July 12, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State University's head men's basketball coach Stew Morrill announced the Aggies' 2012-13 schedule, which includes 30 regular-season games, highlighted by three against in-state foes as well as 18 home games in the spirited, friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Among USU's opponents are at least six games against teams that made the postseason in 2012.
USU's two exhibition contests and its first four games of the regular-season will be played in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, where the Aggies have won 100 of their last 107 games, and have amassed a 210-18 (.921) record at home under Morrill, including a 53-9 (.855) home ledger in Western Athletic Conference games, as well as 105-8 (.929) in non-conference games.
"The first thing that is a big change from last year is only 12 non-league games compared to 17 in 2011-12 season," Morrill said. "Obviously that is due to a larger WAC schedule with 18 league games versus 14 last season."
Highlighting Utah State's 2012-13 non-conference schedule will be a home game against Saint Mary's, the defending West Coast Conference champions and an NCAA Tournament team from a year ago, as well as a home game against in-state foe Weber State, who played in last year's Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament.
"There are the usual challenges and opportunities in the schedule. We play WCC favorite Saint Mary's at home early and that will certainly give us an idea of where we are," Morrill said.
The Aggies have three non-conference road games, including two in the state, as they'll travel south to take on Brigham Young, an NCAA Tournament participant, and Utah Valley, who played in last season's Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament after winning its second-straight Great West Conference regular-season championship. Utah State's lone non-conference out-of-state trip will be its first road game of the year, heading to Santa Clara.
USU will host the World Vision Challenge sponsored by Gossner Foods, welcoming Southern Illinois, Nicholls State and UC Davis right before Christmas in addition to hosting an ESPNU BracketBusters game in February.
"We have the in-state games with all the normal emphasis on those rivalries, our annual pre-Christmas Tournament that includes Missouri Valley Conference power Southern Illinois, in addition to a swan song BracketBuster game in February that finish up the non-conference," Morrill said.
USU's eighth and final season in the WAC will also include two postseason teams, facing defending conference champion and NCAA Tournament participant New Mexico State as well as WAC-newcomer UT Arlington, who played in last year's National Invitational Tournament after winning the Southland Conference regular-season title. The Aggies will also be taking on four other new WAC foes in Denver, Seattle, Texas State and UTSA, as well as traditional league match-ups against Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State and San Jose State.
"Our last year in the WAC will be sentimental for me and a big challenge. With many new players, I'm sure we won't be a favorite, and yet we hope to challenge for a fifth conference championship in our eight years of WAC play," Morrill said. "All in all, it should be lots of fun. We look forward to getting better as we go."
The Aggies open with exhibition games against Grand Canyon and Simon Fraser on Friday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Nov. 3, respectively, before hosting Idaho State on Saturday, Nov. 10 in the 2012-13 season-opener, the first of four-straight home games. USU will then host a pair of out-of-state foes in the same weekend when it hosts Saint Mary's on Thursday, Nov. 15 and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday, Nov. 17.
A Beehive State battle is in store for Thanksgiving weekend when Morrill and the Aggies host in-state foe Weber State, under the direction of former USU assistant coach Randy Rahe on Saturday, Nov. 24. Utah State will hit the road for the first time to close out the month of November, heading to Santa Clara on Wednesday, Nov. 28, as Morrill will again be facing another former assistant coach as former Aggie assistant James Ware is on the Broncos' bench.
Utah State returns to the state of Utah but continues road action by playing at BYU on Wednesday, Dec. 5. USU will then host Western Oregon on Saturday, Dec. 8 before its final non-conference road game of the season, heading to Utah Valley on Saturday, Dec. 15.
The Aggies will then host the 2012 World Vision Challenge sponsored by Gossner Foods which runs from Thursday, Dec. 20 through Saturday, Dec. 22, featuring Southern Illinois, Nicholls State and UC Davis.
Utah State will close out December by opening its eighth and final season of WAC action by heading to Texas to face conference newcomers UTSA and Texas State on Saturday, Dec. 29 and Monday, Dec. 31, respectively, in USU's first-ever match-ups against both schools. The Aggies will kick off the new year by hosting another first-year WAC member in Seattle on Thursday, Jan. 3 before hosting Idaho and former USU assistant coach Don Verlin on Saturday, Jan. 5. Utah State will round out its longest WAC homestand of the season by hosting San Jose State on Saturday, Jan. 12.
After playing at New Mexico State on Thursday, Jan. 17, USU will play at another first-year WAC team, Denver, on Saturday, Jan. 19. The Aggies return home to host first-year WAC foe UT Arlington on Thursday, Jan. 24, in the Mavericks' second year in a row playing in the Spectrum after playing in last year's World Vision Challenge sponsored by Gossner Foods, before USU faces Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Jan. 26. USU completes January action and opens February play by heading to the Northwest, with a match-up at Idaho on Thursday, Jan. 31 and at Seattle on Saturday, Feb. 2. The Aggies' longest road stretch of the regular-season concludes on Saturday, Feb. 9 at San Jose State.
A three-game homestand opens on Thursday, Feb. 14 with a Valentine's Day match-up with Denver, before an all-Aggie clash between USU and New Mexico State on Saturday, Feb. 16. For the eighth year in row, Utah State will be participating in the ESPNU BracketBusters, and will host an opponent to be determined on Friday, Feb. 22 or Saturday, Feb. 23.
The Aggies' final regular-season road trip will take them to Louisiana Tech on Thursday, Feb. 28 and play at UT Arlington for the first time in school history on Saturday, March 2. To conclude the regular-season portion of the ledger, Utah State will host Texas State on Thursday, March 7 and UTSA on Saturday, March 9 in both teams' first-ever visits to the Spectrum.
The 2013 WAC Tournament will once again be held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., from Mar. 12-16, utilizing the traditional 10-team tournament format, with the No. 10 seed meeting No. 7 and No. 8 will face No. 9 in the first round, with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals.
Utah State returns three starters among five lettermen from last year's team that finished the season with a 21-16 record, advancing to the championship game of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT). Headlining the returners is junior guard Preston Medlin, who averaged 17.0 points per game to go with 4.4 rebounds per contest, and was named first-team all-WAC in 2012, marking the 13th-straight year that Utah State has had at least one player earn first-team all-conference honors. For Medlin, he is just the second sophomore in school history to earn first-team all-league honors along with Nate Harris (2004).
Also returning is senior forward Kyisean Reed, who was a member of the WAC's all-newcomer team after posting 10.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in his first season as an Aggie. Junior guard Danny Berger is the third returning starter for USU, after tallying 6.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game in 2012, also his first season as an Aggie. Morrill and USU will also have eight newcomers in 2012-13.
Utah State extended its current school records for consecutive 20-win seasons and postseason appearances to 13-straight in 2012 as it is one of just five schools nationally to win 21 games in each of the last 13 years along with Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas and Syracuse. Furthermore, USU's current run of 13-straight postseason appearances is tied for the 11th-longest active streak in the nation.
For USU men's basketball ticket information, contact the Utah State Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
Fans can follow the Aggie men's basketball program at twitter.com/AggieHoops. USU fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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