By Megan McNulty
What’s the key to keep moving on after the loss of an injured senior forward? Developing a freshman guard.
That’s what Utah State University men’s basketball coach Tim Duryea said his team would do in the wake of senior guard Grayson Moore’s foot injury on Jan. 16 against Colorado State.
Getting John Middleton more minutes, Duryea said, will provide starting guard Chris Smith with more rest. Smith’s taken on a greater offensive role in the past few games, but he seemed to play tired against UNLV on Tuesday.
Middleton, a New Jersey native, graduated from Holy Spirits High School where he earned a four-year varsity letter. The 6-foot-4-inch guard, who scored two points in his debut against the Rebels, seemed fit to fill the void.
With the lack of another substitute and attempting the sixth different starting lineup of the season, Duryea said he got Middleton’s “feet wet” by pulling him off of the bench. He played a total of five minutes.
Smith still led the Aggies in scoring against the Rebels with 16 points. He said he felt the pressure and fatigue without Moore.
Before the loss of Moore to a foot injury, the Aggies had a set rotation. They brought in more size on the wing with Moore defensively, which allowed for offensive players Shane Rector and Julion Pearre to slide in.
“We were developing a nice little niche there and felt like our rotation was pretty set,” Duryea said. “We’re not going to have that the rest of the way so we have got to do a good job of developing John.”
Scholarship providers to the Utah State University Department of Journalism and Communication may republish articles from Hard News Café at any time without cost. Media entities that do not donate to the department’s scholarship fund may also republish Hard News Café articles, but are asked to refrain from doing so until 72 hours after initial publication. If used in whole or part, the authorship of the student reporter should be noted in a byline or tagline. To donate to the department’s scholarship fund, visit https://www.usu.edu/giving/.