Weekly Basketball Release (01-01-01)
Jan. 1, 2001
Utah State at Cal Poly Mott Gym (3,032), San Luis Obispo, Calif. Jan. 4, 2001, 8:00 pm(MST)
Utah State Aggies (10-2)
Up Next: Utah State will open Big West Conference play this weekend on the road as the Aggies travel to Cal Poly and Idaho on Jan. 4 and Jan. 6 at 8:00 p.m. (MST). The Mustangs are 5-4 on the year, while the Vandals are 3-8.
Scouting The Mustangs: Cal Poly is 5-4 on the season, including a 5-1 mark at home. The Mustangs have lost its last two games to Lipscomb at home (92-87) and to North Carolina State, 91-63, on the road. Cal Poly has four players averaging 10 plus points a game led by senior Chris Bjorklund's 20 points. Head coach Jeff Schneider is in his sixth year at Cal Poly and has an overall record of 70-81. The Mustangs return three starters and six letterwinners from last year's team that went 10-18 overall and 5-11 in the Big West Conference.
A Look At The Vandals: Idaho is 3-8 on the season and 0-1 in league play following a 73-66 home loss to Eastern Washington this past weekend. The Vandals are 3-4 at home on the season, with one of those losses coming to Long Beach State on Dec. 9 by a final score of 94-88 in double overtime. Idaho is led in scoring by Adam Miller who is averaging 11.5 points per game. Head coach David Farrar is in his fourth year at Idaho and ninth overall as a head coach with an overall record of 107-121. He is 46-48 at Idaho in three plus seasons. The Vandals return no starters and five letterwinners from last year's team that went 12-17 overall and 6-10 in the Big West.
Winning Record Versus Every Team In The Big West: Utah State is the only team in the Big West Conference that has a winning record versus every team in the league. The following is a list of USU's record versus each team in the Big West Conference.
USU's Record Versus Current BWC Members: Boise State USU leads 14-4 Cal Poly USU leads 5-0 Cal State Fullerton USU leads 28-15 Idaho USU leads 11-10 Long Beach State USU leads 23-20 Pacific USU leads 36-17 UC Irvine USU leads 23-22 UC Santa Barbara USU leads 28-21 Total USU leads 168-109 (.606)On The Road Again: After snapping a 10-game road winning streak at BYU on Dec. 16, Utah State waisted little time in starting a new road streak with a 76-62 win at UC Riverside. USU has won 11 of its last 12 road games over the past two seasons. That 10-game road winning streak by the Aggies is a school record, breaking the old mark of six set during the 1961-62 season.
Series History: Utah State is 5-0 all-time versus Cal Poly, including a 2-0 mark on the road. Against Idaho, USU is 11-10 overall, and is 6-5 all-time in Moscow. The Aggies have won three in a row against Idaho.
Morrill Versus This Week's Opponents: Head coach Stew Morrill is 2-0 all-time versus Cal Poly with both of those games coming while being at USU. Against Idaho, Morrill is 6-11 all-time. He is 3-1 versus the Vandals at Utah State, and went 3-10 against UI while at Montana State.
19 And Counting: Utah State has won its last 19 games versus Big West competition as the Aggies went a perfect 16-0 in league play last year and then won three games in the conference tournament to win the league championship. That 19-game winning streak in the Big West is the second-best all-time behind UNLV who won 40 games in a row from 1990-93.
League Road Streak In Tack: Utah State will be looking to continue the success it had on the road last season in Big West play, as the Aggies won all nine of its road games against the league. USU went 8-0 on the road during the regular season and then defeated Nevada on its home court in the Big West Tournament. USU's average margin of victory on the road last year in league play was 7.1 points. All those wins were single-digits except a 12 point win at Cal Poly.
League Openers: Since the 1988-89 season when the Big West Conference was formed (prior to that it was known as the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference), Utah State is 9-3 in league opener's, including a 5-2 road record. If you go back further to when Utah State joined the PCAC in 1978-79, USU is 13-9 overall in league opener's and 6-5 when its first league game is on the road.
Fourth Best Start Ever: Utah State is off to its fourth best start in school history with its 10-2 record. The 1983 and 1939 teams started its respective seasons with 13-2 marks, while the 1935 team began the year with a 12-2 record. If you go back further when teams played limited games, the best start ever by an Aggie team was accomplished by the 1918 squad that finished with a perfect 9-0 record.
A December To Remember: The holiday season was very kind to Utah State as the Aggies went 6-1 during the month of December, marking the third best record during that month since the 1962-63 season. Only the 1978 and 1983 teams had better marks during the month of December as both clubs finished with 7-1 records in December.
Last Meeting With Cal Poly: The last time Utah State and Cal Poly played each other was on Jan. 22, 2000, in San Luis Obispo, Calif., as the Aggies notched a 74-62 win. USU shot 56.6 percent from the floor in that game and held Cal Poly to just 32.8 percent shooting. Utah State built an eight-point half-time lead at 33-25 and outscored the Mustangs by four in the second half to get the win. USU had four players score in double-figures in that game led by Tony Brown's 19 points. Shawn Daniels had a great game with 16 points, 17 rebounds and five blocked shots in the contest. Troy Rolle added 11 points for USU, while Bernard Rock had 10 points and six assists. Jeremiah Mayes had a team-high 20 points for Cal Poly, while Chris Bjorklund added 12 on four-of-20 shooting.
Last Meeting With Idaho: The last time Utah State and Idaho met was on Mar. 2, 2000 in Logan as the Aggies rolled to a 73-52 win. Tony Brown scored a game-high 25 points in that contest, while Shawn Daniels added 12 points. The only Vandal to score in double-figures was Gordon Scott who had 14 points. USU shot 55.1 percent in the game and held Idaho to 32.8 percent from the field. The last time these two teams met in Moscow was on Jan. 30 on ESPN2, as USU posted a 67-60 win. Daniels had 16 points and nine rebounds in the game, while Troy Rolle had 14 and Bernard Rock had 10. Scott led the Vandals with 19 points. Both teams shot 39.3 percent from the floor in the game and both teams had 38 rebounds.
USU In The Big West: Since the 1994 season, Utah State has dominated the Big West Conference as the Aggies have the most conference and overall wins by any team in the Big West. The following is a list of where Utah State stacks up against the Big West Conference.
Conference Record (1994-present) 1. UTAH STATE 84-34 2. Long Beach State 75-45 3. Pacific 71-47 4. UC Santa Barbara 58-60 5. CS Fullerton 38-80 6. UC Irvine 37-81Daniels Does It Again: Senior forward Shawn Daniels become only the second player in the seven year history of the Gossner Foods Classic to win back-to-back Most Valuable Player honors as he led USU to its seventh consecutive championship with 17 points and 12 rebounds against Air Force. Daniels joined former Aggie Eric Franson who won back-to-back MVP honors in 1994 and 1995 as the only two back-to-back MVP winners.
Aggies Win Gossner Foods Classic: Utah State improved to 14-0 all-time in its holiday tournament with wins over Albany 88-43 and Air Force 59-50. The Aggies 45-point win over the Great Danes was the most lopsided win in tournament history. USU set new tournament records in that game with 52 rebounds, 24 assists, and nine blocks.
Long Range Bomber: Junior Tony Brown is on pace to become Utah State's all-time three-point shooter before his career is over. Brown is currently fourth all-time at USU in three-pointers made and attempted. The following is a breakdown of where Brown stands as of date on the USU career charts.
3-Pt. FG's Made 3-Pt. FG's Attemtped 1. Reid Newey 237 1. Jay Goodman 580 2. Jay Goodman 209 2. Reid Newey 572 3. Justin Jones183 3. Justin Jones408 4. Tony Brown 155 4. Tony Brown 381 5. Troy Rolle 112 5. Troy Rolle 304
14-Game Home Court Winning Streak: Utah State has won its last 14 games at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum dating back to Jan. 8, 2000. USU's last loss at home was a 82-73 decision to BYU. USU has won 26 of its last 27 games at home.
Losing Against BYU A Good Thing?: Despite losing to its in-state rival for the third straight year, maybe losing to the Cougars is a good thing for Utah State. After losing to BYU last year at home, USU went on to win 19 straight games before losing to Conneticut in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies also won 18 straight regular season games after losing to BYU last year. Thus far this year, Utah State has won its last four games after losing to BYU.
Inside The Numbers: Twelve games into the season, Utah State has established itself as one of the best shooting teams in the history of Aggie basketball. The Aggies are currently shooting 50.3 percent from the floor on the season. Only seven other teams have shot over 50 percent from the floor since the 1957-58 season. USU is also shooting 40 percent from three-point range thus far. The only other Utah State team to shoot over 40 percent from behind the arc was the 1997-98 team that shot 42.9 percent from three-point range. USU has shot over 50 percent from the field in seven of its 12 games thus far this year. Aggies Go When Brown And Daniels Go: It is becoming more and more apparent than the key to Utah State's success is related to Tony Brown and Shawn Daniels having good offensive nights. The Aggies have won 15 of its last 16 games when Brown scores in double-figures, and is 26-6 over the past two seasons when Daniels scores 10 or more points. Furthermore, Utah State is 10-0 when Daniels has a double-double and 6-0 when Brown scores 20 or more points in a single game.
Home Sweet Home: Utah State has had tremendous success at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum since the building was opened for the 1970-71 season. In its first 30 years, USU has had only one losing season at home, with a 3-8 record during the 1981-82 year. All-time, Utah State is 328-96 (.774) at home. Over the past three seasons, the Aggies have compiled an incredible 49-3 (.942) record at home. USU has won 59 of its last 62 games at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum dating back to the 1996-97 season.
Morrill Comfortable At Home: Utah State head coach Stew Morrill is very comfortable at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, and his record would confirm that fact. Since becoming USU's head coach prior to the 1998-99 season, Coach Morrill is 34-3 (.919) at home. The only other Aggie coach to have similiar success at the Spectrum was Dutch Belnap who went 31-1 in his first 32 games at home.
Vague Sets Tournament Record: Junior center Jeremy Vague set a new Gossner Foods Classic tournament record with five blocked shots. Vague had four against Albany, setting a new career-high, and then added one block against Air Force to set the new record.
Over At The Half: Utah State had made a habit of winning games on a regular basis when leading at half-time over recent years. In fact, USU had won 39 games in a row when leading at the half before letting a 10-point halftime advantage slip away against Austin Peay State on Nov. 19, 2000. USU has however compiled a 50-2 mark when leading at halftime over its last 52 games, and is 8-1 this season when leading at the half.
Now That's Balance: Although you will probably never see a Utah State player among the league leaders in scoring, one thing you will see is a lot of different players that score 10 to 13 points a game for Utah State. The Aggies were very balanced last year with four players scoring in double-figures, and the leading scorer averaging 12.0 points per game Well this season is no different for USU with four of the five Aggie starters average double-figures in scoring thus far this year. And once again like last season, the leading scorer is at 12.3 points per game.
Recapping The Air Force Game: Behind 17 points and 12 rebounds from senior forward Shawn Daniels (Bakersfield, Calif.), who was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, Utah State won its seventh consecutive Gossner Foods Classic with a 59-50 win over the Air Force Academy. The Aggies improved to 10-2 on the year with the win, while Air Force fell to 4-8 with the loss. Utah State is now 14-0 all-time in its annual holiday tournament, and Daniels become only the second player ever to win back-to-back MVP honors in the Gossner Foods Classic, joining former Aggie Eric Franson who accomplished the feat in 1994 and 1995. Utah State built a 34-22 lead at the half behind 11 points from Daniels as the Aggies shot 52.6 percent from the field. USU increased its lead to 22 points at 49-27 with 11:37 remaining in the game before the Falcons went on a 23-10 run to end the game and close the gap to nine points. Along with Daniels' 17 points, he also nothced 12 rebounds, giving him his second double-double of the season and ninth of his career. USU is 9-0 all-time when Daniels records a double-double. Senior forward Curtis Bobb (Aurora, Colo.) was the only other Aggie to record double-digits as he had 10 points. Senior forward Jarvis Croff became just the 15th Falcon ever to score over 1,000 points in a career at Air Force in the game as he had a game-high 20 points. Fellow forward Robert Todd added 18 points, 15 of which came in the second half. Utah State finished the game by shooting just 39.1 percent from the floor, but did convert on 20-of-23 free throws for a 87 percent mark. Air Force also shot 39.1 percent from the field in the game, but shot just two free throws in the contest.
Keep It Under 60: Utah State has been unbeatable as of late when its opponents score less than 60 points in a game. Thus far this year, USU is 5-0 when its opponents score less than 60 points, and the Aggies were 12-0 last season when its opponents didn't hit 60. The last time USU lost a game when its opponent didn't score 60 points was a 55-52 loss at New Mexico State on Feb. 25, 1999. Utah State is 17-0 since that game when allowing fewer than 60 points and 21-1 in two plus years under head coach Stew Morrill.
Versus The State Of California: Utah State will be looking to keep its streak of beating teams from the state of California alive this weekend when the Aggies travel to Cal Poly. USU has won its last 13 games versus teams from the Golden State, including wins over Santa Clara (76-67) and UC Riverside (76-62) this season. Last season, USU went 11-0 versus school's from the state of California. The last time the Aggies lost to a team from California was in the first round of the 1999 Big West Tournament to UC Santa Barbara 75-74. All-time, Utah State is 252-169 (.599) versus teams from California.
Daniels And Brown Named To The All-Tournament Team: Utah State had two players named to the 2000 Gossner Foods Classic All-Tournament team. Junior Tony Brown was named to the team for the first time, while senior Shawn Daniels made the team for the second straight year. In fact, Daniels was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament for the second straight season, becoming only the second player ever to win back-to-back MVP honors.