Jan. 10, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
Men's Basketball Game Notes vs. New Mexico State
New Mexico State (11-5, 1-0) vs. Utah State (9-7, 1-1)
Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 7 p.m. (MT) Las Cruces, N.M. Pan American Center (13,071)
Radio: Aggie Sports Network TV: Aggie Vision (KMYU)
GAME DAY HEADLINES
Utah State is in its 107th season of basketball this year and has an overall record of 1,467-1,013 (.592). USU hasn't had a losing season since 1993, a span of 18 years.
Utah State head coach Stew Morrill will coach his 800th game Thursday at New Mexico State in this his 26th season. Morrill coached 149 games (97-52) in five season at Montana; 207 games (121-86) in seven seasons at Colorado State; and 443 games (333-110) in 14 seasons at Utah State. All-time, Morrill is now one of just 21 active coaches at the Division I level to coach 800 games and one of 25 active coaches to be coaching in his 26th season.
Utah State is 5-1 on the season and 64-20 over the last 13 years following a loss, and has dropped back-to-back games just 17 times during that time period. USU is also 11-13 (.458) on the road following a loss during the past 13 years.
Utah State has won 18 of its last 26 road games dating back to the 2009-10 season and is 96-76 (.558) in road games under head coach Stew Morrill including a 67-41 (.620) record against conference opponents and a 30-18 (.625) mark against WAC teams. USU is 1-5 on the road thus far this year.
Utah State has won six of its last nine games after starting the season with a 3-4 record. Since Jan. 4, 2010, Utah State has won 52 of its last 62 regular season games.
Utah State has won 30 of its last 32 WAC games and is 56-10 (.848) against teams from the WAC during the last five seasons.
During the past four years, Utah State has produced a 44-6 (.880) record in WAC play and that winning percentage ranks second in the nation along behind Kansas who is 45-5 (.900) in the Big 12 during the last four years.
Utah State is 85-23 (.787) during the month of January under Morrill, which includes a 36-19 (.655) road record. In fact, USU has won eight straight road games during the month of January with its last loss during the month coming at Louisiana Tech, 82-60, on Jan. 4, 2010. USU is also 84-16 (.840) in games played on Thursday under Morrill and 8-1 (.889) all-time in known games played on Jan. 12.
As of Jan. 9, Utah State has an RPI of 156 and a strength of schedule of 177, while the Western Athletic Conference is ranked 16th overall. USU also has a sagarin rating of 120.
Utah State (9-7, 1-1) continues Western Athletic Conference play this week with a pair of road games at New Mexico State (11-5, 1-0) on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m., and at Louisiana Tech (8-8, 0-1) on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. (MT). Overall, USU will play six of its next eight games on the road. The game at NMSU will be broadcast live on KMYU-TV (Comcast Ch. 22, Dish Network Ch. 12, DirecTV Ch. 12, Over-the-Air 2.2) and is also available on ESPN3.com and is part of the ESPN Full Court package.
ON THE AIR
Utah State basketball games are broadcast live on KVNU (610 AM/102.1 FM) and KLZX (95.9 FM) in Logan, KZNS (97.5 FM) in Salt Lake City, KZNU (1450 AM) in St. George, KVEL (920 AM) in Vernal, KRPX (95.3 FM) in Price, and KLZX (105.3 FM) in Montpelier, Idaho, as well as on the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com with Al Lewis (play-by-play) and Rod Tueller (analyst).
UTAH STATE LOOKING FOR FIFTH-STRAIGHT WAC TITLE
Utah State will be looking to win its fifth-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season championship this year after sharing the 2008 title with Boise State, Nevada and New Mexico State as all four teams had 12-4 league records, winning the 2009 and 2010 WAC titles with identical 14-2 conference records, and the 2011 WAC Championship after going 15-1. Prior to USU's current run, Nevada won five straight regular season WAC titles from 2004-08.
UTAH STATE'S FOUR-STRAIGHT WAC CHAMPIONSHIPS A SCHOOL RECORD
Utah State's current run of winning four-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season championships is the longest in school history. The previous record for consecutive conference titles was two during the 1935-36 seasons in the Rocky Mountain Athletics Conference and the 1997-98 seasons in the Big West Conference.
UTAH STATE ONE OF FIVE TEAMS IN THE COUNTRY TO WIN FOUR-STRAIGHT LEAGUE TITLES
Utah State is one of five teams in the nation to win at least four-straight regular season conference championships. Gonzaga has the longest active streak as it has won 11 straight West Coast Conference titles, while Kansas is second with seven straight Big 12 titles. Butler (Horizon) and Xavier (Atlantic 10) are tied for third as each school has won five-straight league championships, while Utah State (WAC) has won four-straight league titles.
LOOKING AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 9-7 on the season and 1-1 in Western Athletic Conference play following its 78-71 home loss to Nevada Saturday. USU is led by sophomore guard Preston Medlin who is averaging 15.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game, and is shooting 52.0 percent from the field, 49.4 percent from three-point range and 74.6 percent at the free throw line. Utah State has three other players scoring in double-figures as senior guard Brockeith Pane is averaging 11.4 points and 3.9 assists, senior forward Morgan Grim is averaging 10.4 points and 7.4 rebounds, and junior forward Kyisean Reed is averaging 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. As a team, Utah State is averaging 68.0 points and shooting 47.9 percent from the field, 41.0 percent from three-point range and 69.6 percent at the free throw line. Defensively, USU is allowing 63.4 points and its opponents are shooting 39.9 percent from the field, 30.6 percent from three-point range and 69.0 percent at the free throw line.
UTAH STATE DURING ITS LAST FIVE GAMES
Utah State is 3-2 during its last five games and is averaging 72.0 points while shooting 53.2 percent from the field, 43.6 percent from three-point range and 76.9 percent at the free throw line. Defensively, USU is allowing 61.2 points during its last five games while its opponents are shooting 39.0 percent from the field, 29.9 percent from three-point range and 59.1 percent at the free throw line.
RANKING UTAH STATE IN THE WAC
As of Monday, Jan. 9, Utah State ranks first in the WAC in field goal percentage defense (.399), first in three-point field goal percentage (.410), second in scoring defense (63.4), second in field goal percentage (.479), second in three-point field goal percentage defense (.306), third in scoring margin (+4.6), third in free throw shooting (.696), fifth in assists (12.63), sixth in scoring (68.0), sixth in blocked shots (3.13), and sixth in rebound margin (-0.4).
RANKING UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE WAC
As of Monday, Jan. 9, sophomore guard Preston Medlin ranks second in the WAC in three-point shooting (.494), fifth in scoring (15.0), sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.56), seventh in overall shooting (.520), eighth in assists (3.13), and 10th in free throw shooting (.746). Junior forward Kyisean Reed ranks second in field goal shooting (.609), ninth in blocked shots (0.87), and 15th in rebounding (4.6). Senior point guard Brockeith Pane ranks fifth in free throw shooting (.806), sixth in assists (3.88), and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.27). And senior forward Morgan Grim ranks sixth in rebounding (7.4), sixth in overall shooting (.526), and seventh in blocked shots (0.88).
UTAH STATE RANKS NINTH IN THE NATION IN THREE-POINT SHOOTING
As of Monday, Jan. 9, Utah State ranks ninth in the nation in three-point shooting (.410), 35th in field goal percentage (.479), 59th in three-point field goal percentage defense (.306), 62nd in field goal percentage defense (.399), 76th in turnovers per game (12.8), and 93rd in scoring defense (63.4).
LOOKING BACK AT THE NEVADA GAME
Nevada led from start-to-finish and held off a late Utah State rally as the Wolf Pack snapped the Aggies' 33-game home conference winning streak with a hard-fought 78-71 victory Saturday. It was USU's first WAC loss at home since falling to Fresno State, 71-66, on March 3, 2007. Nevada also becomes the first WAC team to beat USU twice at home, as the Wolf Pack also won in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Feb. 25, 2006. The Aggies' only other WAC home loss was to New Mexico State on Feb. 11, 2006. Senior guard Brockeith Pane tied a season-high by pouring in 21 points, hitting a season-best three three-pointers, and going 8-of-8 at the free throw line. Pane also dished out a game-high six assists, his second-straight game with six or more helpers and his fifth game with at least five assists, and also tied his season-high with five rebounds. Sophomore guard Preston Medlin also netted three treys on the way to 20 points, for his fifth 20-point outing this season. Senior forward Morgan Grim added 16 points to go with a team-leading eight rebounds, as the Aggies were out-rebounded, 34-24. Four Nevada starters notched double-digits, led by Deonte Burton's game-high 25 points, while Olek Czyz and Dario Hunt tossed in 14 points apiece and Malik Story added 12 points. Hunt pulled down a game-best 12 rebounds while Burton distributed five assists. The Aggies made half of their shots both from the field (23-of-46) and behind the arc (7-of-14), while making 75.0 percent (18-of-24) at the free throw line. The Wolf Pack made 48.3 percent (28-of-58) of their field goals and were 38.5 percent (10-of-26) from three-point range. Nevada was also 12-of-19 (63.2 percent) from the free throw line. Both teams committed eight turnovers, a season-low for USU, but Nevada had a 10-4 points off turnovers advantage, as well as a 10-4 edge in second-chance points, collecting 13 offensive rebounds, compared to only three for USU. Nevada opened a 10-2 lead after a three-pointer by Czyz, one possession after Burton hit a trey. USU got within 15-14 at the 12:54 mark after a layup by Medlin, but the Aggies couldn't tie or take the lead. Hunt completed a three-point play with 9:55 to go for a 26-20 Wolf Pack lead. The Aggies again trimmed the gap to one point, once at 28-27 after a pair of Pane free pitch shots and the second after two free throws by junior guard E.J. Farris to make it 30-29 with 5:27 to go, but again couldn't get any closer. Nevada's lead swelled to its largest of the night at 10 points after another Burton jumper put the Wolf Pack on top, 39-29, with 2:09 left. The Aggies got within 43-37 at halftime after sophomore guard Danny Berger hit a runner in the lane that dropped at the halftime buzzer. A three-pointer by Pane tied the score for the first time at 56-all with 9:36 left in the game. Nevada's Jordan Burris later regained the lead for the Wolf Pack with a trey and Burton hit a runner in the lane for a 61-56 lead with 7:03 to play. Czyz later hit back-to-back buckets to open a 67-59 Nevada advantage with 4:56 remaining, but the Aggies wouldn't go away. After Story hit a trey from the top of the arc for a 70-63 Wolf Pack lead, Grim hit a layup and later hit one free throw, then Medlin hit a running layup to pull USU within, 70-68 with 1:10 to go. On Nevada's next possession, Burton hit a fade-away three-pointer from the left wing and was fouled, with 37 seconds left to put the Wolf Pack ahead, 74-68. Pane hit another trey from the right wing with 21 ticks to play to pull USU within 74-71, but Nevada hit all four of its free throws in the waning seconds to seal the win.
UTAH STATE'S WAC HOME WINNING STREAK SNAPPED AGAINST NEVADA
Utah State had its school record 33-game conference winning streak snapped in its last game against Nevada as it was defeated at home in a WAC game for the first time since March 3, 2007 when Fresno State posted a 71-66 win. All-time, USU is now 46-4 at home in WAC games.
UTAH STATE SHOOTS 50 PERCENT FROM THE FIELD AGAIN
Utah State shot 50.0 percent from the field against Nevada, marking the second time in as many games and fifth time in its last eight games that it has shot 50 percent from the field. USU also shot 50.0 percent from three-point range against Nevada, marking the second-straight game and fifth time this year that USU has shot 50 percent from behind the arc.
UTAH STATE SCORES OVER 70 AGAIN
With its 71 points against Nevada, Utah State has now scored 70-plus points in seven of its last eight games after scoring 70 or more points just once in its first eight outings. During its last eight games, Utah State is averaging 73.4 points as compared to 62.6 points during its first eight games of the year. USU is also shooting 52.4 percent from the field, 43.4 percent from three-point range, and 74.9 percent from the free throw line during its last eight games. Overall, Utah State is 6-2 this year and has won 67 of its last 71 games when scoring at least 70 points. Furthermore, USU is 209-29 (.878) all-time under Morrill when scoring 70 points in a game.
UTAH STATE CONTINUES TO IMPRESS ON THE DEFENSIVE END OF THE FLOOR
Utah State has played very well on defense for the most part this year as it has held nine of its 16 opponents to under 40 percent shooting from the field and under 30 percent shooting from three-point range. During its last 10 games, Utah State's opponents are shooting just 39.1 percent from the field and just 29.7 percent from three-point range.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State is 1-5 on the season when it gets out-rebounded and 6-6 when it gives up double-digit offensive rebounds. Overall, USU has given up double-digit offensive rebounds in each of its last eight games and its opponents are averaging 14.5 offensive rebounds during that time. Conversely, USU has not recorded double-digit offensive rebounds in each of its last five games and has grabbed 10 or more offensive boards just five times this year.
PANE TIES SEASON-HIGH WITH 21 POINTS AGAINST NEVADA
Senior point guard Brockeith Pane tied his season-high with 21 points against Nevada, to go along with six assists and a season-high tying five rebounds. For Pane, it was his second 20-point game of the season and fifth of his career. With his 21 points against Nevada, Pane has now scored in double-figures 10 times this year and 32 times in his career. During his last five games, Pane is averaging 11.6 points and 5.2 assists, while shooting 42.2 percent from the field (19-45), 50.0 percent from three-point range (5-10) and 93.8 percent at the free throw line (15-16). Pane has also tied his season-high with five rebounds in three of his last four games, and has 24 assists to just nine turnovers in his last four games.
MEDLIN SCORES 20 POINTS IN FOUR OF HIS LAST SEVEN GAMES
Sophomore guard Preston Medlin scored 20 points in his last game against Nevada and has now scored 20 or more points in four of his last seven games. He has also scored in double-figures in four straight games and in 11 of his last 12 games. Overall, Medlin has scored in double-figures 12 times this year and 13 times in his career. During his last five games, Medlin is averaging 15.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists, while shooting 61.0 percent from the field (25-41), 50.0 percent from three-point range (10-20) and 76.2 percent from the free throw line (16-21).
GRIM SCORES IN DOUBLE-FIGURES FOR FIFTH-STRAIGHT GAME AGAINST NEVADA
Senior forward Morgan Grim has scored in double-figures in each of his last five games after scoring 16 points to go along with eight rebounds against Nevada. Grim also recorded double-doubles in back-to-back games as he had 14 points and a career-high 14 rebounds against Kent State, to go along with 17 points and 10 rebounds against Saint Peter's. Overall, Grim has now scored in double-figures nine times this year to go along with three career double-doubles. During his last five games, Grim is averaging 13.4 points and 9.4 rebounds, while shooting 67.4 percent from the field (29-43) and 64.3 percent at the free throw line (9-14).
REED RECORDS FIRST CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE AGAINST FRESNO STATE
Junior forward Kyisean Reed recorded his first career double-double with 16 points and a career-high tying 10 rebounds to go along with a career-high three blocked shots against Fresno State. Overall, Reed has scored in double-figures in seven of his last 10 games and in eight games on the season. During his last five games, Reed is averaging 12.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks, while shooting 61.5 percent from the field (24-39) and 72.2 percent at the free throw line (13-18).
FARRIS CONTINUES TO PLAY WELL OFF THE BENCH
Junior guard E.J. Farris has played very well for Utah State during his last seven games including scoring a career-high tying nine points against Fresno State. During his last seven games, Farris is averaging 5.7 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists, while shooting 50.0 percent from the field (12-24), 37.5 percent from three-point range (3-8) and is 13-for-13 at the line.
CLIFFORD TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH SEVEN REBOUNDS AT MISSISSIPPI STATE
Freshman redshirt forward Ben Clifford had one of his best games as an Aggie at No. 15 Mississippi State as he scored seven points and tied his career-high with seven rebounds. Furthermore, Clifford has scored at least seven points in four of his last seven games and has at least three rebounds in six of his last seven games. During his last five games, Clifford is averaging 4.8 points and 3.6 rebounds, while shooting 62.5 percent from the field (10-16), 66.7 percent from three-point range (2-3) and 50.0 percent at the free throw line (2-4).
BERGER'S DOUBLE-FIGURE SCORING STREAK ENDS AT FOUR
Sophomore guard/forward Danny Berger had scored in double-figures in four straight games before scoring in single digits in each of his last five games. The last time Berger scored in double-figures was against UT Arlington as he tied his career-high with 12 points. During his last five games, Berger is averaging 3.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists, while shooting 27.3 percent from the field (6-22), 11.1 percent from three-point range (51-9) and 80.0 percent at the free throw line (4-5). Berger sat out the first six games of the year as a potential redshirt before seeing his first action of the season at Pacific.
BRUNEEL SCORES CAREER-HIGH 10 POINTS AT WICHITA STATE
Sophomore forward Mitch Bruneel scored in double-figures for the first time in his career with 10 points at Wichita State. In his last five games, Bruneel is averaging 3.8 points and shooting 61.5 percent from the field (8-13), 33.3 percent from three-point range (1-3) and 66.7 percent at the free throw line (2-3).
THOSEBY SCORES CAREER-HIGH 16 POINTS IN FIRST CAREER START AT IDAHO STATE
Freshman guard Adam Thoseby had a career-night in his first-ever start at Idaho State as he scored a career-high 16 points and dished out a career-best three assists in a career-high 24 minutes. In the game, he was 6-of-8 from the field and 4-of-6 from three-point range. In his last 12 games, Thoseby is 10-of-21 (.476) from behind the arc.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has three of the top seven field goal percentage shooters in the Western Athletic Conference as junior forward Kyisean Reed is shooting 60.9 percent to rank second overall, senior forward Morgan Grim is shooting 52.6 percent to rank sixth, and sophomore guard Preston Medlin is shooting 52.0 percent to rank seventh overall.
STONE RECORDS CAREER-HIGH EIGHT REBOUNDS IN FIRST START
Freshman center Jordan Stone grabbed a career-high eight rebounds in his first career start against Utah Valley. Stone also played well in his previous game at Pacific as he grabbed seven rebounds and scored a career-best seven points, while playing a career-high 23 minutes. Stone also had six points and three rebounds in his previous game against Denver, to go along with five points and five rebounds against Southern Utah earlier in the year. During his last five games, Stone is averaging 1.0 points and 1.6 rebounds in 6.8 minutes, while shooting 40.0 percent from the field (2-5).
JARDINE RECORDS CAREER-HIGH 14 REBOUNDS AT WEBER STATE
Senior forward Brady Jardine recorded a career-high 14 rebounds at Weber State, marking the eighth time in his career he has posted double-digit rebounds.
JARDINE RANKS SIXTH ALL-TIME IN BLOCKED SHOTS
Junior forward Brady Jardine ranks sixth all-time at Utah State with 70 career blocks and is now 20 blocks shy of tying Nate Harris (2003-06) for fifth all-time with 90 career blocks. Gilbert Pete (1986-89) holds the school record with 155 blocks, followed by Nate Wickizer (1992-95) with 148, Tai Wesley (2008-11) with 144, and Shawn Daniels (2000-01) with 117.
FROM THE BENCH
Utah State's bench has been very productive for the most part this year as it has scored in double-figures in all but three games and is averaging 17.6 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Overall, USU's bench scoring ranks sixth in the WAC behind Louisiana Tech (28.1), Hawai'i (24.7), New Mexico State (23.1), Idaho (19.6) and San Jose State (19.4). Fresno State's bench is averaging 14.9 points to rank seventh in the WAC and Nevada's bench is averaging 12.2 points to rank eighth overall.
UTAH STATE MUCH MORE AGGRESSIVE DURING LAST EIGHT GAMES
After shooting the same number of free throws (190) as its opponents during its first eight games of the season, Utah State has been much more aggressive offensively during its last eight games as USU is 110-for-146 (.753) from the charity stripe, while its opponents are just 60-for-97 (.619).
AGGIES HARD TO BEAT WHEN ALLOWING LESS THAN 60 POINTS
Utah State is 4-1 on the season and has won 110 of its last 113 games when holding its opponents under 60 points. In fact, USU is 175-13 (.931) under Morrill when allowing fewer than 60 points.
AT THE HALF
Utah State is 9-1 this year and has won 58 of its last 59 games when leading at the half. The last time USU lost when leading at the half was on Nov. 22, 2011 at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi. Over the last 13 years, USU is 265-24 (.917) when leading at the half and 42-69 (.378) when trailing at the half.
UTAH STATE IN THE DEE GLEN SMITH SPECTRUM
Utah State is 8-2 at home this year and has won 91 of its last 95 home games. Overall, USU is 201-15 (.931) at home under head coach Stew Morrill, including a 101-9 (.918) record against conference opponents and a 46-4 (.920) mark against WAC teams. All-time, Utah State is 495-108 (.821) in this its 42nd season playing inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
UTAH STATE STARTS SAME LINEUP IN EACH OF THE LAST SIX GAMES
After using seven different starting lineups during its first 10 games, Utah State has started the same five players (F-Grim, F-Reed, G-Pane, G-Berger, G-Medlin) in each of its last six games. Overall, USU has started eight different lineups and 11 different players and only senior forward Morgan Grim and sophomore guard Preston Medlin have started every game this year.
PANE NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior point guard Brockeith Pane was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week on Monday, Nov. 14 after leading Utah State to a season-opening 69-62 home win against Brigham Young. It is the first time in his career that Pane has been named WAC Player of the Week. Against the Cougars, Pane scored a game-high 21 points as he was 6-of-10 from the field, 1-of-3 from three-point range and 8-for-8 at the free throw line for his 23rd career double-figure scoring game and fourth-career 20-point outing. Along with his 21 points, Pane also had five assists, four rebounds and three steals in 30 minutes of action.
UTAH STATE HAS PRODUCED 12 STRAIGHT 23-WIN SEASONS
Utah State is one of just three teams in the nation to win at least 23 games in each of the last 12 seasons along with Gonzaga and Kansas. The previous USU record for consecutive 20-win seasons was three from 1962 to 1964. Overall, USU has won 20 or more games 26 times in school history. During the last 12 years, Utah State has averaged 25.8 wins per season.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State is the only team in the nation to have winning streaks of at least 10 games in each of the last four seasons as it had a 10-game winning streak in 2008, a school-record tying 19-game winning streak in 2009, a 17-game winning streak in 2010 and a 17-game winning streak in 2011.
SCOUTING NEW MEXICO STATE
New Mexico State, who was picked to finish second in the WAC's preseason polls by its coaches and third by the media, is 11-5 on the season and 1-0 in conference play following its 83-73 road win at Louisiana Tech Saturday. The Aggies, who are 5-2 at home this year, are led by senior forward Wendell McKines who is averaging 18.4 points and 10.7 rebounds, and shooting 45.7 percent from the field, 37.7 percent from three-point range and 71.9 percent at the free throw line. Senior guard Hernst Laroche is also scoring in double-figures for NMSU as he is averaging 11.5 points and 3.5 assists per game. As a team, New Mexico State is averaging 78.3 points and shooting 45.6 percent from the field, 32.5 percent from three-point range and 67.0 percent at the free throw line. Defensively, NMSU is allowing 70.2 points and its opponents are shooting 42.4 percent from the field, 34.9 percent from three-point range and 67.2 percent at the free throw line. The Aggies return four starters and eight letterwinners from last year's team that went 16-17 overall and finished in a tie for second-place in the WAC with a 9-7 record. Marvin Menzies is in his fifth year as New Mexico State's head coach and has an overall record of 87-63.
UTAH STATE'S RIVALRY WITH NEW MEXICO STATE THE 10TH-OLDEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State and New Mexico State will be playing for the 63rd time in series history this week, in what is the 10th-oldest rivalry in USU history. The first game played in the series was during the 1960-61 season with the Utah State Aggies posting a 74-65 home win.
UTAH STATE-NEW MEXICO STATE SERIES
Utah State and New Mexico State will be meeting for the 63rd time this week with USU owning a 35-27 all-time advantage, which includes a 10-18 road record. Utah State swept the season series from NMSU last year as it won in Logan, 59-49, and in Las Cruces, 58-54. The last time NMSU won a game in the series was on March 13, 2010 in the championship game of the 2010 WAC Tournament, 69-63. Overall, Utah State has won six of the last eight games played in the series and the last time USU lost in Las Cruces was on Jan. 2, 2010 by a final score of 55-52.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE WAC
Utah State is 202-99 (.671) all-time against current members of the WAC and the Aggies have a winning record against every team in the league. In 2006, USU finished in a tie for second-place with an 11-5 league record and advanced to the conference's championship game. In 2007, USU finished in fourth-place with a 9-7 mark and advanced to the WAC Tournament championship game for the second straight year. In 2008, Utah State won a share of its first-ever WAC regular season championship as it went 12-4 during the year. In 2009, Utah State won its first-ever outright WAC regular season title with a 14-2 league record and its first-ever WAC Tournament championship. In 2010, Utah State won its third-straight regular season WAC title with a 14-2 record. And last year, Utah State won its fourth-straight regular season WAC championship with a 15-1 league record, to go along with its second WAC Tournament title in the last three years.
Stew Morrill VERSUS THE WAC
Stew Morrill is 137-79 (.634) all-time in WAC games, which includes a 76-22 (.776) record at Utah State and a 61-57 (.517) record at Colorado State. Morrill is 113-62 (.646) all-time against current members of the WAC, which includes a 90-30 (.750) record at USU.
UTAH STATE FROM THREE-POINT RANGE
Utah State has made at least one three-point basket in 178 straight games and the last time USU did not make a three-pointer in a game was on Dec. 16, 2006 in Provo as BYU defeated the Aggies, 75-62. USU entered that game having made at least one three-pointer in 127 games dating back to Dec. 14, 2002 when BYU held USU without a three-pointer in a 66-56 win in Provo.
LAST MEETING AT NEW MEXICO STATE
Junior guard Brockeith Pane scored 12 points, including two free throws with 14.4 seconds remaining to lift No. 21/25 Utah State to a hard-fought 58-54 win at New Mexico State on March 2, 2011. After leading by as many as nine points in the second-half, Utah State had to use an 18-6 run to turn a five-point deficit into a seven-point lead with just over two minutes remaining, and then needed Pane's two free tosses to seal the win. Senior forward Tai Wesley joined Pane in double-figures with 11 points, while fellow senior forward Nate Bendall had 10 points before fouling out late in the game. Senior guard Tyler Newbold also scored in double-figures as he finished with 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Troy Gillenwater had 17 points for New Mexico State to lead all scorers, while Tshilidzi Nephawe had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Hernst Larcoche also finished with 10 points for the home team. Utah State seemed to have the game in hand leading 33-24 early in the second-half and later at 36-29 with 11:40 to play before New Mexico State went on a 14-2 run over the next 3:57 to take its biggest lead of the game at 43-38 with 7:33 remaining. USU answered NMSU's run with an 18-6 spurt over the next 5:20 to go up 56-49 at the 2:13 mark following a three-pointer from Newbold. USU then missed the front-end of two one-and-ones and NMSU scored five straight points to get within two before Pane sealed the game with his late free throws. Utah State shot a blistering 61.9 percent in the second-half (13-21), but also had nine second-half turnovers. USU finished the game shooting 50.0 percent overall (25-50), was 3-of-11 (.273) from three-point range and 5-of-8 (.625) at the free throw line. New Mexico State shot 52.4 percent (11-21) in the second-half, including 3-of-8 (.375) from behind the arc and 8-of-12 (.667) at the free throw line, but committed seven second-half turnovers. NMSU finished the game shooting 44.4 percent (20-45), including 30.8 percent from three (4-13) and 52.6 percent at the line (10-19). NMSU also won the battle of the boards, 31-27. Utah State led for much of the first-half and held a pair of five point advantages at 14-9 with 8:29 to play following a layup from senior guard Pooh Williams and later at 25-20 with 2:33 left on a layup by Wesley. USU then ended the half on a jumper from the top of the key by Bendall to give the visitors a 27-21 lead at intermission. Wesley led Utah State with seven first-half points and Bendall had six. USU shot 41.4 percent (12-29) in the first 20 minutes and was 3-of-3 at the free throw line. USU was also 0-of-6 from three-point range. Gillenwater had nine points to led New Mexico State in the first 20 minutes as NMSU shot 37.5 percent overall (9-24), including 20.0 percent from three-point range (1-5) and 28.6 percent at the free throw line (2-7).
LAST MEETING AGAINST NEW MEXICO STATE AT HOME
A 17-0 first-half run propelled Utah State to a 59-49 win over New Mexico State in a battle of the Aggies on Jan. 22, 2011 in Logan. Senior forward Tai Wesley was the lone USU player in double-digits with 18 points. All nine USU players got in the scoring column, as senior guards Brian Green and Pooh Williams tallied nine and eight points, respectively. Senior forward Nate Bendall pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds while junior forward Brady Jardine snared 10, guiding the home Aggies to a 45-30 rebounding advantage, including 15 on the offensive glass which led to a 16-6 second-chance points edge. NMSU was led by Troy Gillenwater's game-best 20 points while Hernst Laroche added 11 points. Gillenwater and Tshilidzi Nephawe pulled down six rebounds each. The visitors hit three of their first five three-pointers to open a 15-9 lead before the home Aggies rallied to take an 18-17 lead on an up-and-under by Wesley with 8:41 on the first half clock. After Gillenwater hit a jumper for a 19-18 NMSU lead at the 7:14 mark, sophomore guard E.J. Farris hit a layup to spark a 17-0 USU run that included back-to-back long jumpers by Green from just inside the three-point line at the top of the arc, the first in the waning seconds of the shot clock. Williams hit consecutive treys from the left corner before Farris accounted for the next five points, feeding junior forward Morgan Grim for a dunk and then hitting a three-pointer of his own from the left corner to cap the 17-0 spurt for a 35-19 Utah State lead. NMSU closed to 35-23 at the half, and cut the gap to nine points at 36-27 at the 16:17 mark of the second half on a Gillenwater baseline jumper, but Jardine thwarted the threat with a jumper and the visitors never got within single digits again. The home Aggie advantage swelled to 48-29 on a Green three-pointer with 11:00 on the second stanza clock and USU coasted to the victory. After shooting 56.0 percent (14-of-25) from the field in the first half, Utah State ended the night at 41.5 percent (22-of-53), while hitting 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) of its three-pointers. The navy Aggies were also 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) at the free throw line. New Mexico State made 20-of-53 (37.7 percent) of its field goals, making 4-of-16 (25.0 percent) behind the arc. The maroon Aggies were 5-of-13 (38.5 percent) at the charity stripe.
UTAH STATE'S PROBABLE STARTERS
F #21 Morgan Grim (6-7, 230, Sr., Riverton, Utah) - Recorded his third career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 14 rebounds against Kent State... Has scored in double-figures nine times this season, including in each of his last five games, after his 16 point outing against Nevada in his last game... Had a career-high three assists at Mississippi State and a career-high three blocks against Fresno State... Scored a career-high 20 points and played a career-high 42 minutes at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi... Has recorded at least six rebounds in each of his last nine games... Overall, he has played in 48 games at Utah State with 16 starts and in 89 games during his collegiate career.
F #34 Kyisean Reed (6-6, 215, Jr., Palmdale, Calif.) - Recorded his first career double-double with 16 points and a career-high tying 10 rebounds against Fresno State to go along with a career-high three blocks... Scored a career-high 27 points against Kent State... Has scored in double-figures eight times this year with one 20-point game... Made his first career start at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi and recorded a career-best 10 rebounds... Is 23-for-30 (.767) from the free throw line in his last seven games.
G #0 Brockeith Pane (6-1, 195, Sr., Dallas, Texas) - Tied his season-high with 21 points against Nevada... Also tied his season-high with five rebounds against the Wolf Pack... Has started 48 games for Utah State during his career and has played in 50... Has scored in double-figures in 10 games this year and in 32 games in his career... Also has two 20-point games this season and five in his career... Scored a season-high 21 points against BYU... Tied his career-high with nine assists at Idaho State... Has 24 assists and nine turnovers in his last four games.
G/F #12 Danny Berger (6-6, 205, So., Medford, Ore.) - Has scored just 17 points in his last five games after scoring in double-figures in his previous four games... Tied his career-high with 12 points against UT Arlington in a career-high 33 minutes... Had career-highs with seven rebounds and two steals against Seattle, to go along with a career-high six assists against Kent State... Scored a season-high 12 points at Wichita State... Sat out during the first six games of the season as a potential redshirt.
G #13 Preston Medlin (6-4, 175, R-So., Carrollton, Texas) - Scored a career-high 27 points and had a career-high eight assists against UT Arlington... Had a career-high eight rebounds at Pacific... Has scored in double-figures 12 times this year and 13 times in his career... Has five career 20-point games... Has scored in double-figures in 11 of his last 12 games and has scored 20 points four times in his last seven games... Has played in 38 games at Utah State with 16 starts.
OFF THE BENCH
F #1 Ben Clifford (6-7, 225, R-Fr., South Jordan, Utah) - Tied his career-high with seven rebounds at Mississippi State to go along with seven points... Has recorded at least three rebounds in six of his last seven games... Has made three of his last four three-point attempts... Made his first career start at Idaho State and had career-highs with 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots in a career-best 37 minutes... Has started two games this year and played in 15.
G #11 Adam Thoseby (6-4, 185, Fr., Henley-on-Thames, England) - Made his first career start at Idaho State and scored a career-high 16 points to go along with a career-high three assists, while playing a career-best 24 minutes... Had a season-best three rebounds at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi... Has started two games this year and played in 15.
G #14 E.J. Farris (6-2, 185, Jr., Newark, Calif.) - Scored a career-high nine points against Fresno State and Seattle...Recorded a career-high five assists against Saint Peter's and played a season-best 18 minutes against the Peacocks... Has scored at least four points in each of his last seven games... Has played in 33 games during his Aggie career.
F #15 Mitch Bruneel (6-5, 205, So., Boise, Idaho) - Scored in double-figures for the first time in his career with 10 points at Wichita State... Made his first career start at Weber State and had eight points... Had a career-high five rebounds at Pacific... Played a season-high 23 minutes at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi...Has started seven games during the season and played in all 16.
C #25 Jordan Stone (6-10, 270, Fr., Smithfield, Utah) - Made his first career start against Utah Valley and recorded a career-high eight rebounds... Had his best game as an Aggie at Pacific as he had a season-high seven points to go along with seven rebounds, while playing a season-best 23 minutes... Has started two games this year and played in 14.
F #40 Igor Premasunac (6-8, 245, Jr., Zagreb, Croatia) - Saw his first action as an Aggie against Idaho State, playing 10 minutes... Had one rebound and one assist in the game... Has played in five games overall this year.
F #22 Brady Jardine (6-7, 220, Sr., Twin Falls, Idaho) - Recorded a career-high 14 rebounds at Weber State for his eighth-career double-figure rebound game... Has started 10 games and played in 94 during his Utah State career... Scored in double-figures for the 18th time in his career with 12 points against BYU... Also had eight rebounds against the Cougars in a career-high 35 minutes... Has not played since injuring his foot against Southern Utah.
USU HAS 12TH-LONGEST ACTIVE POSTSEASON STREAK
Utah State has advanced to postseason play in each of the last 12 seasons as it has played in eight NCAA Tournaments and four NIT's. That streak of 12 straight postseasons is tied with Notre Dame for the 13th-longest active streak in the nation. Michigan State owns the longest active postseason streak in the nation at 23 with 19 NCAA and four NIT appearances. Kansas is second with 22 straight NCAA trips, while Kentucky is third at 20 with 19 NCAA bids and one NIT appearance. Syracuse (14-NCAA, 4-NIT) is fourth with 18 straight postseason appearances. Duke ranks fifth with 16 straight NCAA trips, while Oklahoma State is sixth with 15 straight (10-NCAA, 5-NIT), and Creighton (7-NCAA, 5-NIT, 1-CIT, 1-CBI) and Gonzaga (13-NCAA, 1-NIT) are tied for seventh with 14 straight postseason trips. Florida (11-NCAA, 2-NIT), Texas (13 NCAA) and Wisconsin (13-NCAA) are all tied for ninth with 13 straight postseason bids, followed by USU and Notre Dame (7-NCAA, 5-NIT).
USU AMONG THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY
Over the last 13 years, Utah State has been one of the best basketball programs in the country, recording a 318-97 (.766) record. Those 318 wins are the sixth-most in the country, while the 76.6 percent winning percentage is fourth-best behind Duke (.836), Kansas (.822) and Gonzaga (.794). USU has also been among the top teams in the country in field goal and free throw shooting as it led the nation in both categories during the 2008 season, and led the nation in field goal shooting in 2009 at 49.6 percent.
UTAH STATE IN THE WAC
Since joining the Western Athletic Conference prior to the 2005-06 season, Utah State has been one of the most consistent programs in the league and has the best record in WAC games during the last seven years with a 76-21 (.784) mark. During its first six years in the league, Utah State has won four regular season championships (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), two tournament championships (2009, 2011), and has played in the tournament championship game five times (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011).
THE MORRILL COACHING TREE
Utah State head coach Stew Morrill currently has five former assistants who are head coaches at the Division I level in Jeff Jackson (Furman), Randy Rahe (Weber State), Dave Rice (UNLV), Blaine Taylor (Old Dominion) and Don Verlin (Idaho), which is tied for the fourth-most in the nation among active coaches. Arizona State's Herb Sendek has nine assistants who are current head coaches, followed by Rick Pitino (Louisiville) with seven, Mike Montogmery (California) with six, and Stew Morrill (Utah State), Jim Calhoun (Conneticut), Billy Donovan (Florida), Tom Izzo (Michigan State) and John Calipari (Kentucky) all with five.
UTAH STATE NATIONALLY RANKED THREE TIMES IN LAST EIGHT YEARS
Utah State ended the 2010-11 season ranked No. 25 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll and ended the season nationally ranked for nine straight weeks, which is its longest streak since being ranked for 11 straight weeks during the 1970-71 season. That No. 25 national ranking for Utah State marks the first time it has been ranked at the end of a season since the 1977-78 USU team finished the year ranked No. 17 in the final United Press Coaches' Poll. Overall, it is just the eighth time in school history that an Aggie team has been nationally ranked at the end of the year joining the 1960 (7th), 1962 (19th), 1964 (15th), 1967 (14th), 1970 (17th), 1975 (13th) and 1978 teams (17th). Utah State entered the 2011 NCAA Tournament ranked No. 17 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll and No. 19 in the Associated Press Poll. The Associated Press does not produce an end-of-season poll. Utah State's No. 17 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll is the highest-ever ranking for Utah State in that poll which expanded from 20 to 25 teams prior to the 1990-91 season. USU was also ranked 17th in coaches' poll earlier in the year and during the 2008-09 season. USU's No. 19 ranking in the AP poll is the highest since the 2003-04 season was also ranked No. 19. Overall, it is the second time in the last three years and the third time in the past eight seasons that Utah State has been ranked in both polls. The last time a Utah State team was ranked higher than 17th in any poll was at the end of the 1974-75 season when it was ranked 13th in the final United Press International Coaches' poll.
UTAH STATE HAS WON FOUR STRAIGHT WAC CHAMPIONSHIPS
Utah State's current run of winning four-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season championships is the longest in school history and the best by a WAC team since Nevada won five straight league titles from 2004-08. The previous school record for consecutive conference titles was two during the 1935-36 seasons in the Rocky Mountain Athletics Conference and the 1997-98 seasons in the Big West Conference.
UTAH STATE ONE OF FIVE TEAMS TO WIN FOUR-STRAIGHT LEAGUE TITLES
Utah State is one of five teams in the nation to win at least four-straight regular season conference championships. Gonzaga has the longest active streak as it has won 11 straight West Coast Conference titles, while Kansas is second with seven straight Big 12 titles. Butler (Horizon) and Xavier (Atlantic 10) are tied for third as each school has won five-straight league championships, while Utah State (WAC) has won four-straight league titles.
UTAH STATE PICKED FIRST BY MEDIA, THIRD BY COACHES IN PRESEASON POLLS
After winning four-straight regular season Western Athletic Conference Championships and two WAC Tournament titles in the past three years, Utah State's men's basketball team is picked to finish first in the conference once again during the 2011-12 season according to league's media, while the coaches have tabbed the Aggies third in the WAC's preseason polls. Nevada is the coaches pick to win the WAC this year after receiving five first-place votes and 46 points, while New Mexico State is slated to finish second after garnering 41 points, but no first-place votes. Utah State received three first-place votes and 38 points and was picked to finish third, followed by Hawai'i (32), Idaho (24), Fresno State (18), San Jose State (14) and Louisiana Tech (11). In the media poll, Utah State garnered 13 first-place votes and 174 points, while Nevada was second with 162 points and five first-place votes. New Mexico State, who received 150 points and three first-place votes was picked third, while Hawai'i received 126 points and three first-place votes and was picked to finish fourth. Idaho was picked fifth (89), followed by San Jose State (66), Fresno State (59) and Louisiana Tech (38).
PANE NAMED WAC PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR BY MEDIA
Senior guard Brockeith Pane was named the WAC's Preseason Player of the Year by the media and a first-team all-league selection by both the media and coaches heading into the 2011-12 season. Overall, Utah State has had the WAC's Player of the Year three times in the last four years in Jaycee Carroll (2008), Gary Wilkinson (2009) and Tai Wesley (2011). Pane earned first-team all-WAC honors and was named to the league's all-newcomer team as a junior, along with being voted the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 WAC Tournament. Pane is also the only returning first-team all-league player in the WAC from last season.
JARDINE NAMED PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-WAC BY THE COACHES
Senior forward Brady Jardine was named to the WAC's preseason second-team by the coaches heading into the 2011-12 season.
Utah State placed four players (Matt Formisano, Brady Jardine, Tyler Newbold, Tai Wesley) on the academic all-WAC team in 2011. The other eight teams in the league combined for 10 academic all-WAC selections. Under Morrill, USU has had 17 players earn academic all-conference honors a total of 30 times.
HEAD COACH Stew Morrill
In his 26th season as a collegiate head coach and 14th year at Utah State, Stew Morrill has taken the Aggie Basketball program to unprecedented heights leading it to an incredible 333-110 (.752) record, including a 168-50 (.771) conference mark in the Big West and WAC. Morrill became the winningest coach in school history on Jan. 17, 2008 in the Aggies' 82-78 win against Boise State, passing E. Lowell Romney (1920-41) who won 225 games in 22 seasons. In his first 13 years at USU, Morrill has guided the Aggies to 12 straight 23-win seasons and 12 straight postseason appearances (NCAA-8, NIT-4), both of which are school records. Morrill has also led Utah State to the fourth-best winning percentage in the nation during the last 13 years at 76.6 percent with an overall record of 318-97. Against conference opponents, Utah State has a 193-57 (.772) record with seven regular season league championships and six tournament titles during that time, including appearances in its league's tournament championship game 10 times in the last 12 years. Under Morrill, Utah State has notched 12 of the top 13 seasons in school history during the last 12 years as the Aggies set a school record with 28 wins during the 2000 season, tied that record with 28 wins during the 2001 season, set a new school record with 30 wins in 2009 and tied that record with 30 wins in 2011. During the 2010-11 season, Morrill guided Utah State to its fourth-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season championship and its second WAC Tournament title. Morrill was named the WAC Coach of the Year in 2011, along with being named the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com. For the 12th straight year, USU had at least one player earn first-team all-league accolades as Brockeith Pane and Tai Wesley were both named first-team all-WAC in 2011, while Wesley was named the Player of the Year marking its third player of the year in the WAC in the last four seasons. Overall, Morrill has coached 14 first-team all-league players at Utah State who have won the award a total of 20 times. Morrill has also taken full advantage of the home court at USU, the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. In Morrill's first 14 years, USU is an amazing 201-15 (.931) at home, which includes a 101-9 (.918) record in league play. As for Morrill, he has won 20 or more games on 16 different occasions during his career, and he has won at least 17 games 21 times. Overall, Morrill ranks 16th in the nation among active coaches and 57th all-time with his 551 career wins, while his career winning percentage of 69.0 percent ranks 23rd among active coaches and 80th all-time. He is also one of just 11 active coaches to notch at least 16 20-win seasons. His current streak of 12 straight 20-win seasons ranks tied for fifth among active coaches and is tied for the ninth-longest streak ever at the Division I level. Morrill has also been named Coach of the Year (2000 BWC, 2002 BWC, 2009 WAC, 2010 WAC, 2011 WAC) five times in his first 13 years at USU, along with winning the Big Sky award while the head coach at Montana in 1991. His overall coaching record is 551-248 (.690).
Head coach Stew Morrill (333-110) is the winningest coach in school history and is first all-time in games coached (443). Morrill is also the second-longest tenured coach at Utah State (14 seasons) behind E. Lowell Romney (1920-41).
In his 14th season with the Aggies, Morrill has a 333-110 (.752) overall record, a 168-50 (.771) conference record and a 25-7 (.781) record in conference postseason play. Overall, Morrill owns a 551-248 (.690) record in this his 26th year as a collegiate head coach.
Among active coaches at the Division I level, Morrill ranks 16th in the nation with his 551 career wins and 23rd in winning percentage at 69.0 percent.
Morrill is one of just 18 active coaches with 500 career wins at the Division I level and one of just 73 coaches to ever win 500 games at the DI level.
Morrill is one of just 11 active coaches to notch 16 20-win seasons, while his current streak of 12 straight 20-win seasons is tied for the fifth-longest in the nation.
Morrill was named the 2009, 2010 and 2011 WAC Coach of the Year, along with earning Coach of the Year honors from the United States Basketball Writers Association in 2009 and Coach of the Year honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 2010 and 2011.
Morrill is the dean of WAC coaches, having spent seven years in the league while at Colorado State and six at Utah State, and has an overall WAC record of 137-79 (.634).
Morrill has been named conference coach of the year six times during his career, winning the award in 1991 while at Montana, and in 2000, 2002, 2009, 2010 and 2011 while at Utah State.
Morrill was named the 2011 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.
Morrill has coached 14 first-team all-league players who have won the award a total of 20 times. Those players are Shawn Daniels (twice), Troy Rolle, Bernard Rock, Tony Brown, Desmond Penigar (twice), Mark Brown, Cardell Butler, Nate Harris (three times), Spencer Nelson, Jaycee Carroll (twice),Gary Wilkinson, Jared Quayle, Tai Wesley (twice) and Brockeith Pane.
Under Morrill, Utah State has had 17 players earn academic all-conference honors a total of 30 times.
Utah State is 201-15 (.931) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under Morrill.
Morrill has led Utah State to 12 straight 23-win seasons and 12 straight postseason appearances, both of which are school records.
Morrill led Utah State to its first NCAA Tournament win in 31 years when USU defeated fifth-seeded Ohio State 77-68 in overtime during the 2001 NCAA Tournament.
Morrill has been involved in postseason action 15 times in his career, including the NCAA Tournament at Utah State in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and the National Invitation Tournament in 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008.
Morrill has won 20 or more games on 16 different occasions during his career, and he has won at least 17 games 21 times.