Oct. 24, 2011
LOGAN, Utah -
Men's Basketball Game Notes vs. UC San Diego
Exhibition Game 1
Utah State (0-0) vs. UC San Diego (0-0)
Friday, Oct. 28, 2011 7 p.m. (MT) Logan, Utah
Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) Aggie Sports Network
GAME DAY HEADLINES
Utah State will begin its 107th season of basketball against UC San Diego on Friday, Oct. 28. USU has an overall record of 1,458-1,006 (.592).
Utah State has won seven exhibition games in a row with its last exhibition loss coming on Oct. 31, 2007 to EA Sports, 86-81. Overall, USU is 19-5 (.792) in exhibition games under head coach Stew Morrill.
For the past 41 years, Utah State has called the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum home and has won 82 percent of its games in the building with an impressive 487-106 (.821) record, including a 193-13 (.937) mark under Morrill.
Utah State returns one starter (Brockeith Pane) and four lettermen from the 2010-11 team that went 30-4, won its fourth-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season title with a 15-1 record, won its second WAC Tournament Championship in the last three years, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in the last 12 years as it lost to Kansas State (73-68) in the second round.
Utah State's current run of winning four-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season championships is the longest in school history. The previous record for consecutive conference titles was two during the 1935-36 seasons in the Rocky Mountain Athletics Conference and the 1997-98 seasons in the Big West Conference.
Utah State returns one player from last season who was honored by the Western Athletic Conference in senior guard Brockeith Pane (First-Team All-WAC). Pane, who was also named the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 WAC Tournament, is the only returning first-team all-league member in the WAC.
Utah State's one returning starter (Brockeith Pane) is its fewest since returning one starter during the 2001-02 season. USU finished with a 23-8 record that season, including tying for first-place in the Big West Conference with a 13-5 mark. USU ended its season with a first-round loss in the postseason National Invitation Tournament.
Utah State's four returning lettermen (E.J. Farris, Morgan Grim, Brady Jardine, Brockeith Pane) are its fewest since returning three lettermen for the 1999-2000 season. That year, USU set a then school-record with a 28-6 record, including a perfect 16-0 mark in the Big West Conference en route to the NCAA Tournament.
Utah State (0-0) will begin the week with its annual Blue-White Scrimmage on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m., and then host UC San Diego (0-0) in its first exhibition game on Friday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. There is no television for Friday's game, but it will be broadcast live on the Aggie Sports Network, along with live streaming on USU's website, www.UtahStateAggies.com.
ON THE AIR
Utah State basketball games are broadcast on KVNU (610 AM/102.1 FM) and KLZX (95.9 FM) in Logan, KZNS (97.5 FM) in Salt Lake City, KZNU (1450 AM) in St. George, KVEL (920 AM) in Vernal, KRPX (95.3 FM) in Price, and KLZX (105.3 FM) in Montpelier, Idaho, as well as on the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com. Al Lewis serves as the play-by-play announcer while Rod Tueller serves as the analyst during home games and select road games.
ON THE INTERNET
All of Utah State's home games are available for fans to listen and watch live via the internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com. Aggie fans will also be able to follow Utah State home games through its web site via GameTracker, a program that documents each play and updates statistics. Fans can also listen to every road game live via USU's web site.
LOOKING AT UTAH STATE
After posting its 12th straight 23-win season, winning its fourth-straight WAC regular season championship including its second WAC Tournament title in the last three years, and playing in its 12th straight postseason (8-NCAA, 4-NIT) including its third-straight NCAA Tournament, Utah State will be looking to replace four starters and six seniors, including the reigning WAC Player of the Year in forward Tai Wesley. Despite the loss of Wesley, along with forwards Nate Bendall and Matt Formisano, and guards Brian Green, Tyler Newbold and Pooh Williams, Utah State does return two of its top five scorers from last season including senior guard Brockeith Pane and senior forward Brady Jardine. Pane, who was named the WAC's Preseason Player of the Year by the media heading into the 2011-12 season, earned first-team all-conference honors as a junior as he finished the year averaging 11.8 points, 3.4 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game, while ranking fourth in the league in free throw shooting (.802), fifth in assists and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.32). Pane, who was also named the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 WAC Tournament, finished the season shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 21.1 percent from three-point range. Jardine has played in 91 games with seven starts during his first three years at USU and averaged 7.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 21.4 minutes as a junior, while shooting 54.1 percent from the field and 64.7 percent at the free throw line. Other returners from last season's WAC Championship team include senior forward Morgan Grim and junior guard E.J. Farris. Grim played in 32 games during his first year at Utah State and averaged 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds in 8.7 minutes, while shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 62.9 percent at the free throw line. Farris played in 21 games in his first year as an Aggie and averaged 1.9 points in 7.3 minutes. Utah State also returns three redshirts in 2011-12 in junior guard Antonio Bumpus, sophomore guard Preston Medlin and freshman forward Ben Clifford. While Bumpus and Clifford have never played for USU, Medlin appeared in 22 games as a true freshman during the 2009-10 season and averaged 3.7 points while shooting 40.9 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and 92.9 percent at the free throw line. Joining Utah State's four returnees and three redshirts are 10 newcomers in junior forwards Igor Premasunac, Kyisean Reed and Jarred Shaw, sophomore forwards Danny Berger and Mitch Bruneel, freshmen forwards David Collette and Adam Thoseby, freshmen guards Sam Orchard and Steven Thornton, and freshman center Jordan Stone.
UTAH STATE LOSES FOUR STARTERS AND EIGHT LETTERWINNERS FROM 2011 WAC CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM
Utah State lost four starters (Nate Bendall, Tyler Newbold, Tai Wesley, Pooh Williams) and four other letterwinners (Brad Brown, Matt Formisano, Brian Green, James Walker III) from last year's WAC Championship team. Wesley was named the WAC's Player of the Year and an honorable mention All-American, while Green earned second-team all-WAC honors and Newbold was named to the league's all-defensive team. Bendall and Wesley also joined current Aggie Brockeith Pane on the WAC's all-tournament team.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State is one of just three teams in the nation to win at least 23 games in each of the last 12 seasons along with Gonzaga and Kansas. During the last 12 years, Utah State has averaged 25.8 wins per season.
UTAH STATE PICKED FIRST BY MEDIA, THIRD BY COACHES IN PRESEASON POLLS
After winning four-straight regular season Western Athletic Conference Championships and two WAC Tournament titles in the past three years, Utah State's men's basketball team is picked to finish first in the conference once again during the 2011-12 season according to league's media, while the coaches have tabbed the Aggies third in the WAC's preseason polls. Nevada is the coaches pick to win the WAC this year after receiving five first-place votes and 46 points, while New Mexico State is slated to finish second after garnering 41 points, but no first-place votes. Utah State received three first-place votes and 38 points and was picked to finish third, followed by Hawai'i (32), Idaho (24), Fresno State (18), San Jose State (14) and Louisiana Tech (11). In the media poll, Utah State garnered 13 first-place votes and 174 points, while Nevada was second with 162 points and five first-place votes. New Mexico State, who received 150 points and three first-place votes was picked third, while Hawai'i received 126 points and three first-place votes and was picked to finish fourth. Idaho was picked fifth (89), followed by San Jose State (66), Fresno State (59) and Louisiana Tech (38).
PANE NAMED WAC PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR BY MEDIA
Senior guard Brockeith Pane was named the WAC's Preseason Player of the Year by the media and a first-team all-league selection by both the media and coaches heading into the 2011-12 season. Overall, Utah State has had the WAC's Player of the Year three times in the last four years in Jaycee Carroll (2008), Gary Wilkinson (2009) and Tai Wesley (2011).
JARDINE NAMED PRESEASON SECOND-TEAM ALL-WAC BY THE COACHES
Senior forward Brady Jardine was named to the WAC's preseason second-team by the coaches heading into the 2011-12 season.
AGGIES BEGIN SEASON WITH THREE IN-STATE GAMES
Utah State will begin the 2011-12 season with three-straight in-state games as it hosts Brigham Young (11/11), plays at Weber State (11/15), and hosts Southern Utah (11/19). Last year, USU began the season with four-straight in-state games.
AGGIES SCHEDULE LOADED WITH POSTSEASON GAMES
Of its 31 regular season games scheduled this year, Utah State will play at least 11 games against teams who participated in postseason play last year. Overall, Utah State's non-conference schedule consists of five games against postseason teams from a year ago as it will host Brigham Young, Kent State and Saint Peter's, and play at Weber State and Wichita State. Both the Cougars and Saint Peter's played in the NCAA Tournament a year ago, while Kent State and Wichita State both participated in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) in 2011, with the Shockers winning the championship. Weber State concluded its 2011 season in the College Basketball Invitational. In all, Utah State's non-conference schedule consists of nine teams with winning records in 2011, including four who won at least 20 games. Other postseason teams from the 2010-11 season on Utah State's schedule include Hawai'i and Idaho who both played in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, and San Jose State who participated in the College Basketball Invitational.
UTAH STATE IN THE DEE GLEN SMITH SPECTRUM
Utah State has won 31 straight home games - the third-longest active winning streak in the nation - and 83 of its last 85 home games overall with its only losses during that stretch coming against Saint Mary's, 68-63, on Dec. 5, 2009 and against Fresno State, 71-66, on March 3, 2007. Saint Mary's snapped USU's school-record 37-game home winning streak, which was the second-longest in the nation at the time. USU has also won 32 straight WAC games at home and 41 of its last 42 overall. Utah State is 193-13 (.937) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under head coach Stew Morrill, which includes a 100-8 (.926) record against conference opponents and a 45-3 (.938) mark against WAC teams. Overall, USU is 487-106 (.821) in this its 42nd year in the building.
FOUR AGGIES EARN ACADEMIC ALL-WAC HONORS IN 2011
Utah State placed four players (Matt Formisano, Brady Jardine, Tyler Newbold, Tai Wesley) on the academic all-WAC team in 2011. The other eight teams in the league combined for 10 academic all-WAC selections. Under Morrill, USU has had 17 players earn academic all-conference honors a total of 30 times.
AGGIE PLAYERS FROM THE STATE OF UTAH
Aggie players from the state of Utah include senior forward Morgan Grim (Riverton/Riverton HS), freshman forward Ben Clifford (South Jordan/Bingham HS), freshman forward David Collette (Murray/Murray HS), freshman guard Sam Orchard (Salt Lake City/Highland HS), and freshman center Jordan Stone (Smithfield/Sky View HS).
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has won 43 of its last 46 regular season games with its only losses coming at No. 23 BYU (78-72), at No. 14 Georgetown (68-51) and at Idaho (64-56).
ABOUT UC SAN DIEGO
UC San Diego, located in La Jolla, Calif., was founded in 1960 and has a current enrollment of 29,899. The Tritons are members of the California Collegiate Athletic Association and competes at the NCAA Division II level. UCSD's first year of basketball was the 1965-66 season and it has an overall record of 588-604 (.493). The Tritons have advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times in school history including once at the DII level.
SCOUTING UC SAN DIEGO
UC San Diego returns four starters (Justin Brue, Christian Hatch, James McCann, Ryan Peters) and six other letterwinners (Matt Bailey, MacKenzie McCullough, Tyler McGrath, Mike Meza, Colin Porter, Ryan Wheeler) from last year's team that finished with an 11-17 record and an 11th-place finish in the California Collegiate Athletic Association with a 6-16 league mark. Senior center Christian Hatch earned second-team all-CCAA honors a year ago as he averaged 14.5 points and 6.7 rebounds, while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 76.8 percent from the free throw line, and sophomore guard James McCann was named the league's Freshman of the Year after averaging 9.7 points, 2.9 assists and 2.3 rebounds, while shooting 36.5 percent from the field, 33.8 percent from three-point range and 82.3 percent at the free throw line. As a team, UC San Diego averaged 62.8 points a year ago, while shooting 41.2 percent from the field, 36.0 percent from three-point range and 73.0 percent at the free throw line. Defensively, UCSD allowed 64.4 points last year and its opponents shot 42.0 percent from the field, 32.7 percent from three-point range and 70.6 percent at the free throw line. Chris Carlson is in his fifth season as the Tritons head coach and has an overall record of 54-57.
VERSUS UC SAN DIEGO
Utah State is 1-0 all-time against UC San Diego as it defeated the Tritons, 82-58, on Dec. 4, 1999 in Logan.
LAST MEETING AGAINST UC SAN DIEGO
Sophomore guard Tony Brown had 16 points, five rebounds and five assists, and senior guard Troy Rolle also scored 16 points in Utah State's 82-58 home win against UC San Diego inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Dec. 4, 1999. Junior forward Shawn Daniels added 15 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots, while junior point guard Bernard Rock finished the game with six points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals. USU's starters shot a blistering 70.6 percent from the field (24-34) as Daniels was 7-of-7, Rolle was 5-of-5, and Brown was 6-of-8, while Rock and sophomore forward Dan Stewart were both 3-of-7 from the field. USU finished the game shooting 52.5 percent (32-61), including 35.3 percent from three-point range (6-17) and 66.7 percent at the free throw line (12-18).USU also out-rebounded UCSD (45-26) and had six more assists (19-13) and three more blocked shots (4-1). Cole Miller had 14 points to lead UC San Diego and Michael Martin finished with 11 points.
LOOKING BACK AT UTAH STATE'S 20010-11 EXHIBITION GAMES
VERSUS UNIVERSITE LAVAL
Junior guard Brockeith Pane led six Utah State players in double-figure scoring with 16 points and junior forward Brady Jardine posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds in an easy 93-51 exhibition win against Universite Laval in front of 6,888 fans Saturday night. Pane, a transfer from Midland (Texas) Junior College, was 5-of-8 from the field, 2-of-4 from three-point range and a perfect 4-of-4 at the free throw line. Jardine, who made his first collegiate start Saturday, finished 4-of-6 from the field and 3-of-5 at the free throw line. Senior guard Brian Green added 15 points off the bench for Utah State on 5-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-6 from three-point range, while fellow senior guard Pooh Williams scored 14 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. Senior forward Tai Wesley finished the game with 11 points, four rebounds and three assists, and junior forward Morgan Grim had 11 points and four boards. Freshman guard James Walker III also had a solid game finishing with six points and a game-high seven assists. Jean-Francois Baulieu-Maheu led Universite Laval with 19 points and Jerome Turcotte-Routhier had 17 points. Utah State never trailed in the game as it led by 10 early on at 19-9 following a three-pointer from Green and extended its lead to 19 at 36-17 on a layup by Green with 7:35 to play in the half. USU shot 54.3 percent from the field (19-35) in the first 20 minutes as Jardine had seven points and nine rebounds. Utah State scored the first four points of the second half and increased its advantage to 30 at 64-34 with 13:20 to play following a layup by senior guard Tyler Newbold. USU took its largest lead of the game at 91-41 following a layup from Grim with 2:50 to play before Universite Laval scored 10 of the final 12 points. Utah State finished the game by shooting 56.7 percent from the field (34-60), 42.1 percent from three-point range (8-19) and 68.0 percent at the free throw line (17-25). Universite Laval shot 34.6 percent overall (18-52), but was held to just 25.0 percent (6-24) in the final 20 minutes. The Red and Gold were also 7-of-24 from behind the arc (.292) and a perfect 8-of-8 at the free throw line. Utah State out-rebounded Universite Laval by 17 (40-23) and finished the game with 20 assists, eight turnovers, seven steals and three blocks. The Red and Gold had 10 assists, 16 turnovers and four steals.
VERSUS GRAND CANYON
While it was only an exhibition game, Utah State's defense was in top form Friday, as the Aggies routed Grand Canyon, 76-46. Utah State was led by senior forward Tai Wesley with 23 points. Junior forward Brady Jardine logged a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, leading the Aggies to a 40-21 rebounding advantage. Senior guard Pooh Williams and junior forward Morgan Grim added nine points apiece, while junior guard Brockeith Pane tossed in eight points to go with dishing out a game-best 10 assists. Grand Canyon, a Division II school from Phoenix, Ariz., was led by Steve Morin and Brad Carroll with 13 and 12 points, respectively, both off the bench. The Aggie defense limited the Antelopes to 29.6 percent (16-of-54) shooting from the field, as GCU hit 6-of-19 (31.6 percent) from three-point range. Utah State scorched the nets to the tune of 62.0 percent (31-of-50) from the field, hitting 5-of-13 (38.5 percent) behind the arc. There were a total of 31 fouls called in the game, as USU was 9-of-17 (52.9 percent) from the free throw line while GCU was 8-of-12 (66.7 percent). Utah State took a double-digit lead at 19-9 on a Grim jumper at the 12:16 mark, and the lead swelled to 21 at 37-16 after a pair of Pane free throws with 2:35 on the first half clock. USU took a 39-18 halftime lead and stretched the lead to 30 at 52-22 with 13:17 to go after Grim hit two free throws. After the Antelopes lopped the lead down to 54-31 on a three-pointer by Morin, the Aggies regained control with a 19-6 spurt, capped by a Wesley dunk for a palindromic 73-37 lead with 4:50 left and USU coasted to the victory. Pane's 10 helpers were part of USU's 22, while swiping seven steals, including two each by Jardine and Williams. GCU was led by Nick Witherill's three assists, while Kyle Speed swiped three steals. The Aggies committed 15 turnovers compared to 12 for the Antelopes.
JARDINE RANKS SIXTH ALL-TIME IN BLOCKED SHOTS
Junior forward Brady Jardine ranks sixth all-time at Utah State with 69 career blocks and is now 21 blocks shy of tying Nate Harris (2003-06) for fifth all-time with 90 career blocks. Gilbert Pete (1986-89) holds the school record with 155 blocks, followed by Nate Wickizer (1992-95) with 148, Tai Wesley (2008-11) with 144, and Shawn Daniels (2000-01) with 117.
JARDINE NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK ONCE LAST SEASON
Senior forward Brady Jardine was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week on Nov. 29, 2010 after leading Utah State to a pair of home wins against Utah (79-62) and Northeastern (56-54). Against the Utes, he posted his second-ever double-double with a career-high 20 points to go along with a career-high 13 rebounds in a career-high 31 minutes. Jardine was 6-of-7 from the field and 8-of-10 at the free throw line in the game. Against the Huskies, Jardine posted another double-double with 15 points and a career-high tying 13 boards as he was 5-of-10 from the field and 5-of-8 at the free throw line. He also tied his career-high with three blocks and played a career-high 34 minutes in the game. For the week, Jardine averaged 17.5 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks, while shooting 64.7 percent from the field (11-17) and 72.2 percent at the free throw line (13-18).
JARDINE NAMED TO ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT TEAM
Utah State men's basketball player Brady Jardine was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII first team last season. Jardine was one of just three players from the Western Athletic Conference to earn academic all-district honors during the 2010-11 season joining teammate Tyler Newbold and Nedeljko Golubovic of Fresno State. The Aggie duo were also the only players from the state of Utah recognized. Along with being academic all-district, Jardine has also earned academic all-WAC honors three times in his career.
PANE SCORED IN DOUBLE-FIGURES IN SIX OF HIS LAST SEVEN GAMES
Senior guard Brockeith Pane scored in double-figures six times in his last seven games and in 19 of his last 25 games overall. Pane also had three 20-point games last year. On the season, he scored in double-figures 22 times to rank second on the team behind Tai Wesley (28). During his last seven games, Pane averaged 15.9 points and 3.87 assists, while shooting 47.6 percent from the field (30-63) and 84.5 percent at the free throw line (49-58). Pane finished the year making 25 of his last 26 free throws.
PANE NAMED MOST VALUABLE PLAYER OF WAC TOURNAMENT
Senior guard Brockeith Pane was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Tournament as he had 16 points and three rebounds against San Jose State in the semifinals and 19 points, four assists and three rebounds in the championship game against Boise State. For the tournament, Pane averaged 17.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists, while shooting 42.9 percent from the field (9-21) and was a perfect 17-for-17 at the free throw line.
UTAH STATE HAS WAC PLAYER OF THE YEAR FOR THIRD TIME IN LAST FOUR YEARS
With senior forward Tai Wesley being named the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Utah State has now had three of the last four players of the year in the conference as Jaycee Carroll won the award in 2008 and Gary Wilkinson won it in 2009. Utah has the most WAC Players of the Year with seven, followed by Nevada with five and BYU with four. USU, Fresno State, San Diego State and Wyoming have all had three.
UTAH STATE TRADITIONALLY ONE OF THE BEST SHOOTING TEAMS IN THE NATION
Utah State has led the nation in field goal shooting three times in the last seven years as it shot 52.5 percent during the 2004-05 season, 51.4 percent during the 2007-08 season, and 49.6 percent during the 2008-09 season. Utah State finished the 2009-10 season ranking third in the nation in three-point shooting (.414), ninth in overall shooting (.488) and 10th in free throw shooting (.758), and was the only team in the nation to rank among the top 10 nationally in all three shooting categories. In 2010-11, Utah State ranked 28th in the nation in overall shooting at 47.0 percent.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State is the only team in the nation to have winning streaks of at least 10 games in each of the last four seasons as it had a 10-game winning streak in 2008, a school-record tying 19-game winning streak in 2009, a 17-game winning streak in 2010 and a 17-game winning streak in 2011.
UTAH STATE NATIONALLY RANKED FOR THIRD TIME IN LAST EIGHT YEARS
Utah State ended the 2010-11 season ranked No. 25 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll and ended the season nationally ranked for nine straight weeks, which is its longest streak since being ranked for 11 straight weeks during the 1970-71 season. That No. 25 national ranking for Utah State marks the first time it has been ranked at the end of a season since the 1977-78 USU team finished the year ranked No. 17 in the final United Press Coaches' Poll. Overall, it is just the eighth time in school history that an Aggie team has been nationally ranked at the end of the year joining the 1960 (7th), 1962 (19th), 1964 (15th), 1967 (14th), 1970 (17th), 1975 (13th) and 1978 teams (17th). Utah State entered the 2011 NCAA Tournament ranked No. 17 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll and No. 19 in the Associated Press Poll. The Associated Press does not produce an end-of-season poll. Utah State's No. 17 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll is the highest-ever ranking for Utah State in that poll which expanded from 20 to 25 teams prior to the 1990-91 season. USU was also ranked 17th in coaches' poll earlier in the year and during the 2008-09 season. USU's No. 19 ranking in the AP poll is the highest since the 2003-04 season was also ranked No. 19. Overall, it is the second time in the last three years and the third time in the past eight seasons that Utah State has been ranked in both polls. The last time a Utah State team was ranked higher than 17th in any poll was at the end of the 1974-75 season when it was ranked 13th in the final United Press International Coaches' poll.
UTAH STATE WINS SEVENTH CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP UNDER MORRILL AND 16TH ALL-TIME
With its fourth-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season championship last year, Utah State has now won seven league titles under head coach Stew Morrill and 16 conference championships all-time in school history (1918, 1926, 1930, 1935, 1936, 1980, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011).
UTAH STATE'S FOUR STRAIGHT WAC CHAMPIONSHIPS A SCHOOL RECORD
Utah State's four consecutive regular season WAC championships is a school record and the longest streak by a WAC team since Nevada won five straight league titles from 2004-08. The previous school record for consecutive conference titles was two during the 1935-36 seasons in the Rocky Mountain Athletics Conference and the 1997-98 seasons in the Big West Conference.
UTAH STATE WINS EIGHTH POSTSEASON TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State won its eighth postseason tournament championship, and second Western Athletic Conference tournament championship last year. It is also the sixth time under Morrill that USU has won a tournament title (2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2011) as the first four were when the Aggies were a member of the Big West Conference.
UTAH STATE TIED WITH KANSAS FOR BEST WINNING PERCENTAGE IN CONFERENCE GAMES DURING LAST THREE YEARS
During the past three years, Utah State has produced a 43-5 (.896) record in WAC play and that winning percentage ranks tied for first in the nation along with Kansas who is also 43-5 (.896) in the Big 12 during the last three years.
UTAH STATE FINISHES YEAR RANKING THIRD IN THE NATION IN FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE DEFENSE
Utah State finished the 2010-11 season ranking third in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.383), fourth in winning percentage (.882), fifth in scoring defense (58.7), sixth in scoring margin (+13.4), eighth in rebound margin (+7.6), 11th in three-point field goal percentage defense (.302), 28th in field goal percentage (.470), 32nd in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.24), 40th in fewest turnovers per game (11.8) and 47th in free throw shooting (.737).
UTAH STATE SETS SCHOOL RECORD FOR WINNING PERCENTAGE
Utah State finished the 2010-11 season setting a school record with a winning percentage of 88.2 percent, bettering the previous record of 86.2 percent set during the 2003-04 season. USU also tied the 2008-09 team for the most wins in school history with 30. Utah State also finished the year ranking fourth all-time in school history in three-point attempts (562), tied for fifth in three-pointers made (206), sixth in blocked shots (110), eighth in total points (2,449), ninth in assists (500), ninth in free throws made (563) and ninth in free throw percentage (.737). USU also played 34 games to rank tied for fifth all-time in school history.
UTAH STATE HAS THIRD-LONGEST HOME WINNING STREAK IN THE NATION
Utah State has won 31 straight home games, which is the third-longest active winning streak in the nation behind Duke (36) and Kentucky (34). Overall, USU has won 83 of its last 85 home games with its last loss coming against Saint Mary's (68-63) on Dec. 5, 2009 as the Gaels snapped USU's school-record 37-game home winning streak. Utah State has also won 32 straight WAC home games, which is a school record, and 41 of its last 42 overall. The last WAC team to beat USU at home was Fresno State (71-66) on March 3, 2007. FS is also the last team to sweep a season series with USU during the 2006-07 year.
UTAH STATE NOTCHES 12TH STRAIGHT 23 WIN SEASON
With its 71-55 win against Fresno State on Feb. 12, Utah State has now won 23 or more games in each of the last 12 seasons to extend its current school record. The previous USU record for consecutive 20-win seasons was three from 1962 to 1964. Overall, it is the 26th time in school history that USU has won 20 games.
UTAH STATE ONE OF THREE TEAMS NATIONALLY TO NOTCH 12 STRAIGHT 23-WIN SEASONS
Utah State is one of just three teams in the nation to win at least 23 games in each of the last 12 seasons along with Gonzaga and Kansas. During the last 12 years, Utah State has averaged 25.8 wins per season.
UTAH STATE ONE OF FIVE TEAMS IN THE COUNTRY TO WIN FOUR-STRAIGHT LEAGUE TITLES
Utah State is one of five teams in the nation to win at least four-straight regular season conference championships. Gonzaga has the longest active streak as it has won 11 straight West Coast Conference titles, while Kansas is second with seven straight Big 12 titles. Butler (Horizon) and Xavier (Atlantic 10) are tied for third as each school has won five-straight league championships, while Utah State (WAC) has won four-straight league titles.
UTAH STATE RETURNING PLAYER NOTES
#0 Brockeith Pane - Earned first-team all-WAC honors and was named to the league's all-newcomer team after averaging 11.8 points, 3.4 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game, while shooting 43.6 percent from the field (123-282), 21.1 percent from three-point range (16-76) and 80.2 percent at the free throw line (138-172)... Started 33 games in his first season at Utah State and played in all 34... Ranked first on the team in assists (116) and steals (31), and was third in minutes played (28.3)... Finished the year ranking fourth in the WAC in free throw shooting, fifth in assists and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.32)... In WAC games, he averaged 12.5 points and 4.4 assists, and shot 49.6 percent from the field (68-137), 13.2 percent from three-point range (5-38) and 75.6 percent at the free throw line (59-78)... Scored a season-high 23 points in his first-ever Aggie game against Weber State (11/13) as he was 6-of-11 from the field and 11-for-13 at the free throw line... Those 23 points are the most for a player in his Aggie debut since Jay Goodman scored 33 points during the 1990 season... Recorded a season-high nine rebounds at Denver (12/1) and a season-high nine assists against Louisiana Tech (1/20)... Scored in double-figures 22 times during the season, including six times in his last seven games... Also had three 20-point games as he scored 21 points at home against San Jose State (12/31) and had 22 points at 23rd-ranked Saint Mary's (2/19) in the annual ESPNU BracketBusters, to go along with his 23 points against Weber State... Also had a season-high four steals against the Gaels as he was 5-of-7 from the field, 1-of-2 from three-point range and 11-for-14 at the free throw line... Was named the Most Valuable Player of the WAC Tournament as he had 16 points and three rebounds against San Jose State in the semifinals and 19 points, four assists and three rebounds in the championship game against Boise State... For the tournament, he averaged 17.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists, while shooting 42.9 percent from the field (9-21) and was a perfect 17-for-17 at the free throw line... Scored 17 points against Kansas State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament as he was 4-of-9 from the field, 1-of-3 from three-point range and 8-for-9 at the free throw line... Finished the year by making at least eight free throws in five of his last seven games... Led the team in scoring 10 times and in assists 16 times.
#13 Preston Medlin - Played in 22 games during the 2009-10 season at Utah State and averaged 10.6 minutes off the bench... Finished the year averaging 3.7 points and 0.7 rebounds, while shooting 40.9 percent from the field, 37.5 percent from three-point range and 92.9 percent at the free throw line... Scored a season-high 17 points against Southern Utah (11/28) as he was 5-of-8 from the field and 5-of-6 from three-point range, which ranks tied for the ninth-best single-game shooting performance from behind the arc in school history... Scored eight or more points five times during the season... Had a season-high three rebounds against Brigham Young (12/2) and played a season-high 19 minutes in back-to-back games at Cal State Bakersfield (12/16) and Long Beach State (12/18)... An academic all-WAC honoree.
#14 E.J. Farris - Played in 21 games during his first year of eligibility at Utah State... Finished the year averaging 1.9 points, 0.6 assists and 0.5 rebounds, while shooting 33.3 percent from the field (14-42), 33.3 percent from three-point range (8-24) and 80.0 percent (4-5) at the free throw line in 7.3 minutes per game... Had his best game of the season at No. 14 Georgetown (12/4) as he scored a season-high six points going 2-of-3 from three-point range... Also had a season-high three rebounds against the Hoyas and played a season-high 19 minutes... Also scored six points against Montana Western (2/16) as he was 3-of-3 from the field... Had a season-high three assists against New Mexico State (1/22) and a season-high two steals at Louisiana Tech (3/5)... Scored five points three times during the season against Northeastern (11/27), New Mexico State (1/22) and Boise State (2/5).
#21 Morgan Grim - Played in 32 games during his first year at Utah State, averaging 8.7 minutes off the bench... Averaged 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds, while shooting 47.7 percent from the field (31-65) and 62.9 percent at the free throw line (22-35)... Finished the year with 11 blocks to rank third on the team... Also took 10 charges to rank second on the team to go along with three dunks... Played 20-plus minutes in each of his first two games, filling in for an injured Nate Bendall... Had season-highs with nine points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots in 22 minutes against Weber State (11/13) in the season opener as he was 3-of-7 from the field and 3-for-4 at the free throw line... Played a season-high 24 minutes in his next game at Brigham Young as he had five points and six boards.
#22 Brady Jardine - Played in all 34 games and started the first seven games of the year filling in for an injured Nate Bendall... Averaged 10.4 points and 8.9 rebounds as a starter, while shooting 57.4 percent from the field (27-47) and 67.9 percent at the free throw line (19-28)... Named the WAC Player of the Week on Nov. 29 after leading USU to a pair of home wins against Utah (79-62) and Northeastern (56-54)... Against the Utes, he posted his second-ever double-double with a career-high 20 points to go along with a career-high 13 rebounds in a career-high 31 minutes as he was 6-of-7 from the field and 8-of-10 at the free throw line... Posted another double-double against the Huskies with 15 points and a career-high tying 13 boards as he was 5-of-10 from the field and 5-of-8 at the free throw line... Also tied his career-high with three blocks and played a career-high 34 minutes against Northeastern... Overall, averaged 7.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 21.4 minutes per game on the season, while shooting 54.1 percent from the field and 64.7 percent at the free throw line... Ranked second on the team and sixth in the WAC with 1.00 blocks per game... Was also second on the team in rebounding... Scored in double-figures nine times during the year, including three double-doubles and six double-figure rebounding games... Led the team in rebounding nine times and in scoring once... Had a team-leading 25 dunks during the season to go along with four charges taken... Earned academic all-WAC honors and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII first-team.
RANKING UTAH STATE IN THE WAC
Utah State finished the 2010-11 season ranking first in the WAC in scoring defense (58.7), first in scoring margin (+13.4), first in assists (14.71), first in field goal percentage (.470), first in field goal percentage defense (.383), first in rebound margin (+7.6), first in three-point field goal percentage defense (.302), second in free throw shooting (.737), second in rebounding (37.2), third in three-point field goal percentage (.367) and third in scoring (72.0). Individually, senior forward Tai Wesley ranked second in field goal shooting (.599), fourth in rebounding (8.0), fifth in blocked shots (1.06) and sixth in scoring (14.8). Senior guard Brian Green ranked first in three-point shooting (.469) and 10th in overall shooting (.482). Senior guard Tyler Newbold ranked seventh in assists (2.76) and 15th in three-point shooting (.345). Junior guard Brockeith Pane ranked fourth in free throw shooting (.802), fifth in assists (3.41) and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.32). Junior forward Brady Jardine ranked sixth in blocked shots (1.00) and seventh in rebounding (7.0). Senior guard Pooh Williams ranked 12th in three-point shooting (.367) and senior forward Nate Bendall ranked 10th in rebounding (5.8).
HEAD COACH Stew Morrill NOTES
MORRILL NAMED 2011 JIM PHELAN NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR
Utah State men's basketball coach Stew Morrill was named the 2011 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year at the Final Four in Houston. Named after legendary Mount St. Mary's head coach Jim Phelan, who won over 800 games and coached in more contests than any in college basketball history, the award is presented annually to the top coach in America by CollegeInsider.com. The honor is voted upon by a distinguished group of coaches, media members and athletic administrators. Other finalists for this year's award included Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Rick Byrd (Belmont), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Billy Donavan (Florida), Steve Fisher (San Diego State), Greg Kampe (Oakland), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Steve Lavin (St. John's), Thad Matta (Ohio State), Sean Miller (Arizona), Matt Painter (Purdue), Rick Pitino (Louisville), Dave Rose (BYU), Bill Self (Kansas) and Roy Williams (North Carolina).
MORRILL NAMED NABC DISTRICT 6 COACH OF THE YEAR IN 2011
Veteran Utah State men's basketball coach Stew Morrill was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 6 Coach of the Year as selected by his peers in 2011. It is the second year in a row that Morrill has been named the NABC's Coach of the Year for District 6 as he shared the award a year ago with Northern Colorado's Tad Boyle.
MORRILL NAMED WAC COACH OF THE YEAR FOR THIRD STRAIGHT SEASON
For the third straight year, Utah State head coach Stew Morrill has been named the Don Haskins WAC Coach of the Year after leading Utah State to its fourth-straight regular season conference championship. Morrill has now been named Coach of the Year in his respective conference six times during his illustrious career as he was named the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year in 1991 while at Montana, and the Big West Conference Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2002 while at Utah State, along with earning WAC Coach of the Year honors in each of the last three seasons. Morrill's award last year marks the eighth time in school history that an Aggie coach has been honored as Rod Tueller was named the Big West Conference Coach of the Year in 1980, while Larry Eustachy won the honor in 1995 and 1998.
MORRILL HAS COACHED 14 FIRST-TEAM ALL-LEAGUE PLAYERS AT UTAH STATE
Utah State head coach Stew Morrill has coached 14 first-team all-league players who have won the award a total of 20 times in his 13 years at Utah State. Those players are Shawn Daniels (twice), Troy Rolle, Bernard Rock, Tony Brown, Desmond Penigar (twice), Mark Brown, Cardell Butler, Nate Harris (three times), Spencer Nelson, Jaycee Carroll (twice), Gary Wilkinson, Jared Quayle, Tai Wesley (twice) and Brockeith Pane.
USU HAS 12TH-LONGEST ACTIVE POSTSEASON STREAK
Utah State has advanced to postseason play in each of the last 12 seasons as it has played in eight NCAA Tournaments and four NIT's. That streak of 12 straight postseasons is tied with Notre Dame for the 13th-longest active streak in the nation. Michigan State owns the longest active postseason streak in the nation at 23 with 19 NCAA and four NIT appearances. Kansas is second with 22 straight NCAA trips, while Kentucky is third at 20 with 19 NCAA bids and one NIT appearance. Syracuse (14-NCAA, 4-NIT) is fourth with 18 straight postseason appearances. Duke ranks fifth with 16 straight NCAA trips, while Oklahoma State is sixth with 15 straight (10-NCAA, 5-NIT), and Creighton (7-NCAA, 5-NIT, 1-CIT, 1-CBI) and Gonzaga (13-NCAA, 1-NIT) are tied for seventh with 14 straight postseason trips. Florida (11-NCAA, 2-NIT), Texas (13 NCAA) and Wisconsin (13-NCAA) are all tied for ninth with 13 straight postseason bids, followed by USU and Notre Dame (7-NCAA, 5-NIT).
USU AMONG THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY
Over the last 12 years, Utah State has been one of the best basketball programs in the country, recording a 309-90 (.774) record. Those 309 wins are the fifth-most in the country, while the 77.4 percent winning percentage is fourth-best behind Duke (.836), Kansas (.824) and Gonzaga (.792). USU has also been among the top teams in the country in field goal and free throw shooting as it led the nation in both categories during the 2008 season, and led the nation in field goal shooting in 2009 at 49.6 percent.
UTAH STATE IN THE WAC
Since joining the Western Athletic Conference prior to the 2005-06 season, Utah State has been one of the most consistent programs in the league and has the best record in WAC games during the last six years with a 75-21 (.781) mark. During its first six years in the league, Utah State has won four regular season championships (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), two tournament championships (2009, 2011), and has played in the tournament championship game five times (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011).
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE WAC
Utah State is 201-98 (.672) all-time against current members of the WAC and the Aggies have a winning record against every team in the league. In 2006, USU finished in a tie for second-place with an 11-5 league record and advanced to the conference's championship game. In 2007, USU finished in fourth-place with a 9-7 mark and advanced to the WAC Tournament championship game for the second straight year. In 2008, Utah State won a share of its first-ever WAC regular season championship as it went 12-4 during the year. In 2009, Utah State won its first-ever outright WAC regular season title with a 14-2 league record and its first-ever WAC Tournament championship. In 2010, Utah State won its third-straight regular season WAC title with a 14-2 record. And last year, Utah State won its fourth-straight regular season WAC championship with a 15-1 league record, to go along with its second WAC Tournament title in the last three years.
THE MORRILL COACHING TREE
Utah State head coach Stew Morrill currently has four former assistants who are head coaches at the Division I level in Jeff Jackson (Furman), Randy Rahe (Weber State), Blaine Taylor (Old Dominion) and Don Verlin (Idaho), which is tied for the eighth-most in the nation among active coaches. Arizona State's Herb Sendek has nine assistants who are current head coaches, followed by Rick Pitino (Louisiville) with seven, Mike Montogmery (California) with six, Jim Calhoun (Conneticut), Billy Donovan (Florida), Tom Izzo (Michigan State) and John Calipari (Kentucky) all with five, and Stew Morrill (Utah State), Ben Braun (Rice) and Trent Johnson (LSU) all with four.
HEAD COACH Stew Morrill
In his 26th season as a collegiate head coach and 14th year at Utah State, Stew Morrill has taken the Aggie Basketball program to unprecedented heights leading it to an incredible 324-103 (.759) record, including a 167-49 (.773) conference mark in the Big West and WAC. Morrill became the winningest coach in school history on Jan. 17, 2008 in the Aggies' 82-78 win against Boise State, passing E. Lowell Romney (1920-41) who won 225 games in 22 seasons. In his first 13 years at USU, Morrill has guided the Aggies to 12 straight 23-win seasons and 12 straight postseason appearances (NCAA-8, NIT-4), both of which are school records. Morrill has also led Utah State to the fourth-best winning percentage in the nation during the last 12 years at 77.4 percent with an overall record of 309-90. Against conference opponents, Utah State has a 192-56 (.774) record with seven regular season league championships and six tournament titles during that time, including appearances in its league's tournament championship game 10 times in the last 12 years. Under Morrill, Utah State has notched 12 of the top 13 seasons in school history during the last 12 years as the Aggies set a school record with 28 wins during the 2000 season, tied that record with 28 wins during the 2001 season, set a new school record with 30 wins in 2009 and tied that record with 30 wins in 2011. During the 2010-11 season, Morrill guided Utah State to its fourth-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season championship and its second WAC Tournament title. Morrill was named the WAC Coach of the Year in 2011, along with being named the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com. For the 12th straight year, USU had at least one player earn first-team all-league accolades as Brockeith Pane and Tai Wesley were both named first-team all-WAC in 2011, while Wesley was named the Player of the Year marking its third player of the year in the WAC in the last four seasons. Overall, Morrill has coached 14 first-team all-league players at Utah State who have won the award a total of 20 times. Morrill has also taken full advantage of the home court at USU, the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. In Morrill's first 13 years, USU is an amazing 193-13 (.937) at home, which includes a 100-8 (.926) record in league play. As for Morrill, he has won 20 or more games on 16 different occasions during his career, and he has won at least 17 games 21 times. Overall, Morrill ranks 16th in the nation among active coaches and 57th all-time with his 542 career wins, while his career winning percentage of 69.2 percent ranks 23rd among active coaches and 80th all-time. He is also one of just 11 active coaches to notch at least 16 20-win seasons. His current streak of 12 straight 20-win seasons ranks tied for fifth among active coaches and is tied for the ninth-longest streak ever at the Division I level. Morrill has also been named Coach of the Year (2000 BWC, 2002 BWC, 2009 WAC, 2010 WAC, 2011 WAC) five times in his first 13 years at USU, along with winning the Big Sky award while the head coach at Montana in 1991. His overall coaching record is 542-241 (.692).
Head coach Stew Morrill (324-103) is the winningest coach in school history and is first all-time in games coached (427). Morrill is also the second-longest tenured coach at Utah State (14 seasons) behind E. Lowell Romney (1920-41).
In his 14th season with the Aggies, Morrill has a 324-103 (.759) overall record, a 167-49 (.773) conference record and a 25-7 (.781) record in conference postseason play. Overall, Morrill owns a 542-241 (.692) record in this his 26th year as a collegiate head coach.
Among active coaches at the Division I level, Morrill ranks 16th in the nation with his 542 career wins and 23rd in winning percentage at 69.2 percent.
Morrill is one of just 18 active coaches with 500 career wins at the Division I level and one of just 73 coaches to ever win 500 games at the DI level.
Morrill is one of just 11 active coaches to notch 16 20-win seasons, while his current streak of 12 straight 20-win seasons is tied for the fifth-longest in the nation.
Morrill was named the 2009, 2010 and 2011 WAC Coach of the Year, along with earning Coach of the Year honors from the United States Basketball Writers Association in 2009 and Coach of the Year honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 2010 and 2011.
Morrill is the dean of WAC coaches, having spent seven years in the league while at Colorado State and six at Utah State, and has an overall WAC record of 136-78 (.636).
Morrill has been named conference coach of the year six times during his career, winning the award in 1991 while at Montana, and in 2000, 2002, 2009, 2010 and 2011 while at Utah State.
Morrill was named the 2011 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.
Morrill has coached 14 first-team all-league players who have won the award a total of 20 times. Those players are Shawn Daniels (twice), Troy Rolle, Bernard Rock, Tony Brown, Desmond Penigar (twice), Mark Brown, Cardell Butler, Nate Harris (three times), Spencer Nelson, Jaycee Carroll (twice),Gary Wilkinson, Jared Quayle, Tai Wesley (twice) and Brockeith Pane.
Under Morrill, Utah State has had 17 players earn academic all-conference honors a total of 30 times.
Utah State is 193-13 (.937) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under Morrill.
Morrill has led Utah State to 12 straight 23-win seasons and 12 straight postseason appearances, both of which are school records.
Morrill led Utah State to its first NCAA Tournament win in 31 years when USU defeated fifth-seeded Ohio State 77-68 in overtime during the 2001 NCAA Tournament.
Morrill has been involved in postseason action 15 times in his career, including the NCAA Tournament at Utah State in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and the National Invitation Tournament in 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008.
Morrill has won 20 or more games on 16 different occasions during his career, and he has won at least 17 games 21 times.