Utah State Heads To NCAA Basketball Tournament

March 11, 2001


Getting Here

  • Utah State finished second in the Big West Conference regular season (13-3 league record) behind UC Irvine (15-1), but won the Big West Tournament with victories against Cal State Fullerton (74-43), Boise State (67-48) and Pacific (50-38).

  • Bernard Rock was named Big West Tournament MVP (led the team with 32 points and 10 assists) while Shawn Daniels (30 points and 25 rebounds) and Curtis Bobb (31 points and 10-of-10 free throws) were named to the all-tournament team as well.

  • USU held all three opponents in the tournament to less than 50 points, marking the first time the Aggies held three opponents to less than 50 points in three straight games since the 1949-50 season.

  • USU limited its three Big West Tournament opponents to an average of 43.0 points, 33.5 field goal percentage and 15.8 three-point percentage while averaging 63.7 points, shooting 45.1 percent from the field, 43..2 percent from three-point range and 74.6 percent from the free throw line.

    USU Key Wins

    W 76-67 vs. Santa Clara
    W 69-66 vs. South Florida
    W 58-57 vs. Utah
    W 67-52 vs. UC Irvine

    USU Key Losses

    L 76-80 vs. Austin Peay (OT)
    L 67-69 vs. Brigham Young
    L 51-56 vs. UC Irvine

    USU at The NCAA

  • USU is making its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance (lost 75-67 to Connecticut in first round in 2000), third in the last four years and 14th overall.

  • USU is making its first back-to-back NCAA Tournament trips since qualifying in 1979 and 1980.

  • USU is 5-15 in its previous 13 NCAA appearances.

  • USU?s last NCAA Tournament win was in 1970 as USU won two games before losing in the West Regional Final. The Aggies are 0-9 since that last win (beat Santa Clara 69-68 back in 1970).

  • Three of USU?s last five NCAA Tournament losses have been by five points or less despite the Aggies not being seeded higher than 10th in any of those tournaments.

  • USU played in the first NCAA Tournament back in 1939 and lost to Oklahoma 50-39 in the first round that year.

  • USU has played in the NCAA Tournament five previous times since seedings started in 1980 and the Aggies were listed as the 11th seed in the west in 1980, 10th in the midwest in 1983, 10th in the midwest in 1988, 12th in the west in 1998 and 12th in the south in 2000 before earning a 12th seed in the east this year.

    USU At The NCAA Tournament

    1939 (First Round * West)
    L 39-50 vs. Oklahoma at San Francisco, CA
    W 51-49 vs. Texas at San Francisco, Calif.

    1962 (Regional Semifinals * West)
    W 78-73 vs. Arizona State at Corvallis, Ore.
    L 62-73 vs. UCLA at Provo, Utah
    L 71-75 vs. Pepperdine at Provo, Utah

    1963 (First Round * West)
    L 75-79 vs. Arizona State at Eugene, Ore.

    1964 (Regional Semifinals * West)
    W 92-90 vs. Arizona State at Eugene, Ore
    L 58-64 vs. San Francisco at Corvallis, Ore.
    L 78-88 vs. Seattle at Corvallis, Ore.

    1970 (Regional Finals * West)
    W 91-81 vs. Texas-El Paso at Provo, Utah
    W 69-68 vs. Santa Clara at Seattle, Wash.
    L 79-101 vs. UCLA at Seattle, Wash.

    1971 (First Round * West)
    L 82-91 vs. Brigham Young at Logan, Utah

    1975 (First Round * West)
    L 63-69 vs. Montana at Pullman, Wash.

    1979 (First Round * West)
    L 67-86 vs. Southern California at L.A., C.A

    1980 (First Round * West * 11th Seed)
    L 73-76 vs. Clemson at Ogden, Utah

    1983 (First Round * Midwest * 10th Seed)
    L 59-64 vs. Iowa at Louisville, Ky.

    1988 (First Round * Midwest * 10th Seed)
    L 77-80 vs. Vanderbilt at Lincoln, Neb.

    1998 (First Round * West * 12th Seed)
    L 68-82 vs. Maryland at Sacramento, Calif.

    2000 (First Round * South * 12th Seed)
    L 67-75 vs. Connecticut at Birmingham, Ala.

    2001 (East Region * 12th Seed)
    vs. Ohio State at Greensboro, N.C.

    Head Coach Stew Morrill

  • Stew Morrill guided Montana to the NCAA in 1991 and Utah State in 2000 and 2001. He led Colorado State to the NIT in 1996 and 1998. He is 0-2 as a coach in the NCAA Tournament and 0-2 in the NIT.

  • Morrill is 70-24 in three years at Utah State and 288-162 in 15 years overall. He was 97-52 in five years at Montana (1987-91) and 121-86 in seven years at Colorado State (1992-98) before coming to Utah State.

  • Morrill has posted two 20-win seasons at each of the three schools he has coached and has won at least 20 games in four of his last five years of coaching (two at Colorado State and two at Utah State).

    The Big West at the NCAA

  • The Big West has not had a team win an NCAA Tournament game since 1993 when New Mexico State beat Nebraska in the first round before losing to Cincinnati in the second round.

  • USU is the first Big West school to go to consecutive NCAA Tournaments since New Mexico State went in 1993 and 1994.

    USU Dominates The Big West

  • All 16 of USU?s wins against Big West schools this year were by at least 10 points (USU was 16-3 against the league including the conference tournament).

  • USU became the first school to win consecutive Big West Tournament titles since UNLV won three straight from 1989-91.

  • USU's three conference losses were by five at UC Irvine, 15 at Long Beach State and one in overtime at Boise State.

    Senior Class

  • USU features five seniors, including four starters, who have put up some big numbers in their two years (only Dimitri Jorssen has been in the program more than two years).

  • This year's team has won 27 games (27-5), the second most in school history behind the 28 last year's team won (28-5).

  • USU is a combined 55-10 in the last two years, including a 29-3 record in Big West Conference games (35-3 if you included the last two league tournaments).


  • Four Aggies average in double-figure points with a fifth player at 8.8.

  • Six different players have led USU in scoring in the last seven games.

    o -Ten players have played in all 32 games with eight averaging at least 10 minutes per game and the other two at 9.6 and 8.3 minutes per game.


  • USU is allowing the opponents just 56.8 points per game for the best mark since scoring average was calculated here in 1958.

    o -USU is allowing the opponent just 38.7 field goal percentage for the third best mark in school history and the best since 1962.

  • USU is allowing the opponent just 30.2 three-point percentage for the second best mark in history (28.5 percent in 1995).

    USU's Probable Starters

    F #5 Shawn Daniels (6-6, 260, Sr., Bakersfield, Calif.) -- Two-time first-team all-Big West selection... Selected as the league's defensive player of the year by the players in the conference... Insider.com Mid Major All-America... Second-team NABC all-district... Big West all-tournament team.

    F #22 Curtis Bobb (6-5, 210, Sr., Aurora, Colo.) -- Honorable mention all-Big West selection... Big West all-tournament team.

    C #14 Dimitri Jorssen (7-0, 245, Sr., Theux, Belgium) -- Second year starter.

    G #10 Bernard Rock (5-10, 155, Sr., New York, N.Y.) -- First-team all-Big West after earning honorable mention honors in 2000... Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player.

    G #31 Tony Brown (6-3, 195, Jr., Hyrum, Utah) -- Second-team all-Big West after earning 1999 all-Freshman honors and 2000 honorable mention honors.

    USU Note-able
    Utah State is 18-5 in the month of March from 1996-present, including a 10-2 mark in Stew Morrill's three years here... USU has produced five 20-win seasons in the last seven years and has averaged 22 wins in that time span... USU is 12-5 in games played away from Logan, Utah this year... USU has played in three tournaments this year and reached the championship game in all three events (runner-up to Austin Peay at the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska, won Gossner Foods Classic at Logan, Utah and won the Big West Tournament at Anaheim, Calif.

    USU Quick Facts

    Location: Logan, Utah
    Founded: 1888
    Enrollment: 21,490
    Nickname: Aggies
    School Colors: Navy Blue and White
    Arena: Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270)
    Conference: Big West
    President: Dr. Kermit L. Hall
    Athletic Director: Rance Pugmire

    Basketball Staff

    Stew Morrill (Gonzaga, 1974) Record at USU: 70-24 (third year) Career Record: 288-162 (15th year)

    Assistants: Randy Rahe, Don Verlin, Mark Arce



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