• Utah State will open its 112th season of men’s basketball on Friday night, facing UC Irvine on the road at 8 p.m. (MT). The Aggies are 1,552-1,074 (.591) in 2,626 games played in its history.
• Utah State is 82-29 all-time in season openers and has won 21 of its last 22. The Aggies have won 12 of their last 16 season openers when opening on the road.
• Utah State leads the all-time series against the Anteaters, 31-28, and has won six of the last eight.
Scouting UC Irvine
UC Irvine returns one starter and six letterwinners from a team that finished the 2015-16 season with an overall record of 28-10 and advanced to the finals of the CIT.
The Anteaters averaged 71.2 points per game last season, shooting 45.9 percent (977-of-2,217) from the floor, 37.0 percent (241-of-652) from behind the 3-point line and 68.0 percent (511-of-752) from the free throw line. Senior guard Luke Nelson is the top returning scorer for UCI, leading Irvine with 13.7 points per game last season.
Defensively, opponents shot 38.3 percent (847-of-2,210) from the floor, 33.4 percent (272-of-815) from behind the 3-point line and 73.3 percent (546-of-745) from the free throw line against the Anteaters, averaging 66.1 points per game. Nelson finished second on the team last season with 48 steals and senior center Ioannis Dimakopoulos finished second on the team with 34 blocks.
Head coach Russell Turner is in his seventh year and has compiled an overall mark of 118-90 over that span, including a 1-0 record against the Aggies.
Series History against UC Irvine
Utah State leads the all-time series 31-28 and has won six of the last eight contests.
Last Time Against UC Irvine
Utah State shot 35.4 percent (23-of-65) from the floor in a 73-63 loss to UC Irvine in th Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Dec. 12 of last season. The Aggies had three players score in double figures, led by senior guard Darius Perkins with 17, followed by sophomore guard Julion Pearre with 15 and junior wing Jalen Moore with 10.
Utah State got to within three of the Anteaters, 62-59, with 3:28 to play, but UC Irvine finished the game on an 11-4 run for the victory.
Last Time on the Road Against UC Irvine
Utah State’s Jaycee Carroll scored a game-high 21 points, but was the only Aggie in double figures as UC Irvine handed USU a 70-51 loss on Nov. 17, 2007. Utah State shot 36.7 percent (17-of-47) from the floor, while the Anteaters shot 47.3 percent (26-of-55).
Against the UC System
Utah State is 95-74 against schools in the University of California system, with a 5-5 record against California, a 2-1 record against UC Davis, a 31-28 record against UC Irvine, a 9-1 record against UC Riverside, a 1-0 record against UC San Diego, a 3-8 record against San Francisco, a 41-24 record against UC Santa Barbara and a 3-7 record against UCLA.
Against the Golden State
All-time, Utah State is 382-211 against schools from California.
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