Men's Basketball Announces 2005-06 Schedule
Aug. 2, 2005
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State University's men's basketball coach Stew Morrill announced Tuesday the upcoming 2005-06 schedule as the Aggies begin competition in the Western Athletic Conference this fall after spending the past 27 years as a member of the Big West Conference.
Utah State will play a total of 29 games on the season which includes two exhibition contests, 11 non-conference tilts and 16 league games. The Aggies will have 17 home games at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, a venue where USU has gone 108-8 (.931) over the past eight seasons.
"Overall, this schedule presents as big a challenge as we've had since I've been here," said Morrill. "When you look at entering a new league, the in-state games, and the other challenging non-conference opponents, it is definitely going to test us and we will find out what kind of basketball team we have."
After playing exhibition games against Occidental College on Nov. 4 and Global Sports on Nov. 12, Utah State will begin the year by playing five of its first seven games on the road as the Aggies start the season with a road trip at Oral Roberts and at Middle Tennessee before opening its home season against Lewis and Clark College on Sat., Nov. 26.
The Aggies other non-conference games include road trips to in-state rivals Utah and Weber State, along with home matchups against Middle Tennessee, Oral Roberts, Brigham Young and South Dakota State. USU also welcomes Arkansas-Little Rock, Binghamton and Idaho State to the 12th annual Gossner Foods Classic on Dec. 29-30.
Utah State opens its inaugural season in the Western Athletic Conference on Sat., Dec. 17 at Hawai'i and plays its first league home game on Thur., Jan. 12 against Boise State. USU will also play two of its conference games on Monday to accommodate television as the Aggies' game at Nevada on Jan. 23 will be televised by ESPN as will its home game against Hawai'i on Jan. 30. In all, USU will play 16 league games during the season.
"Moving from the Big West Conference to the Western Athletic Conference is exciting but also extremely challenging," added Morrill. "There's no question it's a step up in terms of the overall caliber of competition and we are well aware of what we're getting into with the athleticism and talent in the WAC."
The 2006 Western Athletic Conference Tournament will be held in Reno, Nev., from Mar. 7-11 at the Lawlor Events Center. The first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament will be held on Mar. 16-19.
Overall, Utah State will have a minimum of five games against teams that appeared in the postseason last year with two encounters against both Nevada (NCAA) and Oral Roberts (NIT), and one game against Utah (NCAA). Over the last six years, Utah State has compiled an incredible 152-41 (.788) record including an amazing 84-20 (.808) mark in league play.
Utah State returns four starters and five lettermen from last year's team that went 24-8 on the season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in the last six years after defeating then 16th-ranked Pacific in the championship game of the Big West Tournament.