LOGAN – Utah State men's basketball head coach Stew Morrill announced the Aggies' 2013-14 non-conference schedule Thursday. The Aggies will host nine of their first 12 games of the season in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Utah State is entering its first season in the Mountain West after eight seasons in the Western Athletic Conference. While the MW schedule is not expected to be released until mid-to-late August, the Aggies' non-conference portion of the schedule features 12 games in addition to two home exhibition contests.
"Our non-conference schedule will challenge us and prepare us for our first year of competition in the Mountain West," Morrill said.
Feature home games on the ledger include opening against PAC-12 opponent USC on Friday, Nov. 8, along with Southeastern Conference opponent Mississippi State on Saturday, Nov. 23.
"By opening at home with USC from the PAC-12, we will immediately find out where we are at. We also have SEC member Mississippi State at home which makes for a rare occasion to have two teams from BCS conferences coming to Logan," Morrill said.
It will be the first time that USC has visited Logan since the 1961-62 season, when the Trojans topped the Aggies, 74-72. While the last current PAC-12 team to play in the Spectrum was Utah in 2010, the Utes were not in the PAC-12 at the time. The last PAC-12 team to face the Aggies in Logan was Washington on Dec. 17, 1977. USU is 73-54 at home against current PAC-12 teams, with a 60-51 home record against Utah and a 13-3 record against the other league members. Utah State is 6-8 all-time against USC, last playing on Nov. 24, 1999, in a tournament in Hawaii.
Mississippi State will be the first SEC opponent to visit Logan since Arkansas did on Dec. 27, 1971, won by USU in overtime, 95-94. MSU will only be the third SEC team to play at USU, as LSU played in Logan on Dec. 30, 1970, also won by the Aggies, 97-81, for USU's 2-0 home mark against SEC foes. Utah State is 0-1 against the Bulldogs of MSU, losing on the road, 66-64, on Dec. 31, 2011.
Utah State will also face four of the other five Division I teams in the state of Utah, taking on in-state rival Brigham Young University at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 30, as well as hosting in-state foes Southern Utah on Tuesday, Nov. 12, and Utah Valley on Saturday, Dec. 14, while playing at fellow Beehive State opponent Weber State on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
"The remainder of the schedule features the always intense in-state games with BYU in Salt Lake City, Weber State on the road, and SUU and UVU at home," Morrill said. "In addition, we have games against former Big West rivals Pacific and Santa Barbara, as well as our pre-Christmas Tournament."
"All in all, we should find out a lot about our team in the non-conference and head into conference play well aware of the quality of the Mountain West. We will be excited to try and prove we belong in our first year as a member," Morrill said.
|USU basketball schedule as of 7/18/2013|
|10/25/13||vs. Central Methodist (Ex.)||Logan, Utah||7 p.m. MT|
|11/01/13||vs. Adams State (Ex.)||Logan, Utah||7 p.m. MT|
|11/08/13||vs. USC||Logan, Utah||7 p.m. MT|
|11/12/13||vs. Southern Utah||Logan, Utah||7 p.m. MT|
|11/16/13||at UC Santa Barbara||Santa Barbara, Calif.||TBA|
|11/23/13||vs. Mississippi State||Logan, Utah||7 p.m. MT|
|11/26/13||at Weber State||Ogden, Utah||TBA|
|11/30/13||vs. BYU||Salt Lake City, Utah||7 p.m. MT|
|12/07/13||vs. Pacific||Logan, Utah||7 p.m. MT|
|12/14/13||vs. Utah Valley||Logan, Utah||7 p.m. MT|
|12/20/13||vs. UC Santa Barbara||Logan, Utah||8 p.m. MT|
|12/21/13||vs. Troy||Logan, Utah||8 p.m. MT|
|12/28/13||vs. San Diego Christian||Logan, Utah||7 p.m. MT|