USU Men's Basketball Opens 2012-13 Season With Exhibition Against Grand Canyon Friday
October 22, 2012Top of Utah Sports
GAME DAY HEADLINES
• Utah State will open its 108th season of basketball by hosting Grand Canyon on Friday, Oct. 26 in an exhibition game. The Aggies enter this season with an overall record of 1,479-1,022 (.591).
• Utah State has won nine exhibition games in a row with its last exhibition loss coming on Oct. 31, 2007 to EA Sports, 86-81. Overall, USU is 21-5 (.808) in exhibition games under head coach Stew Morrill.
• Friday marks the second time in the last three years that USU has hosted Grand Canyon in an exhibition game, as the Aggies also hosted the Antelopes on Nov. 5, 2010, winning 76-46.
• For the past 42 years, Utah State has called the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum home and has won 82 percent of its games in the building with an impressive 504-111 (.821) record, including a 210-18 (.920) mark under Morrill.
• Utah State returns three starters among five lettermen from last year’s team that finished the season with a 21-16 record, advancing to the championship game of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT). Headlining the returners is junior guard Preston Medlin, who averaged 17.0 points per game to go with 4.4 rebounds per contest, and was named first-team all-Western Athletic Conference in 2012, marking the 13th-straight year that Utah State has had at least one player earn first-team all-conference honors. For Medlin, he was just the second sophomore in school history to earn first-team all-league honors along with Nate Harris (2004).
• Despite its early exit in the 2012 WAC Tournament and fourth-place finish in the league during the regular season, Utah State’s year was far from over as it accepted a bid to participate in the fourth-annual CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT), extending its postseason run to 13 straight years.
• USU returns two players who earned WAC honors last season in junior guard Preston Medlin who earned first-team honors as well as senior forward Kyisean Reed, who was named to the league’s all-newcomer team.
LOOKING AT UTAH STATE
Utah State returns three starters among five lettermen from last year’s team that finished the season with a 21-16 record, advancing to the championship game of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT). Headlining the returners is junior guard Preston Medlin, who averaged 17.0 points per game to go with 4.4 rebounds per contest, and was named first-team all-Western Athletic Conference in 2012, marking the 13th-straight year that Utah State has had at least one player earn first-team all-conference honors. For Medlin, he was just the second sophomore in school history to earn first-team all-league honors along with Nate Harris (2004).
Despite its early exit in the 2012 WAC Tournament and fourth-place finish in the league during the regular season, Utah State’s year was far from over as it accepted a bid to participate in the fourth-annual CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT), extending its postseason run to 13 straight years, as well as winning at least 21 games for the 13th-straight season.
Utah State returns one of the best overall players in the WAC at shooting guard in Medlin who started all 37 games for the Aggies as a sophomore. Medlin, who earned first-team all-WAC honors a year ago, finished the season averaging 17.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, while shooting 49.6 percent from the field (204-of-411), 42.8 percent from three-point range (95-of-202) and 80.1 percent at the free throw line (125-of-156).
As a sophomore, Medlin scored in double-figures 31 times, including 20-plus points 13 times, and a career-high 32 points against Idaho. He finished the year ranking second in the WAC and 16th in the nation in three-point shooting, third in the WAC and 80th in the nation in points per game, and 10th in the WAC and 75th in the nation in overall shooting. Medlin also ranked fourth in the league in free throw shooting, seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.70) and ninth in assists.
Utah State’s most experienced position heading into the 2012-13 season will be at power forward as it returns two proven players here from a year ago in senior starter Kyisean Reed and sophomore reserve Ben Clifford. Reed, who is perhaps the most athletic post-player in the WAC, was named to the league’s all-newcomer team a year ago as he averaged 10.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots per game, while shooting 61.4 percent from the field and 67.9 percent at the free throw line. He finished the season ranking first in the WAC in field goal shooting, sixth in blocked shots and 14th and rebounding, and had an eye-popping 40 dunks to also rank first in the conference.
After redshirting his first year at Utah State, Clifford played in 36 games, starting four, in 2012 and finished the season averaging 4.4 points and 3.5 rebounds, while shooting 50.9 percent from the field, 38.9 percent from three-point range and 72.9 percent at the free throw line in 16.8 minutes per outing.
Utah State will have a newcomer starting at the point after the graduation of two-year starter Brockeith Pane, who played in 71 games during his Aggie career, and twice earned all-WAC honors. As a senior, Pane averaged 12.6 points, 4.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game, and scored in double-figures 27 times.
UTAH STATE LOSES TWO STARTERS AND FIVE LETTERWINNERS FROM 2012 CIT RUNNER-UP TEAM
Utah State lost two starters in guard Brockeith Pane and forward Morgan Grim and three other letterwinners (forward Mitch Bruneel, guard E.J. Farris and guard Adam Thoseby) from last year’s CollegeInsiders.com Tournament runner-up team. Pane was a two-time WAC honoree and was MVP of the 2011 WAC Tournament. Pane averaged 12.6 points, 4.3 and 3.0 rebounds per game in playing all 37 games last season. Grim averaged 9.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game in starting all 37 contests a year ago. USU also lost 2011 starter, forward Brady Jardine, who played in only three games of the 2011-12 season before suffering a career-ending foot injury. Jardine averaged 7.7 points and 7.7 rebounds in those three games played last season.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State is one of just five teams in the nation to win at least 21 games in each of the last 13 seasons along with Gonzaga, Kansas, Duke and Syracuse. During the last 13 years, Utah State has averaged 25.4 wins per season.
MORRILL, MEDLIN, BERGER AND REED EARN PRESEASON RECOGNITION FROM COLLEGESPORTSMADNESS.COM
Utah State head coach Stew Morrill was named the collegesportsmadness.com WAC Coach of the Year and was joined on the publication’s honor list by junior guard Preston Medlin on the preseason first-team all-WAC list, while junior forward Danny Berger and senior forward Kyisean Reed were on the third-team list. Collegesportsmadness.com also predicted that USU will win the WAC as it has the Aggies in their preseason NCAA Tournament bracket.
AGGIES KICK OFF SEASON WITH FOUR-STRAIGHT HOME GAMES FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1996-97
For the first time since the 1996-97 season, Utah State will play its first four games of the 2012-13 season in the friendly home confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, where the Aggies have won 100 of their last 107 games and have amassed a 210-18 (.921) record at home under head coach Stew Morrill. USU has a 105-8 (.929) record in non-conference home games during that time. In all, eight of the Aggies’ 11 non-conference games this season are at home.
USU TO FACE THREE IN-STATE FOES THIS SEASON
Utah State will face three in-state teams this season, hosting one of them and playing at the other two. The Aggies will host Weber State on Saturday, Nov. 24 and play at Brigham Young on Wednesday, Dec. 5 and at Utah Valley on Saturday, Dec. 15.
AGGIES TO FACE SIX TEAMS WITH 2012 POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE THIS SEASON
Utah State’s 2012-13 schedule includes six teams that participated in postseason play last season. Highlighting the Aggies’ non-conference schedule will be a home game against Saint Mary’s, the defending West Coast Conference champions and an NCAA Tournament team from a year ago, as well as a home game against in-state foe Weber State, who played in last year’s Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament. Two of the six teams are in-state, as they’ll travel south to take on Brigham Young, an NCAA Tournament participant, and Utah Valley, who played in last season’s Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament after winning its second-straight Great West Conference regular-season championship. USU’s eighth and final season in the WAC will also include two postseason teams, facing defending conference champion and NCAA Tournament participant New Mexico State as well as WAC-newcomer UT Arlington, who played in last year’s National Invitational Tournament after winning the Southland Conference regular-season title.
UTAH STATE IN THE DEE GLEN SMITH SPECTRUM
USU has won 49 of its last 54 games in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum after having its 33-game win streak snapped last season on Nov. 30, 2011 with a loss to Denver. That 33-game win streak started after a 37-game win streak was halted by Saint Mary’s on Dec. 5, 2009. Overall, USU has won 85 of its last 91 home games.
Utah State has won 92 percent of its home games (210-98) under head coach Stew Morrill and have registered a 504-111 (.820) all-time record in its 43rd year in the facility. The Aggies have won 238 of their last 258 games (.922) in the Spectrum, including 121 of their last 131 (.924) home games against league competition, including 46 of its last 49.
THREE AGGIES EARN ACADEMIC ALL-WAC HONORS IN 2012
Utah State placed three players (Ben Clifford, Jordan Stone, Mitch Bruneel) on the academic all-WAC team in 2012. Under Morrill, USU has had 20 players earn academic all-conference honors a total of 33 times.
AGGIES HAVE FOUR PLAYERS FROM THE STATE OF UTAH
Aggie players from the state of Utah include sophomore forward Ben Clifford (South Jordan/Bingham HS), sophomore center Jordan Stone (Smithfield/Sky View HS), freshman guard Marcel Davis (American Fork/American Fork HS) and freshman forward Quincy Bair (American Fork/American Fork HS).
Grand Canyon University is a Division II school located in Phoenix, Ariz., and competes in the Pacific West Conference. The Antelopes return three starters from last season’s team that finished 19-8, advancing to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time in five years. GCU fell to eventual national champion, Western Washington, in the opening round of the West Regional. The Antelopes won their final nine regular season games, including a buzzer-beating win over Dixie State in the season finale at home. Friday is also the Antelopes’ first action of the 2012-13 season. Russ Pennell is entering his fourth season at the helm of the Antelopes program, posting a 49-36 overall record at GCU, including a 14-12 mark in 2010-11, the program’s first winning season since 2006-07. Pennell came to GCU from Arizona, where he was the interim head coach after legendary U of A coach Lute Olson announced his retirement.
SCOUTING GRAND CANYON
The Antelopes return three starters in senior forward/center Braylon Pickrel, sophomore guard Jerome Garrison and junior forward Blake Davis, along with six other letterwinners (junior guard Brad Carroll, sophomore guard Micah Fetters, sophomore guard Justin Foreman, senior forward/center Barret Robbins and sophomore forward/center Jake Zuilhof), from last year’s NCAA Division II Tournament qualifying team that finished with a 19-8 record. GCU finished third in the Pacific West Conference and earned a spot in the NCAA Division II Tournament by being ranked eighth in the West Region. The Antelopes lost in the first round to Western Washington, who went on to win the NCAA Division II national title. Pickrel is the leading returning scoring average leader, netting 10.6 points per game last season to go with a team-leading 6.6 rebounds per game, adding 2.3 blocks per game in earning second-team all-Pacific West Conference honors. Pickrel shot 58.0 percent from the field (116-of-200) as well as 43.0 percent from three-point range (13-of-30) along with making 85.0 percent at the free throw line (42-of-49). Garrison was the Pacific West Conference Co-Freshman of the Year last season after averaging 10.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists per contest. Davis added 5.6 points and 4.4 rebounds. Among the Antelopes’ seven newcomers is senior guard Joshua Lowery, who transferred to GCU from Pepperdine, where he averaged 8.7 points per game and was tied for 10th in the West Coast Conference with 3.0 assists per game. Lowery joins his brother, freshman guard Jeff Lowery on the Antelopes’ roster. GCU averaged 72.3 points per game last year, while shooting 44.3 percent from the field (634-of-1430), 44.3 percent behind the three-point arc (170-of-476) and 72.9 percent at the free throw line (513-of-704). Defensively, the Antelopes allowed 65.1 points per game and their opponents shot 42.4 percent from the floor (616-of-1454), 32.0 percent behind the arc (132-of-413) and 63.8 percent (394-of-618) at the charity stripe.
VERSUS GRAND CANYON
Friday is the second meeting in three years between the Aggies and Antelopes, as they also played in an exhibition game on Nov. 5, 2010, with USU winning, 76-46.
LOOKING BACK AT UTAH STATE’S 2011-12 EXHIBITION GAMES
VERSUS UC SAN DIEGO - Oct. 28, 2011
Senior point guard Brockeith Pane led four Utah State players in double-figures with 12 points and senior forward Brady Jardine added 11 points and a game-best seven rebounds in an easy 74-42 exhibition win against Division II UC San Diego inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Oct. 28, 2011. Pane was 5-of-11 from the field, 1-of-4 from three-point range and 1-for-2 at the free throw line, while Jardine made 5-of-7 shots, but was just 1-of-5 at the charity stripe. Sophomore guard Preston Medlin added 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting including hitting both of his three-point attempts, and freshman guard Adam Thoseby scored 10 points off the bench as he was 4-of-7 from the field and 2-of-3 from behind the arc. MacKen McCullough, son of former Aggie Michael McCullough (1981-84) led UC San Diego with 13 points off the bench. Utah State scored the first 11 points of the game and had its first 20-point margin with 7:42 left in the half following a three-pointer from Thoseby. USU extended its lead to 27 on a layup by Jardine with 1:42 to play in the half before UC San Diego hit back-to-back three-pointers to make the score 38-17 at the half. Utah State shot 50.0 percent from the field (15-30) in the first 20 minutes including 5-of-8 (.625) from three-point range and 3-of-6 (.500) from the free throw line. Defensively, the Aggies held UC San Diego to just 26.9 percent shooting at intermission (7-26) including just 27.3 percent from behind the arc (3-11). UC San Diego scored the first basket of the second-half to trim its deficit to 19, but Utah State scored the next 15 points to push its lead to 34 at 53-19 with 14:53 to play following a three-point from Pane. The Aggies took its largest lead of the game at the 6:53 mark on a jumper by Medlin to make the score 65-27 and coasted from there to the 32-point win.
Utah State finished the game by shooting 53.6 percent from the field (30-56), including 58.3 percent from three-point range (7-12), but made just 7-of-20 (.350) free throws. UC San Diego shot just 30.6 percent (15-49) overall, including 35.3 percent from three (6-17) and 60.0 percent at the free throw line (6-10). Utah State also out-rebounded UCSD, 35-33, while posting 13 assists, eight turnovers, four blocks and 10 steals. The Tritons finished with 10 assists, 21 turnovers and two steals.
VERSUS ADAMS STATE - Nov. 5, 2011
Senior forward Brady Jardine had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Utah State used a solid second-half effort in its 73-63 exhibition win against Division II Adams State on the afternoon of Nov. 5, 2011 inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Tied 29-29, Utah State began the second-half on a 10-0 run to go ahead 39-29 with 14:25 to play following a pair of free throws from freshman guard Steven Thornton. USU increased its lead to 15 at 53-38 with 6:40 remaining following a layup from senior forward Morgan Grim and the Aggies took its largest lead of the night at 59-41 with 4:28 left in the game following a pair of free throws from sophomore guard Preston Medlin. Adams State, who got 18 points and nine rebounds from Kaimyn Pruitt, scored eight of the final 11 points in the last 60 seconds to make the final score 73-63. Delray Wilson added 14 points for the Grizzlies. Senior point guard Brockeith Pane finished with 12 points, four assists and two steals for Utah State as he was 5-of-11 from the field and 2-for-2 at the free throw line, and Grim had 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting to go along with three rebounds. Thornton added six points, nine rebounds and three steals, while Medlin and junior guard E.J. Farris each scored eight points. Jardine, who was 6-of-10 from the field and 1-for-3 at the free throw line, added two blocked shots, two assists and one steal in 27 minutes. Utah State finished the game shooting 45.0 percent from the field (27-60) and 70.4 percent at the free throw line (19-27), but was 0-of-8 from three-point range. Adams State shot 43.1 percent (25-58), including 62.5 percent at the free throw line (10-16), but was just 3-of-16 (.188) from behind the arc. Utah State dominated the glass as it out-rebounded the Grizzlies by 11 (43-32), including a 16-10 advantage on the offensive end. Adams State did finish the game with three more assists (15-12) and three more steals (12-9), while USU had four fewer turnovers (21-17). Utah State scored the first six points of the game and later led 16-10 before Adams State went on a 9-0 run for a 19-16 advantage. USU regained the lead at 22-21 following a Pane jumper and got a late basket from sophomore forward Mitch Bruneel to tie the contest heading into halftime. Utah State shot 40.6 percent (13-32) in the first 20 minutes as compared to 44.8 percent shooting (13-29) by Adams State. Jardine led USU with nine points and nine rebounds at intermission, while Thornton had four points and eight boards.
MEDLIN RANKS 16TH IN THE NATION IN THREE-POINT SHOOTING
Sophomore guard Preston Medlin finished the 2011-12 season ranking 16th in the nation in three-point shooting (.428), 55th in three-point field goals made per game (2.57), 75th in field goal percentage (.496), and 80th in scoring (17.0).
MEDLIN RANKS 10TH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN SINGLE-SEASON SCORING
Sophomore guard Preston Medlin scored his 600th point of the season against Oakland (3/25) and finished the year with 628 points to rank 10th all-time at USU for single-season scoring. Overall, those 628 points are the second-most ever scored by a underclassmen in USU history trailing Marvin Roberts who scored 718 points as a sophomore in 1969. Medlin’s 500th point came against Hawai’i (3/3) marking the 49th time in school history that USU has had a player score 500 points in a single year.
MEDLIN ONE OF SIX SOPHOMORES IN SCHOOL HISTORY TO LEAD TEAM IN SCORING
Guard Preston Medlin is among rare company when it comes to underclassmen leading Utah State in scoring as he is one of just six sophomores in school history dating back to the 1957-58 season to lead the team in scoring. Since the 1957-58 season, the only sophomores to lead USU in scoring have been Cornell Green who averaged 23.6 points during the 1959-60 season, Wayne Estes who averaged 19.9 points during the 1962-63 season, Marvin Roberts who averaged 27.6 points during the 1968-69 season, Greg Grant who averaged 17.4 points during the 1983-84 season, and Kendall Youngblood who averaged 15.4 points during the 1989-90 season. This year, Medlin averaged 17.0 points per game.
MEDLIN RANKS FIFTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN THREE-POINT SHOOTING
Sophomore guard Preston Medlin is shooting 42.0 percent from three-point range (110-262) during his Utah State career to rank fifth all-time in school history. Medlin is also just two made three-pointers and six three-point attempts shy of entering the career top 10 in each category.
MEDLIN RANKS AMONG TOP 10 AT UTAH STATE IN SEVERAL SINGLE-SEASON CATEGORIES
Sophomore guard Preston Medlin ranks third all-time at USU for a single-season with 95 made three-pointers trailing Jaycee Carroll who made 114 during the 2007-08 season and Reid Newey who made 98 during the 1988-89 season. Medlin also ranks fourth all-time at USU for three-point attempts in a single-season with 222 behind Carroll who attempted 229 in 2007-08, Newey who attempted 224 in 1988-89, and Jay Goodman who attempted 223 in 1992-93. Medlin also ranks second all-time in school history for minutes played in a season with 1,302 behind Carroll who played 1,304 minutes in 2008.
GRIM AND MEDLIN SET SINGLE-SEASON SCHOOL RECORD FOR GAMES STARTED
Senior forward Morgan Grim and sophomore guard Preston Medlin both set the single-season school record for games started with 37 during the 2011-12 season. The previous record for games started in a single-season was 35 set by numerous players during the 2006-07 season, the 2007-08 season, the 2008-09 season and the 2009-10 season.
THREE AGGIES SET SINGLE-SEASON SCHOOL RECORD FOR GAMES PLAYED
Senior forward Morgan Grim, sophomore guard Preston Medlin and senior guard Brockeith Pane all set single-season school records this year for games played with 37. The previous single-season record for games played was 35 set by numerous players during the 2006-07 season, the 2007-08 season, the 2008-09 season and the 2009-10 season.
BERGER SCORES IN DOUBLE-FIGURES 10 TIMES AS A SOPHOMORE
Sophomore guard/forward Danny Berger scored 13 points in his last game of the year against Mercer (3/28) for his 10th double-figure scoring game of the season. Overall, Berger scored in double-figures three times in his final six games including tying his career-high with 17 points against Oakland (3/25) as he made a career-best five three-pointers which is tied for the most in a postseason game in school history. During his last five games, Berger averaged 8.6 points and 3.6 rebounds, while shooting 50.0 percent from the field (13-26), 52.6 percent from three-point range (10-19) and 87.5 percent at the free throw line (7-8). Berger sat out the first six games of the year as a potential redshirt before seeing his first action of the season at Pacific (12/3).
JARDINE NAMED WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK ONCE LAST SEASON
Senior forward Brady Jardine was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week on Nov. 29, 2010 after leading Utah State to a pair of home wins against Utah (79-62) and Northeastern (56-54). Against the Utes, he posted his second-ever double-double with a career-high 20 points to go along with a career-high 13 rebounds in a career-high 31 minutes. Jardine was 6-of-7 from the field and 8-of-10 at the free throw line in the game. Against the Huskies, Jardine posted another double-double with 15 points and a career-high tying 13 boards as he was 5-of-10 from the field and 5-of-8 at the free throw line. He also tied his career-high with three blocks and played a career-high 34 minutes in the game. For the week, Jardine averaged 17.5 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks, while shooting 64.7 percent from the field (11-17) and 72.2 percent at the free throw line (13-18).
JARDINE NAMED TO ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT TEAM
Utah State men’s basketball player Brady Jardine was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII first team last season. Jardine was one of just three players from the Western Athletic Conference to earn academic all-district honors during the 2010-11 season joining teammate Tyler Newbold and Nedeljko Golubovic of Fresno State. The Aggie duo were also the only players from the state of Utah recognized. Along with being academic all-district, Jardine has also earned academic all-WAC honors three times in his career.
PANE SCORED IN DOUBLE-FIGURES IN SIX OF HIS LAST SEVEN GAMES
Senior guard Brockeith Pane scored in double-figures six times in his last seven games and in 19 of his last 25 games overall. Pane also had three 20-point games last year. On the season, he scored in double-figures 22 times to rank second on the team behind Tai Wesley (28). During his last seven games, Pane averaged 15.9 points and 3.87 assists, while shooting 47.6 percent from the field (30-63) and 84.5 percent at the free throw line (49-58). Pane finished the year making 25 of his last 26 free throws.
PANE NAMED MOST VALUABLE PLAYER OF WAC TOURNAMENT
Senior guard Brockeith Pane was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Tournament as he had 16 points and three rebounds against San Jose State in the semifinals and 19 points, four assists and three rebounds in the championship game against Boise State. For the tournament, Pane averaged 17.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists, while shooting 42.9 percent from the field (9-21) and was a perfect 17-for-17 at the free throw line.
UTAH STATE HAS WAC PLAYER OF THE YEAR FOR THIRD TIME IN LAST FOUR YEARS
With senior forward Tai Wesley being named the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Utah State has now had three of the last four players of the year in the conference as Jaycee Carroll won the award in 2008 and Gary Wilkinson won it in 2009. Utah has the most WAC Players of the Year with seven, followed by Nevada with five and BYU with four. USU, Fresno State, San Diego State and Wyoming have all had three.
UTAH STATE TRADITIONALLY ONE OF THE BEST SHOOTING TEAMS IN THE NATION
Utah State has led the nation in field goal shooting three times in the last seven years as it shot 52.5 percent during the 2004-05 season, 51.4 percent during the 2007-08 season, and 49.6 percent during the 2008-09 season. Utah State finished the 2009-10 season ranking third in the nation in three-point shooting (.414), ninth in overall shooting (.488) and 10th in free throw shooting (.758), and was the only team in the nation to rank among the top 10 nationally in all three shooting categories. In 2010-11, Utah State ranked 28th in the nation in overall shooting at 47.0 percent.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State is the only team in the nation to have winning streaks of at least 10 games in each of the last four seasons as it had a 10-game winning streak in 2008, a school-record tying 19-game winning streak in 2009, a 17-game winning streak in 2010 and a 17-game winning streak in 2011.
UTAH STATE HAS 11TH-LONGEST ACTIVE POSTSEASON STREAK IN THE NATION
Utah State has advanced to postseason play in each of the last 13 seasons as it has played in eight NCAA Tournaments, four National Invitation Tournaments and one CollegeInsider.com Tournament. That streak of 13 straight postseasons is tied with Notre Dame for the 11th-longest active streak in the nation. Michigan State owns the longest active postseason streak in the nation at 24 with 20 NCAA and four NIT appearances. Kansas is second with 23 straight NCAA trips, while Kentucky is third at 21 with 20 NCAA bids and one NIT appearance. Syracuse (15-NCAA, 4-NIT) is fourth with 19 straight postseason appearances. Duke ranks fifth with 17 straight NCAA trips, while Creighton (8-NCAA, 5-NIT, 1-CIT, 1-CBI) and Gonzaga (14-NCAA, 1-NIT) are tied for sixth with 15 straight postseason trips. Florida (12-NCAA, 2-NIT), Texas (14 NCAA) and Wisconsin (14-NCAA) are all tied for eighth with 14 straight postseason bids, followed by USU and Notre Dame (8-NCAA, 5-NIT).
RANKING UTAH STATE IN THE WAC
Utah State finished the 2011-12 season ranking first in the WAC in scoring defense (64.9), second in field goal percentage (.475), second in field goal percentage defense (.415), third in scoring margin (+4.1), third in free throw shooting (.719), third in three-point field goal percentage (.367), third in three-point field goal percentage defense (.330), fourth in assists (13.43) fifth in rebounding margin (+0.7), and sixth in blocks (3.22).
RANKING UTAH STATE’S RETURNING PLAYERS IN THE WAC STATISTICS
Sophomore guard Preston Medlin finished the 2011-12 season ranking second in the WAC in three-point shooting (.428), third in scoring (17.0), fourth in free throw shooting (.801), seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.70), ninth in assists (3.35), and 10th in overall shooting (.496). Junior forward Kyisean Reed ranked first in the WAC in field goal shooting (.614), sixth in blocked shots (1.14), and 14th in rebounding (5.1). Sophomore guard/forward Danny Berger ranked 11th in the WAC in three-point shooting (.367) and 13th in assists (2.35), and freshman forward Ben Clifford ranked 15th in the WAC in blocked shots (0.47).
UTAH STATE FINISHES THE YEAR RANKED 24TH IN THE NATION IN FIELD GOAL SHOOTING
Utah State finished the 2011-12 season ranking 24th in the nation in field goal percentage (.475), 59th in turnovers per game (12.1), 66th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.11), 67th in three-point field goal percentage (.367), 80th in free throw shooting (.719), and 96th in field goal percentage defense (.415).
MEDLIN RANKS 16TH IN THE NATION IN THREE-POINT SHOOTING
Sophomore guard Preston Medlin finished the 2011-12 season ranking 16th in the nation in three-point shooting (.428), 55th in three-point field goals made per game (2.57), 75th in field goal percentage (.496), and 80th in scoring (17.0).
UTAH STATE HAD THREE OF THE TOP 10 FIELD GOAL SHOOTERS IN THE WAC IN 2012
Utah State had three of the top 10 field goal percentage shooters in the Western Athletic Conference during the 2011-12 season as junior forward Kyisean Reed shot 61.4 percent to rank first, senior forward Morgan Grim shot 56.8 percent to rank third, and sophomore guard Preston Medlin shot 49.6 percent to rank 10th.
UTAH STATE TRENDS
Utah State was ... 21-7 on the season when its backcourt out-scored its opponent’s backcourt; 17-2 when leading at the half; 17-2 when it committed fewer fouls than its opponents; 17-7 when it had more defensive rebounds than its opponent; 19-8 when it shot better from the field than its opponent; 17-4 when it blocked more shots than its opponent; 17-6 when it had more assists than its opponent; 15-5 when it shot better from three-point range than its opponent; and 14-7 when it out-rebounded its opponent.
UTAH STATE AT THE HALF
Utah State was 17-2 this year and has won 66 of its last 68 games when leading at the half. Over the last 13 years, USU is 273-25 (.916) when leading at the half and 46-75 (.380) when trailing at the half including a 4-13 (.235) record this year.
UTAH STATE USUALLY WINS WHEN SCORING 70-PLUS POINTS
Utah State’s magic number last year appeared to be 70, as in 70 points. On the season, Utah State was 15-3 when it scored 70 or more points in a game and just 6-13 when it scored less than 70 points including an 0-6 record when scoring less than 60 points. Overall, USU has won 76 of its last 81 games when scoring at least 70 points and is 218-30 (.879) all-time under Morrill when scoring 70 points in a game. On the flip side, USU is 26-46 (.361) when scoring less than 60 points under Morrill.
USU VERY SUCCESSFUL WHEN HOLDING ITS OPPONENTS UNDER 60 POINTS
Utah State was 7-3 last year and has won 113 of its last 118 games when holding its opponents under 60 points. Overall, USU is 178-15 (.922) under Morrill when allowing fewer than 60 points in a game.
UTAH STATE SETS SCHOOL RECORD FOR GAMES PLAYED IN A SINGLE SEASON WITH 37
Utah State set a single-season school record last year as it played 37 games. The previous record for games played in a single-season was 35 set during the 2006-07 season, the 2007-08 season, the 2008-09 season and the 2009-10 season. USU also had several other categories last year that ranked among the top 10 all-time in school history for a single-season including ranking third in three-pointers attempted (566), fourth in three-pointers made (208), sixth in blocks (119), sixth in total points (2,551), and 10th in assists (497).
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State finished the 2011-12 season winning eight of its last 11 games after winning just 13 of its first 26 games.
AGGIES FINISH SEASON WITH YET ANOTHER CLOSE LOSS
Utah State’s nemesis during the 2011-12 season ended up being close games as the Aggies were 2-6 in games decided by three or fewer points. In fact, each of USU’s last two losses were within three points as it dropped a 72-70 decision to Louisiana Tech in the quarterfinals of the 2012 WAC Tournament, along with its 70-67 loss to Mercer in the championship game of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Furthermore, of its six league losses two were by three or fewer points and four were by seven or fewer points.
UTAH STATE RETURNING PLAYER NOTES
#1 BEN CLIFFORD - SO - F - Played in 36 games, starting four, during his freshman season... Finished the season averaging 4.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.5 blocked shots per game, while shooting 50.9 percent from the field (58-114), 38.9 percent from three-point range (7-18) and 72.9 percent at the free throw line (35-48)... Ranked 15th in the WAC in blocked shots (0.47)... Played an average of 16.8 minutes per game... Scored in double-figures three times during the season including a career-high 12 points against Louisiana Tech (3/8) in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament as he was 5-of-5 from the field, 1-of-1 from three-point range and 1-for-2 at the free throw line... Recorded a career-high nine rebounds against Loyola Marymount (3/21) in the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament... Blocked a career-high four shots against Hawai’i (1/26)... Played a career-high 37 minutes at Idaho State in his first career start as he scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds... Led the team in rebounding five times during the season and had five or more boards in 13 games on the year... Earned academic all-WAC honors.
#12 DANNY BERGER - JR - G - Started 25 of the final 31 games of the season after sitting out the first six games of the year as a potential redshirt... Finished the year averaging 6.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.35 assists per game, while shooting 37.2 percent from the field (64-172), 36.7 percent from three-point range (36-98), and 76.9 percent at the free throw line (40-52)... Played an average of 25.8 minutes per game... Ranked 11th in the WAC in three-point shooting and 13th in assists... Scored in double-figures 10 times during the season including a career-high tying 17 points against Oakland (3/25) in the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament... Was 5-of-6 from behind the arc against Oakland tying Utah State’s single-game postseason record for three-pointers made... That shooting percentage from three against OU (.833) is also tied for the ninth-best single-game performance in school history... Recorded a career-high eight rebounds against Idaho (2/24) and grabbed five-plus rebounds nine times during the year... Had a career-best six assists against Kent State (12/22) and dished out five or more assists four times during the season... Had a career-high three steals against Louisiana Tech (3/8) in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament to go along with a career-high 17 points... Played a career-high 36 minutes twice during the year... Led the team in rebounding twice and in scoring once.
#13 PRESTON MEDLIN - JR - G - Became just the second sophomore in school history along with Nate Harris in 2004 to earn first-team all-conference honors... Was also named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 6 second team as he finished the year averaging 17.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, while shooting 49.6 percent from the field (204-of-411), 42.8 percent from three-point range (95-of-222) and 80.1 percent at the free throw line (125-of-156) in 35.2 minutes per game... Started all 37 games during the year to set a single-season school record for games played and started... Finished the year ranking second in the WAC and 16th in the nation in three-point shooting (.428), and third in the WAC and 80th in the country in scoring (17.0)... Also ranked 10th in the WAC and 75th in the nation in overall shooting (.496), and sixth in the WAC and 55th in the country in three-point field goals made per game (2.57)... Also ranked fourth in the WAC in free throw shooting (.801), seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.70) and ninth in assists (3.35)... Scored in double-figures 31 times during the season, including 13 20-point games... Scored a career-high 32 points against Idaho (2/24) as he was 11-of-13 from the field, 6-of-8 from three-point range and 4-for-5 at the free throw line... Scored 27 of his 32 points in the second-half which are the most points scored by an Aggie in a single-half since Nate Williams scored 29 of his 45 points in the second-half against Saint Peter’s on Dec. 8. 1969... Furthermore, those 32 points by Medlin are the most scored by an Aggie since Gary Wilkinson scored 33 points in an 83-77 overtime win at Fresno State on Jan. 31, 2009... Scored in double-figuers in each of his last five games and in 19 of his last 20 to end the season... Also had 20-plus points in three of his final five games of the season as he was named to the CollegeInsider.com all-tournament team... Was also named the Most Valuable Player of the Utah State hosted Athletes In Action Classic as USU defeated UT Arlington (73-69), Saint Peter’s (72-47) and Kent State (81-62) to claim the tournament championship... Was 8-of-11 from three-point range at Idaho State (11/26) as those eight made treys are tied for the third-most made in a single-game in school history and were tied for the 17th-most made in a single-game in the NCAA at the Division I level during the year... Went 13-for-14 at the free throw line against both Hawai’i (1/26) and Loyola Marymount (3/21)... That shooting percentage from the free throw line against LMU (.929) is a single-game postseason school record, as are the 13 made free throws... Recorded a career-high nine rebounds three times during the season and had five or more rebounds 14 times overall... Dished out a career-high eight assists twice during the year and had five or more assists eight times overall... Played a career-high 40 minutes twice during the season including against Mercer in the championship game of the CIT... Led the team in scoring 22 times during the year... Was also the team leader in assists 15 times and rebounding six times... Took four charges and had four dunks during the season... Scored 628 points as a sophomore to rank as the 10th-most in a single-season in school history, including the second-most by an underclassmen trailing Marvin Roberts who scored 718 points as a sophomore in 1969... Made 95 three-pointers as a sophomore to rank as the third-most in a single-season in school history, and ranks fourth all-time in three-point attempts in a single-season with 222... Also ranks second all-time at USU for a single-season in minutes played with 1,302 during his sophomore season... Became just the sixth underclassmen in school history to lead his team in scoring along with Cornell Green, (1959-60), Wayne Estes (1962-63), Marvin Roberts (1968-69), Greg Grant (1983-84) and Kendall Youngblood (1989-90).
#25 - JR - C - JORDAN STONE - Played in 34 games, starting two, during his first season at Utah State... His two starts were in consecutive games at home against Utah Valley (12/6) and at Wichita State (12/10)... Finished the season averaging 2.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 9.3 minutes per game... Shot 60.5 percent from the field (26-43) and 48.6 percent at the free throw line (18-37)... Scored a career-high nine points against Louisiana Tech (3/8) in the quarterfinals of the WAC Tournament as he was 3-of-4 from the field and 3-for-4 at the free throw line... Had career-highs of eight rebounds against both Utah Valley (12/6) and UC Santa Barbara (2/18), and recorded five-plus rebounds five times during the year... Played a career-high 23 minutes at Pacific (12/3)... Led the team in rebounding twice during the year... Ranked third on the team with six dunks... Earned academic all-WAC honors.
UTAH STATE FROM THREE-POINT RANGE
Utah State has made at least one three-point basket in 199 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.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State is 330-106 (.757) during the last 13 seasons which ranks as the fourth-best winning percentage and sixth-most wins in the nation during that time period. Furthermore, USU has averaged 25.4 wins during the last 13 seasons.
HEAD COACH STEW MORRILL NOTES
THE MORRILL COACHING TREE
Utah State head coach Stew Morrill currently has five former assistants who are head coaches at the Division I level in Jeff Jackson (Furman), Randy Rahe (Weber State), Dave Rice (UNLV), Blaine Taylor (Old Dominion) and Don Verlin (Idaho), which is tied for the fifth-most in the nation among active coaches. Arizona State’s Herb Sendek and Louisville’s Rick Pitino each have eight assistants who are current head coaches, followed by Mike Montogmery (California) with seven, Billy Donovan (Florida) with six, and Stew Morrill (Utah State), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), John Calipari (Kentucky) and Trent Johnson (TCU) all with five.
MORRILL HAS COACHED 15 FIRST-TEAM ALL-LEAGUE PLAYERS AT UTAH STATE
Utah State head coach Stew Morrill has coached 14 first-team all-league players who have won the award a total of 20 times in his 13 years at Utah State. Those players are Shawn Daniels (twice), Troy Rolle, Bernard Rock, Tony Brown, Desmond Penigar (twice), Mark Brown, Cardell Butler, Nate Harris (three times), Spencer Nelson, Jaycee Carroll (twice), Gary Wilkinson, Jared Quayle, Tai Wesley (twice), Brockeith Pane and Preston Medlin
MORRILL NAMED 2011 JIM PHELAN NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR
Utah State men’s basketball coach Stew Morrill was named the 2011 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year at the Final Four in Houston. Named after legendary Mount St. Mary’s head coach Jim Phelan, who won over 800 games and coached in more contests than any in college basketball history, the award is presented annually to the top coach in America by CollegeInsider.com. The honor is voted upon by a distinguished group of coaches, media members and athletic administrators. Other finalists for this year’s award included Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Rick Byrd (Belmont), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Billy Donavan (Florida), Steve Fisher (San Diego State), Greg Kampe (Oakland), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke), Steve Lavin (St. John’s), Thad Matta (Ohio State), Sean Miller (Arizona), Matt Painter (Purdue), Rick Pitino (Louisville), Dave Rose (BYU), Bill Self (Kansas) and Roy Williams (North Carolina).
UTAH STATE AMONG THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY
Over the last 13 years, Utah State has been one of the best basketball programs in the country, recording a 330-106 (.757) record. Those 330 wins are the sixth-most in the country, while the 75.7 percent winning percentage is fourth-best behind Duke (.833), Kansas (.823) and Gonzaga (.792). USU has also been among the top teams in the country in field goal and free throw shooting as it led the nation in both categories during the 2008 season, and led the nation in field goal shooting in 2009 at 49.6 percent.
UTAH STATE IN THE WAC
Since joining the Western Athletic Conference prior to the 2005-06 season, Utah State has been one of the most consistent programs in the league and has the best record in WAC games during the last seven years with a 83-27 (.755) mark. During its first six years in the league, Utah State has won four regular season championships (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), two tournament championships (2009, 2011), and has played in the tournament championship game five times (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011).
HEAD COACH STEW MORRILL
In his 27th season as a collegiate head coach and 15th year at Utah State, Stew Morrill has taken the Aggie Basketball program to unprecedented heights leading it to an incredible 345-119 (.744) record, including a 175-55 (.761) 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 14 years at USU, Morrill has guided the Aggies to 13 straight 21-win seasons and 13 straight postseason appearances (NCAA-8, NIT-4, CIT-1), both of which are school records. Morrill has also led Utah State to the fourth-best winning percentage in the nation during the last 13 years at 75.7 percent with an overall record of 330-106. Against conference opponents, Utah State has a 201-63 (.761) record with seven regular season league championships and six tournament titles during that time, including appearances in its league’s tournament championship game 10 times in the last 13 years. Under Morrill, Utah State has notched 13 of the top 14 seasons in school history during the last 13 years as the Aggies set a school record with 28 wins during the 2000 season, tied that record with 28 wins during the 2001 season, set a new school record with 30 wins in 2009 and tied that record with 30 wins in 2011. During the 2010-11 season, Morrill guided Utah State to its fourth-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season championship and its second WAC Tournament title. Morrill was named the WAC Coach of the Year in 2011, along with being named the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com. For the 13th straight year, Utah State had at least one player earn first-team all-league accolades in 2012 as sophomore guard Preston Medlin was named first-team all-WAC, becoming just the second sophomore in school history to earn first-team all-conference honors along with Nate Harris (2004). Utah State had two other players honored by the WAC in 2012 as senior guard Brockeith Pane was named to the league’s honorable mention team, while junior forward Kyisean Reed was voted to the WAC’s all-newcomer team. Overall, Morrill has coached 15 first-team all-league players at Utah State who have won the award a total of 21 times. Morrill has also taken full advantage of the home court at USU, the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. In Morrill’s first 14 years, USU is an amazing 210-18 (.921) at home, which includes a 105-10 (.913) record in league play. As for Morrill, he has won 20 or more games on 17 different occasions during his career, and he has won at least 17 games 22 times. Overall, Morrill ranks 14th in the nation among active coaches and 52nd all-time with his 563 career wins, while his career winning percentage of 68.7 percent ranks 21st among active coaches and 80th all-time. He is also one of just 10 active coaches to notch at least 17 20-win seasons. His current streak of 13 straight 20-win seasons ranks tied for fifth among active coaches and is tied for the eighth-longest streak ever at the Division I level. Morrill has also been named Coach of the Year (2000 BWC, 2002 BWC, 2009 WAC, 2010 WAC, 2011 WAC) five times in his first 13 years at USU, along with winning the Big Sky award while the head coach at Montana in 1991. His overall coaching record is 563-257 (.687).
Morrill Year-by-Year Coaching Record
1992Colorado State 14-17.4518-86th
1993Colorado State 17-12.5869-95th
1994Colorado State 15-13.5368-105th
1995Colorado State 17-14.5487-11t7th
1996Colorado State 18-12.60011-74th
1997Colorado State 20-9.68910-64th
1998Colorado State 20-9.6898-64th
Years School Overall Pct.Conf.Pct.
87-91 Montana 97-52.65149-29.628
92-98 Colorado State 121-86.58561-57.517
99-Utah State 345-119.744175-55.761
Totals 26 Years 563-257.687285-141 .669
UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY
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