LOGAN — The Utah State University men's basketball team held its annual postseason banquet Tuesday, honoring the 2010-11 team that won its fourth-straight Western Athletic Conference regular-season championship and played in the school's 20th NCAA Tournament all-time, including its eighth in the last 12 years.
Along with handing out individual awards, a highlight video recapping the year was shown.
Utah State tied the 2008-09 team for the most wins in school history with 30, while its 30-4 record is the best ever at USU. Utah State also won its second WAC Tournament championship in the last three years and advanced to its third-straight NCAA Tournament, which is a school record.
Utah State extended two more school records during the year, as it posted its 12th-straight season of 23 or more wins and advanced to postseason play for the 12th straight year. USU is also one of just three teams in the nation to win at least 23 games in each of the last 12 seasons along with Gonzaga and Kansas, and its string of 12-straight postseasons is tied for the 12th-longest active streak in the nation.
Utah State also set a school and WAC record during the season, as it won 25-straight league games over a two-year period, and became just the seventh team in the 49-year history of the WAC to lose one or fewer league games, as it finished the year with a 15-1 conference mark.
Along with all of its records, Utah State was also nationally ranked for nine consecutive weeks during the 2010-11 season and finished the year No. 25 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, marking the first time since 1978 that a USU team has finished the year nationally ranked.
During the banquet, Utah State recognized seven players who received various awards from the WAC during the course of the season in senior forwards Nate Bendall, Matt Formisano and Tai Wesley, senior guards Brian Green and Tyler Newbold, junior forward Brady Jardine and junior guard Brockeith Pane.
Wesley and Pane were both named first-team all-WAC, marking the 12th-straight year that Utah State has had at least one player earn first-team all-conference honors. Wesley was also named the WAC's Player of the Year, marking the third time in the last four years that USU has had the league's top player.
Along with being named the WAC's Player of the Year, Wesley was also named an honorable mention All-America by the Associated Press, marking the fourth time in the last five years that USU has had an All-American.
Joining Wesley and Pane on the all-WAC teams was Green, who was named to the league's second-team, while Newbold was voted to the WAC's all-defensive team. Wesley was also named WAC Player of the Week three times during the season, while Green and Jardine each won the award once.
Utah State also had three players named to the WAC's all-tournament team, as Pane was named the Most Valuable Player, while Bendall and Wesley were both named to the all-tournament team.
Utah State also had four players earn academic all-WAC honors this year in Formisano, Jardine, Newbold and Wesley, while Jardine and Newbold were also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team. Formisano and Newbold earned academic all-conference honors for the fourth straight year, while Jardine received the award for the third year in row. Under Coach Stew Morrill, Utah State has now had 14 players earn academic all-conference honors a total of 27 times.
As for team honors, Wesley was voted the Most Valuable Player, which is named in honor of the late H. Cecil Baker, who played at Utah State from 1923-25 and later coached at USU from 1951-61. Green was named the team's Most Inspirational Player for the second year in a row, while Newbold was named the player that Best Represents Aggie Basketball for the third year in a row. Newbold was also named the team's Defensive Player of the Year, while Bendall was presented the 10th annual Varsity Award by the Big Blue Scholarship Fund, which is annually given to a senior who best represents outstanding achievement in academic, athletics and community service.
Utah State Team Honors
H. Cecil Baker Most Valuable Player — Tai Wesley
Most Inspirational — Brian Green
Best Defensive Player — Tyler Newbold
Best Represents Aggie Basketball — Tyler Newbold
Big Blue Scholarship Fund Varsity Award — Nate Bendall
All-Western Athletic Conference Selections
Coach of the Year — Stew Morrill
Player of the Year — Tai Wesley
First Team — Brockeith Pane, Tai Wesley
Second Team — Brian Green
All-Defensive Team — Tyler Newbold
All-Newcomer Team — Brockeith Pane
Western Athletic Conference All-Tournament Team
Brockeith Pane (MVP), Nate Bendall, Tai Wesley
Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week
Tai Wesley (3), Brian Green (1), Brady Jardine (1)
Academic All-Western Athletic Conference Honorees
Matt Formisano, Brady Jardine, Tyler Newbold, Tai Wesley
CoSIDA Academic All-District
Brady Jardine, Tyler Newbold
NABC All-District 6 Honors
Coach of the Year — Stew Morrill
First Team — Tai Wesley
USBWA All-District VIII Honors
First Team — Tai WesleyComment on this story
Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year
Associated Press All-American
Tai Wesley (honorable mention)