Men's Basketball Faces Cal State Fullerton In Its First Round Match-up At The Big West Tournament
March 5, 2001
Game #30 #2 Utah State vs. #7 Cal State Fullerton Anaheim Convention Center (7,500)*Anaheim, Calif. Mar. 8, 2001*3:30 pm(MST)*Big West Conference Tournament
Utah State Aggies (24-5, 13-3) Probable Starters Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown PPG RPG APG F # 5 Shawn Daniels 6-6 260 Sr. Bakersfield, Calif. 12.1 6.7 1.7* F #22 Curtis Bobb 6-5 210 Sr. Aurora, Colo. 10.3 4.9 1.6 C #14 Dimitri Jorssen 7-0 245 Sr. Theux, Belguim 9.2 4.5 0.9* G #10 Bernard Rock 5-10 155 Sr. New York, N.Y. 10.4 3.0 4.3 G #31 Tony Brown 6-3 195 Jr. Hyrum, Utah 12.2 2.7 3.4 vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans (5-22, 3-13) Probable Starters Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown PPG RPG APG F # 5 Ike Harmon 6-7 190 Sr. Santa Ana, Calif. 13.0 6.2 0.9 F #40 Josh Fischer 6-9 255 Jr. La Habra, Calif. 6.0 3.3 0.8 C #50 Matt Caldwell 6-8 235 Sr. Peoria, Ariz. 4.8 3.0 0.4* G # 3 David Castleton 6-2 185 Jr. Irvine, Calif. 7.8 1.9 3.5 G #24 Kevin Richardson6-5 200 Jr. San Bernardino. 11.8 2.7 2.6 *blocks per gameUp Next: Utah State will be the number two seed heading into the 2001 Big West Conference Tournament and will face Cal State Fullerton, who is the number seven seed, on Thursday, March 8, at approximately 3:30 p.m. (MST). The Aggies are the defending Big West Conference Champions.
A Look At Cal State Fullerton: Cal State Fullerton finished its regular season by defeating UC Riverside 70-59 to finish with a 5-22 record. In league play, the Titans were 3-13, defeating Idaho (64-53) and Cal Poly (85-77) on the road and then the Vandals again at home 63-60. Over its last 11 games, CSF is just 2-9, and were just 2-11 on the road this year. Senior forward Ike Harmon leads Fullerton in scoring at 13.0 points per game despite missing nine games to due injury. The Titans score 59.8 points as team and allow 70.0. Head coach Donny Daniels is in his first season at CS Fullerton after spending 10 seasons as an assistant coach at Utah. The Titans return three starters and four letter-winners from last year's team that finished 8-19 overall and 3-13 in league play.
Versus The Titans: Utah State is 30-15 all-time against Cal State Fullerton, which includes a 20-2 mark at home. The Aggies are 9-12 versus CSF on the road and 1-1 at neutral sites with both of those meetings occurring in the Big West Tournament. The last time these two teams met in the BWC Tournament was on March 7, 1998, in Reno, Nevada with the Aggies posting a 65-56 win in the semifinals, as USU was the number one seed out of the Eastern Division. The other meeting in tournament play was on March 9, 1989, in Long Beach, Calif., with the Titans recording a 87-86 overtime win. USU was the fifth-seed in the tournament that year. USU has won 13 of the last 14 meetings with Fullerton.
Statistical Comparison: The following is a statistical comparison between Utah State and Cal State Fullerton.
Category Utah State CS Fullerton Games 29 27 Points 71.9 59.8 Points Allowed 58.2 70.0 FG Pct. 49.8 42.1 FG Pct. Def. 39.3 46.2 3FG Pct. 39.1 31.6 3FG Pct. Def. 31.8 34.6 FT Pct. 66.6 69.1 Rebounds 35.0 29.1 Reb. Margin +5.3 -5.2 Assists 15.7 11.8 Turnovers 14.8 16.9 TOs Forced 15.3 14.0 Blocks 3.9 2.0 Steals 6.2 5.4Winning Record Versus Every Team In The Big West: Utah State is the only team in the Big West Conference that has a winning record versus every team in the league. The following is a list of USU's record versus each team in the Big West Conference. USU's Record Versus Current BWC Members:
Boise State USU leads 15-5 Cal Poly USU leads 7-0 Cal State Fullerton USU leads 30-15 Idaho USU leads 13-10 Long Beach State USU leads 24-21 Pacific USU leads 38-17 UC Irvine USU leads 24-23 UC Santa Barbara USU leads 30-21 Total USU leads 181-112 (.618)Success In The Big West: Utah State has won 32 of its last 35 games in the Big West Conference over the past two seasons. Before losing at UC Irvine on Jan. 31, 2001, USU had a 26-game winning streak in the Big West which was the second-longest winning streak all-time behind UNLV who won 40 games in a row from 1990-93.
Fifth Most Wins In The Country: As of Mar. 5, 2001, Utah State is tied with four other teams for the fifth most wins in the country with 24. Georgia State has the most wins in the country with 28, followed by Stanford with 27 and Duke with 26. Iowa State and Hofstra both have 25 wins, while Utah State, UC Irvine, Michigan State, Fresno State and St. Joseph's all have 24 wins.
Four Aggies Named All-Conference: For the second straight year, Utah State had four players earn all-conference honors in the Big West. Senior forward Shawn Daniels became the fifth player in USU history to be named to the league's first-team in back-to-back years, joining Marcus Saxon (1997,1998), Eric Franson (1995, 1996), Greg Grant (1985, 1986), and Dean Hunger (1979, 1980). Daniels led the Big West in blocks (1.69), was second in field-goal percentage (60.5), third in rebounds (6.7), and 12th in scoring (12.1). Senior guard Bernard Rock was also named to the first-team after being an honorable mention selection last year. Rock led the league in assists (4.31), and was fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.56), and eighth in steals (1.24). Junior guard Tony Brown was voted to the league's second-team after being named honorable mention last year and to the all-freshmen team in 1999. Brown leads USU in scoring at 12.2 points per game which ranks 11th in the conference. He leads the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.18), is second in three-point field-goal percentage (43.5), and is fourth in assists (3.38). Senior forward Curtis Bobb was named honorable mention in his first year as a starter for Utah State. He ranks sixth in the league in three-point field-goal percentage (39.5), and is 12th in the league in rebounding (4.9). Utah State was the only team in the conference to have four players named to either the first-team, second-team, or honorable mention team. Prior to last season, Utah State never had more than one player on the league's first-team, but have had two first-team players in each of the last two seasons.
Aggies In The Anaheim Convention Center: Although no current member of the Utah State basketball team has ever played a game at the Anaheim Convention Center, Utah State has played two games there and both were against Cal State Fullerton. The Aggies defeated the Titans 66-64 at the Convention Center on Feb. 10, 1979 and also beat Fullerton on Feb. 9, 1980 in the same building by a final score of 69-67.
Second Best League Mark: Utah State finished the 2001 Big West season with a 13-3 record which ties the 1997-98 team for the second-best league mark ever at Utah State. The 1999-2000 team holds the school record with a perfect 16-0 record.
Quickest Ever To 20 Wins: With its win over UC Irvine on Feb. 8, the 2000-01 Utah State team became the quickest team in USU history to notch 20 wins. The previous record was held by last year's team who won its 20th game on Feb. 17.
Third-Most Wins Ever: With its 24 wins on the season, the 2000-01 team now has the third-most wins in school history. The school record was set last season with 28 wins, followed by the 1997-98 team that won 25 games. Next is the 1959-60 team and this year's team that each won 24 games. Overall, it is the 16th time in school history that USU has won 20 games in a season, and only the fourth time that USU has had back-to-back 20 win seasons. USU has won at least 20 games in four of the last five seasons.
Tournament Experience: Seven members of Utah State's basketball team have Big West Tournament experience, five of which came from last season's championship run. Senior center Dimitri Jorssen and junior guard Tony Brown are the only Aggies that have appeared in more than one Big West Tournament. Below are detailed career stats for USU's players in tournament games.
USU Career Big West Tournament Statistics Player GP-GS FG FG% 3FG 3FG% FT FT% Reb-Avg.Asst.Blks Pts-Avg Tony Brown 4-3 12-28 .429 8-16 .500 12-15 .800 12-3.0 11 0 44-11.0 Bernard Rock 3-3 13-31 .419 2-8 .250 6-13 .462 16-5.3 10 1 33-11.0 Shawn Daniels 3-3 12-21 .571 0-0 .000 5-19 .263 20-6.7 4 9 29-9.7 Curtis Bobb 3-0 7-15 .467 7-14 .500 2-2 1.000 8-2.7 3 0 23-7.7 Dimitri Jorssen 4-3 11-21 .524 0-0 .000 5-5 1.000 13-3.3 1 10 27-6.8 Brennan Ray 3-0 2-8 .250 0-0 .000 6-8 .750 9-3.0 1 1 10-3.3 Dion Bailey 3-0 3-7 .429 0-0 .000 1-2 .500 12-4.0 6 0 7-2.3Defending Champions Looking To Repeat: Utah State will look to defend its Big West Conference Tournament Championship from a year ago this weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. The Aggies have won the Big West Conference Tournament in two of the last three seasons (2000 and 1998), and also won the tournament in 1988. The last time the Big West had a team win the conference tournament in two straight years was UNLV who won it three straight times from 1989 to 1991.
Aggies In First-Round Match-ups: Utah State is 8-13 all-time in the first-round of the Big West Tournament, but has a 4-1 record over the last five years in the first-round Overall, USU is 16-19 in the Big West Tournament and has won six of its last seven games, including two tournament championships. Versus current members of the Big West Conference, Utah State is 11-11 in the BWC tournament. This will be Utah State's 23rd appearance in the Big West Conference Tournament.
Tournament Championships: Among active members of the Big West Conference, Utah State and Long Beach State have won the most tournament championships with three each. Pacific has two tournament championships, and Cal State Fullerton has one. No other current BWC member has ever won the conference tournament.
Morrill's Ledger: The following is how USU head coach Stew Morrill has done in conference tournaments. Montana 1987 0-1 1988 1-1 1989 1-1 1990 0-1 1991 2-0 Colorado State 1992 0-1 1993 0-1 1994 0-1 1995 2-1 1996 1-1 1997 0-1 1998 0-1 Utah State 1999 0-1 2000 3-0 2001 ---- Total 10-12
Last Year's Big West Tournament Recaps:
Quarterfinals: In its first-round game with Pacific, Utah State used a swarming defensive effort to defeat the Tigers 64-41. Those 41 points were the second-fewest ever allowed in the Big West Tournament and the fewest allowed by any Aggie team. The game was never in doubt in the second-half as USU took a 38-18 lead into the locker room at the break. Troy Rolle led Utah State with 16 points, while Shawn Daniels and Bernard Rock each had 11. Curtis Bobb gave USU a big lift off the bench with nine points as the Aggies shot 38.9 percent in the contest and limited UOP to just 33.3 percent.
Semifinals: Playing in front of a hostile crowd at the Lawlor Events Center against host Nevada. Utah State once again relied on its tenacious defense to carry them as UNR shot just 30.2 percent in the game. USU built a four-point lead at the half and withstood several second-half runs to notch a 69-64 win. Curtis Bobb once again provided a huge lift for the Aggies off the bench, scoring a team-high 14 points on four-of-six shooting from three-point range. Troy Rolle added 13 points and seven rebounds, while Bernard Rock had 11 points and six rebounds. Shawn Daniels only had seven points in the game, but dominated the boards with 10 rebounds to go along with four blocks.
Championship: Utah State had a tall order to fill in the championship game of the 2000 Big West Tournament, facing the defending conference champion New Mexico State Aggies. NMSU got to the title game by defeating UC Irvine and Long Beach State in overtime. USU defeated NMSU twice during the regular season. The NewMags played flawless basketball early on in the game and held the lead for much of the first-half. Down 32-24 with 4:30 remaining in the opening period, Utah State finally started clicking and ended the period on a 12-2 run to take a 36-34 advantage into the locker room. Utah State carried that momentum into the second-half and opened the period with a 17-4 run to build a 53-39 lead. NMSU never gave up in the game and got the lead down to three at 61-58 with 4:31 remaining. USU quickly built its lead back up to seven and held on for a 71-66 win. Utah State had five players score in double-figures in the game led by Dimitri Jorssen's 15 points and five blocks. Troy Rolle had 13 points, while Bernard Rock and Tony Brown each scored 12. Shawn Daniels added 11 points and nine rebounds. As a team, USU shot 44.6 percent and held NMSU to 37.5 percent.
Note: Boxscores from these three games, along with all of last year's results can be found in the Utah State media guide on pages 60-68.
Long Range Bomber: Junior Tony Brown is on pace to become Utah State's all-time three-point shooter before his career is over. Brown is currently third all-time at USU in three-pointers made and attempted. The following is a breakdown of where Brown stands as of date on the USU career charts.
3-Pt. FG's Made 3-Pt. FG's Attemtped 1. Reid Newey 237 1. Jay Goodman 580 2. Jay Goodman 209 2. Reid Newey 572 3. Tony Brown 202 3. Tony Brown 488 4. Justin Jones183 4. Justin Jones408 5. Troy Rolle 112 5. Troy Rolle 304
Brown Scores 1,000 Points: Junior guard Tony Brown became the 28th player in Utah State history to score 1,000 points in a career on Feb. 17 at Long Beach State, and the first since Eric Franson accomplished the feat in 1995. Brown has 1,055 points in his career which ranks 24th all-time at USU. Brown also surpassed the 200 assist mark this year and is now 14th all-time at USU with 236 assists. He is only the eighth player ever at Utah State to score 1,000 points and record 200 assists in a career.
Brown On Fire From Downtown: Junior guard Tony Brown has been on fire from three-point range over his past five games, connecting on 21-of-35 (.600) three-pointers. Brown tied his career-high with seven three's at Boise State on Feb. 24. On the season, Brown is shooting 43.5 percent from three-point range which is the second-best mark in the Big West Conference.
Jorssen Coming To Life: Just like last year when senior center Dimitri Jorssen finished the season strong, the Belguim native seems to be getting into another groove. Over the past six games, Jorssen is averaging 11.5 points and 6.2 rebounds. He has scored in double-figures in each of his last four games and scored a career-high 17 points against UC Santa Barbara Thursday night.
Keep It Under 60: Utah State has been nearly unbeatable as of late when its opponents score less than 60 points in a game. Thus far this year, USU is 16-1 when its opponents score less than 60 points, and the Aggies were 12-0 last season when its opponents didn't hit 60. The last time USU lost a game when its opponent didn't score 60 points was a 56-51 loss at UC Irvine. Utah State is 32-2 in three years under head coach Stew Morrill when USU holds its opponents to under 60 points.
Over At The Half: Utah State had made a habit of winning games on a regular basis when leading at half-time over recent years. In fact, USU had won 39 games in a row when leading at the half before letting a 10-point half-time advantage slip away against Austin Peay State on Nov. 19, 2000. USU has however recorded a 61-2 mark when leading at half-time over its last 63 games, and is 20-1 this season when leading at the half.
Daniels Third All-Time In Blocks: Senior forward Shawn Daniels is third all-time at Utah State with 107 career-blocks, trailing only Gilbert Pete (155) and Nate Wickizer (148). Daniels tied the USU single-season record with 58 blocks last season. His career-average of 1.69 is the best per game block average in school history.
Daniels Sixth In The Country: As of Feb. 26th, senior Shawn Daniels is sixth in the country in field-goal percentage at 60.4 percent. That mark is the second-best in the Big West. He also leads the league in blocked shots at 1.69.
Rock 10th All-Time In Assists: Senior guard Bernard Rock has moved into 10th place all-time at Utah State with 273 career-assists. He has averaged 4.3 assists in his career which is fifth-best all-time at USU.
Fifth In The Country In Points Allowed: Utah State is among the elite teams in the country when it comes to team defense this season. As of Feb. 26, USU is fifth in the country in points allowed (58.6) and 12th in the country in field-goal percentage defense (39.5). Furthermore, the Aggies are 10th in the country in field-goal percentage (49.2), 11th in winning percentage (.815), 15th in scoring margin (+12.6), and 26th in three-point field-goal percentage (38.8).
It's All About The Defense: If there is one single stat that can be looked at to determine if Utah State is playing well it would be defensive field-goal percentage. Of Utah State's five losses on the year, four have occurred when the Aggies have allowed its opponent's to shoot better than 46 percent from the floor.
Solid Defense In League: For the most part, Utah State's defense in league has been simply outstanding. In its 16 games, USU has held 13 of its opponents to 60 or fewer points and 10 of its 16 league opponent's to below 40 percent shooting from the field. Overall, USU has held 18 of its opponent's on the season to below 60 points and 17 of its opponent's to below 40 percent shooting from the field.
All Or Nothing: It has been all or nothing for USU in the Big West this season as the Aggies won all 13 of its league games by at least 10 points. No other team in school history has won as many league games by double-digits.
Aggies Among The Best In The Country Over The Last Two Years: Utah State is among some select company over the past two seasons with one of the best records in the country. USU is 52-11 over the past two seasons for a winning percentage of .825. That mark is the fifth-best mark in the country, and Utah State is one of only seven schools in the country that have won at least 50 games over the past two seasons. The following is a breakdown of the teams that have won at least 50 games over the past two seasons as of March 5, 2001.
Team Record Pct. 1. Iowa State 58-9 .866 2. Duke 56-8 .875 3. Michigan State 56-10 .848 4. Stanford 54-5 .915 5. UTAH STATE 52-11 .825 6. Tulsa 51-15 .773 7. Florida 50-14 .781
Back-Court Tandem: Utah State has been nearly unbeatable over the past two seasons when the back-court tandem of Bernard Rock and Tony Brown outscore its opponent's back-court. The Aggies are 35-1 over the past two seasons when Rock and Brown outscore its opponent's back-court.
Close Losses: Of Utah State's five losses on the season, four have come by a combined total of 12 points. Two of those losses were in overtime (Austin Peay and Boise State), one was by two points (BYU), and the other five points (UCI).
Daniels Named To The NABC District 14 Second Team: Senior forward Shawn Daniels was named to the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) District 14 second-team on March 2. Daniels is USU's second leading scorer (12.1) and the teams leading rebounder (6.7). Daniels joined Oregon's Bryan Bracey, Santa Clara's Brian Jones, Gonzaga's Dan Dickau, and Oregon State's Deandre Tanner. The 150 student-athletes selected by NABC, from 15 districts, are now eligible for the NABC/Chevrolet Division I All-American Team to be announced at the conclusion of the 2001 NCAA men's basketball season.
What A Group: No other group in Utah State history has had the success that this group of Aggies have had over the last two years. During that time, USU is 52-11 overall and 32-3 in the Big West Conference, both of which are records for a two-year span. The previous best for a two-year period at Utah State was accomplished by the 1997 and 1998 teams that went 45-17 overall and 29-8 in league play.
Recapping the Cal Poly Game: In front of a nationally televised audience on ESPN, Utah State's men's basketball team completed its undefeated home season by rolling over Cal Poly 82-55 to improve to 24-5 on the season. The Aggies finished the Big West Conference regular season with a 13-3 mark and will be the number two seed heading into the league tournament next week in Anaheim, Calif. After leading by just one point (6-5) in the first three minutes of the game, Utah State turned up the intensity and extended that lead to 22 points at the half by outscoring Cal Poly 35-14 over the final 17 minutes of the first-half. Junior guard Tony Brown led the offensive attack for the Aggies as he scored 11 first-half points on three-of-four shooting from three-point range. As a team, Utah State was just as hot shooting 51.9 percent in the opening period while holding the Mustangs to just 23.1 percent. The game was never really in doubt in the second-half as Cal Poly could get no closer than 62-40 midway through the second period. Utah State's largest lead of the game came with 3:12 remaining in the contest with the Aggies ahead 76-46 before finishing with a 27 point victory. Utah State had five players score in double-figures in the game led by Brown's 14 points. Senior forward Shawn Daniels added 12 points and seven rebounds, while senior forward Curtis Bobb had 11 points. Seniors Bernard Rock and Dimitri Jorssen each scored 10 as USU finished its home season with a 15-0 record. Senior Dion Bailey made his first career-start for Utah State on senior night and responded with seven points, four rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes. As a team, Utah State shot 55.2 percent from the floor and held Cal Poly, the league's most explosive offense to just 38.2 percent.
Last Meeting Cal State Fullerton: (See boxscore on page 25 of this release.) One week after recording its largest road win in eight years at Cal State Fullerton (76-52), Utah State faced the Titans at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum and sweep the season series with a 58-46 win. The Aggies built a 10-point lead at half-time and held on for a 58-46 win. Shawn Daniels led Utah State with 16 points and six rebounds, while Bernard Rock added 10 points. The Aggies shot just 46.8 percent in the game but did hold CS Fullerton to 31.4 percent.
Morrill Versus Cal State Fullerton: Head coach Stew Morrill is 4-1 all-time against Cal State Fullerton and has won the last three games. Morrill is 3-1 versus the Titans at Utah State, and was 1-0 against CSF at Montana.
Perfect Record At Home: The 2000-01 team became just the third team in school history to go undefeated at home on the season as the Aggies were a perfect 15-0. The only other two teams to go undefeated at home over the course of a season where the 1997-98 team that went 15-0 and the 1973-74 team that went 14-0 at home. Its 15 win at home on the year tied the 1999-2000 and 1997-98 teams for most wins at home in a single-season with 15.
23-Game Home Court Winning Streak: Utah State has won its last 23 games at home dating back to Jan. 8, 2000. USU's last loss at home was a 82-73 decision to BYU. USU has won 35 of its last 36 games at home. That 23-game winning streak at home is the fourth longest streak in the country. Michigan State leads the country with a 45 game winning streak at home, while Iowa State has won 36 in a row. Detroit is third with 31 wins, followed by Utah State with 23.
22-Game Home Court Winning Streak In League: In league play, Utah State has won its last 22 home games and 41 of its last 42. Over the past two seasons, USU has won 15 of its 16 league games by at least 10 points. The only time USU did not defeat a league opponent at home by 10 or more points over the last two seasons was when the Aggies beat Pacific by nine in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Feb. 17, 2000.
Home Sweet Home: Utah State has had tremendous success at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum since the building was opened for the 1970-71 season. In its first 30 years, USU has had only one losing season at home, with a 3-8 record during the 1981-82 year. All-time, Utah State is 337-96 (.778) at home. Over the past five seasons, the Aggies have compiled an incredible 68-3 (.958) record at home.
Morrill Comfortable At Home: Utah State head coach Stew Morrill is very comfortable at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, and his record would confirm that fact. Since becoming USU's head coach prior to the 1998-99 season, Coach Morrill is 42-3 (.933) at home.