Dec. 17, 2009
LONG BEACH, Calif. -
Complete Release in PDF Format
Utah State (6-3) vs. Long Beach State (5-4)
Friday, Dec. 18, 2009 * 8:05 p.m. (MT) * Long Beach, Calif.
Walter Pyramid (4,200) * Aggie Radio Network
GAME DAY HEADLINES
Utah State is in its 105th season of basketball and has an overall record of 1,407-997 (.585).
Utah State is 78-65 (.545) on the road under head coach Stew Morrill, which includes a 24-25 (.490) record against non-conference opponents. During the last two years, Utah State is 13-5 (.722) on the road and 15-7 (.682) away from home. Thus far this year, USU is 2-2 on the road.
Utah State is 104-26 (.800) against teams from the state of California during the last 11 years, which includes a 36-21 (.632) road record.
Junior guard Tyler Newbold has started 69 straight games at Utah State, which is the longest streak on the team. Junior forward Tai Wesley has started 49 straight games and 68 of the last 69 overall. Senior guard Jared Quayle has started 42 straight games, and junior forward Pooh Williams has started 40 games.
Utah State is 5-2 on the season and 213-23 (.903) over the last 11 years when leading at the half. Conversely, USU is 1-1 this year and 38-55 (.409) during the last 11 years when trailing at the half.
Utah State is 64-18 (.780) in games played in December under Coach Morrill, which includes an 11-14 (.440) record on the road. USU is also 7-6 (.538) all-time in known games played on Dec. 18 and 26-6 (.813) in games played on Friday under Morrill.
As of Dec. 14, Utah State ranks second in the nation in free throw percentage (.811), 24th in three-point field goal percentage (.407), 26th in scoring defense (59.1), 30th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.31), 33rd in field goal percentage defense (.379) and 35th in turnovers per game (12.0). Individually, senior guard Jared Quayle and junior forward Nate Bendall both rank 36th in free throw shooting (.897).
Utah State head coach Stew Morrill (273-94) is the winningest coach in school history and is second all-time in games coached (367) behind the legendary E. Lowell Romney (382). Morrill is also the second-longest tenured coach at USU (12th season) behind Romney (1920-41).
Utah State is one of just three teams in the nation to win at least 23 games in each of the last 10 seasons along with Gonzaga and Kansas. During the last 10 years, Utah State has averaged 25.2 wins per season.
Utah State (6-3) will conclude its two-game California road trip at Long Beach State (5-4) on Friday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. (MT).
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 6-3 on the season following its 68-51 road win at Cal State Bakersfield Wednesday night. USU is led by senior guard Jared Quayle who is averaging 12.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, while shooting 41.4 percent from the field, 41.2 percent from three-point range and 89.7 percent at the free throw line. Junior forward Tai Wesley is averaging 12.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, while shooting 52.4 percent from the field and 73.3 percent at the free throw line, and junior forward Nate Bendall is averaging 10.9 points and 7.1 rebounds, while shooting 56.7 percent from the field and 88.2 percent from the free throw line. As a team, Utah State is averaging 72.1 points and is shooting 46.0 percent from the field, 40.1 percent from three-point range and 80.5 percent from the free throw line. Defensively, USU is allowing 57.9 points per game and its opponents are shooting 38.4 percent from the field, 30.6 percent from three-point range and 75.2 percent from the free throw line.
AGGIES HAVE HAD FIVE DIFFERENT PLAYERS LEAD THE TEAM IN SCORING THIS YEAR
Through nine games, Utah State has already had five players lead the team in scoring as junior forward Tai Wesley has led the team three times, senior guard Jared Quayle and junior guard/forward Pooh Williams has each led the team twice, while junior guard Tyler Newbold and freshman guard Preston Medlin have each led the team in scoring once.
OFF THE BENCH
Utah State is 5-0 on the season when its bench out-scores its opponent's bench and 1-3 when its bench is out-scored. Overall, USU's bench is averaging 19.6 points (176) and 9.6 rebounds (86) per game and had season-highs of 39 points against Southern Utah and 18 rebounds against Idaho State. During its last two games, USU's bench is averaging 28.0 points and 11.0 rebounds.
UTAH STATE IN CLOSE GAMES
Utah State has not fared well in close games as of late as it is 0-3 on the season in games decided by five or fewer points as it lost to Utah by one point (68-67), Northeastern by three points (64-61), and Saint Mary's by five points (68-63). Prior to its one point loss to Marquette (58-57) in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament, USU had won 10 of its previous 12 games decided by two or fewer points including five straight wins in one-point games.
RANKING UTAH STATE IN THE WAC
As of Dec. 17, Utah State ranks first in the WAC in scoring defense (57.9), scoring margin (+14.2), rebound margin (+6.8), field goal percentage defense (.384) and free throw shooting (.805). USU is also second in three-point field goal percentage (.401), assists (15.56) and three-point field goal percentage defense (.306), and fifth in field goal percentage (.460). Individually, freshman guard Preston Medlin ranks first in the WAC in three-point shooting (.563), while junior forward Pooh Williams ranks ninth in three-point shooting (.429). Senior guard Jared Quayle ranks third in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.95), fourth in free throw shooting (.897), sixth in assists (4.56), 10th in three-point shooting (.412) and 12th in rebounding (6.7). Junior forward Nate Bendall ranks sixth in free throw shooting (.882), eighth in field goal shooting (.567), ninth in blocked shots (0.89) and 10th in rebounding (7.1). Junior forward Tai Wesley ranks 11th in field goal shooting (.524), 12th in blocked shots (0.78) and 14th in rebounding (6.4), and junior guard Tyler Newbold ranks 15th in assists (2.67).
As of Dec. 17, Utah State has an RPI of 164 and a strength of schedule of 278 according to RealTimeRPI, while the WAC is ranked 14th as a conference. USU also has a sagarin rating of 85 according to USAToday.com.
Utah State will host the Basketball Travelers Invitational, sponsored by Gossner Foods, from Monday, Dec. 21 through Wednesday, Dec. 23. On Monday, Weber State will play Cal State Fullerton at 5:30 p.m., followed by Utah State versus Morehead State at 8 p.m. On Tuesday, Weber State will face Morehead State at 5:30 p.m. and USU will play Cal State Fullerton at 8 p.m. And on Wednesday, Cal State Fullerton and Morehead State will play at 5:30 p.m., followed by Utah State versus Weber State at 8 p.m.
RECAPPING THE CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD GAME
Tai Wesley scored a game-high 15 points to go along with a season-high 10 rebounds to lead Utah State to an easy 68-51 road win at Cal State Bakersfield Wednesday night. Utah State, who has won five of its last six games, improves to 6-3 on the season with the win and 5-0 all-time against the Roadrunners. Cal State Bakersfield drops to 1-7 overall with the loss. Wesley, a junior forward from Provo, Utah (Provo HS) posted his first double-double of the season and seventh of his career against the Roadrunners, while junior guard Tyler Newbold (Payson, Utah) scored 13 points to go along with a season-high five rebounds as the duo was 12-of-22 from the field (.545). The rest of the team was 15-of-42 (.357) shooting. Stephon Carter had 11 points to lead Cal State Bakersfield, while Trent Blakley finished with 10 points and Santwon Latunde had 10 rebounds. Trailing 9-7 early on, Utah State went on a 27-2 run over a 12:28 stretch, which included a 17-0 run, to take a commanding 34-11 lead before Cal State Bakersfield finished the half by scoring the final six points to make the score 34-17 at the break. Newbold had 11 first-half points to lead Utah State as the Aggies shot 44.1 percent from the field (15-34). Cal State Bakersfield shot 40.0 percent (6-15) during the first 20 minutes and committed nine turnovers as compared to just one for USU. Cal State Bakersfield cut the Aggie led to 14 at 36-22 on a three-pointer by Blakley with 17:46 remaining before USU answered with a 14-0 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 50-22 with 13:07 to play following a layup by sophomore forward Brady Jardine (Twin Falls, Idaho). Jardine finished the game with a season-high six points to go along with seven rebounds as he took two charges on the night and recorded his first dunk of the season. Utah State finished the game by shooting 42.2 percent from the field (27-64), 35.3 percent from three-point range (6-17) and 72.7 percent from the free throw line (8-11). Cal State Bakersfield was 17-of-39 from the field (.436), 4-of-10 from behind the arc (.400) and 13-of-21 at the charity stripe (.619). USU also had a 34-29 advantage on the boards and committed a season-low five turnovers.
NOTE-ABLES FROM THE CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD GAME
Utah State had five turnovers in the game which is a season-low and the fewest for a USU team since Mar. 7, 2009 when the Aggies had five turnovers against San Jose State... USU's eight made free throws is tied for its fewest in a game this year (8 vs. Northeastern)... The 39 field goal attempts by Cal State Bakersfield is a season-low for a USU opponent and its six blocks is tied for a season-high for a USU opponent... Senior guard Jared Quayle did not record a single rebound in the game, marking the first time in his Aggie career that he has not had at least one rebound.
UTAH STATE TAKING CARE OF THE BALL DURING ITS LAST FIVE GAMES
After averaging 16.3 turnovers during its first three games, Utah State is averaging just 8.7 turnovers during its last six games and currently ranks 33rd in the nation in fewest turnovers committed per game (11.2).
UTAH STATE MAKES SECOND-MOST TREYS IN SCHOOL HISTORY AGAINST UTAH VALLEY
Utah State was 13-of-21 (.619) from three-point range against Utah Valley and those 13 treys are tied for the second-most made in a single-game in school history. The last time USU made 13 three-pointers in a game was against Fresno State in the quarterfinals of the 2009 WAC Tournament. The school record for three-pointers in a game is 20 at New Mexico State on Feb. 2, 2006.
FIVE AGGIES SCORE IN DOUBLE-FIGURES AGAINST UTAH VALLEY
Utah State had a season-high five players score in double-figures in its 87-56 win against Utah Valley as junior guard Pooh Williams had 15 points, senior guard Jared Quayle and junior guard Brian Green both had 13 points, junior forward Nate Bendall had 12 points, and junior guard Tyler Newbold had 11 points. It was the first time USU had five players score in double-figures since USU defeated San Jose State, 89-77, on Mar. 7, 2009.
UTAH STATE FROM THREE-POINT RANGE
Utah State has made at least one three-point basket in 104 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 REBOUNDING THE BALL WELL
Utah State has out-rebounded all nine of its opponents this year and is averaging 36.6 rebounds per game as compared to 29.8 for its opponents for a margin of plus 6.8 boards per game to lead the WAC. Last year, USU ranked 14th in the nation in rebound margin at plus 6.7 boards per game and this year USU currently ranks 40th in the nation.
KEEPING OPPONENTS UNDER 60 POINTS
Utah State has traditionally been very successful when holding its opponents under 60 points as it is 4-0 this year and 143-11 (.929) under head coach Stew Morrill when limiting its opponents to less than 60 points. In fact, USU had won 57 straight such games before losing to Marquette, 58-57, in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
SCOUTING LONG BEACH STATE
Long Beach State is 5-4 on the season following a 96-61 home win against Cal State Monterey Bay in its last game on Dec. 12. The 49ers, who are 2-0 at home on the year, are led by sophomore forward T.J. Robinson who is averaging 15.6 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Senior guard Stephan Gilling is averaging 14.0 points, sophomore guard Larry Anderson is averaging 12.4 points, and sophomore guard Casper Ware is averaging 11.0 points per game. As a team, LBSU is averaging 76.2 points and shooting 47.2 percent from the field, 39.6 percent from three-point range and 61.0 percent from the free throw line. Defensively, the 49ers are allowing 75.8 points per game, while its opponents are shooting 48.3 percent from the field, 31.9 percent from three-point range and 64.5 percent at the free throw line. Long Beach State returns four starters and eight letterwinners from last year's team that went 15-15 on the season and finished in second-place in the Big West Conference with a 10-6 league record. Dan Monson is 26-44 in his third year as the head coach at LBSU and 196-167 in 13 years as a collegiate head coach.
UTAH STATE-LONG BEACH STATE SERIES HISTORY
Utah State and Long Beach State will be meeting for the 54th time this week and the first time since the 2004-05 season. USU leads the all-time series 32-21 and has a 10-17 record in Long Beach. The Aggies have won eight straight games in the series and 10 of the last 11 overall. USU has also won four straight road games in the series. The last time the two teams played one another was on Feb. 24, 2005 in Logan with USU notching a 68-52 win. The last time the two teams played in Long Beach was on Jan. 29, 2005 with the Aggies winning 75-44. The last time Long Beach State won a game in the series was on Feb. 17, 2001 at home, 71-56. Utah State won the first game played in the series, 95-84, on Jan. 18, 1979 in Logan.
UTAH STATE VS. LONG BEACH STATE RIVALRY ONE OF THE OLDEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State and Long Beach State will be playing for the 54th time this week in what is the 14th-oldest rivalry in school history. USU's first game against LBSU was on Jan. 18, 1979.
VERSUS THE BIG WEST CONFERENCE
Utah State spent 27 years in the Pacific Coast Athletic Association/Big West Conference (1979-2005) and won six tournament championships and seven regular season titles. USU's overall league record while a member of the Big West was 283-177 (.615), while its record against current members of the conference is 218-115 (.655) as Utah State has a winning record against every team in the league. USU head coach Stew Morrill is 10-2 all-time against Long Beach State and 89-27 (.767) against current members of the Big West Conference.
LOOKING BACK AT UTAH STATE'S DAYS IN THE BIG WEST CONFERENCE
Utah State first win in basketball in the PCAA was at home against Fresno State, 56-49, on Jan. 9, 1979 and its first tournament win was that same year against San Jose State, 85-78, on March 1. Utah State won its first regular season championship during the 1979-80 season under then head coach Rod Tueller with an 11-2 record and won its first tournament championship during the 1987-88 season under Tueller with wins against San Jose State (80-72), UC Santa Barbara (73-66) and UC Irvine (86-79). Aggie fans would not see another regular season championship until Larry Eustachy's second year as head coach as he led USU to a 14-4 conference record during the 1994-95 season. Three years later, Eustachy guided Utah State to its second-ever tournament championship in 1998 with wins against Long Beach State (69-61), Cal State Fullerton (65-56) and Pacific (78-63). Current Aggie head coach Stew Morrill took over the program prior to the 1998-99 season and promptly turned Utah State into the conference's premier team. USU began its domination in the league during the 1999-2000 season as it finished with a perfect 16-0 record and then won the tournament championship by defeating Pacific (64-41), Nevada (69-64) and New Mexico State (71-66). Utah State would repeat as tournament champions the next year with wins against CS Fullerton (74-43), Boise State (67-48) and Pacific (50-38). The Aggies would go on to finish tied for first in the conference in 2002 before losing to UC Santa Barbara (60-56) in the tournament championship game. After placing third in the Big West during the 2003 season, Utah State won its third tournament championship in four years by defeating CS Fullerton (89-83 ot), UC Irvine (62-55) and Cal Poly (57-54). Utah State had an outstanding season during the 2003-04 campaign, as it went 17-1 in league play and tied with Pacific for first-place, before losing to Cal State Northridge (63-62) in the semifinals of the tournament. USU's final year in the Big West was the 2004-05 season, as Utah State ended its association with the conference by winning the 2005 tournament championship with wins against CS Fullerton (84-77) and 16th-ranked Pacific (65-52). Overall, Utah State won six tournament championships (1988, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005) and seven regular season titles (1980, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 20002, 2004) as a member of the Big West Conference. In its last six years in the league, USU won four tournament championships, three regular season titles, recorded an 84-20 (.808) league record and had a 13-2 (.867) record in tournament action. USU also had 12 first-team all-Big West selections, 20 all-conference selections and 23 Player of Week honorees, not to mention Coach Morrill being named the Big West Coach of the Year twice (2000, 2002) in its last six years in the league.
LAST MEETING AGAINST THE 49ERS
Spencer Nelson recorded a game-high 16 points and a game-best 11 rebounds to lead Utah State to a 68-52 win against Long Beach State in Big West basketball action on Feb. 24, 2005 in Logan. Nelson hit 6-of-9 shots from the field en route to his eighth double-double of the season. His 11 rebounds were just two shy of his season best of 13. In addition, he added four assists and three steals in 32 minutes of play. Nate Harris added 15 points for the Aggies, while Cass Matheus, who made his first career start, threw in 14 points, just two shy of his career best and Jaycee Carroll added 13 points. Long Beach State was led by Kevin Houston and Cody Pearson, who had 12 and 10 points respectively. Utah State jumped out to a quick 13-2 lead but saw the visitors cut the margin to 20-17 with 6:46 left in the first half. USU then pushed its lead to 10 at the half as Nelson scored five straight points for the Aggies. USU dominated the second half and led by as many as 27 points at 64-37. On the night, USU hit 51.8 percent, including a 55.6 percent mark in the second half. LBSU, which shot just 37 percent in the first half, finished the game at 46.8 percent after shooting 60 percent in the second half. The Aggies committed a season-low seven turnovers and were credited with 20 assists on their 29 baskets. USU, which also recorded nine steals on the night, connected on just 2-of-15 from three point range and made just 8-of-19 free throws. However, the Aggies out-rebounded LBSU 31-25 and grabbed 11 offensive rebounds. Point guard David Pak handed out seven assists, just one shy of his season best. He was the only starter not to reach double-figure scoring as he was 0-of-4 from the field and 0-of-2 from the free throw line while not scoring. The USU bench contributed just 10 points combined.
LAST MEETING AGAINST THE 49ERS IN LONG BEACH
David Pak scored a season-high 19 points to lead Utah State's men's basketball team to an easy 75-44 road win at Long Beach State on Jan. 29, 2005. Utah State opened the game by scoring the first nine points and lead 26-2 with 11:42 remaining in the first half. From that point, LBSU never got closer than 20 points for the remainder of the game. In the opening half, USU shot 65.5 percent from the field and made 4-of-5 three-pointers, while holding the 49ers to 25.0 percent shooting as the Aggies went into the locker room with a 45-17 lead. Utah State scored the first two points of the second half to increase its lead to 30 before the 49ers went on an 8-0 run to cut the score to 47-25. USU's largest lead of the game was at 74-37 with 3:36 remaining before posting the 31-point win. Nate Harris added 14 points, while Spencer Nelson and Cass Matheus each had 11. Nelson also had eight rebounds and eight assists, while Jason Williams scored nine points and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds. Chris Jenkins was the only Long Beach State player to score in double-figures as he finished with 10 points. Utah State finished the game by shooting 52.8 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from three-point range (7-14), while out-rebounding the 49ers 45-28. LBSU shot just 29.5 percent.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has not had a single player from the state of California in each of the last three years. From the 1994-95 season through the 2006-07 season, USU had a total of 45 players from California on its rosters, including a single-season high of seven during the 2003-04 campaign.
WILLIAMS PLAYING WELL SINCE COMING BACK FROM HIS INJURY
Junior guard Pooh Williams has played well for Utah State since missing the first two games of the season with a foot injury. During his last six games, in which he has started all six, Williams is averaging 10.2 points and is shooting 52.3 percent from the field (23-44) and 47.4 percent from three-point range (9-19). Overall, Williams has scored in double-figures three times this year and 11 times in his career.
NEWBOLD SCORES IN DOUBLE-FIGURES IN EACH OF HIS LAST TWO GAMES
Junior guard Tyler Newbold has scored in double-figures in each of his last two games as he had 13 points against Cal State Bakersfield and 11 points against Utah Valley. During his last two games, Newbold is averaging 12.0 points and shooting 52.9 percent from the field (9-17) and 50.0 percent from three-point range (6-12). In his previous six games, he averaged 6.0 points and shot 34.2 percent from the field (13-38) and just 24.0 percent from behind the arc (6-25).
QUAYLE CONTINUES TO REBOUND THE BALL
Senior guard Jared Quayle ranked as the fourth-best rebounding point guard in the nation during his junior season with an average of 6.0 boards per game, and he has picked up right where he left off last year as he is currently averaging 6.7 boards per game this season. Overall, Quayle has recorded five double-digit rebound games in his career including two this year.
JARDINE HAS BEST GAME OF THE YEAR AGAINST CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD
Sophomore forward Brady Jardine had his best game of the year against Cal State Bakersfield as he scored a season-high six points on 3-of-5 shooting to go along with seven rebounds. Jardine also took two charges during the game to give him a team-leading four on the season.
GREEN SHOOTING MUCH BETTER DURING HIS LAST THREE GAMES
Junior guard Brian Green has been shooting the ball much better for Utah State during his last three games as he is averaging 6.7 points and shooting 61.5 percent from the field (8-13) and 66.7 percent from three-point range (4-6). During the first six games of the year, Green averaged 6.0 points, but shot just 30.2 percent from the field (13-43) and just 23.8 percent from behind the arc (5-21).
WESLEY RECORDS FIRST DOUBLE-DOUBLE OF THE SEASON
Junior forward Tai Wesley recorded his first double-double of the season against Cal State Bakersfield as he scored 15 points and had a season-high 10 rebounds. Overall it was his seventh career double-double and the seventh time this year and 51st time in his career he scored in double-figures.
WESLEY PLAYING WELL DURING HIS LAST EIGHT GAMES
After scoring just four points in his season opener against Weber State, junior forward Tai Wesley has been very productive for Utah State during his last eight games as he is averaging 13.3 points and 6.6 rebounds, while shooting 55.1 percent from the field and 76.9 percent from the free throw line. During his last eight games, he has scored in double-figures seven times.
MEDLIN PROVIDING SPARK OFF THE BENCH FOR UTAH STATE
Freshman guard Preston Medlin seems to be finding a role on Utah State's team this year as he has proven to be instant offense for the Aggies. During the first four games of the season, Medlin was 0-of-4 from the field, but during his last five games he is averaging 8.0 points and shooting 54.2 percent from the field (13-24) and 64.3 percent from three-point range (9-14).
WESLEY RANKS FOURTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN FIELD GOAL SHOOTING
Junior forward Tai Wesley is shooting 59.9 percent from the field (321-536) during his USU career, which ranks fourth all-time behind Nate Harris (2003-06) who shot 64.1 percent, Greg Houskeeper (1988-89) who shot 62.2 percent, and Spencer Nelson (1999, 2003-05) who shot 61.7 percent.
WESLEY RANKS FIFTH ALL-TIME IN BLOCKED SHOTS
In just 79 career games, junior forward Tai Wesley already ranks fifth all-time at Utah State with 69 career blocks. Wesley is now 21 blocks shy of tying Nate Harris (2083-06) for fourth all-time with 90 blocks.
NEWBOLD RANKS FOURTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN THREE-POINT SHOOTING
Junior guard Tyler Newbold is shooting 42.1 percent (109-259) from three-point range during his career, which ranks fourth all-time at Utah State behind Jaycee Carroll (2005-08) who shot 46.5 percent, Justin Jones (1996-98) who shot 44.9 percent, and Kendall Youngblood (1989-92) who shot 44.8 percent.
NEWBOLD RANKS SEVENTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN THREE-POINTERS MADE
Junior guard Tyler Newbold has made 109 three-pointers in his Utah State career, which ranks seventh all-time in school history. He also ranks seventh all-time in three-point attempts with 259. Newbold is now three made three-pointers shy of tying Troy Rolle (1999-00) for sixth-place all-time with 112 made three-pointers and 45 three-point attempts shy of tying Rolle for sixth-place all-time with 304 three-point attempts.
UTAH STATE AMONG THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY
Over the last 11 years, Utah State has been one of the best basketball programs in the country, recording a 258-81 (.761) record. Those 258 wins are the 10th-most in the country, while the 76.1 percent winning percentage is fifth-best behind Duke (.830), Kansas (.808), Gonzaga (.800) and Memphis (.761). 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 HAS DOMINATED CONFERENCE PLAY SINCE 2000
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 second-best record in WAC games during the last four years with a 46-18 (.719) mark. During its first four years in the league, Utah State has won two regular season championships (2008, 2009), one tournament championship (2009), and has played in the tournament championship game three times (2006, 2007, 2009).
AGGIES LEAD THE NATION IN SHOOTING FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEASON
Utah State shot 49.6 percent from the field during the 2008-09 season to lead the nation for the second straight year (USU shot 51.4 percent in 2008 to lead the nation). USU also led the nation in field goal shooting during the 2004-05 season as it shot 52.5 percent. Utah State is the first team to lead the nation in shooting in consecutive seasons since UCLA did it in 1996 and 1997, and just the eighth team in the history of the NCAA to accomplish the feat. George Washington is the only school to lead the nation in three straight years as it accomplished that feat from 1954-56. USU's current run of being the top shooting team in the nation in three of the last five years is the best-ever streak in the history of NCAA Division I basketball.
UTAH STATE INKS THREE DURING EARLY SIGNING PERIOD
Utah State head coach Stew Morrill announced Nov. 17 three players who signed National Letters of Intent to compete for the Aggies beginning in the fall of 2010. Among the group are one junior college transfer in Brockeith Pane, and two high school standouts in Ben Clifford and James Walker. Pane, a 6-2, 195-pound guard, is currently a sophomore at Midland Junior College in Midland, Texas. Pane spent his freshman season (2007-08) at the University of Houston as he averaged 6.3 points and 2.0 rebounds, while shooting 39.9 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from three-point range and 72.9 percent from the free throw line. He scored in double-figures in seven straight games to start the season for the Cougars, including a season-high 26 points vs. Grambling State. Following his performance against GSU, he was named the Conference USA Player of the Week as he averaged 23.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals during a two-game stretch. Clifford, a 6-8, 215-pound forward, is currently a senior at Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah. During his junior season, he earned first-team all-state honors from the Salt Lake Tribune and second-team all-state honors from the Deseret News as he averaged 13.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 60.1 percent from the field and 70.0 percent from the free throw line. During his junior season, he helped the Miners to a 17-7 record as they advanced to the semifinals of the state tournament. Walker, a 6-2, 180-pound guard, is currently a senior at Los Alamitos High School in Los Alamitos, Calif., and was named a preseason third-team all-state selection this fall. During his junior campaign, Walker averaged 14.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game and was named the Sunset League Player of the Year, along with earning first-team all-CIF honors. During the season, he shot 46.2 percent from the field, 36.3 percent from three-point range and 72.7 percent from the free throw line, and scored in double-figures 22 times including a season-high 27 points against Ocean View High School.
UTAH STATE'S FALL SIGNING CLASS RANKED BEST IN THE WAC BY ESPN.COM
Utah State's fall recruiting class has been tabbed as the best in the WAC according to ESPN.com. The results are based solely on high school players. Utah State announced three players during the early signing period including a pair of prep stars in Ben Clifford and James Walker. USU also signed one junior college player in Brockeith Pane. Clifford is a 6-8, 215-pound senior forward at Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah and Walker is a 6-2, 180-pound senior guard at Los Alamitos High School in Los Alamitos, Calif. Both players will enroll as freshman at USU in the fall of 2010. Scouts Inc.'s Paul Biancardi, Joel Francisco, Reggie Rankin, Michael LaPlante, John Stovall and Adam Finkelstein all contributed to the ESPN.com report.
UTAH STATE PLAYER NOTES
#5 Pooh Williams - Scored a career-high tying 17 points against Southern Utah and had 15 points against both Saint Mary's and Utah Valley... Had a season-high five assists against BYU... Made a career-high four three-pointers against SUU... Averaging 8.7 points and 2.1 rebounds per game, while shooting 50.0 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from three-point range and 66.7 percent at the free throw line... Has started 40 games during his USU career... Ranks ninth in the WAC in three-point shooting.
#12 Brian Green - Scored a season-high 13 points against Utah Valley and also had a season-high four rebounds against the Wolverines... Had season-highs with four assists and three steals against Southern Utah... Averaging 6.2 points and shooting 37.5 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 83.3 percent at the free throw line.
#13 Preston Medlin - Scored a career-high 17 points against Southern Utah as he was 5-of-8 from the field and 5-of-6 from three-point range... Averaging 4.4 points and shooting 46.4 percent, including 56.3 percent from three-point range... Ranks first in the WAC in three-point shooting.
#15 Modou Niang - Scored a season-high four points and grabbed a season-high three rebounds against Idaho State... Had a season-high two blocks against Southern Utah... Averaging 1.3 points and 1.0 rebounds, while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 66.7 percent at the free throw line.
#21 Jared Quayle - Scored a career-high 27 points at Utah and tied his career-high with 11 rebounds against the Utes to notch his fourth-ever double-double... Also had 10 rebounds against Northeastern for his fifth-career double-figure rebounding game... Had a season-high seven assists against Idaho State... Has scored in double-figures five times this year and 29 times in his career... Has seven career 20-point games... Averaging 12.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, while shooting 41.4 percent from the field, 41.2 percent from three-point range and 89.7 percent from the free throw line... Currently ranks third in the WAC in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.63), fourth in free throw shooting, sixth in assists, 10th in three-point shooting and 12th in rebounding... Has started 42 straight games for USU.
#22 Brady Jardine - Scored a season-high six points at Cal State Bakersfield and had a season-high eight rebounds against Idaho State... Had a season-high two blocks against Utah Valley and Cal State Bakersfield... Averaging 2.4 points and 3.6 rebounds, while shooting 40.0 percent from the field and 75.0 percent from the free throw line.
#23 Tyrone White - Has played in seven games this year and is averaging 5.4 minutes per contest... Scored two points against Utah Valley.
#24 Tyler Newbold - Averaging 8.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.78 assists per game, while shooting 43.3 percent from the field, 36.6 percent from three-point range and 88.9 percent at the free throw line... Scored a season-high 15 points at Weber State... Has scored in double-figures 24 times in his career, including two 20-point games... Has started 69 straight games for USU which is the longest active streak on the team... Ranks 15th in the WAC in assists.
#25 Jaxon Myaer - Scored a season-high nine points at Northeastern as he tied his career-high with three made treys against the Huskies... Averaging 2.8 points and is shooting 42.1 percent from the field, 55.6 percent from three-point range and 80.0 percent at the free throw line... Has scored in double-figures twice in his career.
#35 Nate Bendall - Scored a career-high 15 points at Northeastern and posted his first-ever double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds at Utah... Had 14 points and 10 rebounds against BYU... Has scored in double-figures six times this year and has two double-doubles... Averaging 10.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, while shooting 56.7 percent from the field and 88.2 percent at the free throw line... Ranks sixth in the WAC in free throw shooting, eighth in field goal shooting, ninth in blocked shots (0.89) and 10th in rebounding.
#42 Tai Wesley - Scored a season-high 19 points against Idaho State... Recorded his first double-double of the season with 15 points and a season-high 10 rebounds at Cal State Bakersfield... Averaging 12.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 52.4 percent from the field and 73.3 percent from the free throw line... Has scored in double-figures seven times this year and 51 times in his career... Has scored 20-plus points five times in his career and has seven double-doubles... Has started 49 straight games and 68 of its last 69 overall... Ranks 11th in the WAC in field goal shooting, 12th in blocked shots (0.78) and 14th in rebounding.
#44 Matt Formisano - Scored a season-high six points against Utah Valley, Southern Utah, Idaho State and at Weber State... Had a season-high four rebounds against BYU and Saint Mary's... Averaging 4.3 points and 2.3 rebounds, while shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 77.8 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 13 games against teams who participated in postseason play last year. Utah State's non-conference schedule consists of seven games against postseason teams from a year ago as the Aggies will host Brigham Young, Morehead State, Saint Mary's and Weber State, and travel to Northeastern, Utah and Weber State. BYU, who will be making its first visit to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in four years, has played in the NCAA Tournament each of the last three seasons, while Morehead State and Utah also played in the Big Dance last season. Saint Mary's and Weber State both participated in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) a year ago, while Northeastern participated in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI). Other postseason teams from the 2008-09 season on Utah State's schedule include Idaho, who played in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, and Boise State and Nevada who both appeared in the CBI.
UTAH STATE PICKED TO REPEAT AS WAC CHAMPIONS
Utah State's men's basketball team is picked to repeat as Western Athletic Conference champions according to both the league's coaches and media as the WAC announced its preseason polls Tuesday, Oct. 20. Utah State received eight first-place votes and 64 points in the coaches poll, while Nevada received one first-place vote and 53 points. New Mexico State received 50 points and was picked to finish third, followed by Idaho (42), Louisiana Tech (31), Fresno State (30), Boise State (23), San Jose State (19) and Hawai'i (12). In the media poll, Utah State garnered 15 first-place votes and 273 points, while Nevada was second with 269 points and 12 first-place votes. New Mexico State, who received 226 points and six first-place votes was picked third, while Idaho (193) and Boise State (145) rounded out the top five. Louisiana Tech (140) was picked sixth, followed by Fresno State (130), San Jose State (88) and Hawai'i (66). The Spartans also received one first-place vote in the media poll.
QUAYLE AND WESLEY NAMED TO PRESEASON ALL-WAC TEAMS
Senior point guard Jared Quayle and junior forward Tai Wesley were both named to the WAC's various preseason teams as Quayle was named to the first-team by both the coaches and media, while Wesley was named to the coaches second-team.
QUAYLE ONE OF 30 CANDIDATES FOR LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Utah State's Jared Quayle has been named one of 30 candidates for the 2009-10 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, which is presented annually to the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete of the Year. It is the third year in a row that a Utah State player has been named one of 30 national candidates for this award as Jaycee Carroll was selected as one of 10 finalists in 2008 and Gary Wilkinson was one of 30 candidates in 2009. Quayle, a 6-1 senior guard from Perry, Utah is the only player from the state of Utah and the only player from the WAC to be selected for this award.
UTAH STATE GRADUATES WAC PLAYER OF THE YEAR AGAIN
Utah State lost three lettermen from last season, including one starter in Gary Wilkinson who was named the WAC's Player of the Year as he averaged 17.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, and shot 58.0 percent from the field and 82.6 percent from the free throw line. USU also lost the WAC Player of the Year in 2008 in guard Jaycee Carroll who averaged 22.4 points and 6.0 rebounds, and shot 52.6 percent from the field, 49.6 percent from three-point range and 91.9 percent from the free throw line.
NEWBOLD LEADS THE NATION IN ASSIST-TO-TURNOVER RATIO
Sophomore guard Tyler Newbold finished the 2008-09 season leading the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.96-to-1.00. That ratio is also a school record, breaking the old mark of 2.38 set by Kris Clark during the 2007-08 season. Senior forward Gary Wilkinson also ranked among the nation's best in field goal shooting as he ranked 24th overall at 58.0 percent.
UTAH STATE LEADS THE WAC WITH ALL-ACADEMIC HONOREES
Utah State had six players earn academic all-WAC honors during the 2008-09 season (Matt Formisano, Brady Jardine, Tyler Newbold, Jared Quayle, Gary Wilkinson, Stavon Williams), while the other eight teams in the league combined for 10 academic all-WAC honorees.
UTAH STATE FOLLOWING A LOSS
Utah State is 54-17 (.761) following a loss over the last 11 years and has dropped back-to-back games just 14 times during that time period. Furthermore, the last time USU lost consecutive games at home was during the 1992-93 season when it fell to UNLV (87-78) and New Mexico State (76-64), a span of 255 home games.
UTAH STATE IN THE DEE GLEN SMITH SPECTRUM
Utah State is 163-13 (.926) in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum under Coach Morrill, which includes a 78-5 (.940) record against non-league opponents. Overall, USU is 456-106 (.811) in this its 40th year in the building. Utah State has won 53 of its last 55 home games dating back to the 2005-06 season with its only losses during that stretch coming against Fresno State, 71-66, on March 3, 2007 and against Saint Mary's, 68-63, on Dec. 5, 2009. USU has also won 66 of its last 69 home games against non-conference opponents.
THE MORRILL COACHING TREE
Utah State head coach Stew Morrill currently has five former assistants who are head coaches at the Division I level, which ranks tied for the fourth-most by any current Division I coach in college basketball. Morrill's former assistants who are current head coaches include Terry Dunn (Dartmouth), Jeff Jackson (Furman), Randy Rahe (Weber State), Blaine Taylor (Old Dominion) and Don Verlin (Idaho). Arizona State's Herb Sendek has the most assistants who are currently Division I head coaches with eight, followed by Louisville's Rick Pitino with seven and Connecticut's Jim Calhoun with six. Other coaches with five assistants as current Division I head coaches include Ben Braun of Rice, Tom Izzo of Michigan State and Jay Wright of Villanova.
UTAH STATE RETURNS PLENTY OF EXPERIENCE
Utah State's four returning starters have a combined 239 games played while at Utah State including 186 starts, while its four other returnees have a total of 136 games played at USU. If you add Nate Bendall's 13 games played while at freshman at USU during the 2005-06 season, Utah State returns a total of 388 games played in. Furthermore, Utah State's seven returning lettermen from the 2008-09 roster are the most since the 2004-05 season when USU returned seven lettermen.
QUAYLE ONLY SENIOR ON AGGIE ROSTER
Utah State has just one senior on its roster for the second straight year in guard Jared Quayle. Prior to the 2008-09 season, 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. The 2008-09 team also did pretty well with just one senior on its roster as it went 30-5 overall and won the WAC with a 14-2 league record.
UTAH STATE TRADITION
Over the last 10 years, Utah State has averaged 25.2 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 10 years, Utah State has won five regular season conference championships and five tournament championships.
Utah State has advanced to 10 straight postseason appearances, which is a school record, going to the NCAA Tournament in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2009, and to the National Invitation Tournament in 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008.
Over the last 10 years, Utah State has gone 21-5 (.808) in conference postseason tournaments and has advanced to the championship game eight times.
The Aggies have won 23-plus games in each of the last 10 seasons, which is a school record, bettering the old mark of three straight 20-win seasons from 1962-64.
During the 2008-09 season, Utah State set a school record for wins with its 30-5 record and advanced to postseason play for the 27th time.
During the 2008-09 season, Utah State led the nation in field goal shooting at 49.6 percent. It was the second straight year that USU has led the nation in field goal shooting and the third time in the last five years, which is the best five-year stretch in the history of the NCAA.
Over the past nine seasons, Utah State has gone 252-78 overall and 130-38 in conference play. Those 252 wins are the sixth-most in the country over that time period, while its 76.4 percent winning percentage is the fourth-best in the country.
The 1999-2000 team set a then 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 at the time (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 10 years, Utah State has recorded 10 of the 12 winningest seasons in school history.
Over the past 10 years, Utah State has had four All-American selections, 16 first-team all-conference selections, 27 all-conference selections (first and second team) and 34 conference player of the week honorees, not to mention Coach Morrill being named the league's Coach of the Year on three separate occasions (2000, 2002, 2009).
HEAD COACH Stew Morrill
In his 24th season as a collegiate head coach and 12th year at Utah State, Stew Morrill has taken the Aggie Basketball program to unprecedented heights leading it to an incredible 273-94 (.744) record, including a 138-46 (.750) 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 11 years at USU, Morrill has guided the Aggies to 10 straight 23-win seasons and 10 straight postseason appearances (NCAA-6, 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 10-plus years at 76.1 percent with an overall record of 258-81. Against conference opponents, Utah State has a 159-52 record with five regular season league championships and five tournament titles during that time, including appearances in its league's tournament championship game eight times in the last 10 years. Under Morrill, Utah State has notched 10 of the top 12 seasons in school history during the last 10 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 set a new school record with 30 wins in 2009. During the 2008-09 season, Morrill guided Utah State to its second straight Western Athletic Conference regular season championship and its first WAC Tournament title. The 2008-09 Aggie basketball team also led the nation in field goal shooting at 49.6 percent, marking the second straight year and the third time in the last last five years that USU has led the nation in that category. For the 10th straight year, USU had at least one player earn first-team all-league accolades as Gary Wilkinson was named the WAC Player of the Year in 2009, while Jaycee Carroll was named the league's MVP in 2008. Overall, Morrill has coached 11 first-team all-league players at Utah State who have won the award a total of 16 times. Morrill has also taken full advantage of the home court at USU, the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. In Morrill's 12 years, USU is an amazing 163-13 (.926) at home, which includes an 84-8 (.913) record in league play. As for Morrill, he has won 20 or more games on 14 different occasions during his career, and he has won at least 17 games 20 times. Overall, Morrill ranks 23rd in the nation among active coaches and 96th all-time with his 491 career wins, while his career winning percentage of 67.9 percent ranks 28th among active coaches and 100th all-time. He is also one of 27 active coaches with 400 career wins at the Division I level and one of just 13 active coaches to notch at least 14 20-win seasons. His current streak of 10 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, 2009 WAC) three times in his 11 years at USU, along with winning the Big Sky award while the head coach at Montana in 1991. His overall coaching record is 491-232 (.679).