Fresno State has played in some loud buildings this season -- at San Diego State, at New Mexico, at Colorado State.
But in preparing for a Mountain West Conference game at Utah State on Saturday, coach Rodney Terry took the unusual step of having crowd noise piped through Save Mart Center during parts of the practice, readying his men's basketball team for what is expected to be a raucous atmosphere at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
"I think they'll have a good crowd up there on Saturday and we're going to have to be able to execute and play through a good environment to play in," Terry said. "It has always been a good environment every time we've gone up there. Sometimes you're not able to communicate with your guys the way you need to, so we needed to be able to have that segment of practice where we got a chance to go against their defense, in particular zone, and try to work against it a little bit."
The Bulldogs, who can move into a tie with the Aggies for fifth place in the conference race with a victory, won the first meeting 61-52 at Save Mart Center and are seeking their first sweep in the series since 2007. They won last season at Utah State 79-76, but are 5-22 all-time in Logan and have not been all that sharp on the road this season.
Fresno State has Mountain West road victories at Nevada and at San Jose State, but is just 3-11 away from Save Mart Center including 3-8 in its true road games.
The atmosphere at Utah State, though, could be a plus.
"I look forward to every game we play this season," said point guard Cezar Guerrero who had to sit out the first 17 games while ineligible. "But Utah State last year, I mean, it was a great environment to be in and just going into the game and the snow dropping and the whole environment, them being so hostile and them talking to you, a lot of us thrive off of that and it's just a great environment to be in. It's a great school, great team and great environment."
Edo will start again with Davis coming off bench
Terry said that Karachi Edo will make a sixth consecutive start at the five, ahead of Alex Davis.
In the first meeting, Davis exploited holes in the Aggies' zone when hitting 7 of 7 shots and scoring a season-high 14 points with five rebounds, including two at the offensive end. But Terry likes the continuity and what Davis has added coming off the bench since returning from an indefinite suspension that lasted two games for actions detrimental to the team.
"We're going to stay with the same lineup that we've had," he said. "I like where Alex is right now coming off the bench and giving us really good bench production on offense and defense. I think it helps him, too. I don't think you ever go into a game saying, 'Hey, if I had him as a starter he'd be a guy that picked up fouls.' I don't believe in that process. But I do believe in continuity and sticking with what we've been doing and it has worked for us and it has worked for him to see the floor a little it first and then come in and get in the flow."
Over the past two games coming off the bench, Davis has averaged 9.0 points and five rebounds.
* The Bulldogs took the first of two charter flights they have scheduled over the last three weeks of the season, and what a difference it makes. They left campus at 3 p.m. for a flight to Logan-Cache Airport that was to depart at 3:45 p.m.
* Fresno State has swept two conference opponents this season - beating Nevada and San Jose State at home and on the road.
* A victory also would give the Bulldogs the tiebreaker over the Aggies in seeding for the conference tournament next month.
* Terry on Utah State: "They've done a great job this year. Coach (Stew) Morrill has done probably one of the better coaching jobs of his career probably because he didn't have a whole lot coming back from a senior-laden team a year ago and what he has done with this group and the confidence that they're playing with is a direct correlation to the type of coach that he is and the type of coach he has been in his career."