USU basketball: Butterfield and Clifford earn NABC Honors Court Accolades

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, July 17 2013 11:25 a.m. MDT

LOGAN – Utah State men's basketball players Spencer Butterfield and Ben Clifford were named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court, announced Wednesday. The Honors Court recognizes those collegiate basketball student-athletes who have excelled in academics during the 2012-13 season.

Butterfield, a senior guard/forward from Loomis, Calif. (Del Oro HS/Yuba CC), and Clifford, a junior forward from South Jordan, Utah (Bingham HS), made up half of the four players from the Mountain West Conference that were recognized, joining Todd Fletcher from Air Force and Dorian Green from Colorado State. The USU duo was also two of the 11 players from the state of Utah. One was from BYU, four each from Utah and Southern Utah, and 10 from Westminster. The NABC honored more than 700 student-athletes from 285 colleges and universities.

Butterfield has a 3.4 grade point average as a business administration major while Clifford has a 3.2 GPA majoring in finance.

Last season Butterfield earned second-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors and was also named to the league's all-newcomer team. He averaged 12.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game, making 49.8 percent from the field (120-of-241), netting 42.5 percent behind the arc (48-of-113) and 83.5 percent at the charity stripe (66-of-79). Butterfield led the WAC in free-throw percentage (.835) and also ranked 11th in the WAC in scoring (12.2). He was fourth in the conference in overall three-point field goal percentage (.425), in addition to being eighth in 3-pointers made (1.66). He ranked sixth in field goal percentage (.498), as well as ninth in rebounds (6.6) and 13th in the WAC overall in assists (2.66).

Butterfield posted seven double-doubles on the season, including a streak of five in a row, which tied for 10th in the USU record book for most consecutive double-doubles. His seventh double-double of the season came on March 7, 2013, in a win over Texas State, pulling down a career-high 20 rebounds and 10 points. The 20 rebounds was the most by an Aggie player since 1997 and were the most in the WAC during the season, as well as tied for the fifth-most in the NCAA.

Clifford was one of five Aggies to play in all 31 games last season. He averaged 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, and also ranked 12th in the WAC overall in blocks (0.68) and ninth in WAC only games (0.94). Clifford shot 47.8 percent from the field (54-of-113), netting 32.3 percent from three-point range (10-of-31), as well as a team-leading 83.6 percent at the free-throw line (51-of-61). He tied or set a new career-high of some sort in six of the last 13 games of the season.

The NABC Honors Court recognizes the talents and gifts that these men possess off the court and the hard work they exhibit in the classroom. In order to be named to the Honors Court, an athlete must meet a high standard of academic criteria. The qualifications are as follows: academically a junior or senior and a varsity player; cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher at the conclusion of the 2012-13 academic year; students must have matriculated at least one year at their current institution; member of an NCAA Division I, II, III or NAIA Institution.

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

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