Nov. 14, 2011
LOGAN, Utah -
Game 2 Utah State (1-0) vs. Weber State (1-0) Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 7 p.m. (MT) Ogden, Utah Dee Events Center (11,500) Aggie Sports Network
GAME DAY HEADLINES
Utah State is in its 107th season of basketball this year and has an overall record of 1,459-1,006 (.592). USU hasn't had a losing season since 1993, a span of 18 years.
Utah State is 1-0 to start a season for the 17th time in the last 18 years including 13 wins in head coach Stew Morrill's 14 years at USU. Overall, Utah State has started a season 2-0 six times under Morrill and 48 times in school history.
Utah State has won 28 of its last 35 games versus in-state opponents and is 35-11 (.761) against the state of Utah during the last 12 years. During that time period, USU is 7-5 versus Brigham Young, 7-4 versus Utah, 11-2 versus Weber State, 6-0 against Utah Valley and 4-0 against Southern Utah. Overall, USU is 36-16 (.692) versus teams from the state of Utah under Morrill.
Utah State has won 17 of its last 20 road games dating back to the 2009-10 season and is 95-71 (.572) in road games under Morrill including a 28-28 (.500) record against non-conference opponents and a 10-10 (.500) record versus in-state foes.
Utah State is beginning the 2011-12 season with three in-state games (BYU, Weber State, Southern Utah), marking the second time in as many years that USU has opened its season with at least three in-state opponents. Last year, Utah State started its season by playing four in-state opponents in a row. The school record for consecutive games against in-state opponents to start a season is six during the 1990-91 season, while the 1991-92 team began its year with five games against in-state competition.
Utah State has won 44 of its last 47 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) during the 2010-11 season.
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 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).
Utah State (1-0) will play its first road game of the 2011-12 season on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at in-state rival Weber State (1-0). The game will not be televised but it will be broadcast live on the Aggie Radio Network throughout the state of Utah with Al Lewis (play-by-play) and Rod Tueller (color).
UTAH STATE VS. WEBER STATE RIVALRY NINTH-OLDEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State and Weber State will be playing for the 64th time this week in what is the ninth-oldest rivalry in school history. USU's first game against WSU was on Feb. 23, 1971.
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.
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
Utah State is 1-0 on the season after defeating Brigham Young, 69-62, at home in both teams season opener Friday. USU is led by senior guard Brockeith Pane who is averaging 21.0 points, 5.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 steals, and is shooting 60.0 percent from the field and is a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line. Sophomore redshirt guard Preston Medlin is averaging 15.0 points and 5.0 assists, and is shooting 55.6 percent from the field and 75.0 percent at the free throw line. And senior forward Brady Jardine is averaging 12.0 points and 8.0 rebounds, while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 50.0 percent at the free throw line. As a team, Utah State is averaging 69.0 points and shooting 45.8 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 69.0 percent at the free throw line. Defensively, USU is allowing 62.0 points and its opponents are shooting 46.8 percent from the field, 21.4 percent from three-point range and 68.2 percent at the free throw line.
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 RETURNS JUST ONE STARTER AND FOUR LETTERMEN IN 2011-12
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 and advanced to the postseason National Invitation Tournament. USU'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.
FOLLOWING THE WEBER STATE GAME
Following the Weber State game, Utah State will return home and host Southern Utah (2-1) on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised live on KCSG-TV (Comcast Ch. 116, DirecTV Ch. 44, Dish Network Ch. 37).
LOOKING BACK AT THE BRIGHAM YOUNG GAME
Senior guard Brockeith Pane netted 17 second-half points and spearheaded an 11-0 Utah State run to lead the Aggies to a 69-62 home win against Brigham Young Friday. Down 42-38 after two free throws by BYU's Brandon Davies at the 11:03 mark, USU reeled off 11 unanswered points, as freshman guard Steven Thornton hit a driving lay-up, followed by a Pane jumper to knot the score at 42-all, forcing a BYU timeout. It was to little avail as senior forward Morgan Grim had back-to-back blocks and sophomore guard Preston Medlin hit a three-pointer at the 9:02 mark and USU never looked back. Pane capped the spurt with a jumper for a 49-42 lead with 6:57 to play and the Cougars never got within five points again. The Aggies have now won six of the last nine and seven of the last 11 over the Cougars, including six straight at home. Pane finished with a game-high 21 points and was one of three Aggies in double-digits, while Medlin added 15 points and senior forward Brady Jardine chipped in 12 points to go with a game-high eight rebounds. Pane and Medlin each dished out five assists, while Pane swiped a game-best three steals. The 21 points by Pane was his 23rd career game in double-figures, including 20-plus points for the fourth time in his career. BYU also had three players in double-figures, led by Noah Hartsock's 18 points, followed by Charles Abouo's 16 points. Abouo had a team-high six rebounds. The Aggies shot 22-of-48 (.458) from the field, hitting 5-of-15 (.333) behind the arc, while netting 69.0 percent (20-29) at the free throw line. BYU was 22-of-47 (.468) field goal shooting, but were just 3-of-14 (.214) from three-point range and made 68.2 percent (15-22) at the charity stripe. USU had a slight, 31-29, rebounding edge. The Aggie defense forced 20 Cougar turnovers, while committing 18 miscues themselves, leading to a 21-15 points off turnovers edge. The physical game had 47 fouls called, but BYU's Stephen Rogers was the only player to foul out. There were 10 ties and the lead changed hands nine times. After the Cougars opened an early 11-8 lead on a Hartsock layup at the 13:17 mark, the Aggies opened a 19-15 lead on a three-pointer from sophomore forward Mitch Bruneel in the right corner with 8:42 on the first half clock. USU couldn't pull away from BYU, but the Cougars couldn't close to less than a bucket for the rest of the half until Abouo hit a three-pointer from the right wing with 24 seconds remaining. Grim hit the second of two free throws with .7 on the clock to send USU into halftime with a 30-28 lead. The lead exchanged hands several times in the early going of the second stanza, before BYU surged ahead from a 38-38 tie with a pair of free pitch shots by Hartsock and then later two more by Davies, setting up USU's game-clinching run. The Aggie defense held BYU without a field goal from the 15:51 mark of the second half until the 6:02 mark, as the Cougars missed 11 straight shots.
PANE SCORES 20 POINTS FOR FOURTH TIME IN HIS CAREER
Senior point guard Brockeith Pane scored 20-points for the fourth time in his career with his 21 points against Brigham Young on Friday in both team's season-opener as he was 6-of-10 from the field, 1-of-3 from three and 8-for-8 at the free throw line. It was Pane's 23rd-career double-figure scoring game as an Aggie.
PANE SHINES FROM FREE THROW LINE AGAINST COUGARS
Senior point guard Brockeith Pane was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line against BYU. Going back to last season, Pane has made at least eight free throws in each of his last four outings and is 33-for-34 (.971) from the charity stripe during his last four games.
MEDLIN HAS SUCCESSFUL DEBUT AFTER REDSHIRT YEAR
Playing his first game since the 2010 NCAA Tournament against Texas A&M, sophomore redshirt guard Preston Medlin had a successful return to the hardwood as he scored 15 points to go along with a career-high five assists in a career-high 35 minutes against Brigham Young last weekend. Medlin, who was 5-of-9 from the field, 2-of-6 from three-point range and 3-for-4 at the free throw line, scored in double-figures for the second time in his career.
JARDINE SCORES IN DOUBLE-FIGURES FOR THE 18TH TIME AGAINST BYU
Senior forward Brady Jardine scored in double-figures for the 18th time in his career with 12 points against BYU as he was 5-of-11 from the field and 2-for-4 at the free throw line. Overall, it was Jardine's first double-figure scoring game in eight outings dating back to last year. Jardine also played a career-high 35 minutes against BYU.
NOTE-ABLES THE BRIGHAM YOUNG GAME
Utah State has now won 32 straight home games to extend the third-longest home winning streak in the nation trailing Duke (37) and Kentucky (34). Overall, USU has won 84 of its last 86 home games and is 194-13 in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under Morrill which includes a 94-5 record against non-conference opponents.
Utah State has now won 24 straight home games against in-state opponents and is 26-1 at home under Morrill. Overall, USU has won 28 of its last 35 games against in-state competition.
Utah State has now won 17 of its last 18 season openers including a 13-1 mark under Morrill. Overall, USU has won 30 of its last 31 games when it starts the season at home.
Utah State is now 48-14 during the month of November under Morrill including a 25-0 record at home. Overall, USU has won 28 straight home games in November.
Senior forward Morgan Grim played a career-high 26 minutes and tied his career-high with two blocks.
SCOUTING WEBER STATE
Weber State is 1-0 on the season after defeating Northern New Mexico, 109-50, in its season-opener Friday. The Wildcats are led by junior guard Damian Lillard who is scoring 25.0 points to go along with 5.0 rebounds per game. Junior guard Scott Bamforth is averaging 17.0 points and 5.0 rebounds, and junior forward Frank Otis is averaging 13.0 points and 17.0 rebounds per game. Senior forward Kyle Bullinger and sophomore guard Jordan Richardson are both scoring 11.0 points per game, and freshman guard Mike Brown is averaging 10.0 points. Weber State, the preseason favorite to win the Big Sky Conference this year, returns three starters and seven letterwinners from last year's team that went 18-14 and placed third in the Big Sky Conference with an 11-5 mark. WSU ended its season with a 68-59 loss at Oregon in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational.
UTAH STATE-WEBER STATE SERIES
Utah State and Weber State will be meeting for the 64th time this week, with the Aggies owning a 38-25 all-time advantage. USU has won 10 of the last 11 games played in the series, including a 77-65 win in Logan the last time the two teams met on Nov. 13, 2010. Weber State holds a slim 16-14 advantage against USU at home, but the Aggies have won three of its last four games played in Ogden, including a 66-60 win on Nov. 13, 2009, the last time the two teams played in the Dee Events Center. The first game played in the series was on Feb. 23, 1971, with the Wildcats posting a 63-62 road win. Utah State is 23-8 all-time against Weber State at home and has won eight straight meetings between the two teams in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The last time Weber State won a game in the series was on Nov. 10, 2007 in Ogden, 78-71.
VERSUS THE BIG SKY CONFERENCE
Utah State is 191-98 (.661) all-time against current members of the Big Sky Conference, while Morrill is 70-20 (.778) all-time against the league. At Utah State, Morrill is 22-6 (.786) versus the Big Sky and 11-4 (.733) against Weber State. All-time, Morrill is 18-8 (.692) against the Wildcats, which includes a 7-3 record while at Montana, an 0-1 record while at Colorado State and an 11-4 record at Utah State.
UTAH STATE-WEBER STATE CONNECTIONS
Weber State head coach Randy Rahe spent six years as an assistant at Utah State (1999-2004), and 13 years as an assistant to USU head coach Stew Morrill at Utah State and Colorado State. Weber State assistant Eric Duft spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College and coached former Aggie Stephen DuCharme. Furthermore, Duft spent two of those seven years at Hutchinson CC as an assistant for then head coach Tim Duryea. Duryea is now in his 11th year as an assistant coach at Utah State.
UTAH STATE AND WEBER STATE IN NOVEMBER
Utah State and Weber State will be meeting in the month of November for the sixth-straight year and for the 10th time in series history with USU owning a 7-2 record in the previous nine meetings during the 11th month of the year.
UTAH STATE IN NOVEMBER
Utah State is 48-14 (.774) during the month of November under Morrill, which includes a 11-10 (.524) record on the road and a 23-14 (.622) mark away from home. USU is also 21-6 (.778) in games played on Tuesday under Morrill, while it will be playing its first-ever game on Nov. 15.
AGGIES AMONG ELITE COMPANY
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. The previous USU record for consecutive 20-win seasons was three from 1962 to 1964. Overall, USU has won 20 or more games 26 times in school history. During the last 12 years, Utah State has averaged 25.8 wins per season.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has made at least one three-point basket in 164 straight games and the last time USU did not make a three-pointer in a game was on Dec. 16, 2006 in Provo as BYU defeated the Aggies, 75-62. USU entered that game having made at least one three-pointer in 127 games dating back to Dec. 14, 2002 when BYU held USU without a three-pointer in a 66-56 win in Provo.
UTAH STATE TRENDS
Utah State has won 51 straight games when leading at the half, with its last loss coming at Northeastern on Nov. 21, 2009... USU has won 26 of its last 27 games when out-rebounding its opponent... USU has won 28 straight games when allowing less than 60 points with its last loss coming at New Mexico State on Jan. 2, 2010.
LAST MEETING AGAINST WEBER STATE
Junior guard Brockeith Pane scored 23 points in his Aggie debut and senior forward Tai Wesley added 19 to lead Utah State to a 77-65 come-from-behind home win against Weber State on Nov. 13, 2010. Utah State trailed 36-29 at the half and 45-37 with 16:01 to play following Damian Lillard's fifth three-pointer before Utah State went on a 17-0 run over the next 5:22 as Wesley scored five straight points and Pane added eight during the spurt. WSU got within four at 63-59 with 4:46 remaining following a free throw from Lindsey Hughey, but the Aggies responded with an 11-3 run to post the 12-point win. Pane scored 17 of his 23 points in the second-half for the highest scoring game by an Aggie newcomer in his first USU game since Jay Goodman had 33 in his Aggie debut back in 1990 against Brigham Young. Pane finished the night 6-of-11 from the field and 11-of-13 at the free throw line, and added five rebounds and four assists. Wesley had nine rebounds to go along with his 19 points, 13 of which came after intermission, as he was 8-of-13 from the field and 3-of-4 at the free throw line. Senior guard Brian Green had 10 points and four rebounds, while junior forward Morgan Grim added nine points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 22 minutes in his Aggie debut. Lillard led all scorers with 28 points shooting 9-of-17 from the field, 6-of-10 from three-point range and 4-of-6 at the free throw line. Weber State opened an early 5-1 lead and led by as many as seven in the first nine minutes of the game as the Wildcats made six of its first seven three-pointers. WSU took its largest lead of the half at 30-22 with 5:17 to play on a jumper by Trevor Morris. Weber State shot 50.0 percent (14-28) in the opening half including hitting 6-of-8 treys, while Utah State shot just 32.1 percent (9-28) and was 0-7 from behind the arc. USU did make 11-of-13 free throws in the first 20 minutes to keep the game within reach. Utah State finished the game by shooting 45.6 percent (26-57), despite making just 1-of-12 (.083) three-pointers. The Aggies did shoot 80.0 percent at the free throw line (24-30). Weber State shot 42.6 percent overall (23-54) including 45.0 percent from behind the arc (9-20) and 58.8 percent at the free throw line (10-17). In the second-half, the Wildcats were just 9-of-26 (.346) from the field and 3-of-12 (.250) from three. Utah State out-rebounded Weber State by 14 (26-12) in the second-half and won the rebounding battle, 41-31.
LAST MEETING AGAINST WEBER STATE IN OGDEN
Utah State had four players score in double-figures led by junior guard Tyler Newbold's 15 points in its season-opening 66-60 win against Weber State on Nov. 13, 2009. Junior forward Nate Bendall had 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting to go along with five rebounds, while senior guard Jared Quayle added 11 points and a game-high eight rebounds. Junior guard Brian Green finished with 10 points in his first career game at USU. Damian Lillard scored a game-high 20 points to lead Weber State. Following a layup from Lillard to begin the game, Newbold scored back-to-back buckets for Utah State to give the visitors a lead it would never relinquish. Leading 24-21 late in the first-half, USU scored the final four points on a bucket by Quayle and a pair of free throws from Newbold to lead by seven at intermission. Utah State had more turnovers (10) than field goals (9) in the first-half as it shot 40.9 percent overall (9-22). Weber State shot 30.0 percent in the first-half (9-30). Newbold led the Aggies with 10 first-half points, while Bendall and Quayle each had seven. Utah State began the second-half on an 8-1 run to extend its lead to 36-23 following a baseline jumper from Green. USU increased its margin to 15 on a layup by Quayle with 12:29 to play and led by 10 at 59-49 with 1:39 remaining after Newbold hit his third three-pointer of the game from the left corner. Weber State then scored seven of the next eight points to cut the lead to four at 60-56 with :26 seconds to play, but Green hit four straight free throws down the stretch to secure the win. Utah State finished the game shooting 47.7 percent from the field (21-44), 33.3 percent from three-point range (4-12) and 87.0 percent from the free throw line (20-23). Weber State shot just 33.3 percent overall (21-63), including just 10.0 percent from behind the arc (2-20). WSU did make 16-of-19 (.842) free throws. USU also had one more rebound (35-34) in the game, while the Wildcats had four more steals (7-3), three more assists (8-5) and six fewer turnovers (17-11). Both teams had two players foul out in the game as a total of 45 fouls were called.
UTAH STATE PROBABLE STARTER NOTES
G #0 Brockeith Pane (6-1, 195, Sr., Dallas, Texas) - Has started 34 games for Utah State during his career, including each of his last 27 at the point... Has scored in double-figures once this year and 23 times in his career... Also has one 20-point game this season and four in his career... Scored 21 points to go along with five assists, four rebounds and three steals in his season-opener against BYU... Was 6-of-10 from the field, 1-of-3 from three-point range and 8-for-8 at the free throw line against the Cougars... Currently ranks first in the WAC in scoring, first in free throw shooting, second in assists, second in steals, fifth in field goal shooting and 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.83) ... Overall, he has played in 35 games at Utah State.
G #5 Steven Thornton (6-3, 175, Fr., Valencia, Calif.) - Played his first career collegiate game in a start against BYU... Scored two points on 1-of-4 shooting to go along with one rebound and one steal in 19 minutes... Ranks tied for 12th in the WAC in steals.
G #13 Preston Medlin (6-4, 175, R-So., Carrollton, Texas) - Made his first career start against BYU and scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 2-of-6 from three and 3-for-4 at the free throw line... Also had a career-high five assists against the Cougars and tied his career-high with three rebounds, while playing a career-high 35 minutes... Has scored in double-figures twice in his career as he other double-digit outing was 17 points against Southern Utah (11/28) as he was 5-of-8 from the field and 5-of-6 from three... Currently ranks second in the WAC in assists, seventh in scoring, 11th in field goal shooting, 12th in steals (1.0), 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio (0.83), and 15th in free throw shooting. Overall, he has played in 23 games at Utah State.
F #21 Morgan Grim (6-7, 230, Sr., Riverton, Utah) - Made his first career start at Utah State, and his fifth career start overall, against BYU as he was 2-of-4 from the field and 4-for-6 at the free throw line for eight points... Also had four rebounds in a career-high 26 minutes and tied his career-high with two blocked shots... Ranks second in the WAC in blocked shots... Overall, he has played in 33 games at Utah State and 75 games in his collegiate career.
F #22 Brady Jardine (6-7, 220, Sr., Twin Falls, Idaho) - Made his eighth career start and played in his 92nd career game at Utah State in its season-opener against BYU... Scored in double-figures for the 18th time in his career with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and 2-of-4 shooting from the free throw line... Also had eight rebounds against the Cougars in a career-high 35 minutes... Ranks fifth in the WAC in rebounding and 14th in scoring.
UTAH STATE PLAYERS OFF THE BENCH
F #1 Ben Clifford (6-7, 225, R-Fr., South Jordan, Utah) - Did not play in Utah State's first game of the year against BYU.
G/F #11 Adam Thoseby (6-4, 185, Fr., Henley-on-Thames, England) - Played 12 minutes in his first collegiate game against BYU and finished with two points and one steal as he was 0-of-2 from three-point range and 2-for-4 at the free throw line... Ranks tied for 12th in the WAC in steals.
G #14 E.J. Farris (6-2, 185, Jr., Newark, Calif.) - Has played in 22 games during his Aggie career... Saw four minutes against BYU and recorded one rebound.
F #15 Mitch Bruneel (6-5, 205, So., Boise, Idaho) - Played 21 minutes in a reserve role in his first career Utah State game against BYU... Scored eight points to go along with two rebounds and one assist as he was 3-of-6 from the field, 2-of-3 from three-point range and 0-for-1 at the free throw line... Ranks eighth in the WAC in three-point shooting and 12th in three-point shooting.
C #25 Jordan Stone (6-10, 270, Fr., Smithfield, Utah) - Played three minutes in his first career game and scored one point on 1-of-2 shooting from the free throw line... Also had two rebounds against BYU.
F #34 Kyisean Reed (6-6, 215, Jr., Palmdale, Calif.) - Played 15 minutes off the bench in his first career game against BYU... Was 0-of-2 from the field, but did have five rebounds to go along with one block... Ranks tied for sixth in the WAC in blocked shots and is 14th in rebounding.
F #40 Igor Premasunac (6-8, 245, Jr., Zagreb, Croatia) - Did not play in Utah State's first game of the year against BYU.
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.
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). Pane earned first-team all-WAC honors and was named to the league's all-newcomer team as a junior, along with being voted the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 WAC Tournament. Pane is also the only returning first-team all-league player in the WAC from last season.
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.
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 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 HAS WON FOUR STRAIGHT WAC CHAMPIONSHIPS
Utah State's current run of winning four-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season championships is the longest in school history and the best 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 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 LOSES FOUR STARTERS AND EIGHT LETTERWINNERS FROM 2011 NCAA 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 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 THREE TIMES 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 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).
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).
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 TIED WITH KANSAS FOR BEST CONFERENCE WINNING PERCENTAGE
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 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.
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 13 years, Utah State has been one of the best basketball programs in the country, recording a 310-90 (.775) record. Those 310 wins are the fifth-most in the country, while the 77.5 percent winning percentage is fourth-best behind Duke (.836), Kansas (.824) and Gonzaga (.793). 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.
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 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.
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.
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 325-103 (.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 13 years at 77.5 percent with an overall record of 310-90. 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 14 years, USU is an amazing 194-13 (.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 543 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 543-241 (.693).
Head coach Stew Morrill (325-103) is the winningest coach in school history and is first all-time in games coached (428). 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 325-103 (.759) overall record, a 167-49 (.773) conference record and a 25-7 (.781) record in conference postseason play. Overall, Morrill owns a 543-241 (.693) 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 543 career wins and 23rd in winning percentage at 69.3 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 194-13 (.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.
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