Basketball Officially Underway With First Practice Of The Season.



Oct. 14, 2000

LOGAN, Utah - Utah State basketball officially got the 2000-01 season underway this morning at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum as the Aggies look to defend its 2000 Big West Championship. USU went a perfect 19-0 in league play last year and set a school record with 28 wins.

A mix of old and new faces graced the court of The Spectrum in the opening practice as head coach Stew Morrill and his staff welcomed back eight letterwinners and four starters to go along with seven newcomers. Among those returnees are first-team all-Big West senior forward Shawn Daniels who lead the Aggies in points (12.0) and rebounds (7.9) per game last year. Senior point guard Bernard Rock, and junior shooting guard Tony Brown, who were both honorable mention all-league players last season are also back, as is senior center Dimitri Jorssen. The seven newcomers for USU include three junior college players and four freshmen.

"If everybody isn't excited about the first practice all around the nation something is wrong," commented head coach Stew Morrill. "I think everybody is fired up after day one. We have a lot of experience and that is the positive thing. We have guys who know the drills and know what we are trying to get done so that helps things move along a little quicker. So, without getting overly excited, I was pleased with the first day."

With so much experience returning for Utah State this season, which includes five seniors, excitement was easily identifiable throughout the course of the opening practice.

"This year I came in knowing what to expect where as last year when I came in I really didn't know what to expect," commented senior forward Shawn Daniels. "The experience we have coming back from last year as far as going to the NCAA Tournament and playing Connecticut, I think that is going to give us an edge to want to get back to that point and play hard all season."

Utah State will have three full weeks of practice before playing its first exhibition game of the season on Sat., Nov. 4 against Global Sports in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at 3:05 p.m. The Aggies first regular season game of the year will be on Fri., Nov. 17 versus Santa Clara in the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska. However, USU fans will get a chance to watch the Aggies on Fri., Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. in a live scrimmage which is open to the public.



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