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USU basketball: Aggies finish season third in nation in rebounding margin

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, April 10 2013 12:46 p.m. MDT

Utah State men’s basketball ranked third in the nation in rebounding margin as part of ranking in the top 50 in three categories of the final NCAA Division I statistics, released this week by the NCAA following the completion of the season Monday.

USU’s +9.1 rebounding margin ranked the team third in the NCAA and was also tops in the Western Athletic Conference. The Aggies’ rebounding margin was helped by them out-rebounding each of their last 15 opponents, as well as 27 times overall. On the year, USU was 18-9 when out-rebounding its opponent.

The Aggies were also 24th in the country in field goal percentage (.469). Utah State also ended 49th in assists per game (14.7), 63rd in won-lost percentage (.677) and 75th in the nation in assists-turnover ratio (1.12).

Individually, junior center Jarred Shaw was ranked 50th in field goal percentage (.539), 71st in rebounds per game (8.4) and 81st in double-doubles (9.0).

In addition to rebounding margin, the Aggies were also tops in the WAC statistics in rebounding defense, holding their opponents to 28.4 rebounds per game.

USU was also second in the league in free throw percentage (.723) and field goal percentage (.469), as well as in assists (14.68) and assist-turnover ratio (1.11). The Aggies ranked third in scoring (68.8), scoring margin (+5.3) and three-point field goal percentage (.356). The Aggies were also fourth in blocks (4.03), while ranking fifth in scoring defense (63.6), field goal percentage defense (.412) and rebounds (37.5). USU also was seventh in three-point field goal percentage defense (.337) and ninth in steals (4.84).

In WAC only games, USU ended league play ranked first in rebounding margin (+8.5) and rebounding defense (28.4), while ranking second in scoring defense (62.2), rebounds (37.6) and free throw percentage (.739). The Aggies were also third in assists (13.22) and assist-turnover ratio (1.02), while ranking fourth in scoring margin (+4.2), field goal percentage (.446), three-point field goal percentage (.347) and blocks (3.83). USU was also fifth in three-point field goal percentage defense (.339), sixth in scoring (66.4) and field goal percentage defense (.413), and ninth in steals (4.50).

Individually, junior guard/forward Spencer Butterfield led the WAC in free throw percentage both overall (.835) and league only games (.837). Butterfield ranked 11th in the WAC in scoring overall (12.2), while ranking ninth in league games (13.3). He also was fourth in the conference in overall three-point field goal percentage (.425), while ranking sixth in conference games (.408). He was also eighth in overall 3-pointers made (1.66) and 10th in WAC only games (1.71). Butterfield ranked sixth in field goal percentage overall (.498) and ninth in league games (.497), as well as ninth in rebounds overall (6.6) and sixth in league contests (7.6). He stood 13th in the WAC overall in assists (2.66) and 10th in WAC only (3.18). Finally, he was eighth in assist-turnover ratio in WAC only games (1.69), while ranking ninth in league only games for minutes played (32.53).

Shaw was fourth in overall field goal percentage (.539) and sixth in conference only games (.528). He also was sixth in overall scoring (14.2) and seventh in league games (14.3). He also ranked third in the league in rebounding overall (8.4) and third in conference games (8.1), including ranking second in defensive rebounds both overall (6.19) and WAC only games (6.00). Additionally, Shaw was ninth in overall blocks (0.97) and 11th in conference games (0.83).

Freshman guard Marcel Davis was sixth in the WAC in assist-turnover ratio overall (1.51) and 11th in league only (1.48). He also was seventh in overall assists (3.32) and fifth in league games (3.8).

Sophomore forward Ben Clifford ranked ninth in WAC only games in blocks per game (0.94) and 12th in all games in blocks (0.68), while junior guard/forward Marvin Jean was tied for 15th in league games for blocks (0.61). Jean was also 14th in the conference for overall three-point field goal percentage (.337).

Junior guard TeNale Roland was ninth in overall three-point field goal percentage (.364) and 15th in WAC only games (.364).

Utah State finished the year with a 21-10 overall record and an 11-7 league ledger in its eighth and final season in the Western Athletic Conference. USU is one of just five teams in the country to win at least 21 games in each of the past 14 seasons.

Butterfield and Shaw earned second-team all-WAC honors and were also named to the WAC's all-newcomer team. USU had only one senior this year in forward Kyisean Reed, who missed the last half of the season with an injury — one of four players who missed part or all of this season with an injury, joined by junior forward Sean Harris (entire season with knee injury), junior forward Danny Berger (missed 26 games) and junior guard Preston Medlin (missed 15 games).

USU will join the Mountain West Conference officially on July 1, 2013. Utah State won 48 of its last 62 WAC games (.770) and was 74-22 (.768) against teams from the WAC during the last six seasons. The Aggies posted a 94-34 (.732) regular-season WAC record in their eight years in the league. Utah State leaves the league with four WAC regular-season championships in the last six years. The Aggies shared the 2008 title with Boise State, Nevada and New Mexico State, as all four teams had 12-4 league records, before winning the 2009 and 2010 WAC titles with identical 14-2 conference records, and the 2011 WAC Championship after going 15-1.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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