Utah State University's head men's basketball coach Stew Morrill announced the Aggies' 2012-13 schedule, which includes 30 regular-season games, highlighted by three against in-state foes. There will also be 18 home games in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Among USU's opponents are at least six games against teams that made the postseason in 2012.
USU's two exhibition contests and its first four games of the regular-season will be played in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. When playing there, the Aggies have won 100 of their last 107 games and have amassed a 210-18 (.921) record at home under Morrill, including a 53-9 (.855) home ledger in Western Athletic Conference games, as well as 105-8 (.929) in non-conference games.
"The first thing that is a big change from last year is only 12 non-league games compared to 17 in 2011-12 season," Morrill said. "Obviously that is due to a larger WAC schedule with 18 league games versus 14 last season."
Highlighting Utah State's 2012-13 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 Weber State, who played in last year's Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament.
"There are the usual challenges and opportunities in the schedule. We play WCC favorite Saint Mary's at home early and that will certainly give us an idea of where we are," Morrill said.
The Aggies have three non-conference road games, including two in the state, as they will 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. Utah State's lone non-conference out-of-state trip will be its first road game of the year at Santa Clara.
USU will host the World Vision Challenge sponsored by Gossner Foods, welcoming Southern Illinois, Nicholls State and UC Davis right before Christmas. In addition, the team will host an ESPNU BracketBusters game in February.
"We have the in-state games with all the normal emphasis on those rivalries, our annual pre-Christmas Tournament that includes Missouri Valley Conference power Southern Illinois, in addition to a swan song BracketBustergame in February that will finish up the non-conference," Morrill said.
USU's eighth and final season in the WAC will also include two postseason teams. New Mexico State, who is the defending conference champion and a NCAA Tournament participant, and a WAC-newcomer UT Arlington, who played in last year's National Invitational Tournament after winning the Southland Conference regular-season title. The Aggies will also be taking on four other new WAC foes in Denver, Seattle, Texas State and UTSA, as well as traditional league match-ups against Idaho, Louisiana Tech and San Jose State.
"Our last year in the WAC will be sentimental for me and a big challenge. With many new players, I'm sure we won't be a favorite, and yet we hope to challenge for a fifth conference championship in our eight years of WAC play," Morrill said. "All in all, it should be lots of fun. We look forward to getting better as we go."
The Aggies open with exhibition games against Grand Canyon and Simon Fraser on Friday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Nov. 3, respectively, before hosting Idaho State on Saturday, Nov. 10 in the 2012-13 season-opener, the first of four-straight home games. USU will then host a pair of out-of-state foes in the same weekend when it hosts Saint Mary's and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
A Beehive State battle is in store for Thanksgiving weekend when Morrill and the Aggies host in-state foe Weber State, under the direction of former USU assistant coach Randy Rahe. Utah State will hit the road for the first time to close out the month of November, heading to Santa Clara on Wednesday, Nov. 29, as Morrill will again be facing another former assistant coach James Ware, who is on the Broncos' bench.
Utah State returns to the state of Utah but continues road action by playing at BYU. USU will then host Western Oregon before its final non-conference road game of the season at Utah Valley on Saturday, Dec. 15.
Utah State will close out December by opening its eighth and final season of WAC action by heading to Texas to face UTSA and Texas State on Saturday, Dec. 29 and Monday, Dec. 31, respectively, in USU's first-ever match-ups against both schools. The Aggies will kick off the new year by hosting Seattle on Thursday, Jan. 3 before hosting Idaho and former USU assistant coach Don Verlin on Saturday, Jan. 5. Utah State will round out its longest WAC homestand of the season by hosting San Jose State on Saturday, Jan. 12.
After playing at New Mexico State, USU will play at another first-year WAC team, Denver. The Aggies return home to host UT Arlington on Thursday, Jan. 24, in the Mavericks' second year in a row playing in the Spectrum after playing in last year's World Vision Challenge, before USU faces Louisiana Tech. USU completes January action and opens February play by heading to the Northwest, with a match-up at Idaho on Thursday, Jan. 31 and at Seattle on Saturday, Feb. 2. The Aggies' longest road stretch of the regular-season concludes on Saturday, Feb. 9 at San Jose State.
A three-game homestand opens on Thursday, Feb. 14 with a Valentine's Day match-up with Denver, before an all-Aggie clash between USU and New Mexico State. For the eighth year in row, Utah State will be participating in the ESPNU BracketBusters and will host an opponent to be determined on Friday, Feb. 22 or Saturday, Feb. 23.
The Aggies' final regular-season road trip will take them to Louisiana Tech on Thursday, Feb. 28 and play at UT Arlington for the first time in school history on Saturday, March 2. To conclude the regular-season portion of the ledger, Utah State will host Texas State and UTSA in both teams' first-ever visits to the Spectrum.
The 2013 WAC Tournament will once again be held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., from Mar. 12-16, utilizing the traditional 10-team tournament format, with the No. 10 seed meeting No. 7 and No. 8 will face No. 9 in the first round, with the winners advancing to the quarterfinals.
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-WAC in 2012, marking the 13th-straight year Utah State has had at least one player earn first-team all-conference honors. For Medlin, he is just the second sophomore in school history to earn first-team all-league honors along with Nate Harris (2004).
Also returning is senior forward Kyisean Reed, who was a member of the WAC's all-newcomer team after posting 10.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in his first season as an Aggie. Junior guard Danny Berger is the third returning starter for USU, after tallying 6.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game in 2012, also his first season as an Aggie. Morrill and USU will also have eight newcomers in 2012-13.
Utah State extended its current school records for consecutive 20-win seasons and postseason appearances to 13-straight in 2012 as it is one of just five schools nationally to win 21 games in each of the last 13 years along with Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas and Syracuse. Furthermore, USU's current run of 13-straight postseason appearances is tied for the 11th-longest active streak in the nation.
For USU men's basketball ticket information, contact the Utah State Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.
Fans can follow the Aggie men's basketball program at twitter.com/AggieHoops. USU fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
2012-13 UTAH STATE Men’s Basketball Schedule
Date Opponent Location Time Series Record
Fri., Oct. 26GRAND CANYON (Ex.) Dee Glen Smith Spectrum 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 3SIMON FRASER (Ex.) Dee Glen Smith Spectrum 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 10IDAHO STATE Dee Glen Smith Spectrum7:05 p.m.USU leads 35-13
Thur., Nov. 15SAINT MARY’S Dee Glen Smith Spectrum7:05 p.m. USU leads 5-3
Sat., Nov. 17TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTIDee Glen Smith Spectrum7:05 p.m. USU trails 0-1
Sat., Nov. 24WEBER STATE Dee Glen Smith Spectrum7:05 p.m. USU leads 38-26
Wed., Nov. 28Santa Clara Santa Clara, Calif.8 p.m. USU leads 4-3
Wed., Dec. 5Brigham Young Provo, Utah 7:05 p.m.USU trails 92-136
Sat., Dec. 8WESTERN OREGON Dee Glen Smith Spectrum 7:05 p.m. USU leads 1-0
Sat., Dec. 15Utah Valley Orem, Utah7:05 p.m. USU leads 7-0
Thur.-Sat., Dec. 20-22WORLD VISION CHALLENGE (Sponsored by Gossner Foods)
Thur., Dec. 20
UC Davis vs. Southern Illinois Dee Glen Smith Spectrum 5:30 p.m.
NICHOLLS STATE vs. UTAH STATE Dee Glen Smith Spectrum8:05 p.m. USU trails 0-2
Fri., Dec. 21
Southern Illinois vs. Nicholls State Dee Glen Smith Spectrum5:30 p.m.
UC DAVIS vs. UTAH STATE Dee Glen Smith Spectrum 8:05 p.m. USU leads 1-0
Sat., Dec. 22
Nicholls State vs. UC Davis Dee Glen Smith Spectrum 5:30 p.m.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS vs. UTAH STATE Dee Glen Smith Spectrum 8:05 p.m. USU leads 1-0
Sat., Dec. 29*UTSA San Antonio, TexasTBA First Meeting Mon., Dec. 31*Texas State San Marcos, TexasTBA First Meeting
Thur., Jan. 3*SEATTLE Dee Glen Smith Spectrum7:05 p.m. USU leads 15-14
Sat., Jan. 5*IDAHO Dee Glen Smith Spectrum7:05 p.m. USU leads 35-14
Sat., Jan. 12*SAN JOSE STATE Dee Glen Smith Spectrum 7:05 p.m. USU leads 49-21
Thur., Jan. 17*New Mexico State Las Cruces, N.M. TBAUSU leads 35-29
Sat., Jan. 19*Denver Denver, Colo.TBA USU leads 54-35
Thur., Jan. 24*UT ARLINGTON Dee Glen Smith Spectrum 7:05 p.m. USU leads 1-0
Sat., Jan. 26*LOUISIANA TECH Dee Glen Smith Spectrum 7:05 p.m. USU leads 14-3
Thur., Jan. 31*Idaho Moscow, Idaho 8 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 2*Seattle Seattle, Wash.8 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 9*San Jose State San Jose, Calif. 8 p.m.
Thur., Feb. 14*DENVER Dee Glen Smith Spectrum7:05 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 16*NEW MEXICO STATE Dee Glen Smith Spectrum7:05 p.m.
Fri./Sat., Feb. 22/23ESPNU BRACKETBUSTERS Dee Glen Smith Spectrum TBA
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Thur., Feb. 28*Louisiana Tech Ruston, La. TBA
Sat., Mar. 2*UT Arlington Arlington, Texas TBA
Thur., Mar. 7*TEXAS STATE Dee Glen Smith Spectrum7:05 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 9*UTSA Dee Glen Smith Spectrum7:05 p.m.
Tue.-Sat., Mar. 12-16WAC Tournament LasVegas, Nev.
Tues.-Sun., Mar. 19-24NCAA First, Second & Third RoundsTBA
* Denotes Western Athletic Conference game.
Home Games in BOLD AND ALL CAPS.
All times are Mountain time, tentative and subject to change.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.