Basketball Favored To Win Big West Conference
Nov. 8, 2000
IRVINE, Calif. - Utah State's men's basketball team has been tabbed as the favorites to win the Big West Conference during the 2000-01 season as voted on by media members and the league's nine coaches at the annual Big West Conference Media Day. Utah State set a school record with 28 wins last season and went undefeated in conference play with 19-0 mark and the school's second Big West Championship in the past three years.
In the coaches poll, Utah State received all but one first-place vote in garnering 64 points, while Long Beach State was picked to finish second, and Boise State was favored to finish third. In the media poll, the Aggies received 18 of a possible 22 first-place votes, while the 49ers were picked to finish second with four first-place votes. The media tabbed UC Santa Barbara to finish third in the league, with UC Irvine a close fourth.
"Like I have been telling our players all along, expectations are a good thing," commented USU head coach Stew Morrill. "The best thing you can do with expectations is take it as a compliment, it means your program is in good shape, and that you have good players. What we are going to try to do is meet those expectations head on and do the best we can."
Utah State returns four starters and eight letterwinners off of last year's team that had a nation-long 19 game winning streak before losing in the first-round of the NCAA Tournament. Among those four starters returning is first-team all-league forward Shawn Daniels, and honorable mention guards Bernard Rock and Tony Brown.
Along with all the veterans returning for USU this season with five seniors on the team, Utah State also added seven newcomers to the squad with three junior college players and four freshmen.
Utah State will play its final exhibition game of the preseason this Friday, Nov. 10 versus the California West All-Stars at 7:05 pm, in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Aggies will then open the season on Fri., Nov. 17, versus Santa Clara in the opening round of the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska.
COACHES POLL MEDIA POLL 1. UTAH STATE (8) 64 1. UTAH STATE (18) 192 2. Long Beach State (1) 57 2. Long Beach State (4) 180 3. Boise State 43 3. UC Santa Barbara 117 4. UC Irvine 42 4. UC Irvine 116 5. UC Santa Barbara 40 5. Pacific 101 6. Cal Poly 29 6. Boise State 100 7. Pacific 26 7. Cal Poly 98 8. Cal State Fullerton 12 8. Idaho 47 9. Idaho 11 9. Cal State Fullerton 40