Jan. 13, 2009
LOGAN, Utah -
GAME 17 Utah State (15-1, 3-0) vs. Fresno State (7-9, 0-2) Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009 7:00 p.m. (MT) Logan, Utah Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) Aggie Radio Network ESPN Full Court
GAME DAY HEADLINES
Utah State is in its 104th season of basketball this year and has an overall record of 1,385-990 (.583). USU hasn't had a losing season since the 1992-93 campaign, a span of 15 years, when that team finished with a 10-17 record.
Utah State received 11 top 25 votes in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and is now ranked tied for 32nd in the country with Tennessee.
Utah State's 15-1 start to the 2008-09 season is the second-best in school history, trailing the 2003-04 team that began the year with a 20-1 record.
Utah State has won 10 straight games overall, which is a season-high, and the fifth-longest active winning streak in the nation. Clemson has the nation's longest winning streak at 16 games, followed by Pittsburgh (15), Wake Forest (14), Saint Mary's (12), and Utah State (10).
Utah State's 10-game winning streak is its longest since the 2007-08 team also won 10 straight. It is also tied for the third-longest winning streak under head coach Stew Morrill behind the 1999-2000 team that won 19 straight, the 2003-04 team that won 17 straight, and the 2007-08 team that won 10 straight. Overall, it is tied for the ninth-longest winning streak in USU history.
Utah State is 151-12 (.926) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under Coach Morrill, which includes a 77-8 (.906) record against conference opponents and a 22-3 (.880) record against WAC teams. Overall, USU is 445-105 (.809) in 39 years in the building.
Utah State has won 26 straight games inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, which is the fourth-longest active home winning streak in the country. Notre Dame has the longest active home winning streak in the nation at 45 games, followed by Kansas (33), Michigan State (27) and Utah State (26).
Utah State has won seven straight WAC games dating back to the 2007-08 season and nine straight WAC games at home. Utah State is 127-44 (.743) in conference play under Coach Morrill, which includes a 35-16 (.686) WAC record. The last WAC team to beat Utah State at home was Fresno State, 71-66, on Mar. 3, 2007
As of January 12, Utah State ranks first in the nation in field goal shooting at 52.0 percent, and is fifth in the nation in both winning percentage (.938) and rebound margin (+9.6). Individually, senior forward Gary Wilkinson ranks eighth nationally in field goal shooting at 64.8 percent.
Utah State (15-1, 3-0) will continue Western Athletic Conference play this week as it hosts Fresno State (7-9, 0-2) on Thursday, Jan. 15 and Boise State (12-3, 3-0) on Saturday, Jan. 17. Both games will begin at 7 p.m. in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The game against the Bulldogs will be available on ESPN Full Court, while the game against the Broncos will be broadcast live on KJZZ-TV and ESPN360.com.
UTAH STATE'S RIVALRY WITH FRESNO STATE IS THE 16TH OLDEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State and Fresno State will be playing for the 43rd time in series history this week, and the rivalry is the 16th-oldest in USU history. The first game played in the series was during the 1963-64 season with the Aggies posting a 102-71 home win.
ON THE AIR
Utah State basketball games are broadcast on KVNU (610 AM) and KLZX (95.9 FM) in Logan, Utah, KFAN (1320 AM) or ESPN Radio (1230 AM) in Salt Lake City and KLZX (105.3 FM) in Montpelier, Idaho, as well as on the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com. Al Lewis serves as the play-by-play announcer while Rod Tueller serves as the analyst during home games.
ON THE INTERNET
All of Utah State's home games are available for fans to listen and watch live via the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com. Aggie fans will also be able to follow Utah State home games through its web site via GameTracker, a program that documents each play and updates statistics. Fans can also listen to every road game live via USU's web site.
LOOKING AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 15-1 on the season and 3-0 in the Western Athletic Conference after recording a 77-67 road win at New Mexico State Saturday night. USU is led by senior forward Gary Wilkinson who is averaging 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, and is shooting 64.8 percent from the field and 82.0 percent from the free throw line, while sophomore forward Tai Wesley is averaging 12.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, and shooting 67.3 percent from the field and 73.2 percent from the free throw line. Junior guard Jared Quayle is also scoring in double-figures for USU as he is averaging 11.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists, and shooting 47.4 percent from the field, 36.2 percent from three-point range, and 77.1 percent from the free throw line, and sophomore guard Tyler Newbold is averaging 9.9 points and 4.2 rebounds, while shooting 43.0 percent from the field, 37.3 percent from three-point range, and 76.9 percent from the free throw line. As a team, Utah State is scoring 73.8 points per game and shooting 52.0 percent from the field, 36.6 percent from three-point range, and 73.0 percent from the free throw line. Defensively, USU is allowing 59.6 points and its opponents are shooting 41.1 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from three-point range, and 73.7 percent from the free throw line.
RANKING UTAH STATE IN THE WAC
As of Jan. 13, Utah State ranks first in the WAC in scoring margin (+14.2), field goal shooting (.520), free throw shooting (.730), scoring defense (59.6), assists (16.63), and rebound margin (+9.6). USU also ranks second in scoring offense (73.8) and field goal shooting defense (.411), and third in three-point field goal shooting (.366). Individually, senior forward Gary Wilkinson ranks second in the WAC in scoring (17.5) and rebounding (8.5), and third in field goal shooting (.648) and free throw shooting (.820), while sophomore forward Tai Wesley ranks second in the WAC in field goal shooting (.673), eighth in steals (1.25), and 10th in free throw shooting (.732). Junior guard Jared Quayle ranks third in the WAC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.92), seventh in free throw shooting (.771), eighth in assists (3.13), and 13th in rebounding (6.1).
UTAH STATE DURING ITS 10-GAME WINNING STREAK
During its current 10-game winning streak, Utah State is averaging 74.0 points and shooting 51.0 percent from the field, 34.3 percent from three-point range, and 72.9 percent from the free throw line, and out-rebounding its opponents by 8.1 boards. Defensively, USU is allowing 60.8 points, while its opponents are shooting 41.2 percent from the field, 35.3 percent from three-point range, and 74.8 percent from the free throw line.
UTAH STATE HAS THIRD-LONGEST HOME WINING STREAK IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State has won 26-straight home games which is the fourth-longest active winning streak in the nation and the third-longest home winning streak in school history. The longest home winning streak in school history is 31 games from the 2000 to 2002 seasons, and the second-longest is 29 games from the 1997 to 1999 seasons. Ironically, Coach Morrill has been a part of the three-longest home winning streaks in school history.
As of January 13, Utah State has an RPI of 53 and a strength of schedule of 265, while the WAC is currently ranked 13th out of 32 conferences. USU also has a sagarin rating of 32.
Following games against Fresno State and Boise State this week, Utah State will play a pair of road games at San Jose State (7-8, 1-3) on Thursday, Jan. 22 at 8 p.m. (MT) and at Hawai'i (9-7, 1-3) on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 10 p.m. (MT).
RECAPPING THE NEW MEXICO STATE GAME
Senior forward Gary Wilkinson recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 24 points and a career-high 14 rebounds to lead Utah State to a convincing 77-67 road win at New Mexico State Saturday night at the Pan American Center, as USU held the WAC's top offense 10 points below its scoring average. Utah State, who has now won 10 straight games, improves to 15-1 on the season and 3-0 in the Western Athletic Conference with the win. New Mexico State lost for the second straight game at home and falls to 8-9 overall and 2-2 in league play. Sophomore forward Tai Wesley added 15 points and five rebounds for Utah State, while junior guard Jared Quayle had 11 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Tyler Newbold added a career-high eight assists. Jahmar Young led New Mexico State with 18 points, while Wendell McKines and Troy Gillenwater each had 11 points. Utah State broke open a close game midway through the second-half with an 8-0 run that began with a three-point play from Wilkinson and ended with a three-pointer from junior guard Stavon Williams to give the visitors a 54-45 lead with 11:37 to play. NMSU fought back to within 54-51 on a three-pointer from Young, but USU answered with a 7-2 run to extend the margin back to eight. The Southern Aggies got within five points twice but could get no closer as Utah State held a double-digit lead for the final four minutes of the game. Utah State finished the game by shooting 53.8 percent from the field (28-52) and 75.0 percent from the free throw line (15-20). New Mexico State shot 43.1 percent overall (22-51) and 43.8 percent from behind the arc (7-16), including 16-of-21 (.762) from the charity stripe. USU was 6-of-16 (.375) from three-point range. Utah State continued to control the glass as it out-rebounded New Mexico State, 34-26. USU did finish with 21 turnovers, but forced NMSU into 18 turnovers. Wilkinson scored the first eight points of the game for Utah State and USU quickly built a 13-4 lead before New Mexico State slowly chipped away at the deficit and took its first lead of the game at 25-24 with a pair of free throws from McKines. USU, however, finished the half on a 12-7 run to go into the locker room with a 38-34 advantage. Wilkinson led Utah State with 14 first-half points as USU shot 57.1 percent from the field (12-21) and was 11-of-13 (.846) from the free throw line. New Mexico State shot 48.0 percent in the first-half (12-25) and was 8-of-10 (.800) from the charity stripe. Both teams also committed 13 first-half turnovers.
NOTE-ABLES FROM THE NEW MEXICO STATE GAME
Utah State improved to 11-0 on the year and 193-21 over the last 10 seasons when leading at the half... USU's 21 turnovers are the second-most this year... USU's 19 assists are its most in its last five games... The 18 turnovers by New Mexico State is a season-high for a USU opponent... Jared Quayle scored in double-figures for the ninth time this year... Tai Wesely scored in double-figures for the 13th time this year and 31st time in his career... Gary Wilkinson recorded his fourth double-double of the season and 11th of his career... It is also the 14th time this year and 42nd time in his career he has scored in double-figures... It was also his sixth 20-point game of the season and 10th of his career.
UTAH STATE MAKING MORE FREE THROWS THAN ITS OPPONENTS HAVE ATTEMPTED
Through 16 games this year, Utah State continues to make more free throws (232) than its opponents have even attempted (224). Overall, USU is shooting 73.0 percent from the free throw line (232-318) and its opponents are shooting 73.7 percent (165-224). In fact, only four teams have attempted and made more free throws than USU in a game this year.
UTAH STATE CONTINUES TO OUT-REBOUND ITS OPPONENT
Utah State continues to dominate the boards as it has out-rebounded 14 of its 16 opponents this year and has a rebound margin of +9.6, which ranks first in the WAC and fifth in the nation. The only teams USU did not out-rebound was Utah and Wyoming, who both had a slight, 36-35, advantage on the boards.
UTAH STATE SHOOTING VERY WELL DURING ITS LAST SIX GAMES
During its last six games, Utah State is shooting a robust 52.8 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from three-point range, while averaging 77.7 points. In its last six games, USU has shot over 50 percent from the field five times and has shot over 50 percent in 11 games this year.
UTAH STATE NEARLY UNBEATABLE WHEN ALLOWING FEWER THAN 60 POINTS
Utah State is 8-0 this year when holding its opponents under 60 points and has won 53 straight games when allowing less than 60 points. On the season, Utah State's opponents are averaging 59.6 points per game which ranks 24th in the nation.
UTAH STATE WINNING THE CLOSE GAMES
Utah State is 9-2 in its last 11 games decided by two or fewer points, including four straight wins in games decided by a single point.
DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know that Utah State has had a player record a double-double in five of its last six games as senior forward Gary Wilkinson had double-doubles against Houston Baptist, Idaho and New Mexico State, while junior guard Jared Quayle had double-doubles against Howard and Wyoming.
SCOUTING FRESNO STATE
Fresno State is 7-9 on the season and 0-2 in the Western Athletic Conference following a 71-68 overtime loss at home to San Jose State in its last game Saturday night. The Bulldogs, who are 2-2 on the road this year, are led by freshman guard Paul George who is averaging 15.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. FSU has two other players who score in double-figures as senior guard Dwight O'Neil is averaging 13.3 points and 5.2 rebounds, while junior forward Sylvester Seay is averaging 12.9 points and 4.9 rebounds. As a team, Fresno State is scoring 69.2 points per game and shooting 45.5 percent from the field, 34.2 percent from three-point range, and 68.4 percent from the free throw line. Defensively, the Bulldogs are allowing 69.9 points and its opponents are shooting 42.3 percent from the field, 32.8 percent from three-point range, and 70.9 percent from the free throw line. Fresno State returns one starter and three letterwinners from last year's team that went 13-19 overall and finished in a tie for sixth-place in the WAC with a 5-11 league record. Steve Cleveland is 57-51 in four years as the Bulldogs head coach and 195-159 in 12 years as a collegiate head coach.
UTAH STATE-FRESNO STATE SERIES
Utah State and Fresno State will meet for the 43rd time on Thursday with the Aggies owning a 23-19 all-time advantage, which includes a 17-5 record at home. Utah State swept the season series with the Bulldogs last year with a 77-72 win in Fresno and a 79-66 win in Logan. The last time FSU won a game in the series was on Mar. 3, 2007 in Logan, 71-66, as the Bulldogs are the last WAC team to win in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
VERSUS THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Utah State is 97-24 (.802) against teams from the state of California during the last 10 years, which includes a 56-5 (.918) record at home.
LAST MEETING AGAINST THE BULLDOGS
On Senior Night, Utah State's three seniors had memorable performances, led by All-American guard Jaycee Carroll's season-high tying 33 points in leading the Aggies to a 79-66 win against Fresno State on Mar. 3, 2008. Carroll, an Evanston, Wyo., native, posted his second-straight 30-point game and third in last four outings. His 33 points matches his total against Northern Arizona on Dec. 21 as he now has six 30-point games this season and 10 for his career. The victory was the Aggies' 14th Senior Night triumph in the last 15 years, avenging last season's loss to Fresno State in the home finale. Andover, Kan., native DuCharme tallied 13 points, his first double-digit outing since Jan. 24, while junior forward Gary Wilkinson logged his third-straight and team-leading sixth double-double of the year with 17 points and 10 rebounds, tallying 15 points in the second half. Carroll hit his first four three-pointers, including three of USU's first four baskets of the night, and finished 6-of-11 behind the three-point arc and was 10-of-18 from the field in addition to 7-of-7 at the free throw line. The Aggies shot 53.6 percent (15-of-28) in the first half, opening a lead of as much as 19 at 29-10 at the 8:47 mark after a layup from freshman forward Tai Wesley as the Provo, Utah native finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. USU ended the night hitting 27-of-55 (49.1 percent) from the floor, including 31.6 percent (6-of-19) from behind the arc with Carroll making all six for the Aggies. Fresno State, which was led by Kevin Bell's 31 points, was 26-of-58 (44.8 percent) field goal shooting and hit 33.3 percent (8-of-24) from three-point range. For the third game in a row, the Aggies made more free throws than their opponent attempted, making 19-of-22 (86.4 percent) compared to 6-of-11 (54.5 percent) for the Bulldogs. USU also out-rebounded Fresno State, 36-27, including 10 offensive boards which led to a 20-6 second-chance points advantage. A Wesley old-fashioned three-point play with five seconds left sent USU into halftime with a 40-30 lead but Fresno State closed the gap to 41-36 less than two minutes into the second stanza. The Aggies regained control with a 10-0 run capped by a three-pointer from Carroll and the Bulldogs didn't cut the gap to single-digits until 4:53 left on a Bell trey pulled them within, 66-59. A pair of Carroll free throws and a three-pointer sandwiched around a free throw by Wilkinson secured the win for Utah State.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State Director of Athletics Scott Barnes played basketball at Fresno State from 1984-85, and averaged 7.4 rebounds during his senior year to lead the team. He also earned second-team all-Pacific Coast Athletic Association honors as a senior.
UTAH STATE IN JANUARY
Utah State is 65-20 (.765) in games played in January under Coach Morrill, which includes a 40-3 (.930) record at home. In fact, USU has won 29 straight home games during the month of January. USU is also 8-6 (.571) all-time in known games played on Jan. 15, and 67-15 (.817) in games played on Thursday under Morrill.
UTAH STATE'S POST PLAYERS SHOOTING LIGHTS OUT THUS FAR
Utah State's post players are shooting a combined 64.6 percent from the field (212-328) this year. Individually, sophomore forward Tai Wesley is shooting 67.3 percent (70-104) and ranks second in the Western Athletic Conference, while senior forward Gary Wilkinson is shooting 64.8 percent (103-159) and ranks third in the WAC. Sophomore forward Matt Formisano is shooting 58.5 percent (31-53), and sophomore center Modou Niang is shooting 66.7 percent (8-12).
WILKINSON RANKS AMONG TOP 10 ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN FG AND FT SHOOTING
Senior forward Gary Wilkinson is shooting 60.6 percent from the field (277-457) during his USU career, which ranks fifth all-time in school history. He is also shooting 81.7 percent from the free throw line (183-224), which ranks eighth all-time in school history.
WESLEY TOP FIELD GOAL SHOOTER IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Sophomore forward Tai Wesley is shooting 64.7 percent from the field (202-312) during his Utah State career, which ranks first all-time in school history.
WESLEY APPROACHING CAREER TOP 10 IN BLOCKED SHOTS
In just 52 career games, sophomore forward Tai Wesley is already approaching Utah State's career top 10 charts for blocked shots as he currently has 48 career blocks and is just five blocks shy of tying Donnie Johnson (1998-99) for 10th-place all-time with 53 blocks.
NEWBOLD RANKS FOURTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN THREE-POINT SHOOTING
Sophomore guard Tyler Newbold is shooting 43.9 percent (62-141) from three-point range during his career, which ranks fourth all-time at Utah State behind Jaycee Carroll (2005-08) who shot 46.5 percent, Justin Jones (1996-98) who shot 44.9 percent, and Kendall Youngblood (1989-92) who shot 44.8 percent from three-point range.
QUAYLE SCORES IN DOUBLE-FIGURES IN EIGHTH OF HIS LAST NINE GAMES
Junior guard Jared Quayle has scored in double-figures in eight of his last nine games after beginning the season by scoring in double-figures just once in his first seven games. In his last nine games, Quayle is averaging 15.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists, while shooting 51.6 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from three-point range, and 75.0 percent from the free throw line. During his first seven games of the season, Quayle averaged 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds, and shot 38.1 percent from the field.
WILKINSON RECORDS FOURTH DOUBLE-DOUBLE OF THE SEASON
Senior forward Gary Wilkinson recorded his fourth double-double of the season and 11th of his career at New Mexico State as he had 24 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.
WILKINSON SCORES 20 POINTS FOR 10TH TIME IN HIS CAREER
Senior forward Gary Wilkinson scored 24 points against New Mexico State, marking the sixth time this year and 10th time in his career he has scored 20 points. It was also the 14th double-figure scoring game of the season for Wilkinson and 42nd of his career. Overall, USU is now 8-2 when Wilkinson scores at least 20 points in a game.
WILKINSON CONTINUES TO REBOUND AT A HIGH RATE
Senior forward Gary Wilkinson continues to be one of the best rebounders in the Western Athletic Conference as he currently ranks second in the league with 8.5 boards per game. During his last six games, Wilkinson is averaging 9.7 boards.
WILKINSON RANKS 17TH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN REBOUNDS PER GAME
During his two seasons at Utah State, senior forward Gary Wilkinson has averaged 7.49 rebounds per game, which is tied with Brian Jackson (1978-81) for 17th-place all-time in school history. Wilkinson averaged 7.0 rebounds per game during his junior season and is currently averaging 8.5 boards per contest as a senior
Pooh Williams CONTINUES TO IMPROVE
Sophomore guard Pooh Williams continues to improve in his second season at Utah State as he is averaging 8.6 points and 2.6 rebounds during his last five games, while shooting 58.1 percent from the field. During his first 11 games of the year, he averaged 3.4 points and 1.6 rebounds, while shooting 35.0 percent from the field.
UTAH STATE PLAYER NOTES
#4 Clint Lee - Has played in six games this year... Had two rebounds, one point and one assist against Cal Poly.
#5 Pooh Williams - Scored a career-high 13 points against Houston Baptist... Had career-highs with six assists and four rebounds against Utah... Averaging 5.0 points and 1.9 rebounds, while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 57.7 percent from the free throw line... Played a career-high 37 minutes against Wyoming... Averaging 8.6 points and 2.6 rebounds during his last five games.
#12 Deremy Geiger - Scored a season-high 14 points against UC Irvine and added a season-high three rebounds... Tied his season-high with four assists against Howard... Averaging 2.7 and is shooting 48.1 percent from the field... Averaging 2.8 points during his last four games.
#14 Stavon Williams - Tied his season-high with 15 points at Southern Utah... Also scored 15 points against Cal Poly and added a season-high three assists... Averaging 6.1 points and is shooting 39.0 percent from the field, 42.6 percent from three-point range, and 75.0 percent from the free throw line... Averaging 4.8 points during his last five games.
#15 Modou Niang - Has missed the last five games due to injury... Recorded career-highs with eight points and six rebounds against Cal Poly... Had a season-high two blocked shots against Montana State-Northern... Averaging 2.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game, and is shooting 66.7 percent.
#21 Jared Quayle - Recorded the second double-double of his career against Wyoming as he scored a career-high 24 points and added 10 rebounds... His first career double-double has against Howard as he had 17 points and a career-high 11 rebounds... Also had a season-high seven assists against the Bison... Averaging 11.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists, and is shooting 47.4 percent from the field, 36.2 percent from three-point range, and 77.1 percent from the free throw line... Averaging 14.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists during his last five games, while shooting 46.2 percent from the field... Ranks third in the WAC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.92), seventh in free throw shooting, eighth in assists, and 13th in rebounding.
#22 Brady Jardine - Played his first game of the season against Houston Baptist and had one rebound, one assist and one block in one minute.
#24 Tyler Newbold - Scored a career-high 21 points against UC Irvine... Had a career-high nine rebounds against BYU and a career-high eight assists at New Mexico State... Has started 41 straight games dating back to last season... Averaging 9.9 points and 4.2 rebounds, while shooting 43.0 percent from the field, 37.3 percent from three-point range, and 76.9 percent from the free throw line... Has scored in double-figures 14 times in his career and has two 20-point games... Averaging 9.2 points and 4.2 rebounds during his last five games.
#25 Jaxon Myaer - Averaging 4.2 points and 1.7 assists, while shooting 40.4 percent from the field, 38.7 percent from three-point range, and 83.3 percent from the free throw line.... Scored a season-high 13 points against Weber State and had 11 points at UC Santa Barbara... Dished out a season-high five assists against UC Irvine and Montana State-Northern... Averaging 2.0 points during his last three games.
#42 Tai Wesley - Scored a season-high 18 points against Wyoming... Played a career-high 37 minutes against UC Irvine and had a career-high four steals... Has started 40 games in his career... Averaging 12.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game, while shooting 67.3 percent from the field and 73.2 percent from the free throw line... Had a season-high 10 rebounds against Weber State, while posting career-highs with nine assists and 35 minutes played... Ranks second in the WAC in field goal shooting, eighth in steals (1.25), and 10th in free throw shooting... Averaging 12.2 points and 5.2 rebounds during his last five games, while shooting 58.8 percent from the field and 70.0 percent from the charity stripe.
#44 Matt Formisano - Scored a career-high 10 points against Houston Baptist... Had a career-high six rebounds against Cal Poly... Tied his career-high with six rebounds at Utah Valley... Scored the game-winning basket with three seconds to play at UC Santa Barbara... Averaging 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds, while shooting 58.5 percent from the field and 60.0 percent from the free throw line... Averaging 5.0 points and 1.6 rebounds during his last five games.
#55 Gary Wilkinson - Scored a career-high 29 points at Utah Valley... Averaging 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds, while shooting 64.8 percent from the field and 82.0 percent from the free throw line... Recorded his 11th career double-double against New Mexico State as he had 24 points and a career-high 14 rebounds... Has scored in double-figures in 42 games in his career and has 10 career 20-point games... Ranks second in the WAC in scoring and rebounding, and third in field goal shooting and free throw shooting... Has started all 50 games in his Utah State career... Averaging 18.8 points and 9.8 rebounds during his last five games, while shooting 67.3 percent.
UTAH STATE AMONG THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY
Over the last 10 years, Utah State has been one of the best basketball programs in the country, recording a 237-74 (.762) record. Those 237 wins are the seventh-most in the country, while the 76.2 percent winning percentage is fifth-best behind Duke (.834), Kansas (.803), Gonzaga (.791) and Florida (.768). 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 2007-08 season, and is leading the nation in field goal shooting again this year.
UTAH STATE ONE OF THE TOP WAC TEAMS DURING THE LAST FOUR YEARS
Since joining the Western Athletic Conference prior to the 2005-06 season, Utah State has established itself as one of the most consistent teams in the league as it has posted a 35-16 (.686) WAC record during the last four seasons to rank second in the conference behind Nevada (41-10). During the 2007-08 season, Utah State won a share of its first-ever WAC regular season championship as it posted a 12-4 record. USU has also fared well in the WAC Tournament as it advanced to the championship game in 2006 and 2007, and has an overall postseason WAC record of 5-3.
VERSUS THE WAC
Utah State is 182-100 (.645) 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. And in 2008, Utah State won a share of its first-ever WAC regular season championship as it went 12-4 during the year.
Stew Morrill VERSUS THE WAC
Stew Morrill is 97-73 (.571) all-time in WAC games, which includes a 35-16 (.686) record at Utah State and a 62-57 (.521) record at Colorado State. Morrill is 97-65 (.599) all-time against current members of the WAC, which includes a 68-27 (.716) record at USU.
UTAH STATE ON THE ROAD
Utah State is 71-59 (.546) on the road under Coach Morrill, which includes a 50-36 (.581) record against conference opponents and a 13-13 (.500) WAC record. USU is 6-0 on the road this year and has won eight straight regular season road games dating back to last year.
UTAH STATE OWNS BEST ROAD RECORD IN THE NATION
Utah State is 6-0 on the road thus far this year, which is the best road record in the nation. BYU and Saint Mary's are tied for the second-best road record in the nation at 5-0.
UTAH STATE SETS SCHOOL RECORD WITH SIX STRAIGHT ROAD WINS TO START THE YEAR
Utah State's six straight road wins to start the season are the most in school history. Overall, USU has won eight straight regular season road games which is the longest streak by an Aggie team since the 1999-2000 team won nine straight.
UTAH STATE FOLLOWING A LOSS
Utah State is 49-16 (.754) following a loss over the last nine years and has loss back-to-back games just 13 times during that time period.
COACH MORRILL WINNINGEST COACH IN UTAH STATE HISTORY
Stew Morrill (252-87) is the winningest coach in Utah State history and is second all-time in games coached (339) behind the legendary E. Lowell Romney (382). Morrill is also the longest tenured coach at Utah State (entering 11th season) since the H. Cecil Baker era (1951-61).
WILKINSON ONLY SENIOR ON AGGIE ROSTER
Utah State has just one senior on its roster in forward Gary Wilkinson. The last time a USU team had just one senior on its roster was during the 1999-2000 campaign in guard Troy Rolle. That team finished the season with a 28-6 record, including a perfect 16-0 mark in the Big West Conference.
YOUTH WILL BE SERVED
Utah State has 10 underclassmen on its 2008-09 roster with five freshmen and five sophomores, which is the most-ever on a USU team. The 2001-02 squad had nine underclassmen.
FROM THE STATE OF UTAH
Aggie players from the state of Utah include senior forward Gary Wilkinson (South Jordan/Bingham), junior forward Clint Lee (North Logan/Sky View HS), junior guard Jared Quayle (Perry/Box Elder HS), sophomore guard Tyler Newbold (Payson/Payson HS), sophomore forward Tai Wesley (Provo/Provo HS), redshirt freshman guard Jaxon Myaer (Salt Lake City/Judge Memorial HS), and freshman guard Skyler Halford (Orem/Timpanogos HS). The seven players from the state of Utah on the 2008-09 roster are the most on a USU team since the 1988-89 squad also had seven in-state players on its roster.
UTAH STATE NO LONGER CALIFORNIA DREAMING
For the second straight season, Utah State does not have a single player from the state of California on its roster. The 2007-08 season marked the first time since the 1993-94 campaign, a span of 14 years, that Utah State did not have a player from California on its roster. Since the 1994 season, USU has had a total of 45 players from the "Golden State", including a single-season high of seven during the 2003-04 campaign.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State's six returning lettermen to the 2008-09 roster are the most since the 2004-05 season when USU returned seven lettermen.
UTAH STATE PICKED SECOND IN THE WAC, TWO PLAYERS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-WAC
Utah State is picked to finish second in the Western Athletic Conference this year by both the coaches and media, behind Nevada, while senior forward Gary Wilkinson and sophomore forward Tai Wesley were both named to preseason teams. Wilkinson was named the preseason Player of the Year by the media, while Wesley was voted to the second-team by the coaches.
QUAYLE NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Junior guard Jared Quayle was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week on Monday, Jan. 5 after being named the Most Valuable Player of the 2008 Duel in the Desert hosted by Utah State last week as he led the Aggies to the tournament championship with wins against Howard (85-45), Houston Baptist (94-77), and Wyoming (90-85 ot). Against Howard, he posted his first double-double of the year with 17 points and a season-high 11 rebounds, while adding a season-high seven assists. Against Houston Baptist, he scored 15 points to go along with six rebounds, five assists and two steals. And against Wyoming, he notched his second double-double of the tournament with a season-high 24 points and 10 rebounds. For the week, Quayle averaged 18.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists, while shooting 53.8 percent from the field (21-39), 41.2 percent from three-point range (7-17), and 87.5 percent from the free throw line (7-8).
WILKINSON NAMED A FINALIST FOR LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Gary Wilkinson has been named one of 30 candidates for the 2008-09 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, which is presented annually to the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete of the Year. Wilkinson is the only played from the state of Utah and the only player from the WAC to be selected for this award. The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the `Four C's' of classroom, character, community and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award was launched during the 2001-02 season to honor the attributes of college basketball seniors who remain committed to their university and pursue the many rewards that a senior season and complete college education brings. Now in its eighth year for basketball, the award has developed into the nation's premier tribute for college seniors. From the list of 30 nominees, a national media committee will select 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in February 2009. Those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote. In addition to voting by Division I head basketball coaches and national media, college basketball fans will also be able to submit ballots by text voting or on-line at www.seniorclassaward.com. Previous winners of the men's award include Juan Dixon of Maryland (2002), David West of Xavier (2003), Jameer Nelson of St. Joseph's (2004), Wayne Simien of Kansas (2005), J.J. Reddick of Duke (2006), Alando Tucker of Wisconsin (2007), and Shan Foster of Vanderbilt (2008).
WILKINSON NAMED TO NAISMITH TROPHY EARLY SEASON WATCH LIST
Gary Wilkinson is named to the early season watch list for the 2008-09 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced. The Naismith Trophy watch list, which consists of 50 players, was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selector's, which based its preseason criteria on player performances from last season and expectations for the 2008-09 season. The Naismith Trophy is the most prestigious national award presented annually to college basketball's player of the year. For the sixth consecutive season, presenting sponsor AT&T will once again set the standard in allowing fans to participate in determining this year's winner. Through the power and ease of text messaging, fan voting will account for an unprecedented 25% of the final results - more than any other national college basketball award. At the beginning of February, CBS' "AT&T at the Half" will feature a weekly Naismith Trophy update highlighting the players in contention. Wilkinson is the only player from the Western Athletic Conference selected for this award and one of just two players from the state of Utah joining BYU's Lee Cummard. In February, the Naismith Trophy voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, will narrow its early season list to the Top 30 players in the nation. Those players, and others who distinguish themselves throughout the season, will be eligible for the final ballot in March.
WILKINSON NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN
Gary Wilkinson has been named a preseason high-major All-American by CollegeHoops.net it was announced on Oct. 23. Wilkinson, who was named to the honorable-mention team, is one of 33 players recognized. Wilkinson is one of just two players from the Western Athletic Conference to be named preseason All-American by CollegeHoops.net along with Nevada's Armon Johnson. Wilkinson is also one of four players from the state of Utah to be honored joining BYU's Lee Cummard and Jonathan Tavernari, and Utah's Luke Nevill. Wilkinson, who was named the WAC's Preseason Player of the Year by the media this fall, earned second-team all-conference honors as a junior and was also named to the WAC's all-newcomer team as he averaged 13.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
Gary Wilkinson NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK TWICE THIS YEAR
Senior forward Gary Wilkinson was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week it was announced by the league office on Monday, Dec. 1. Overall, it is the 10th time in the last four years that USU has received the weekly honor, including the second time this season as Wilkinson was also named WAC Player of the Week on Nov. 17 after scoring a career-high 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in USU's 71-50 home win against Montana State-Northern. Wilkinson led Utah State to a 2-0 record during the week with a 75-49 win against Weber State and a 97-57 win against Cal Poly. Against the Wildcats, Wilkinson scored a game-high 18 points and added six rebounds as he was 6-of-8 from the field and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Against the Mustangs, he had game-highs with 21 points and nine rebounds in just 21 minutes as he was 6-of-8 from the field and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. He also had career-highs with four assists and two steals against Cal Poly. For the week, Wilkinson averaged 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists, while shooting 75.0 percent from the field and 88.2 percent from the free throw line.
HEAD COACH Stew Morrill
In 23 seasons as a collegiate head coach and 11 years at Utah State, Stew Morrill has taken the Aggie Basketball program to unprecedented heights leading it to an incredible 252-87 (.743) record, including a 127-44 (.743) 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 10 years at USU, Morrill has guided the Aggies to nine straight 23-win seasons and nine straight postseason appearances (NCAA-5, NIT-4), both of which are school records. Morrill has also led Utah State to the fifth-best winning percentage in the nation during the last 10 years at 76.2 percent with an overall record of 237-74. Against conference opponents, Utah State has a 145-50 record with four regular season league championships and four tournament titles during that time, including appearances in its league's tournament championship game seven times in the last nine years. Under Morrill, Utah State has notched eight of the top 10 seasons in school history during the last nine 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 and notched the fifth-most wins in school history during the 2008 season with 24 victories. During the 2007-08 season, Morrill guided Utah State to a share of its first-ever Western Athletic Conference regular season championship. The 2007-08 Aggie basketball team also set a school record by shooting 79.2 percent from the free throw line, which led the nation. USU also led the nation in field goal shooting at 51.4 percent and became just the fourth team in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in both field goal and free throw shooting in the same year. For the ninth straight year, USU had at least one player earn first-team all-league accolades as Jaycee Carroll was named the WAC Player of the Year in 2008. Overall, Morrill has coached 10 first-team all-league players at Utah State who have won the award a total of 15 times. Morrill has also taken full advantage of the home court at USU, the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. In Morrill's 11 years, USU is an amazing 151-12 (.926) at home, which includes a 77-8 (.906) record in league play. As for Morrill, he has won 20 or more games on 13 different occasions during his career, and he has won at least 17 games 19 times. Overall, Morrill ranks 23rd in the nation among active coaches and 96th all-time with his 470 career wins, while his career winning percentage of 67.6 percent ranks 28th among active coaches and 100th all-time. He is also one of 27 active coaches with 400 career wins at the Division I level and one of just 13 active coaches to notch at least 13 20-win seasons. His current streak of nine straight 20-win seasons ranks ninth among active coaches and is tied for the 13th-longest streak ever at the Division I level. Morrill has also been named Coach of the Year (2000 BWC, 2002 BWC) twice in his eight years at USU, along with winning the Big Sky award while the head coach at Montana in 1991. His overall coaching record is 470-225 (.676).
Head coach Stew Morrill (252-87) is the winningest coach in school history and is second all-time in games coached (339) behind the legendary E. Lowell Romney (382). Morrill is also the longest tenured coach at Utah State (entering 11th season) since the H. Cecil Baker era (1951-61).
Entering his 11th season with the Aggies, Morrill has a 252-87 (.743) overall record, a 127-44 (.743) conference record and an 18-6 (.750) record in conference postseason play. Overall, Morrill owns a 470-225 (.676) record in 23 years as a collegiate head coach.
Among active coaches at the Division I level, Morrill ranks 22nd in the nation with his 470 career wins and 27th in winning percentage at 67.6 percent.
Morrill is one of just 33 active coaches with 400 career wins at the Division I level and one of just 13 active coaches to notch 13 20-win seasons, while his current streak of nine straight 20-win seasons is tied for the eighth-longest in the nation.
Morrill has been named conference coach of the year three times during his career, winning the award in 1991 while at Montana, and in 2000 and 2002 while at Utah State.
Morrill has coached 10 first-team all-league players who have won the award a total of 15 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 and Jaycee Carroll (twice).
Utah State is 151-12 (.926) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under Morrill.
Morrill has led Utah State to nine straight 20-win seasons and nine 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 12 times in his career, including the NCAA Tournament at Utah State in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006 and the National Invitation Tournament in 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008.
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