Nov. 23, 2008
LOGAN, Utah -
Complete Release in PDF Format
Utah State (2-0) vs. Weber State (1-2)
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008 7 p.m. (MT) Logan, Utah
Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270)
Aggie Radio Network KJZZ TV
GAME DAY HEADLINES
Utah State is beginning its 104th season of basketball this year and has an overall record of 1,372-989 (.581). USU hasn't had a losing season since the 1992-93 campaign, a span of 15 years, when that team finished with a 10-17 record.
Utah State is 2-0 to start a season for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign when that team won its first three games. Overall, it is the fifth time that USU has started 2-0 under head coach Stew Morrill.
Utah State has won seven straight regular season games dating back to the 2007-08 campaign as it finished the 2007-08 season with five straight wins and has won both of its games thus far this year.
Utah State has won 15 straight home games against in-state competition and is 17-1 (.944) at home against teams from the state of Utah under Coach Morrill. Overall, USU has won 14 of its last 18 games versus in-state opponents and is 21-8 (.724) against the state of Utah during the last eight years. During that time period, USU is 5-3 versus BYU, 5-3 versus Utah, 7-2 versus Weber State, 3-0 against Utah Valley and 1-0 against Southern Utah. Overall, USU is 22-13 (.629) versus teams from the state of Utah under Coach Morrill.
Utah State has won 54 straight regular season non-conference home games, which is the second-longest streak in the nation behind Duke who has won 58 straight. When including postseason play, USU has won 30 straight home games against non-conference opponents and 54 of its last 56 overall. The last time Utah State lost a non-conference home game during the regular season was on Jan. 8, 2000 against BYU, 82-73.
Utah State is 143-12 (.923) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under Coach Morrill, which includes a 67-4 (.944) record against non-league opponents. Overall, USU is 437-105 (.806) in 39 years in the building.
Utah State has won 18 straight games inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, which is the eighth-longest active winning streak in the country. BYU has won 51 straight home games, which is the longest streak in the nation.
Utah State (2-0) will play the first of three straight home games on Tuesday, Nov. 25 when it hosts in-state rival Weber State (1-2) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum at 7 p.m. The game will be televised live on KJZZ-TV with Steve Brown (play-by-play) and Craig Hislop (color) calling the action.
UTAH STATE VS. WEBER STATE RIVALRY ONE OF THE OLDEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State and Weber State will be playing for the 60th time this week in what is the ninth-oldest rivalry in school history along with UC Santa Barbara. USU's first game against WSU was on Feb. 23, 1971.
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. Fans can also listen to every road game live via USU's web site.
LOOKING AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 2-0 this year after recording a 61-59 road win at UC Santa Barbara on Monday, Nov. 17. USU is led by senior forward Gary Wilkinson who is averaging 17.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, and is shooting 77.8 percent from the field and 70.0 percent from the free throw line. Sophomore forward Tai Wesley is also scoring in double-figures for USU as he is averaging 12.5 points to go along with 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Wesley is shooting 76.9 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from the free throw line. As a team, Utah State is scoring 66.0 points per game and shooting 51.1 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from three-point range, and 63.6 percent from the free throw line. Defensively, USU is allowing 54.5 points and its opponents are shooting 41.7 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range, and 58.3 percent from the free throw line.
UTAH STATE HAS EIGHT DAYS BETWEEN GAMES
Utah State will have eight days between games two and three on its schedule as it defeated UC Santa Barbara, 61-59, on Monday, Nov. 17 and returns to action on Tuesday, Nov. 25 at home against Weber State. USU had nine days between games last year in early January when its contest at Nevada was postponed due to severe weather in the Reno area. The last time Utah State had this long of a planned layoff was during the 2003-04 season when it had 10 days between games in early December.
UTAH STATE DOES WELL WHEN KEEPING ITS OPPONENTS UNDER 60
Utah State has won 46 straight games when allowing less than 60 points, including both of its contests this season. The last time USU lost a game when allowing fewer than 60 points was on Nov. 20, 2004 in the semifinals of the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska when it lost to Central Florida, 55-52.
UTAH STATE WINNING THE CLOSE GAMES
Utah State has done a great job of finding a way to win close games as it is 8-2 in its last 10 games decided by two or fewer points, including four straight wins in games decided by a single point.
WILKINSON NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior forward Gary Wilkinson was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week on Monday, Nov. 17 after leading Utah State to a season-opening 71-50 home win against Montana State-Northern. Against the Lights, Wilkinson scored a career-high 24 points and added 12 rebounds to notch his eighth career double-double. Wilkinson, who played just 27 minutes, was 10-of-11 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free throw line. It is the first time in his career that Wilkinson has been honored by the WAC. Overall, it is the ninth time that USU has had a player honored by the WAC in its four years in the league.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State head coach Stew Morrill (239-86) is the winningest coach in school history and is second all-time in games coached (325) behind the legendary E. Lowell Romney (382). Morrill is also the longest tenured coach at Utah State (entering 11th season) since the H. Cecil Baker era (1951-61).
Following its game against Weber State, Utah State will remain home and host Cal Poly on Saturday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
UTAH STATE IN NOVEMBER
Utah State is 38-11 (.776) in games played in November under Coach Morrill, which includes a 16-0 home record. USU is also 4-1 (.800) all-time in known games played on November 25, and 13-6 (.684) in games played on Tuesday under Morrill.
UTAH STATE AT HOME IN NOVEMBER
Utah State has won 20 straight home games during the month of November. The last time USU lost a home game during the month of November was on Nov. 26, 1997 when it lost to Utah, 60-41,
RECAPPING THE UC SANTA BARBARA GAME
Matt Formisano scored a put-back basket with three second to play to lift Utah State to a hard-fought 61-59 road at UC Santa Barbara on Monday, Nov. 17. USU improves to 2-0 on the season with the win, while UCSB falls to 1-1 with the loss. Utah State has now won six straight games against UC Santa Barbara, including 12 of its last 14 overall. It was also USU's third straight regular season road win dating back to last year and its 46th straight win when allowing less than 60 points. With the game tied at 59-all, Utah State's Gary Wilkinson missed a running layup that Formisano rebounded and scored on to give the Aggies the win. Formisano finished with six points and three rebounds. Sophomore forward Tai Wesley led Utah State with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Wilkinson added 11 points and eight rebounds. Freshman guard Jaxon Myaer also scored 11 points for the visitors. Chris Devine and James Powell each scored 14 points for UC Santa Barbara, but were a combined 11-of-28 from the field, including 2-of-9 from three-point range. Utah State used a 14-0 run in the second-half to take a 56-44 lead with 7:52 remaining before UC Santa Barbara went on an 18-6 run to tie the game at 59-all with :29 seconds to play. UC Santa Barbara scored the first four points of the game before Utah State took its first lead at 7-6 on a layup by junior guard Stavon Williams. The Gauchos reclaimed the lead and held a 12-9 advantage before the Aggies went on a 13-2 run and led 24-14 with 5:16 to play in the half. UCSB scored 13 of the final 19 points of the first-half to make the score 30-27 for USU at the half. Myaer led Utah State with eight first-half points as USU shot 47.8 percent from the field (11-23). Powell had nine first-half points for UCSB as the Gauchos shot 40.7 percent (11-27). Utah State finished the game by shooting 47.9 percent from the field (23-48), 42.9 percent from three-point range (6-14), and 69.2 percent from the free throw line (9-13), while UC Santa Barbara shot 44.6 percent overall (25-56), including 4-14 from three-point range (.286), and 5-of-7 from the free throw line (.714). USU also dominated the glass as it out-rebounded the Gauchos, 36-25.
NOTE-ABLES FROM THE UC SANTA BARBARA GAME
Gary Wilkinson has now scored in double-figures 30 times in his career... Tai Wesley scored in double-figures for the 20th time in his career.... Jaxon Myaer scored in double-figures for the first time in his career... The 61 points scored by USU is its fewest in a win since it scored 60 against Southern Utah to start the 2007-08 season.
AGGIES DOMINATING THE GLASS
Through two games this year, Utah State is dominating the glass as it is out-rebounding its opponents by an average of 11.5 boards per game. USU out-rebounded Montana State-Northern, 39-23, and UC Santa Barbara, 36-25.
MYAER JOINS THE SHORT LIST OF FRESHMEN WHO HAVE STARTED FOR COACH MORRILL
Redshirt freshman guard Jaxon Myaer has started both games at the point for Utah State this year and is now one of just five freshman in the last 11 years to start for Coach Morrill along with Tony Brown (1998-99), Jaycee Carroll (2004-05), and Tyler Newbold and Tai Wesley (2007-08).
YOUTH WILL BE SERVED
Utah State has 10 underclassmen on its 2008-09 roster with five freshmen and five sophomores, which is the most-ever on a USU team. The 2001-02 squad had nine underclassmen.
WILKINSON ONLY SENIOR ON AGGIE ROSTER
Utah State has just one senior on its roster in forward Gary Wilkinson. The last time a USU team had just one senior on its roster was during the 1999-2000 campaign in guard Troy Rolle. That team finished the season with a 28-6 record, including a perfect 16-0 mark in the Big West Conference.
UTAH STATE NO LONGER CALIFORNIA DREAMING
For the second straight season, Utah State does not have a single player from the state of California on its roster. The 2007-08 season marked the first time since the 1993-94 campaign, a span of 14 years, that Utah State did not have a player from California on its roster. 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.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State is one of just three teams in the nation to win at least 23 games in each of the last nine seasons along with Gonzaga and Kansas.
SCOUTING WEBER STATE
Weber State is 1-2 on the season as it began the season with a 70-66 loss to Miami, Ohio, 70-66, defeated Prairie View A&M, 78-68, and lost at Long Beach State, 73-69 in overtime, in its last game. WSU is led by senior guard Kellen McCoy who is averaging 13.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, while freshman forward Kyle Bullinger is averaging 12.0 points and 4.3 rebounds. As a team, Weber State is scoring 71.0 points per contest and shooting 51.4 percent from the field, 49.0 percent from three-point range and 66.7 percent from the free throw line. Defensively, WSU is allowing 70.3 points and its opponents are shooting 41.8 percent from the field, 37.3 percent from three-point range and 58.6 percent from the free throw line. The Wildcats are picked to finish fourth in the Big Sky Conference according to the media and fifth by the coaches in the preseason polls. Weber State returns two starters and four letterwinners from last year's team that went 16-14 overall and finished in third-place in the Big Sky with a 10-6 league record. Randy Rahe is in his third year as a collegiate head coach at WSU and has an overall record of 37-28.
UTAH STATE-WEBER STATE SERIES
Utah State and Weber State will be meeting for the 60th time this week, with the Aggies owning a 34-25 all-time advantage. USU has won six of the last seven games played in the series, but WSU won the last meeting with a 78-71 victory in Ogden on Nov. 10, 2007. The first game played in the series was on Feb. 23, 1971, with the Wildcats posting a 63-62 road win. Utah State is 20-8 all-time against Weber State at home and has won each of the last five games played in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The last time Weber State won in Logan was on Dec. 7, 1993 by a score of 87-86.
VERSUS THE BIG SKY CONFERENCE
Utah State is 184-98 (.652) all-time against current members of the Big Sky Conference, while Coach Morrill is 63-20 (.759) all-time against the league. At Utah State, Morrill is 15-6 (.714) versus the Big Sky and 7-4 against Weber State. All-time, Morrill is 14-8 against the Wildcats, which includes a 7-3 record while at Montana, an 0-1 record while at Colorado State, and a 7-4 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 eighth year as an assistant coach at Utah State.
LAST MEETING AGAINST THE WILDCATS
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 on Nov. 10, 2007 in the Dee Events Center in Ogden. The win for WSU was its first against USU in the team's last seven meetings. Junior forward Gary Wilkinson led Utah State with 21 points and eight rebounds, while senior All-American guard Jaycee Carroll added 14 points and eight rebounds. Senior forward Stephen DuCharme 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.
WILKINSON NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN
Utah State's Gary Wilkinson has been named a preseason high-major All-American by CollegeHoops.net it was announced on Oct. 23. Wilkinson, who was named to the honorable-mention team, is one of 33 players recognized. Wilkinson, a 6-9 senior forward from South Jordan, Utah (Bingham HS/Salt Lake CC), is one of just two players from the Western Athletic Conference to be named preseason All-American by CollegeHoops.net along with Nevada's Armon Johnson. Wilkinson is also one of four players from the state of Utah to be honored joining BYU's Lee Cummard and Jonathan Tavernari, and Utah's Luke Nevill. Wilkinson, who was named the WAC's Preseason Player of the Year by the media this fall, earned second-team all-conference honors as a junior and was also named to the WAC's all-newcomer team as he averaged 13.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 58.4 percent from the field and 81.5 percent from the free throw line. He finished the year ranking fourth in the WAC in field goal shooting, fifth in three throw shooting, eighth in rebounding and 13th in scoring.
WILKINSON RANKS AMONG TOP 10 ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN FG AND FT SHOOTING
Senior forward Gary Wilkinson is shooting 59.5 percent from the field (188-316) during his USU career, which ranks fourth all-time in school history. He is also shooting 80.7 percent from the free throw line (117-145), which ranks ninth all-time in school history.
WESLEY & WILKINSON BOTH SHOOT FOR HIGH PERCENTAGE DURING 2008 SEASON
Sophomore forward Tai Wesley and senior forward Gary Wilkinson both recorded high shooting percentages during the 2007-08 season. Wesley shot 63.5 percent from the field (132-208) which ranks sixth all-time at Utah State for a single-season, while Wilkinson shot 58.4 percent (174-298), which ranks 16th all-time at USU for a single-season.
COMPARING UTAH STATE AND ITS OPPONENTS AT THE FREE THROW LINE
Utah State has been very aggressive in its first two games as it has gone to the free throw line 44 times and made 28 (.636). Also, USU is doing a great job of not fouling as its opponents are just 7-of-12 (.583) from the charity stripe thus far this year.
EXTENDED THREE-POINT LINE NOT LIMITING UTAH STATE SO FAR
Through two games this year, Utah State has attempted 20 three-pointers and made eight (.400). Through two games last year, Utah State attempted 21 three-pointers and made seven (.300).
UTAH STATE PICKED SECOND IN THE WAC, TWO PLAYERS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-WAC
Utah State is picked to finish second in the Western Athletic Conference this year by both the coaches and media, behind Nevada, while senior forward Gary Wilkinson and sophomore forward Tai Wesley were both named to preseason teams. Wilkinson was named the preseason Player of the Year by the media, while Wesley was voted to the second-team by the coaches.
UTAH STATE IN THE DEE GLEN SMITH SPECTRUM
Utah State is 143-12 (.923) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under Coach Morrill, which includes a 67-4 (.944) record against non-league opponents, a 76-8 (.905) record against conference opponents and a 21-3 (.875) record against WAC teams. Overall, USU is 437-105 (.806) in 39 years in the building. Utah State finished its 2007-08 regular season with a 17-0 home record, which is a school record for most wins in a single-season, marking just the fourth time in the 38 year history of the building that an Aggie team has gone undefeated at home.
AGGIES ON THE ROAD
Utah State is 66-59 (.528) on the road under head coach Stew Morrill, which includes a 17-22 (.436) record against non-conference opponents.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State's six returning lettermen to the 2008-09 roster are the most since the 2004-05 season when USU returned seven lettermen.
UTAH STATE PLAYER NOTES
#4 Clint Lee - Played two minutes against Montana-State Northern and was 0-of-2 from the free throw line.
#5 Pooh Williams - Has started both games this year and is averaging 3.5 points and 0.5 rebounds, while shooting 22.2 percent from the field and 75.0 percent from the free throw line... Had a career-high three assists and played a career-high 27 minutes against Montana State-Northern.
#11 Skyler Halford - Has not played yet this season and may redshirt.
#12 Deremy Geiger - Played one minute against Montana State-Northern and recorded one steal.
#13 Richard Sirju - Averaging 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 8.0 minutes per game off the bench... Is shooting 25.0 percent from the field and is 1-of-1 from the free throw line.
#14 Stavon Williams - Played his first game of the season at UC Santa Barbara... Scored five points against the Gauchos and added two rebounds, two assists and two steals in 14 minutes.
#15 Modou Niang - Recorded career-highs with four points and five rebounds against Montana State-Northern... Also had two blocked shots in 13 minutes against the Lights.
#21 Jared Quayle - Averaging 6.5 points and 3.5 rebounds, and is shooting 33.3 percent from the field and 75.0 percent from the free throw line... Had nine points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal in 20 minutes off the bench at UC Santa Barbara... Ranks 10th in the WAC with 1.50 steals per game.
#22 Brady Jardine - Has not played yet this season and may redshirt.
#23 Dominique Cooks - Has not played yet this season and may redshirt.
#24 Tyler Newbold - Has started both games for Utah State this year and 27 straight games dating back to last season... Is averaging 7.5 points and 2.5 rebounds, while shooting 35.7 percent from the field, 20.0 percent from three-point range and 66.7 percent from the free throw line... Had season-highs with nine points and three rebounds against Montana State-Northern.
#25 Jaxon Myaer - Has started both games at the point for Utah State this season... Scored a season-high 11 points at UC Santa Barbara and had a season-high five assists against Montana State-Northern... Is averaging 8.0 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 54.5 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from three-point range... Ranks second in the WAC in three-point shooting and seventh in assists... Has started 26 games in his career.
#42 Tai Wesley - Has started both games for Utah State at power forward and is averaging 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds, while shooting 76.9 percent from the field and 55.6 percent from the free throw line... Had a season-high 13 points against Montana State-Northern and a season-high eight rebounds at UC Santa Barbara... Also had four assists against the Lights... Ranks third in the WAC in field goal shooting and ninth in rebounding.
#44 Matt Formisano - Scored the game-winning basket with three seconds to play at UC Santa Barbara... Averaging 4.5 points and 2.0 rebounds, while shooting 66.7 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from the free throw line... Had season-highs with six points and three rebounds in 22 minutes at UC Santa Barbara.
#55 Gary Wilkinson - Has started both games at center for Utah State this year and is averaging 17.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 77.8 percent from the field and 70.0 percent from the free throw line... Recorded his eighth career double-double against Montana State-Northern as he scored a career-high 24 points to go along with 12 rebounds... Has scored in double-figures in 10 straight games dating back to last year and in 30 games in his career... Ranks first in the WAC in rebounding, second in field goal shooting, and third in scoring... Has started all 37 games in his Utah State career.
UTAH STATE AMONG THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY
Over the last nine years, Utah State has been one of the best basketball programs in the country, recording a 224-73 (.754) record. Those 224 wins are the eighth-most in the country, while the 75.4 percent winning percentage is fifth-best behind Duke (.834), Kansas (.806), Gonzaga (.799) and Florida (.766). USU has also been among the top teams in the country in field goal (.514) and free throw (.792) shooting as it led the nation in both categories during the 2007-08 season.
UTAH STATE HAS DOMINATED CONFERENCE PLAY SINCE 2000
Utah State has had tremendous success in league play over the last nine years recording a 116-36 (.763) 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 32-16 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 TOP FIELD GOAL AND FREE THROW SHOOTING TEAM IN 2008
Utah State finished the 2007-08 season as the top shooting team in the nation as it ranked first in both field goal and free throw shooting. On the season, USU shot 51.4 percent from the field and 79.2 percent from the free throw line. The last time a Division I team finished the season leading the nation in two of the three statistical shooting categories was 1999 when Northern Arizona was first in both field goal shooting (.523) and three-point shooting (.445). The last time a team led the nation in field goal and free throw shooting was 1986 when Michigan State shot 56.1 percent from the field and 79.9 percent from the free throw line. Overall, there have been only four teams in the history of the NCAA (Auburn, 1960; Ohio State, 1970; Michigan State, 1986; and Utah State, 2008) to lead the nation in both field goal and free throw shooting and only one team to lead the nation in both field goal and three-point shooting (Northern Arizona, 1999).
UTAH STATE RETURNS SIX LETTERMEN AND ONE REDSHIRT
Utah State returns three starters in sophomore guard Tyler Newbold, sophomore forward Tai Wesley and senior forward Gary Wilkinson, and three other lettermen in sophomore forward Matt Formisano, sophomore center Modou Niang and sophomore guard/forward Pooh Williams from the 2007-08 team that went 24-11, finished in first-place in the Western Athletic Conference with a 12-4 record, and advanced to the postseason NIT where it lost at Illinois State (61-57) in the first round. Newbold averaged 5.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game last year, while shooting 54.7 percent from the field, 51.5 percent from three-point range and 83.9 percent from the free throw line. Wesley averaged 9.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, while shooting 63.5 percent from the field and 72.2 percent from the free throw line. Wilkinson averaged 13.3 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 58.4 percent from the field and 81.5 percent from the free throw line. Formisano averaged 1.3 points and 1.2 rebounds per game and shot 36.0 percent from the field and 58.8 percent from the free throw line. Niang averaged 0.6 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game, while shooting 27.3 percent from the field and 71.4 percent from the free throw line. And Williams averaged 2.4 points, 1.0 assists and 0.8 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game, and shot 38.8 percent from the field, 36.0 percent from three-point range and 62.5 percent from the free throw line. Also returning is redshirt freshman point guard Jaxon Myaer who earned 3A Most Valuable Player honors as a prep senior at Judge Memorial High School in Salt Lake City, as he averaged 18.4 points and 6.5 assists per game.
UTAH STATE TRADITION
Over the last nine years, Utah State has averaged 24.7 wins and is one of just three schools in the nation to win at least 23 games in each of those seasons joining Gonzaga and Kansas.
Over the past nine years, Utah State has won four regular season conference championships and four tournament championships.
Utah State has advanced to nine 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, 2007 and 2008.
Over the last nine years, Utah State has gone 18-5 (.783) in conference postseason tournaments and has advanced to the championship game seven times.
The Aggies have won 23-plus games in each of the last nine seasons, which is a school record, bettering the old mark of three straight 20-win seasons from 1962-64.
During the 2007-08 season, Utah State recorded the fifth-most wins in school history (24) and advanced to postseason play for the 26th time.
During the 2007-08 season, Utah State led the nation in field goal shooting at 51.4 percent and free throw shooting at 79.2 percent, becoming just the fourth team in NCAA history to lead the nation in both statistical categories.
Over the past nine seasons, Utah State has gone 222-73 overall and 116-36 in conference play. Those 222 wins are the seventh-most in the country over that time period, while its 75.3 percent winning percentage is the fifth-best in the country.
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 last nine years, Utah State has recorded nine of the 11 winningest seasons in school history.
Over the past nine years, Utah State has had three All-American selections, 15 first-team all-conference selections, 25 all-conference selections (first and second team) and 30 conference player of the week honorees, not to mention Coach Morrill being named the league's Coach of the Year on two separate occasions.
Nate Bendall RESIGNS WITH UTAH STATE
Utah State head men's basketball coach Stew Morrill announced Wednesday, Nov. 12 that Nate Bendall (Salt Lake City, Utah) has signed a National Letter of Intent to rejoin the Aggie program beginning in the 2009-2010 season. Bendall will have two years of eligibility at USU. Bendall, a 6-8, 245-pound forward, is currently a sophomore at Salt Lake Community College and is averaging 17.5 points and 5.5 rebounds through two games this year. In SLCC's season opener, he scored 25 points going 8-of-11 from the field and 9-of-13 from the free throw line. As a freshman at Utah State during the 2005-06 season, Bendall averaged 2.4 points and 1.5 rebounds in 13 games, while shooting 72.2 percent from the field (13-18). Following the 2005-06 campaign, Bendall served a one-year LDS Service Mission in Nauvoo, Ill. Bendall prepped at Skyline High School in Salt Lake City where he earned first-team all-state honors. As a senior, he averaged nearly 18 points and nine rebounds, and shot 54 percent from the field and 78 percent from the free throw line as he led Skyline to an 18-5 record and to the semifinals of the 5A state tournament. Along with Utah State, Bendall was also being recruited by Boise State, Colorado State, Montana and Montana State.
FROM THE STATE OF UTAH
Aggie players from the state of Utah include senior forward Gary Wilkinson (South Jordan/Bingham), junior forward Clint Lee (North Logan/Sky View HS), junior guard Jared Quayle (Perry/Box Elder HS), sophomore guard Tyler Newbold (Payson/Payson HS), sophomore forward Tai Wesley (Provo/Provo HS), redshirt freshman guard Jaxon Myaer (Salt Lake City/Judge Memorial HS), and freshman guard Skyler Halford (Orem/Timpanogos HS). The seven players from the state of Utah on the 2008-09 roster are the most on a USU team since the 1988-89 squad also had seven in-state players on its roster.
HEAD COACH Stew Morrill
In 23 seasons as a collegiate head coach and 11 years at Utah State, Stew Morrill has taken the Aggie Basketball program to unprecedented heights leading it to an incredible 239-86 (.735) record, including a 124-44 (.738) 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 10 years at USU, Morrill has guided the Aggies to nine straight 23-win seasons and nine straight postseason appearances (NCAA-5, NIT-4), both of which are school records. Morrill has also led Utah State to the fifth-best winning percentage in the nation during the last nine years at 75.4 percent with an overall record of 224-73. Against conference opponents, Utah State has a 142-50 record with four 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 nine years. Under Morrill, Utah State has notched eight of the top 10 seasons in school history during the last nine 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 fifth-most wins in school history during the 2008 season with 24 victories. During the 2007-08 season, Morrill guided Utah State to a share of its first-ever Western Athletic Conference regular season championship. The 2007-08 Aggie basketball team also set a school record by shooting 79.2 percent from the free throw line, which led the nation. USU also led the nation in field goal shooting at 51.4 percent and became just the fourth team in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in both field goal and free throw shooting in the same year. For the ninth straight year, USU had at least one player earn first-team all-league accolades as Jaycee Carroll was named the WAC Player of the Year in 2008. Overall, Morrill has coached 10 first-team all-league players at Utah State who have won the award a total of 15 times. Morrill has also taken full advantage of the home court at USU, the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. In Morrill's 11 years, USU is an amazing 143-12 (.923) at home, which includes a 76-8 (.905) record in league play. As for Morrill, he has won 20 or more games on 13 different occasions during his career, and he has won at least 17 games 19 times. Overall, Morrill ranks 23rd in the nation among active coaches and 96th all-time with his 456 career wins, while his career winning percentage of 67.1 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 13 20-win seasons. His current streak of nine 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 (239-86) is the winningest coach in school history and is second all-time in games coached (325) behind the legendary E. Lowell Romney (382). Morrill is also the longest tenured coach at Utah State (entering 11th season) since the H. Cecil Baker era (1951-61).
Entering his 11th season with the Aggies, Morrill has a 239-86 (.735) overall record, a 124-44 (.738) conference record and an 18-6 (.750) record in conference postseason play. Overall, Morrill owns a 457-224 (.671) record in 23 years as a collegiate head coach.
Among active coaches at the Division I level, Morrill ranks 22nd in the nation with his 457 career wins and 27th in winning percentage at 67.1 percent.
Morrill is one of just 33 active coaches with 400 career wins at the Division I level and one of just 13 active coaches to notch 13 20-win seasons, while his current streak of nine straight 20-win seasons is tied for the eighth-longest 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 15 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 (twice).
Utah State is 143-12 (.923) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under Morrill.
Morrill has led Utah State to nine straight 20-win seasons and nine 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 12 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, 2007 and 2008.