.
The performance earned Smith his second Mountain West Player of the Week honors of the season.
"His challenge now and it's something we've already talked about is consistency," Duryea said. "The last time he got this award he didn't follow it up with great basketball for about a week. I think that's what he needs to focus on move forward and live in the present."
UNLV at Utah State
P At the Spectrum
Tip-off • 7 p.m.
Radio • 610 AM, 1280 AM, 95.9 FM, 97.5 FM, 102.1 FM
Records • Utah State 11-6, 3-3; UNLV 11-7, 2-3
Series • UNLV, 30-4
Last meeting • Utah State, 83-65 (Feb. 24, 2015)
About the Aggies • They've won two straight. … They committed 15 turnovers in the two wins. … They are 6-3 at home, with losses to UC Irvine (73-63), San Diego State (70-67) and Boise State (76-61). Those teams are 40-16. … Junior F Jalen Moore averages 15.4 points per game. Senior G Chris Smith averages 14.6. … Moore is seventh in the Mountain West in scoring, Smith 10th.
About the Rebels • They have beaten New Mexico (86-74) and Air Force (100-64) since coach Dave Rice was fired on Jan. 10. … Assistant Todd Simon is the interim head coach. … All-time, they are 12-3 in Logan. … They lead the conference in steals (8.3). They are third in scoring (77.3). … Their top scorers are sophomore G Patrick McCaw (13.0) and freshman F Stephen Zimmerman (10.1).