Utah State Announces 2010-11 Men's Basketball Schedule
Sept. 3, 2010
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State University's head men's basketball coach Stew Morrill announced Friday the upcoming 2010-11 schedule as the Aggies will play a total of 31 games during the regular season, which includes five contests against in-state opponents and a minimum of 11 games against postseason teams from a year ago.
During the 2010-11 season, Utah State will play 17 games in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, a venue where it has won 51 of its last 52 contests. Overall, the Aggies have posted an incredible 176-13 (.931) home record under Morrill, which includes a 37-3 (.925) record in WAC play.
Highlighting Utah State's non-conference schedule will be a game against Big East Conference power Georgetown on Saturday, Dec. 4 in Washington, D.C. It will be the Aggies first regular season matchup against a BCS school since defeating Iowa, 75-62, in the 2007 South Padre Island Invitational. It is also the first time USU has traveled to a BCS school during the regular season since it played at Rutgers during the 1992-93 campaign. Utah State's game with Georgetown will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
Overall, Utah State's non-conference schedule consists of five games against postseason teams from a year ago as it will host Northeastern, Troy and Weber State, and play at Brigham Young along with its game at Georgetown. Both the Cougars and Hoyas played in the NCAA Tournament a year ago, while Northeastern, Troy and Weber State all participated in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) in 2010. Utah State will also host Utah at home during the preseason, a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament two years ago.
In all, Utah State's non-conference schedule consists of nine teams with winning records in 2010, including six who won at least 20 games. Other postseason teams from the 2009-10 season on Utah State's schedule include New Mexico State who played in the NCAA Tournament, Nevada who played in the NIT, and Louisiana Tech who played in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
"We are excited about the upcoming season and challenges around the corner," said Morrill. "In the preseason we have the in-state games that are always intense and carry added importance. We also have Long Beach State and Northeastern coming to Logan and both teams beat us last year."
After playing exhibition games against Universite Laval and Grand Canyon University on Oct. 30 and Nov. 5, Utah State will open the season with four straight in-state games including its season opener at home against Weber State on Saturday, Nov. 13. USU will then play at BYU on Wednesday, Nov. 17 and at Southern Utah on Saturday, Nov. 20 before hosting Utah on Wednesday, Nov. 24. The Aggies will conclude the month of November at home against Northeastern on Saturday, Nov. 27.
Utah State will begin the month of December with a pair of road games at Denver and Georgetown on Wednesday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 4, respectively, before returning home to host Long Beach State and Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 11. USU will then play its final road game of the preseason on Saturday, Dec. 18 at Utah Valley followed by home games against Idaho State, Western Michigan and Troy in the 2010 World Vision Invitational sponsored by Gossner Foods which runs from Tuesday, Dec. 21 through Thursday, Dec. 23.
"Our game at Denver will be very tough as they lost only one home game last year and even though Georgetown will not be returning to Logan, this is a very exciting game for our players. Visiting Washington, D.C. and playing a Big East Conference team will certainly help prepare us for WAC play, while our Gossner Tournament is always a fun event and prepares us for the WAC Tournament," added Morrill.
Following the Christmas Holiday, Utah State will remain home and begin its quest for a fourth-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season title on Wednesday, Dec. 29 against Hawai'i, followed by a New Year's Eve matchup versus San Jose State in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
"When we get to WAC play we will face the usual tough competition, and with the league ever-changing each team will want to make this season one to remember," Morrill said.
Utah State will have just two home games during the month of January as it faces Louisiana Tech on Thursday, Jan. 20 and hosts New Mexico State on Saturday, Jan. 22. USU returns home on Wednesday, Feb. 2 against Nevada and then plays Boise State at home on Saturday, Feb. 5. The Aggies also have a home game scheduled against Fresno State on Saturday, Feb. 12 before stepping out of league play to host Montana Western on Wednesday, Feb. 16.
Utah State will play its final home game of the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 26 against Idaho and conclude regular season play on the road against Louisiana Tech on Saturday, Mar. 4.
Utah State will also participate in the annual ESPN BracketBusters for the sixth-straight year and travel to an opponent to be determined on Saturday, Feb. 19. The 2011 WAC Tournament will be held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., from Mar. 9-12. This year's tournament will have a different format and will reward teams based on regular season success, giving the top two teams byes into the tournament semifinals.
Under the format, the tournament will begin on Wednesday with two men's and two women's games featuring the No. 5 seed against the No. 8 seed and No. 6 versus No. 7. The winners then advance to Thursday's quarterfinal matchups to play the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds. The winners of those games then advance to Friday's semifinals against the top two seeds. The change also results in two men's and two women's games being played each day of the tournament except for Saturday, which will feature the men's and women's championship games.
Utah State returns four starters and eight lettermen from last year's NCAA Tournament team that finished the year with a 27-8 record and won its third-straight regular season WAC title as it posted a 14-2 record in league play for the second straight year. During the last 11 years, USU has averaged 25.4 wins, has the fourth-best winning percentage in the country at 76.4 percent (279-86), and is one of just three teams in the nation to win at least 23 games in each of those seasons along with Gonzaga and Kansas.
Among those returning for Utah State is senior forward Tai Wesley who earned first-team all-WAC honors a year ago after averaging 13.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 blocks per game. Other returning starters include senior forward Nate Bendall, and senior guards Tyler Newbold and Pooh Williams. Bendall was named to the WAC's all-newcomer team in 2010 as he averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds, while Newbold finished the year averaging 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Williams, who averaged 8.7 points and 2.2 assists as a junior, became the first-ever Aggie named to the WAC's all-defensive team a year ago.
Along with its four returning starters, Utah State welcomes back a pair of proven bench performers in senior guard Brian Green and junior forward Brady Jardine. Green, who was named to the WAC's all-newcomer team in his first season at Utah State, finished the year averaging 7.6 points and led the league in three-point shooting at 50.0 percent, which was also a new USU single-season record. Jardine averaged 6.0 points and 4.6 rebounds during the season, including 7.9 points and 5.1 rebounds during WAC play.
2010-11 Utah State Men's Basketball Schedule
* Denotes Western Athletic Conference game. Home Games in BOLD AND ALL CAPS. All times are Mountain time, tentative and subject to change.