No. 23 Utah State Hosts Cal State Bakersfield Wednesday Night
Feb. 17, 2009
LOGAN, Utah -
Complete Release in PDF Format
No. 23 Utah State (24-2) vs. Cal State Bakersfield (6-19)
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009 7:00 p.m. (MT) Logan, Utah
Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) Aggie Radio Network
GAME DAY HEADLINES
Utah State is in its 104th season of basketball this year and has an overall record of 1,394-991 (.584). 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 is ranked 23rd in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll with 121 votes and 27th in the latest Associated Press poll with 72 votes. Overall, it is the third straight week that USU has been ranked. Last week, USU was ranked 17th in the coaches poll and 21st in the AP poll. It is the first time USU has been ranked since the 2003-04 season when the Aggies spent six straight weeks in the top 25.
Utah State is tied with Connecticut (24-2) and Pittsburgh (24-2) for the second-most wins and second-best record in the country behind Oklahoma (25-1). USU is also one of just five teams in the nation with two or fewer losses along with Oklahoma, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, and North Carolina (22-2).
Utah State is the only team in the nation to win at least 23 games in each of the last 10 years. Gonzaga (19-5) and Kansas (20-5) entered this year with nine straight 23-win seasons. USU has now recorded 10 straight 20-win seasons, extending its current school record. Overall, it is the 25th time in school history that Utah State has won 20 or more games and its 24 wins this year are tied for the fifth-most in school history.
Utah State is 1-0 this year and 49-16 (.754) during the last 10 years following a loss. During the last 10 years, USU has loss back-to-back games just 13 times.
Utah State has won 31 straight home games which is the second-longest active winning streak in the nation behind Kansas (37). It is also tied for the longest home winning streak in school history as USU also won 31 straight home games from the 2000 to 2002 seasons.
Utah State is 156-12 (.929) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under head coach Stew Morrill, which includes a 74-4 (.949) record against non-conference opponents. Overall, USU is 450-105 (.811) in 39 years in the building.
Utah State has won 37 straight home games against non-conference opponents and 61 of its last 63 overall. The last non-conference opponent to beat USU at home was Hawai'i, 85-74, in the first round of the 2004 postseason NIT. USU has also won 61 straight regular season non-conference home games, and the last time the Aggies lost a non-conference home game during the regular season was on Jan. 8, 2000 against BYU, 82-73.
No. 23 Utah State (24-2, 12-1) will play a pair of non-conference games this week as it hosts Cal State Bakersfield (6-19) on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m., followed by a BracketBuster game at Saint Mary's (20-5) on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 3 p.m. (MT). The game against the Gaels will be televised live on ESPN2 with Bob Wischusen (play-by-play) and Tim Welsh (color) calling the action.
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 24-2 on the season and in first-place in the Western Athletic Conference with a 12-1 league record following its 66-56 loss at Boise State Saturday night. USU is led by senior forward Gary Wilkinson who is averaging 17.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, and is shooting 60.1 percent from the field and 84.4 percent from the free throw line, while junior guard Jared Quayle is averaging 12.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists, and is shooting 45.5 percent from the field, 37.7 percent from three-point range, and 75.3 percent from the free throw line. Sophomore forward Tai Wesley is also scoring in double-figures for USU as he is averaging 12.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, and is shooting 62.3 percent from the field and 68.4 percent from the free throw line. As a team, Utah State is scoring 71.7 points per game and shooting 49.7 percent from the field, 38.7 percent from three-point range, and 73.4 percent from the free throw line. Defensively, USU is allowing 59.8 points and its opponents are shooting 41.0 percent from the field, 34.9 percent from three-point range, and 74.6 percent from the free throw line.
UTAH STATE CLAIMS A SHARE OF SECOND-STRAIGHT WAC TITLE, NINTH OVERALL
Utah State claimed a share of its second-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season championship last Thursday at Idaho with a 62-53 win. Ironically, USU claimed a share of the WAC title last year with a win at Idaho as well. Utah State can win the title outright when it hosts Hawai'i in its next conference game on Thursday, Feb. 26. Overall, it is the ninth time in school history that USU has won at least a share of a regular season conference championship. The other years Utah State has won a regular season title are 1980, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2008.
UTAH STATE ON ESPN
Utah State will be making its first appearance on ESPN this year. Overall, USU teams have won 22 of its last 28 games that have been televised by ESPN.
RANKING UTAH STATE IN THE WAC
As of Feb. 16, Utah State ranks first in the WAC in scoring margin (+11.9), field goal shooting (.497), field goal shooting defense (.410), free throw shooting (.734), scoring defense (59.8), and rebound margin (+7.2). USU also ranks second in assists (15.73) and three-point field goal shooting (.387), and third in scoring offense (71.7). Individually, senior forward Gary Wilkinson ranks second in the WAC in scoring (17.1), and third in field goal shooting (.601), free throw shooting (.844) and rebounding (7.4), while sophomore forward Tai Wesley ranks second in the WAC in field goal shooting (.623), fifth in steals (1.46), and 15th in scoring (12.3). Junior guard Jared Quayle ranks second in the WAC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.96), fifth in steals (1.46), sixth in assists (3.62), ninth in free throw shooting (.753), 12th in rebounding (5.8), and 14th in scoring (12.5), and sophomore guard Tyler Newbolds ranks 10th in assists (2.92).
As of Feb. 16, Utah State ranks third in the nation in winning percentage (.923) and field goal shooting (.497). USU ranks seventh in fewest personal fouls committed per game (14.9), and 11th in rebound margin (+7.2) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.36). Individually, senior forward Gary Wilkinson ranks 16th in field goal shooting (60.1).
As of Feb. 16, Utah State has an RPI of 33 and a strength of schedule of 155, while the WAC is currently ranked 12th out of 32 conferences. USU also has a sagarin rating of 38.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has averaged 24.6 wins during the last 10 years and has the fourth-best winning percentage in the nation during that time at 76.6 percent (246-75). USU has also averaged 12.8 conference wins during the last 10 seasons.
RECAPPING THE BOISE STATE GAME
No. 17/21 Utah State committed 19 turnovers and shot a season-low 36.5 percent from the field Saturday night as it lost its first game in over two months, 66-56, to Boise State at Taco Bell Arena in Boise. Utah State, who had its 19-game winning streak snapped as well as its 16-game Western Athletic Conference winning streak, is now 24-2 on the season and 12-1 in the WAC. It was also USU's first road loss of the season as it is now 10-1 on the road. Boise State improved to 17-7 overall and 7-4 in league play with the win. Senior forward Gary Wilkinson led Utah State with 12 points and six rebounds, while junior guard Jared Quayle also had 12 points, to go along with four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Sophomore guard Pooh Williams also scored in double-figures for USU as he finished with 10 points and four rebounds. Mark Sanchez had a game-high 20 points for Boise State and Anthony Thomas finished with 18 points. Utah State rallied from an early 7-4 deficit with a 10-2 run to take its largest lead of the game at 14-9 just seven minutes in. BSU then went on a 7-2 run to get back within one and neither team led by more than three points the rest of half as the Broncos went into the locker room with a 27-25 advantage after Thomas hit a three-pointer from the left wing at the buzzer. Williams scored all 10 of his points in the first-half to lead Utah State, while Thomas had 10 for Boise State. USU shot 42.3 percent from the field (11-26) in the first 20 minutes, while BSU shot 35.7 percent (10-28). The Broncos, however, were 5-of-7 (.714) at the free throw line as compared to just 1-of-2 (.500) for the Aggies. Boise State opened the second-half with an 8-1 run to take a 35-26 lead and extended its margin to 12 at 41-29 with 14:10 to play. Utah State then went on a 9-2 run to get within five at 43-38 following a three-pointer from freshman guard Jaxon Myaer, but the Broncos scored six of the next seven points to increase its lead back to 10. The Aggies made one more run at BSU and got within six at 60-54 with 1:21 to play following a put-back from freshman forward Brady Jardine, but the Broncos made six straight free throws in the final 74 seconds to notch the win. Boise State finished the game by shooting 41.8 percent from the field (23-55), 27.8 percent from three-point range (5-18), and 75.0 percent from the free throw line (15-20). USU shot 33.3 percent from behind the arc (5-15) and 61.9 percent from the free throw line (13-21).
NOTE-ABLES FROM THE BOISE STATE GAME
Utah State fell to 5-2 on the season when trailing at the half... USU was out-scored in the second-half for just the eighth time this year... USU's 36.5 percent shooting from the field was its lowest since shooting 36.2 percent at UC Irvine on Nov. 17, 2007, a span of 56 games... USU was held under 60 points for just the second time this year... USU's 15 offensive rebounds were its third-most this year, while its 19 turnovers were also its third-most... USU's eight assists were its third-fewest this year as well... USU's 22 fouls called against them were a season-high... Gary Wilkinson scored in double-figures for the 23rd time this year and 51st time in his career... Pooh Williams scored in double-figures for the fourth time this year and fifth time in his career... Jared Quayle scored in double-figures for the 18th time this year and 17th time in his last 19 games... Junior forward Matt Formisano tied his career-high with six rebounds and freshman forward Brady Jardine scored a season-high six points.
WINNING STREAKS COME TO AN END AT BOISE STATE
Utah State had all of its winning streaks come to an end Saturday night at Boise State as it lost to the Broncos, 66-56. USU had won 19 straight games, which was the longest winning streak by any team in the nation this year and tied with the 1999-2000 USU team for the longest winning streak in school history. USU had also won 16 straight WAC games, which was the longest winning streak since Utah won 19 straight WAC games from the 1998 to 1999 seasons. USU also had its 10-game road winning streak this year and 12-game regular season road winning streaks snapped. USU's 12-0 WAC record was also tied for its second-best start to a conference season in school history and the longest by a WAC school since Utah went 14-0 in the WAC during the 1998-99 season.
UTAH STATE NEARLY UNBEATABLE WHEN ALLOWING FEWER THAN 60 POINTS
Utah State is 13-0 this year when holding its opponents under 60 points and has now won 57 straight games when allowing less than 60 points. On the season, Utah State's opponents are averaging 59.8 points per game which ranks 23rd in the nation.
UTAH STATE CONTINUES TO SHOOT WELL FROM THREE-POINT RANGE
Utah State continues to shoot well from three-point range and has shot over 40 percent from behind the arc five times in its last seven games. During its last seven games, USU is shooting 42.9 percent from three-point range (45-105).
UTAH STATE CONTINUES TO MAKE MORE FREE THROWS THAN ITS OPPONENTS ATTEMPT
Utah State continues to make more free throws than its opponents even attempt this year as USU is 391-533 (.734) from the free throw line, while its opponents are 285-382 (.746).
UTAH STATE IN FEBRUARY
Utah State is 54-22 (.711) in the month of February under Coach Morrill, which includes a 32-4 (.889) home record. USU is also 8-4 (.667) all-time in known games played on Feb. 18, and 16-6 (.727) in games played on Wednesday under Morrill.
UTAH STATE RANKED FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2003-04 SEASON
For the third straight week Utah State's men's basketball team is ranked among the top 25 in the nation as it checked in at No. 23 in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll released Monday. USU is also ranked 27th in the nation in the latest Associated Press top 25 poll. Utah State was ranked 17th in last week's ESPN/USA Today poll and 21st in the AP poll, before its loss at Boise State last weekend, snapping its 19-game winning streak. USU also had its 16-game WAC winning streak and 10-game road winning streak snapped last weekend. Despite its loss last week, Utah State is tied with Connecticut (24-1) and trails Oklahoma (25-1) for the most wins in the nation this year and is one of just five teams in the nation with two or fewer losses joining Oklahoma, Connecticut, Pittsburgh (23-2) and North Carolina (22-2). Utah State is ranked in the top 25 for just the second time in the last 31 years as the last time a USU team was ranked was during the 2003-04 season when it was ranked for six straight weeks. Prior to that, USU's last national ranking was during the 1977-78 season when it finished the year ranked 17th in the United Press International poll.
UTAH STATE'S BRACKETBUSTER GAME AT SAINT MARY'S WILL BE ON ESPN2
Utah State's BracketBuster game at Saint Mary's on Saturday, Feb. 21 will be televised live on ESPN2 and begin at 3 p.m. (MT). Utah State's game against the Gaels is one of 13 BracketBuster games to be televised nationally on the ESPN family of networks, and one of just six games to be on ESPN and ESPN2. Utah State is 3-0 all-time in BracketBuster games as it defeated Northwestern State (66-63) at home during the 2005-06 season, won at Oral Roberts (71-65) during the 2006-07 campaign, and defeated UC Santa Barbara (72-59) at home last year. Saint Mary's is 19-4 on the season and in third-place in the West Coast Conference with a 6-3 league record. The Gaels are 8-0 at home this year, while USU is 9-0 on the road. Utah State and Saint Mary's will be meeting for the sixth time ever with the Aggies owning a 4-1 all-time advantage. The last time the two teams met was on Mar. 3, 1978 at Saint Mary's with USU notching a 96-80 win. Overall, USU has won three straight games in the series. Other televised games involving WAC schools include VCU at Nevada on Friday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. (MT), and Boise State at Portland State on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m. Both of those games will be televised on ESPNU.
UTAH STATE'S 12 LEAGUE WINS ARE TIED FOR NINTH-MOST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State has already recorded 12 conference wins this year, which is tied for the ninth-most in school history. Overall, USU has now won at least 10 conference games in 14 of the last 16 seasons.
AGGIES ON THE ROAD
Utah State is 75-60 (.556) on the road under head coach Stew Morrill, which includes a 54-37 (.593) record against conference opponents and a 17-14 (.548) WAC record. USU had won 12 straight regular season road games, which was a school record, before its 66-56 loss at Boise State last weekend.
UTAH STATE HAS THE BEST ROAD RECORD IN THE NATION
Utah State's 10-1 road record this year is the best in the nation, while its 10 road wins are tied with Butler for the most road wins this year. USU's 10 road wins are also tied with the 2003-04 team for the second-most in school history behind the 1959-60 team that went 11-3 on the road.
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. USU is also 4-0 this year in games decided by four or less points and 2-0 in overtime.
COACH MORRILL WINNINGEST COACH IN UTAH STATE HISTORY
Stew Morrill (261-88) is the winningest coach in Utah State history and is second all-time in games coached (349) behind 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).
QUAYLE NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Junior guard Jared Quayle was named the WAC 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 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).
UTAH STATE HAS TWO OF THE TOP THREE SHOOTERS IN THE WAC
Utah State has two of the top three shooters, statistically, in the WAC this year as sophomore forward Tai Wesley is shooting 62.3 percent (119-191) and ranks second in the WAC, while senior forward Gary Wilkinson is shooting 60.1 percent (158-263) and ranks third in the WAC.
WILKINSON RANKS AMONG TOP 10 ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN FG AND FT SHOOTING
Senior forward Gary Wilkinson is shooting 59.2 percent from the field (332-561) during his USU career, which ranks fifth all-time in school history. He is also shooting 83.0 percent from the free throw line (234-282), which ranks seventh all-time in school history.
WESLEY RANKS SECOND ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN FIELD GOAL SHOOTING
Sophomore forward Tai Wesley is shooting 62.9 percent from the field (251-399) during his USU career, which ranks second all-time behind Nate Harris (2003-06) who shot 64.1 percent.
WESLEY RANKS EIGHTH ALL-TIME IN BLOCKED SHOTS
In just 60 career games, sophomore forward Tai Wesley already ranks eighth all-time at Utah State with 58 career blocks. Wesley is now four blocks shy of tying Spencer Nelson (1999, 03-05) for seventh-place all-time at USU with 62 career blocks.
NEWBOLD RANKS FOURTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN THREE-POINT SHOOTING
Sophomore guard Tyler Newbold is shooting 44.4 percent (80-180) 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.
NEWBOLD RANKS 11TH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN THREE-POINTERS MADE
Sophomore guard Tyler Newbold has made 80 three-pointers in his Utah State career, which ranks 11th all-time in school history. Newbold is now just one made three-pointer shy of tying Corwin Woodard (1994-95) for 10th-place all-time in school history with 81 made treys and just three made three-pointers away from tying David Pak (2005-06) for ninth all-time.
QUAYLE SCORES IN DOUBLE-FIGURES IN 17 OF HIS LAST 19 GAMES
Junior guard Jared Quayle has scored in double-figures in 17 of his last 19 games after beginning the season by scoring in double-figures just once in his first seven games. In his last 19 games, Quayle is averaging 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.6 steals, while shooting 47.1 percent from the field, 38.0 percent from three-point range, and 74.1 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 13TH CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE AT IDAHO
Senior forward Gary Wilkinson recorded his sixth double-double of the season and 13th of his career Thursday night at Idaho with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Overall, Wilkinson has scored in double-figures 23 times this year and 51 times in his career.
WILKINSON PLAYING AT A HIGH LEVEL ON THE ROAD
Senior forward Gary Wilkinson has played at a very high level on the road this year as he is averaging 19.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in 12 games away from home, while shooting 61.3 percent from the field and 82.4 percent from the free throw line. In seven WAC road games, he is averaging 20.6 points and 7.3 rebounds, and shooting 60.9 percent from the field and 85.4 percent from the free throw line.
MYAER GIVING THE AGGIES ANOTHER SPARK OFF THE BENCH
Redshirt freshman guard Jaxon Myaer has been giving Utah State a great spark off the bench as of late as he is averaging 3.6 points during his last seven games, while shooting 56.3 percent from the field (9-16) and 45.5 percent from three-point range (5-11) in just 7.7 minutes per outing. In his prior three games he scored a total of two points.
Pooh Williams CONTINUES TO PERFORM WELL
Sophomore guard Pooh Williams has played very well during his last four games as he is averaging 8.5 points and 2.3 rebounds, while shooting 48.0 percent from the field (12-25) and 60.0 percent from three-point range (6-10).
UTAH STATE PLAYER NOTES
#4 Clint Lee - Has played in seven 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 a career-high six assists against Utah and six rebounds at Louisiana Tech... Averaging 5.1 points and 2.0 rebounds, while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 61.8 percent from the free throw line... Played a career-high 37 minutes against Wyoming... Averaging 6.8 points and 2.0 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 2.4 points and is shooting 44.8 percent from the field... Has scored three points in his last five games... Has not played in USU's last seven games.
#14 Stavon Williams - Tied his season-high with 15 points against Nevada... Also had 15 points at Southern Utah and against Cal Poly... Tied his season-high with four assists at San Jose State... Averaging 5.6 points and is shooting 40.4 percent from the field, 41.0 percent from three-point range, and 85.0 percent from the free throw line... Averaging 4.2 points during his last five games.
#15 Modou Niang - Has missed the last 15 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 double-double was against Howard as he had 17 points and a career-high 11 rebounds... Had a season-high eight assists against New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech... Averaging 12.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists, and is shooting 45.5 percent from the field, 37.7 percent from three-point range, and 75.3 percent from the free throw line... Averaging 11.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists during his last five games... Ranks second in the WAC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.96), fifth in steals (1.46), sixth in assists, ninth in free throw shooting, 12th in rebounding, and 14th in scoring.
#22 Brady Jardine - Scored a season-high six points at Boise State.... Had a season-high 10 rebounds at Hawai'i... Had a season-high two blocks against Fresno State... Averaging 1.6 points and 2.9 rebounds... During his last five games, he is averaging 1.8 points and 3.4 rebounds.
#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 49 straight games... Averaging 9.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists, while shooting 43.9 percent from the field, 40.4 percent from three-point range, and 76.5 percent from the free throw line... Has scored in double-figures 18 times in his career and has two 20-point games... Averaging 8.4 points and 5.4 rebounds during his last five games... Ranks 10th in the WAC in assists.
#25 Jaxon Myaer - Averaging 3.6 points and 1.2 assists, while shooting 43.9 percent from the field, 38.6 percent from three-point range, and 70.0 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 3.8 points during his last five games.
#42 Tai Wesley - Recorded his second double-double of the season at Hawai'i with 15 points and a season-high tying 10 rebounds... Scored a season-high 26 points against Boise State.... Also had a career-high five steals against the Broncos... Has started 50 games in his career... Averaging 12.3 points and 5.7 rebounds, while shooting 62.3 percent from the field and 68.4 percent from the free throw line... Had a season-high 10 rebounds against Weber State, while posting a career-high nine assists... Ranks second in the WAC in field goal shooting, fifth in steals (1.46) and 15th in scoring (12.3)... Averaging 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds during his last five games.
#44 Matt Formisano - Tied his season-high with six rebounds at Boise State... Scored a career-high 10 points against Houston Baptist... Had a career-high six rebounds against Cal Poly and Utah Valley... Scored the game-winning basket with three seconds to play at UC Santa Barbara... Averaging 3.3 points and 2.1 rebounds, while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 64.7 percent from the free throw line... Averaging 2.0 points and 1.6 rebounds during his last five games.
#55 Gary Wilkinson - Scored a career-high 33 points at Fresno State... Recorded his 13th career double-double against Idaho with 18 points and 10 rebounds... Averaging 17.1 points and 7.4 rebounds, while shooting 60.1 percent from the field and 84.4 percent from the free throw line... Had a career-high 14 rebounds at New Mexico State... Has scored in double-figures in 51 games in his career and has 13 career 20-point games... Ranks second in the WAC in scoring, and is third in field goal shooting, free throw shooting and rebounding... Has started all 60 games in his Utah State career... Averaging 19.4 points and 8.0 rebounds during his last five games, while shooting 66.7 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 246-74 (.766) record. Those 246 wins are the sixth-most in the country, while the 76.6 percent winning percentage is fourth-best behind Duke (.829), Kansas (.804), and Gonzaga (.797). 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 44-17 (.721) WAC record during the last four seasons to rank second in the conference behind Nevada (47-13). 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 191-101 (.654) 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 106-74 (.589) all-time in WAC games, which includes a 44-17 (.721) record at Utah State and a 62-57 (.521) record at Colorado State. Morrill is 106-66 (.616) all-time against current members of the WAC, which includes a 77-28 (.733) record at USU.
SCOUTING CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD
Cal State Bakersfield is 6-19 on the season following a 78-54 home loss to Seattle Monday night. The Roadrunners, who are 1-13 on the road this year, are 1-2 against Western Athletic Conference teams this year as it lost at Fresno State (66-51) and to Boise State (66-62) at home, and defeated San Jose State (61-55) at home. Cal State Bakersfield is led by junior forward Trent Blakley who is averaging 13.2 points and 5.4 rebounds, while fellow junior forward Santwon Latunde is averaging 11.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. As a team, the Roadrunners are scoring 65.0 points per game and shooting 39.7 percent from the field, 31.7 percent from three-point range, and 68.1 percent from the free throw line. Defensively, it is allowing 73.1 points and its opponents are shooting 46.6 percent from the field, 39.2 percent from three-point range, and 73.5 percent from the free throw line. Cal State Bakersfield returns four starters and eight letterwinners from last year's team that went 8-21 on the season. Keith Brown is 50-62 in his fourth years as the head coach at Cal State Bakersfield and 91-170 in nine years as a collegiate head coach.
UTAH STATE-CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD SERIES HISTORY
Utah State and Cal State Bakersfield will be meeting for just the fourth time ever this week, as the Aggies have won each of the first three games played in the series, including an 88-66 win in Bakersfield last year. The first game between the two teams was played in Logan on Jan. 4, 1977 with USU notching a 110-89 win. The last time the two teams met in Logan was on Dec. 30, 2007 with the Aggies winning, 65-49.
VERSUS THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Utah State is 100-24 (.806) against teams from the state of California during the last 10 years, which includes a 57-5 (.919) record at home.
DID YOU KNOW?
Sophomores Tyler Newbold and Tai Wesley both made their first career starts at Cal State Bakersfield on Dec. 8, 2007. Wesley had 12 points and six rebounds, while Newbold had nine points and six rebounds. The duo combined to shoot 8-of-8 from the field in 49 minutes.
LAST MEETING AGAINST THE ROADRUNNERS
Jaycee Carroll scored a game-high 27 points and Gary Wilkinson tied his season-high with 21 points to lead Utah State to a convincing 88-66 win at Cal State Bakersfield on Dec. 8, 2007 as head coach Stew Morrill started two freshmen for the first time in his 10 years at USU. Utah State snapped an eight-game road losing streak with the win. Freshmen Tai Wesley and Tyler Newbold both had career nights for Utah State in their first-ever start in an Aggie uniform as Wesley tied his season-high with 12 points to go along with a season-high six rebounds, while Newbold recorded season-highs of nine points and six rebounds. The duo also combined to shoot 8-of-8 from the field in 49 total minutes of action. Terrance Johns scored 20 points to lead Cal State Bakersfield, while Alex Johnson added 14 points and five assists. Following a three-pointer at the start of the game from Johnson to give the home team the lead, Utah State slowly took control of the contest and led 21-11 on a three-pointer by Carroll with 9:45 remaining. The Roadrunners then went on a 16-4 run as it made four straight three-pointers to lead 30-28 with 4:42 remaining. The Aggies then finished the half with a 9-3 run to go into the half leading 47-40. In the first-half, Utah State shot a blistering 61.5 percent from the field (16-26) and 60.0 percent from three-point range (6-10), while CS Bakersfield made 51.9 percent of its shots (14-27), including 63.6 percent from behind the arc (7-11). USU was led by Wilkinson's 17 first-half points, while Carroll scored 14 points in the opening period. Utah State took its biggest lead of the game on a jumper by Stephen DuCharme at the 15:26 mark of the second-half to make the score 58-43 before the Roadrunners scored six straight points to get within nine. The margin remained between nine and 13 points for the next three-plus minutes before USU finally broke the game open with an 11-3 run to lead 73-56 with six minutes to play. The Aggies margin ballooned to 24 on a three-pointer by freshman Pooh Williams with just under a minute to play to match USU's largest lead of the season, before notching the 22-point win. Utah State finished the game by shooting 60.8 percent from the field (31-51) and 60.0 percent from three-point range (9-15), while limiting Cal State Bakersfield to just 36.4 percent shooting (20-55). USU also out-rebounded the Roadrunners, 34-28, and added 19 assists.
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 THREE TIMES THIS YEAR
Senior forward Gary Wilkinson has been named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week three times during the season with the last occurring on Feb. 9 after leading USU to a pair of home wins against New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech. Wilkinson's first POW was 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. His second honor came on Dec. 1 as he led Utah State to 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. His third POW honor came after a pair of wins against New Mexico State (78-59) and Louisiana Tech (60-52), as he recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds against NMSU and had 16 points and five rebounds against LTU.
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 261-88 (.748) record, including a 136-45 (.751) 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 11 years at USU, Morrill has guided the Aggies to 10 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 76.6 percent with an overall record of 246-75. Against conference opponents, Utah State has a 154-51 record with five 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 156-12 (.929) at home, which includes an 82-8 (.911) record in league play. As for Morrill, he has won 20 or more games on 14 different occasions during his career, and he has won at least 17 games 20 times. Overall, Morrill ranks 23rd in the nation among active coaches and 96th all-time with his 479 career wins, while his career winning percentage of 67.8 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 14 20-win seasons. His current streak of 10 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 479-226 (.678).
Head coach Stew Morrill (261-88) is the winningest coach in school history and is second all-time in games coached (349) 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).
In his 11th season with the Aggies, Morrill has a 261-88 (.748) overall record, a 136-45 (.751) conference record and an 18-6 (.750) record in conference postseason play. Overall, Morrill owns a 479-226 (.678) 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 479 career wins and 27th in winning percentage at 67.8 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 14 20-win seasons, while his current streak of 10 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 156-12 (.929) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under Morrill.
Morrill has led Utah State to 10 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.