Utah State will begin their 47th season of playing in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum and has compiled an overall mark of 552-131 (.808) over that span.
Utah State has never face NJIT, but is 222-109 all-time against first-time opponents.
The game will mark the first contest for Utah State in the Cancun Challenge, the first regular season tournament that the Aggies have played in and not served as the host since the 2007-08 season, when USU played in the South Padre Island Invitational.
Things Of Note
Utah State has recorded a winning record each of the past 23 seasons, dating back to the 1992-93 season. Furthermore, USU has had a winning record within the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum for 34 consecutive seasons.
Senior wing Jalen Moore has garnered several preseason honors, including being named to the 2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Watch List, an award given to the most outstanding small forward in the nation. Moore is one of only 20 small fowards in the nation appearing on the initial watch list. Also, Moore was named Preseason all-Mountain West, the first preseason award for an Aggie since Utah State joined the league for the 2013-14 season.
Freshman guard Koby McEwen also earned preseason recognition from the Mountain West, earning Preseason Co-Freshman of the Year alongside San Diego State's Jalen McDaniel. McEwen started at UC Irvine and was the first true freshman to start in a season opener since freshman Steven Thornton started for the Aggies in the season opener in 2011-12.
Utah State has started a season 2-0 for three consecutive seasons and 51 times over the history of the program.
Utah State begins a stretch of three games in six days, hosting NJIT on Monday, Nov. 14, at 6 p.m. (MT) followed by Bristol on Wednesday, Nov. 16, and Idaho State on Saturday, Nov. 19, both at 7 p.m. The games against NJIT and Idaho State are also part of the Cancun Challenge. Fans can listen to the games on KVNU with Al Lewis providing play-by-play and Rod Tueller providing color. Links for live stats and video will be available online at utahstateaggies.com.
Utah State will travel to Cancun, Mexico for the Cancun Challenge, opening the tournament with Purdue on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m. The Aggies will then face either Texas Tech or Auburn on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Fans can watch the games live on the CBS Sports Network (Comcast Ch. 269/753HD, Dish Network Ch. 158, DirecTV Ch. 221) or tune in to KVNU with Al Lewis providing play-by-play.
NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology) is located in Newark, N.J., and is a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, which also includes Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, Stetson and others.
The Highlanders finished the 2015-16 season with an overall mark of 20-15 and advanced to semifinals of the CIT, falling to the eventual champions, Columbia. NJIT returns eight letterwinners from that team and two starters, including its top two scorers in Damon Lynn (18.3 ppg) and Tim Coleman (13.8 ppg). Lynn returns as the active D-I leader in 3-point field goals made (349) and fourth in points (1,720).
NJIT shot 44.5 percent (911-of-2,045) from the floor, 35.4 percent (306-of-865) from behind the 3-point line and 73.8 percent (501-of-679) from the free throw line and averaged 75.1 points per game in 2015-16. Opponents averaged 73.9 points per game and shot 43.8 percent (902-of-2,059) from the floor, 34.8 percent (302-of-869) from behind the 3-point line and 66.3 percent (481-0f-726) from the free throw line.
NJIT will be under the direction of first-year head coach Brian Kennedy, who had been serving as the assistant coach the past four seasons. Jim Engles, who had been the head coach at NJIT since 2008, is now at Columbia.
NJIT opened its 2016-17 season with a 100-38 victory over Sarah Lawrence, a Division III side from Bronxville, N.Y. The Highlanders had 13 players record points in the game and were led by Lynn with 14, freshman wing Anthony Tarke with 13 and Coleman with 12. Sophomore transfer forward Abdul Lewis led NJIT on the glass with 12 rebounds, followed by Tarke with a double-double effort, posting 10 rebounds. The Highlanders scored 30 points off of 23 SLU turnovers and also dominated in the paint, scoring 58 points to the Gryphon's 16.
Series History against NJIT
Utah State and NJIT have never met on the basketball court. However, USU is 222-109 all-time against first-time opponents.
Against the Atlantic Sun
Utah State has only faced one other team from the Atlantic Sun in program history, losing at Jacksonville, 89-82, during the 1981-82 season.
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