Utah State travels to Cancun, Mexico, for the rest of the Cancun Challenge, opening 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) with Thad Anderson on play-by-play and Doug Gottlieb providing color. Fans can also tune in to KVNU with Al Lewis providing play-byplay.
- Utah State will travel to its first regular season tournament since the 2007-08 season, when the Aggies played at the South Padre Invitational.
- USU has hosted a regular season tournament from 2007-16, posting an overall mark of 25-1 over that span when serving as the host.
- Utah State is 107-37 all-time in regular season tournaments, including an overall mark of 53-35 when not serving as the host institution.
- Utah State could have the chance of meeting a pair of first-time opponents in Purdue and Auburn. The Aggies have faced Texas Tech three times in program history, leading the all-time series 2-1, but have not faced the Red Raiders since the 1976-77 season.
Things Of Note
- Senior wing Jalen Moore moved past his father, USU Hall of Famer Jimmy Moore (1,164), on the all-time scoring list against Idaho State, bringing his career total to 1,173 points. Moore is 42 points away from tying No. 24 on the list, Jay Goodman (1991-93) with 1,215 points.
- Senior guard Shane Rector has tied his career high in assists (seven) in each of the past two games against NJIT and Idaho State.
- Freshman guard Koby McEwen has scored in double figures in all three of Utah State's games this season. USU All-American Jaycee Carroll (2005-08) had the longest streak of double-digit games as a freshman, scoring in 11 straight during his first year in 2004-05.
- Head coach Tim Duryea will look to become the only head coach in Utah State history to start the year 4-0 in each of his first two seasons. Duryea recently became just the second head coach in school history to start 3-0, matching H.B. Lee (1946-47) with the victory over Idaho State.
Purdue is 2-1 on the year, posting victories over McNeese State (109-65) and Georgia State (64-56) and suffering its only setback to Villanova, 79-76.
The Boilermakes are averaging 83.0 points per game and shooting 48.8 percent (84-of-172) from the floor, 32.8 percent (22-of-67) from behind the 3-point line and 67.8 percent (59-of-87) from the free throw line. Purdue is led by sophomore forward Caleb Swanigan with 20.7 points and 13.0 rebounds per game. He is followed by junior center Isaac Haas with 18.3 points per game, shooting a team-best 73.1 percent (19-of-26) from the floor. Junior forward Vincent Edwards rounds out the double-digit scorers, averaging 12.0 points per game and is second on the team with 6.0 rebounds per contest.
Defensively, teams have averaged 66.7 points per game against the Boilermakers, shooting 39.0 percent (73-of-187) from the floor, 31.3 percent (20-of-64) from behind the 3-point line and 79.1 percent (34-of-43) from the free throw line. Haas leads Purdue with five blocks and junior guard P.J. Thompson leads the team with five steals.
Head coach Matt Painter is in his 12th season at Purdue, amassing an overall mark of 240-135 over that span.
Series History against Purdue
Utah State and Purdue have never met on the basketball court. However, USU is 223-109 all-time against first-time opponents.
Utah State against the Big Ten
Utah State is 11-16 all-time against the Big Ten, facing Michigan in its last meeting with the conference during the 2007 NIT, a 68-58 loss to the Wolverines.
Utah State against the Hoosier State
Utah State is 6-6 all-time against schools from the state of Indiana, facing IPFW in its last meeting with a team from the Hoosier state, beating the Mastodons, 77-63, at home in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum during the 2006-07 season.
Scouting Texas Tech
Texas Tech is 3-0 on the year, opening the season with victories over Houston Baptist (93-67), North Texas (70-43) and Eastern Kentucky (90-71).
The Red Raiders are averaging 84.3 points per game and shooting 53.6 percent (90-of-168) from the floor, 47.9 percent (23-of-48) from behind the 3-point line and 70.4 percent (50-of-71) from the free throw line. The TTU offense features four players that are averaging double figures in senior forward Aaron Ross (14.0 ppg), junior guard Keenan Evans (14.0 ppg), junior guard Shadell Millinghaus (13.3 ppg) and senior forward Anthony Livingston (12.0 ppg). Junior forward Justin Gray is just behind with 9.7 points per game and leads the Red Raiders on the glass with 7.0 rebounds per game.
Defensively, opponents have averaged 60.3 points per game and shot 34.9 percent (60-of-172) from the floor, 31.9 percent (23-of-72) from behind the 3-point line and 69.1 percent (38-of-55) from the free throw line against TTU. Senior guard Devon Thomas leads the team with five steals and Gray leads Texas Tech with eight blocks.
Head coach Chris Beard is in his first year at Texas Tech, moving to Lubbock after a record-setting season at Arkansas Little Rock, guiding the team to a 30-6 record. Beard already had a history with TTU, serving as an assistant coach of the program from 2001-11. Beard also has ties to the Mountain West after being named head coach at UNLV for less than three weeks before taking the job at Texas Tech.
Series History against Texas Tech
Utah State leads the all-time series against Texas Tech, 2-1. The teams have not met since the 1976-77 season, when the Aggies posted a 78-68 victory in the Indiana Classic.
Utah State against the Big 12
Utah State is 11-14 all-time against the Big 12 conference, having last face a member of the league during the 2010-11 season when the Aggies lost 73-68 in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Tournament appearance was one of three consecutive showings in the Big Dance by USU during the 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 seasons.
Utah State against the Lone Star State
Utah State is 29-13 all-time against Division I schools from the Lone Star State, most recently facing four schools from Texas during the 2012-13 season, including Texas-Arlington, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Texas State and UTSA. All but Texas A&M was a member of the Western Athletic Conference that season, the final year that Utah State was a member of the WAC.
Auburn enters the Cancun Challenge with an overall mark of 3-0 on the year, posting victories over North Florida (83-66), Georgia State (83-65) and Eastern Kentucky (85-64).
The Tigers average 83.7 points per game, shooting 44.8 percent (77-of-172) from the floor, 36.6 percent (26-of-71) from behind the 3-point line and 63.4 percent (71-of-112) from the free throw line. Auburn has four players averaging double figures in freshman forward Danjel Purifoy (16.3 ppg), freshman guard Mustapha Heron (14.7 ppg), freshman guard Jared Harper (11.7 ppg) and sophomore guard Bryce Brown (10.0 ppg). Heron also paces the Tigers on the glass, averaging 7.0 rebounds per contest.
Defensively, opponents have scored 65.0 points per game, while shooting 35.9 percent (66-of-184) from the floor, 25.0 percent (19-of-76) from behind the 3-point line and 68.8 percent (44-of-64) from the free throw line. Graduate transfer LaRon Smith leads the team with six blocks and Harper leads the team with seven steals.
Head coach Bruce Pearl is in his third year at Auburn, compiling an overall mark of 29-40 over that span. Overall, Pearl is 491-185 in 21 seasons as a head coach.
Series History against Auburn
Utah State and Auburn have never met on the basketball court. However, USU is 223-109 all-time against first-time opponents.
Utah State against the SEC
Utah State is 6-13 all-time against the SEC, last facing a team from the conference in the 2014-15 season when the Aggies traveled to Mississippi State and lost, 71-63.
Utah State Against the Yellowhammer State
Utah State has only faced one other school from the state of Alabama in program history, posting a perfect 2-0 mark against Troy when the Trojans traveled to Logan to take part in the USU-hosted tournament during the 2010-11 and 2013-14 seasons.
Utah State will compete its third consecutive game at a neutral site, facing BYU at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on BYUtv (DirecTV Ch. 374, Dish Ch. 9403) or can be heard on KVNU with Al Lewis providing play-by-play and Rod Tueller providing color.
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