Nov. 11, 2007
LOGAN, Utah -
Complete Release in PDF Format
Utah State (1-1) vs. Montana-Western (1-4)
Monday, Nov. 12, 2007 7:05 p.m. MT Logan, Utah
Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) Aggie Radio Network
GAME DAY HEADLINES
Utah State is in its 103rd season of basketball and has an overall record of 1,347-979 (.579).
Utah State is 42-12 (.778) over the last eight years following a loss, with five of those losses occurring during the postseason. When Utah State plays at home following a loss under head coach Stew Morrill, its record is 30-1, with its lone loss coming against Idaho (52-51) on Mar. 1, 2003.
Utah State has won 45 straight regular season non-conference home games, which is the second-longest streak in the nation behind Duke who has won 51 straight. When including postseason play, USU has won 21 straight home games against non-conference opponents and 45 of its last 47 overall. The last time a Utah State team lost a non-conference home game during the regular season was on Jan. 8, 2000 against BYU, 82-73.
Utah State is 126-12 (.913) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under head Coach Morrill, which includes a 58-4 (.935) record against non-league opponents. Overall, USU is 420-105 (.800) in 37 years in the building.
Utah State is 33-8 (.805) in the month of November under Coach Morrill, which includes a 14-0 home record. Overall, USU has won 18 straight home games in November.
Utah State is 6-3 (.667) in games played on Monday under Coach Morrill. This will be the first-ever time USU has played a game on November 12.
Aggie players from the state of Utah include junior forward Gary Wilkinson (South Jordan/Bingham), sophomore center Brayden Bell (Brighton/Brighton HS), freshman guard Jaxon Myaer (Salt Lake City/Judge Memorial HS), freshman guard Tyler Newbold (Payson/Payson HS), and freshman forward Tai Wesley (Provo/Provo HS).
The five players from the state of Utah on the Aggies' 2007-08 roster are the most on a USU team since the 1997-98 squad also had five in-state players on its roster.
Since the beginning of the 2006-07 season, Utah State is 18-4 when senior guard Jaycee Carroll scores 20 or more points in a game, but just 6-9 when he doesn't score at least 20 points in a contest.
Utah State (1-1) will return home and play its third game in four days as it hosts Montana-Western (1-4) on Monday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
ON THE AIR
Utah State basketball games are broadcast on KVNU (610 AM) and KLZX (95.9 FM) in Logan, Utah, KFAN (1320 AM) or ESPN Radio (1230 AM) in Salt Lake City 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.
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.
LOOKING AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 1-1 thus far this year after opening the season with a 60-49 home win against Southern Utah on Friday night, followed by a 78-71 loss at Weber State on Saturday night. USU is led by senior All-American guard Jaycee Carroll who is averaging 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and shooting 44.0 percent from the field, 54.5 percent from three-point range and 90.0 percent from the free throw line, while junior forward Gary Wilkinson is averaging 15.5 points and 7.0 rebounds and shooting 76.5 percent from the field and 83.3 percent from the free throw line. Senior forward Stephen DuCharme is also scoring in double-figures for USU as he is averaging 12.0 points and 5.0 rebounds, while shooting 68.8 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from the free throw line. As a team, Utah State is averaging 65.5 points and shooting 48.5 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 75.0 percent from the free throw line, while its opponents are averaging 63.5 points and shooting 43.4 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from three-point range and 64.7 percent from the free throw line.
UTAH STATE PICKED TO WIN THE WAC ACCORDING TO LEAGUE COACHES
Utah State is picked to finish first in the Western Athletic Conference according to the league's coaches and second by the media in the preseason polls, while senior All-American guard Jaycee Carroll was named the preseason Player of the Year by both groups.
UTAH STATE TO PLAY FIRST OF FOUR SOUTH PADRE ISLAND INVITATIONAL GAMES
Utah State's game against Montana-Western will be its first of four games that are associated with the South Padre Island Invitational. USU's home game against Montana-Western on Nov. 12 and its home game against Austin Peay on Tuesday, Nov. 20 are matchups that are both designated as preliminary round games for the tournament. Austin Peay will participate in the tournament in South Padre Island during the Thanksgiving weekend in a different bracket from Utah State, while Montana-Western is not among the eight-teams invited to the official tournament. However, the game against the Bulldogs is designated as a preliminary round tournament game.
UTAH STATE WILL PLAY 32 GAMES DURING THE REGULAR SEASON
Utah State will play 32 games during the 2007-08 regular season, which is the most games by any single team in Division I college basketball. The reason Utah State is able to schedule 32 games this year is because it is playing in an exempt tournament in the South Padre Island Invitational, which allows you to play four games in a 14-day span, plus its game at Hawai'i does not count toward the 27 initial games, allowing USU to schedule an extra contest. All Division I teams can schedule 27 games during the regular season.
AGGIES START THE SEASON 1-1 AGAIN
For the fourth straight season, Utah State has started the year with a 1-1 record. In each of those four years, USU has gone on to win at least 23 games and advance to postseason play in each of those seasons.
NO REST FOR THE AGGIES
Utah State will not have much time to rest, or practice for that matter, during the first two weeks of the season as it will play eight games in 16 days. Of those eight games, three will be at home, three on the road and two at a neutral site.
DID YOU KNOW?
With its first exhibition game against EA Sports on October 31, Utah State will plays games in at least six different months this season.
Following its home game against Montana-Western, Utah State will travel to California to renew a pair of Big West rivalries as it plays at Cal Poly on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 8:30 p.m. (MT) and at UC Irvine on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 8:05 p.m. (MT).
UTAH STATE RECEIVING VOTES IN BOTH PRESEASON POLLS
Utah State is receiving votes in both preseason polls this fall as it garnered four votes in the AP poll, ranking them tied for 47th with New Mexico State and two votes in the coaches poll, ranking them tied for 49th with Fresno State and George Mason.
UTAH STATE EXCELS IN CLOSE GAMES
Utah State has played well in close games as of late and has won 17 of its last 24 games decided by six or fewer points, including four straight wins in games decided by a single point. During the 2006-07 season, USU was 10-4 in games decided by six or fewer points.
UTAH STATE NO LONGER CALIFORNIA DREAMING
Utah State does not have a single player from the state of California on its roster for the first time since the 1993-94 season, a span of 14 years. Since the 1994 season, USU has had a total of 45 players from the "Golden State", including a single-season high of seven during the 2003-04 campaign.
IT DOESN'T GET AN EARLIER THAN NOVEMBER 9
Utah State's Nov. 9 home opener against Southern Utah is tied for the earliest date that an Aggie team has ever started the season. USU also played its first game of the 1998-99 season on Nov. 9, defeating Simon Fraser, 96-79.
UTAH STATE RETURNS THREE STARTERS
Utah State returns three starters (Jaycee Carroll, Kris Clark and Stephen DuCharme) from the 2006-07 team that went 23-12, finished in fourth-place in the WAC with a 9-7 record, played in the WAC Tournament championship game and advanced to the National Invitation Tournament where it lost at Michigan, 68-58, in the first round.
AGGIES WELCOME EIGHT NEWCOMERS TO THE PROGRAM
Utah State head coach Stew Morrill welcomes eight new players to this year's team, which is made up of five freshmen and three junior college transfers. Highlighting this group of talented newcomers is Gary Wilkinson who becomes the second Junior College All-American to sign with Utah State in the last three years along with Chaz Spicer. As a sophomore at Salt Lake Community College, Wilkinson scored in double-figures 30 times, including eight double-doubles as he averaged 18.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game and shot 60.2 percent from the field and 74.2 percent from the free throw line. Along with Wilkinson, Utah State signed two other junior college transfers who should make immediate impacts this fall in DeUndrae Spraggins and Desmond Stephens. Spraggins earned third-team all-conference and honorable mention all-region honors as a sophomore at Paris (Texas) Junior College as he averaged 11.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game and shot 52.8 percent from the field, 44.4 percent from three-point range and 84.1 percent from the free throw line, while Stephens earned first-team all-region honors as a sophomore at Southeastern Illinois Junior College as he scored in double figures 23 times, including 12 20-point games. During his sophomore season, Stephens averaged 17.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.2 steals per game and shot 50.5 percent from the field, 51.6 percent from three-point range and 75.2 percent from the free throw line. The remaining five newcomers to the program is a group of talented freshmen in Brad Brown, Jaxon Myaer, Tyler Newbold, Modou Niang and Pooh Williams. Brown averaged 13.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game as a prep senior in Orono, Minn. Myaer averaged 18.6 points and 6.5 assists per game at Judge Memorial High School in Salt Lake City and was named the 3A Most Valuable Player by the Salt Lake Tribune. Newbold was named the Region VII Player of the Year as a prep senior at Payson High School in Utah in 2005 as he averaged 18.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.6 steals and 1.3 blocks as a prep. Niang averaged 32.3 points, 18.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3.6 blocks per game as a senior at Hachioji High School in Tokyo, Japan and was named the top center in the National High School Championships two straight years. And Williams averaged just under 27 points and five rebounds per game as a prep senior at Federal Way High School in Washington as he earned first-team all-state honors.
UTAH STATE RETURNS THREE REDSHIRTS
Along with eight newcomers, Utah State will also have the services of three redshirts in sophomore center Brayden Bell and freshmen forwards Matt Formisano and Tai Wesley. Bell sat out the 2006-07 season after transferring from Ohio State where he averaged 1.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in seven games as a true freshman. As a prep senior at Brighton High School in Utah, Bell averaged 21.0 points and 10.0 per game as he earned first-team all-state honors. Formisano and Wesley both redshirted at Utah State during the 2004-05 season before leaving school for two-year LDS Church Missions. As prep players, Formisano averaged 15.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game as he earned first-team all-state honors at Heritage High School in Colorado, while Wesley was named the 4A Most Valuable Player at Provo High School in Utah after averaging 16.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game en route to leading his team to the state championship.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has seven freshmen on its 2007-08 roster, which is the most-ever on a USU team dating back to the 1957-58 season.
Montana-Western is located in Dillon, Mont., and has an enrollment of 1,200 students. UM-Western is a charter member of the Frontier Conference which includes Lewis-Clark State College (Idaho), Carroll College, Montana Tech, MSU-Northern, Rocky Mountain College, Westminster College (Salt Lake City) and the University of Great Falls. UM-Western is also affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA). UM-Western offers varsity sports for both men and women. The Lady Bulldogs compete in basketball (varsity and JV), volleyball, golf, Equestrian and rodeo. The `Dawgs' field squads in football, basketball (varsity and JV), golf and rodeo.
Montana-Western is 1-4 on the season as it opened the year with a 76-44 win against Lethbridge before losing each of its last four games against Azusa Pacific (90-77), Albertson College (66-57) and Eastern Oregon twice (93-79 and 79-52). UM-Western also lost an exhibition game at Boise State on November 4 by a final score of 84-53. The Bulldogs are led by senior forward Aaron Sims who is averaging 10.4 points and 8.2 rebounds and shooting 55.9 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from the free throw line. UM-Western also has three players who are averaging over nine points per game in sophomore guards Gus McDonald (9.8) and Layne Glaus (9.4) and junior forward Dovtdas Retjys (9.4). The Bulldogs return two starters and seven letterwinners from last year's team that went 8-20 on the season and finished in seventh-place in the Frontier Conference with a 2-12 league record. UM-Western is coached by Steve Keller who is 9-24 in his second year in charge of the Bulldogs.
UTAH STATE COUNTING THE GAME AGAINST MONTANA-WESTERN, BUT THE BULLDOGS AREN'T
Utah State's game against Montana-Western counts as one of its 32 games during the 2007-08 season, however the Bulldogs have designated the game as an exhibition on its schedule.
UTAH STATE-MONTANA-WESTERN SERIES HISTORY
Utah State and Montana-Western will be meeting for the first time ever on Monday night.
VERSUS THE FRONTIER CONFERENCE
Utah State is 5-0 all-time against current members of the Frontier Conference with a 3-0 record against Lewis-Clark State and a 2-0 record against Montana Tech. The last time USU played a team from the Frontier Conference was on Dec. 9, 2000 when it defeated Montana Tech 79-29 in Logan. USU head coach Stew Morrill is 4-0 all-time against the Frontier Conference as he is 3-0 against Montana Tech and 1-0 against Lewis-Clark State.
VERSUS THE STATE OF MONTANA
Utah State is 110-54 (.670) all-time against teams from the state of Montana as it is 76-40 against Montana State, 28-14 against Montana, 4-0 against Montana Mines and 2-0 against Montana Tech.
UTAH STATE PLAYER NOTES
#2 Brad Brown - Has not suited up for each of Utah State first two games and is a candidate to redshirt this season.
#5 Pooh Williams - Ranks 14th in the WAC with 1.00 steals per game... Is playing 19.5 minutes per game off the bench and is averaging 4.5 points, 1.5 assists and 1.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 36.4 percent from the field and 25.0 percent from three-point range.
#10 Kris Clark - Has started each of the first two games at the point and is averaging 5.0 points, 5.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and is a perfect 2-2 from the free throw line... Ranks third in the WAC in assists (5.0), fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.00) and 15th in blocked shots (0.50)... Is averaging 26.0 minutes per game.
#11 DeUndrae Spraggins - Has started each of the first two games at the small forward position and is playing 21.0 minutes per game... Is averaging 0.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.
#15 Desmond Stephens - Ranks second in the WAC in assist-to-turnover ratio (6.00), seventh in assists (3.00) and 15th in blocked shots (0.50)... Is playing 14.5 minutes per game and averaging 3.0 points and 1.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 75.0 percent from the free throw line.
#20 Jaycee Carroll - Has started both games at the shooting guard position for Utah State and is averaging 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game to lead the team in each category... Is shooting 44.0 percent from the field, 54.5 percent from three-point range and 90.0 percent from the free throw line... Ranks fifth in the WAC in scoring and three-point shooting, is ninth in rebounding, 11th in free throw shooting and 15th in blocked shots (0.50)... Scored a season-high 23 points against Southern Utah.
#21 Brayden Bell - Is averaging 3.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 6.0 minutes per game, while shooting 25.0 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from the free throw line.
#24 Tyler Newbold - Has played a total of three minutes in Utah State's first two games and has not recorded any stats.
#25 Jaxon Myaer - Has not suited up for each of Utah State first two games and is a candidate to redshirt this season.
#34 Modou Niang - Has not suited up for each of Utah State first two games and is a candidate to redshirt this season.
#40 Stephen DuCharme - Has started each of the first two games for Utah State at the power forward position and is averaging 12.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 68.8 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from the free throw line... Is playing 30.0 minutes per game... Ranks seventh in the WAC in shooting, 15th in blocked shots (0.50) and 17th in scoring.
#42 Tai Wesley - Is averaging 3.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game off the bench as he is playing 15.0 minutes per game... Is shooting 40.0 percent from the field and 75.0 percent from the free throw line.
#44 Matt Formisano - Played one minute against Weber State, but did not record any statistics.
#55 Gary Wilkinson - Has started each of Utah State's first two games at the center position and is averaging 15.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game to rank second on the team in each category... Is shooting 76.5 percent from the field and 83.3 percent from the free throw line... Ranks first in the WAC in blocked shots (2.00), fourth in field goal shooting, 10th in assists (2.50), 11th in scoring and rebounding and 13th in free throw shooting.
HAMMER LEAVES TEAM
Utah State coach Stew Morrill announced on Wednesday, Oct. 31 that Nick Hammer has decided he is physically unable to play collegiate basketball anymore and thus will not compete for the Aggies this season or finish his USU career in the future. Hammer, a senior guard from St. George, Utah (Snow Canyon HS/Dixie State College) played in both of Utah State's exhibition games this fall after missing much of the preseason with a broken left collarbone. He also missed seven games during his sophomore season with a broken finger. In two years at USU, Hammer played in 56 games and averaged 2.7 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest.
CARROLL CLOSING IN ON SEVERAL SCHOOL RECORDS
Senior All-American guard Jaycee Carroll is closing in on several Utah State career records, including the school's all-time scoring mark. Carroll is currently tied with Kendall Youngblood (1989-92) for sixth-place in USU history with 1,774 points and is 354 points shy of passing Greg Grant's (1983-86) school record of 2,127 points. Carroll also ranks first all-time in school history in three-point shooting (.454), is second in three-pointers made (261), is third in three-pointers attempted (575), is fourth in 10-point games (88), games started (99) and minutes per game (33.3), is sixth in free throw percentage (.836), field goals made (624), field goals attempted (1,238) and total minutes played (3,367). Carroll also ranks 12th all-time in points per game (17.6) and is tied for 16th in games played (101).
CARROLL NAMED WAC PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Senior All-American guard Jaycee Carroll was voted by both the coaches and media as the Western Athletic Conference's preseason Player of the Year. Carroll ended his junior season by earning honorable mention All-American honors from the Associated Press and first-team all-conference honors as he finished the season first in the WAC and 10th in the nation in scoring with 21.3 points per game. He also led the WAC and ranked 12th in the nation in free throw shooting at 88.8 percent, was first in the conference in three-point shooting (43.2), fifth in overall shooting (52.7) and 12th in rebounding (6.3), leading the team in each category. As a junior he scored 746 points, which ranks second all-time in school history behind only Wayne Estes who scored 821 points during the 1963-64 season. Those 746 points are also tied for the eighth-most ever scored in a single-season in the 45-year history of the WAC.
CARROLL EARNS ASSOCIATED PRESS HONORABLE MENTION ALL-AMERICAN HONORS IN 2007
Utah State senior guard Jaycee Carroll earned honorable mention All-American honors from the Associated Press following the 2006-07 season, becoming just the second player in school history to earn All-American honors from the Associated Press along with Wayne Estes who was named to the AP's first-team following the 1965 season.
CARROLL RECEIVING NATIONAL ATTENTION
Senior All-American guard Jaycee Carroll has been named to several preseason lists this fall as he was named one of the top 50 players in the country for both the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy, which recognizes the top collegiate player in the nation. Carroll was also named one of the top 15 seniors in the country by SportsIllustrated.com and a high-major All-American by Collegehoops.net.
CARROLL SECOND IN THE NATION AMONG ACTIVE PLAYERS IN SCORING
Senior All-American guard Jaycee Carroll enters the 2007-08 season second in the nation among active players at the Division I level with 1,737 points, trailing Bo McCalebb of New Orleans who has 1,937 career points. Carroll also ranks first in the nation among active players in career three-point shooting at 45.2 percent, is third in career scoring average at 17.5 points, is seventh in three-pointers made with 255 and seventh in free throw percentage at 83.4 percent.
WHEN CARROLL SCORES 20 POINTS, UTAH STATE USUALLY WINS
When Jaycee Carroll scores 20 or more points in a game, Utah State usually wins. During the 2006-07 season, USU was 17-4 when Carroll went for 20 and the Aggies are 28-6 overall when the senior guard scores 20 or more points in a game. When Carroll didn't score at least 20 points last season, USU had just a 6-8 record. Thus far this year, USU is 1-0 when Carroll scores 20 or more points in a game.
CARROLL HAS 35 CAREER 20-POINT GAMES
Jaycee Carroll has scored 20 or more points in a game 35 times during his Utah State career, including 21 times during his junior season. He also has four career 30-point games and one career 40-point game as he scored 44 points against New Mexico State on Feb. 5, 2007. Overall, Carroll ranks fourth all-time at Utah State with 88 career double-figure scoring games.
CARROLL LED AGGIES IN SCORING AND REBOUNDING LAST SEASON
As a junior, Jaycee Carroll averaged 21.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game to lead Utah State in both categories, becoming the first player to lead the team in both since Kendall Youngblood averaged 17.1 points and 7.7 rebounds to lead the team during the 1991-92 season.
CARROLL AVERAGES 21.3 POINTS A GAME
Jaycee Carroll averaged 21.3 points per game during his junior season which ranks 15th all-time in school history and is the first Aggie to average at least 20 points per game since Greg Grant averaged 22.6 points during the 1985-86 season.
CARROLL IS UTAH STATE'S ALL-TIME IRONMAN
Jaycee Carroll played 1,255 minutes during his junior season which is a new school record, breaking the previous mark of 1,182 minutes played by Justin Jones during the 1997-98 season.
DID YOU KNOW?
Senior All-American guard Jaycee Carroll has made at least one three-point basket in 23 straight games and in 90 of his 101 career games at Utah State.
UTAH STATE AMONG THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY
Over the last eight years, Utah State has been one of the best basketball programs in the country, recording a 199-63 (.760) record. Those 199 wins are the ninth-most in the country, while the 76.0 percent winning percentage is sixth-best behind Duke (.832), Gonzaga (.802), Kansas (.790), Florida (.774) and Illinois (.774). USU has also been among the top-13 teams in the country in points allowed in six of the last eight years and among the top-35 teams in the country in winning percentage in six of the last eight seasons.
UTAH STATE HAS DOMINATED CONFERENCE PLAY SINCE 2000
Utah State has had tremendous success in league play over the last eight years recording a 104-32 (.765) record, which includes an 84-20 record in the Big West Conference as it won three regular season championships and four tournament titles and a 20-12 record in the WAC. Here is a look at how the current members of the Western Athletic Conference has done in league play dating back to the 1999-2000 season. Note: Utah State and Idaho's league record includes six years in the Big West Conference (2000-2005); Boise State's record includes two years in the Big West (2000-2001); Nevada's record includes one year in the Big West (2000); Louisiana Tech's record includes two years in the Sun Belt Conference (2000-01); and New Mexico State's record includes one year in the Big West (2000) and five years in the Sun Belt (2001-05).
UTAH STATE NOTE-ABLES
Over the last eight years, Utah State has averaged 24.8 wins and is one of just four schools in the nation to win at least 23 games in each of those seasons joining Gonzaga, Kansas and Syracuse.
Over the past eight years, Utah State has won three regular season conference championships and four tournament championships.
Utah State has advanced to eight straight postseason appearances, which is a school record, going to the NCAA Tournament in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006 and to the National Invitation Tournament in 2002, 2004 and 2007.
Over the last eight years, Utah State has gone 17-4 (.810) in conference postseason tournaments and has advanced to the championship game seven times in the last eight years.
The Aggies have won 23-plus games in each of the last eight seasons, which is a school record.
Utah State is the first team in the history of the Western Athletic Conference to play in the conference tournament title game in each of its first two years in the league.
During the 2006-07 season, Utah State recorded the eighth-most wins in school history (23) and advanced to postseason play for the 25th time.
During the 2006-07 season, Utah State set a school-record by shooting 78.0 percent from the free throw line, leading the WAC and ranking second in the nation.
The 1999-2000 team set a school record with 28 wins and went a perfect 19-0 in the Big West Conference, marking only the third time in league history a team has gone undefeated.
The 2000-01 team tied the school record for wins (28) and recorded Utah State's first NCAA Tournament win in 31 years with a 77-68 overtime victory against Ohio State.
From 2000-2001, Utah State won 26-straight Big West games, which is the fourth-longest winning streak in the history of the conference.
Over the past eight years, Utah State has had two All-American selections, 14 first-team all-conference selections, 23 all-conference selections (first and second team) and 26 conference player of the week honorees, not to mention Coach Morrill being named the league's Coach of the Year on two separate occasions.
RECAPPING THE SOUTHERN UTAH GAME
Three Aggies in double-figures, led by All-American senior guard Jaycee Carroll's game-high 23 points, paced Utah State to a 60-49 win against in-state foe Southern Utah Friday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in USU's regular-season opener. With the win, the Aggies have now won 13 of their last 14 season openers and improve to 74-29 all-time in the first game of the year. USU has now won 27 of its last 28 games when starting the season at home. Utah State also improved to 42-9 in its home-openers, winning 14 in a row. The Aggies also extended their non-conference home winning streak to 45 in a row, which is the second-longest streak in the country behind Duke, who pushed its streak to 51-straight Friday night. Friday was just the second time that USU and SUU have met and the first since the inaugural meeting on Dec. 17, 1994, won by the Aggies, 76-63, at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City. Overall, Utah State has won 12 of its last 14 games against in-state opponents and improves to 20-6 versus the state of Utah during the last eight years. Carroll, a native of Evanston, Wyo., netted 14 of his points in the first half and finished the night 8-of-14 shooting from the floor including 3-of-5 from three-point range. Carroll also nabbed a game-high seven rebounds and hit all four of his free throws. Dating back to last season, Carroll has hit 36 of his last 39 free throws (92.3 percent). Senior forward Stephen DuCharme (Andover, Kan.) added 11 points and five rebounds, while junior forward Gary Wilkinson (South Jordan, Utah) made his official Aggie debut with 10 points and six rebounds to go along with a game-high three blocked shots. USU shot 52.2 percent (12-of-23) in the second half to pull away from a 30-21 intermission lead. The Aggies ended the night 22-of-46 (47.8 percent), but were just 3-of-10 (33.3 percent) behind the three-point arc. The Aggie defense limited the Thunderbirds to 19-of-52 (36.5 percent) field goal shooting. Tyler Quinney was the only SUU player in double-digits with 10 points and no Thunderbird had more than four rebounds. Utah State had a 35-26 rebounding advantage, including 24 defensive boards. USU led from start-to-finish, opening an 11-4 lead at the 13:54 mark. SUU closed the gap to 20-16 at 5:13 after a three-pointer from David Marek, but a 5-0 USU run gave the Aggies their largest lead of the half at 25-16. The Thunderbirds trimmed the margin to 38-34 at the 14:15 point of the second half. A 7-0 USU spurt capped by sophomore center Brayden Bell (Brighton, Utah) with a baseline dunk put USU up, 45-34, and the Aggies coasted to the win, leading by as much as 15 at 60-45 with 2:15 left on a Carroll trey. A total of seven players scored for Utah State, including four who were making their Aggie debuts.
RECAPPING THE WEBER STATE GAME
Dezmon Harris scored 16 points, including 10 in the second-half to lead Weber State to a come-from-behind 78-71 win against Utah State here at the Dee Events Center Saturday night. With the loss, Utah State has now started each of the last four seasons with a 1-1 record. The game for the Wildcats was its first of the season. The win for WSU was also its first against USU in the team's last seven meetings. Junior forward Gary Wilkinson (South Jordan, Utah) led Utah State with 21 points and eight rebounds, while senior All-American guard Jaycee Carroll (Evanston, Wyo.) added 14 points and eight rebounds. Senior forward Stephen DuCharme (Andover, Kan.) also reached double-digits in scoring for the Aggies as he scored 13 points and grabbed five boards. Arturas Valeika scored 10 of his 15 points in the first-half for Weber State and finished with a game-high 12 rebounds, while Steve Panos added 13 points for the Wildcats. Utah State took its biggest lead of the game at 54-47 on a three-point basket by Carroll with 10:44 remaining before the Wildcats scored six straight points to get within one. After USU extended the lead back to three on a layup by Wilkinson, WSU tied it on a three-pointer by Brody Van Brocklin and then took the lead for good on a layup by Harris with 5:54 to play. In all, Weber State out-scored Utah State, 31-17, during the final 10:44. Weber State finished the game by shooting 50.0 percent from the field, including 12-of-20 shooting in the second-half, while Utah State shot 49.0 percent from the field. USU did out-rebound the Wildcats, 31-26, but the Aggies also had 10 more turnovers (23-13) and committed 28 fouls.
UTAH STATE STANDING ITS GROUND
During the 2006-07 season, Utah State took 52 charges led by senior Durrall Peterson who had a team-high 25. Thus far this year, Utah State has taken three charges as DeUndrae Spraggins, Gary Wilkinson and Pooh Williams each have one.
UTAH STATE TRENDS DURING THE LAST EIGHT YEARS
During the last eight years, Utah State is 86-6 when holding its opponents below 60 points; 164-19 when leading at the half; 176-15 when shooting better from the field than its opponent; 146-30 when out-rebounding its opponent; 138-15 when shooting better from three-point range than its opponent; 108-17 when blocking more shots than its opponent; and 74-16 when scoring 70-plus points in a game.
HEAD COACH Stew Morrill
Entering his 22nd season as a collegiate head coach and 10th year at Utah State, Stew Morrill is on the door-steep of coaching immortality as he is just 12 wins shy of passing E. Lowell Romney (225-157) to become the winningest coach in school history. In nine years at USU, Morrill has taken the Aggie Basketball program to unprecedented heights leading it to an incredible 214-76 (.738) record, including a 112-40 (.737) conference mark in the Big West and WAC. While at Utah State, he has guided the Aggies to eight straight 23-win seasons and eight straight postseason appearances (NCAA-5, NIT-3), both of which are school records. Morrill has also led Utah State to the sixth-best winning percentage in the nation during the last eight years at 76.2 percent with an overall record of 199-63. Against conference opponents, Utah State has a 129-45 record with three regular season league championships and four tournament titles during that time, including appearances in its league's tournament championship game seven times in the last eight years. Under Morrill, Utah State has notched eight of the top 10 seasons in school history during the last eight 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 and notched the eighth-most wins in school history during the 2007 season with 23 victories. During the 2006-07 season, Morrill guided Utah State to a fourth-place finish in the WAC during the regular season, followed by its second straight appearance in the WAC Tournament championship game. The 2006-07 Aggie basketball team also set a school record by shooting 78.0 percent from the free throw line, which ranked second in the nation. For the eighth straight year, USU had at least one player earn first-team all-league accolades as Jaycee Carroll received the honor. Overall, Morrill has coached 10 first-team all-league players at Utah State who have won the award a total of 14 times. Morrill has also taken full advantage of the home court at USU, the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. In Morrill's nine years, USU is an amazing 126-12 (.912) at home, which includes a 68-8 (.895) record in league play. As for Morrill, he has won 20 or more games on 12 different occasions during his career, and he has won at least 17 games 18 times. Overall, Morrill ranks 23rd in the nation among active coaches and 96th all-time with his 432 career wins, while his career winning percentage of 66.9 percent ranks 28th among active coaches and 100th all-time. He is also one of 27 active coaches with 400 career wins at the Division I level and one of just 13 active coaches to notch at least 12 20-win seasons. His current streak of eight straight 20-win seasons ranks ninth among active coaches and is tied for the 13th-longest streak ever at the Division I level. Morrill has also been named Coach of the Year (2000 BWC, 2002 BWC) twice in his eight years at USU, along with winning the Big Sky award while the head coach at Montana in 1991.
Head coach Stew Morrill (214-76) is 12 wins shy of passing E. Lowell Romney ( 225-157) to become the winningest coach in school history. Morrill is also third all-time in games coached (290) at USU and is the longest tenured coach at Utah State (entering 10th season) since the Ladell Andersen era (1962-71).
Entering his 10th season with the Aggies, Morrill has a 214-76 (.738) overall record, a 112-40 (.737) conference record and a 17-5 (.773) record in conference postseason play. Overall, Morrill owns a 432-214 (.669) record in 22 years as a collegiate head coach.
Among active coaches at the Division I level, Morrill ranks 23rd in the nation with his 432 career wins and 28th in winning percentage at 66.9 percent.
Morrill is one of just 27 active coaches with 400 career wins at the Division I level and one of just 13 active coaches to notch 12 20-win seasons, while his current streak of eight straight 20-win seasons is tied for the ninth-longest active streak in the nation.
Morrill has been named conference coach of the year three times during his career, winning the award in 1991 while at Montana, and in 2000 and 2002 while at Utah State.
Morrill has coached 10 first-team all-league players who have won the award a total of 14 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 and Jaycee Carroll,
Utah State is 126-12 (.913) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under Morrill.
Morrill has led Utah State to eight straight 20-win seasons and eight 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 11 times in his career, including the NCAA Tournament at Utah State in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006 and the National Invitation Tournament in 2002, 2004 and 2007.