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Today's word on journalism

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

News from the vast wasteland:

"I'm here to propose that we replace the bad old bargain that past FCCs struck with the media moguls with a new American Media Contract. It goes like this. We, the American people have given broadcasters free use of the nation's most valuable spectrum, and we expect something in return. We expect this:
1. A right to media that strengthens our democracy
2. A right to local stations that are actually local
3. A right to media that looks and sounds like America
4. A right to news that isn't canned and radio playlists that aren't for sale
5. A right to programming that isn't so damned bad so damned often."

--Michael J. Copps. Federal Communications Commission, 2007 (Thanks to alert WORDster Mark Larson)

Aggies muzzle the Bulldogs, get first WAC win

By Dave Archer

January 15, 2007 | Utah State head coach Stew Morrill constantly preaches defense to his squad.

And why not? After all, this is a team that allowed their opponents to shoot a combined 52.3 percent from the field and average 78 points a game in two conference losses this month.

Saturday night at the Spectrum, however, it looked as if the Aggies were starting to listen to that preaching.

Utah State picked up its first WAC victory of the season with a 69-49 victory over Louisiana Tech, which included a strong second-half defensive performance that saw the Aggies hold the Bulldogs to just 17 points on 25 percent shooting.

"We played better defense the second half," guard Kris Clark said. "I think our zone helped out a lot."

No kidding. After the Bulldogs took a 43-42 lead on a three-point bucket by Drew Washington with 14:18 to go, the Aggies put the clamps down on the defensive end, holding Louisiana Tech to just two points over the next seven-plus minutes of play.

The Utah State offense was able to take advantage of the dry spell, scoring 19 points of their own during that span.

"Our defensive intensity picked up a whole lot, which lead to a good offense," Clark said. "The more defense we play, the more fast break points we get."

That intensity included holding the Bulldogs' leading scorer Chad McKenzie to just two points in the second half after he scored a team high 11 in the opening half.

Jaycee Carroll once again led the way for the Aggies, pouring in 27 points on nine-of-15 shooting. He also added nine rebounds and five assists, but for once it wasn't his offense that drew the praise of his teammates and coach.

"(Jaycee) played a whole lot better defensively," Clark said. "He contained a lot of their guys, kept them from going to the basket."

Coach Stew Morrill also took notice of Carroll's efforts on the defensive end. "He was very aggressive, he was ready to go on the boards, (he was) scoring the ball, and I think he was better defensively than he's been," Morrill said. "He just had a really good all-around game."

Carroll was more than happy for the recognition.

"That's good to hear, especially if Coach Morrill mentioned it," he joked.

Yet Carroll realizes that defense is an area where he knows he can improve.

"I can't be a liability for our team on the defensive end," he said. "It'll continue to be a focus, continue to be somewhere where I feel I'm lacking and I need to get better."

Carroll had plenty of help from his teammates, however, as Clark, Durrall Peterson and Chaz Spicer each had three steals for the Aggies, while Nick Hammer had one. The team also had four blocked shots on the night, with Peterson, Spicer, Stephen DuCharme and Chris Sessions all recording one a piece.

The Aggies, now 1-2 in WAC play, are relieved to get that first conference win under their belt.

"It's a good feeling," Carroll said. "I think last year we were 1-2 at one point, so we're about in the same boat. We'll see if we can rattle a couple off in a row now."

They will next play host to 2-13 Idaho on Monday night, a team the Aggies know they can't overlook.

"I think any team in the WAC, anybody can beat anybody at any given time," Clark said. "We have to play them just as hard as we played these guys."

Tip-off for Monday's game at the Spectrum is set for 7:05 p.m.

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