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Utah State men's basketball adds a pair of transfers

By Zach Fisher

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, June 26 2014 9:32 p.m. MDT

USU coach Stew Morrill as Utah State University defeats Colorado State University 73-69 in the first round of the Mountain West Conference Men's basketball tournament Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Las Vegas.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

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Utah State's men's basketball coach Stew Morrill announced that Grayson Moore and Lew Evans have transferred to USU.

Moore, a 6-foot-7 wing, comes to the Aggies from Northwest Nazarene University and has one year of eligibility remaining. He is the brother of sophomore forward Jalen Moore and son of USU Hall of Fame basketball player Jimmy Moore.

Evans, a 6-8 forward, comes to USU from Tulsa and has two years of eligibility for the Aggies.

"It is certainly a positive to be adding two Utah natives to our program," Morrill said. "Grayson and Lew are both high character kids that will add maturity and experience to our roster."

A native of Logan, Utah, Moore started in 21 games last season at Northwest Nazarene, earning honorable mention all-conference honors, averaging 10.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals per game, as well as 30.8 minutes per game. Moore shot 39.3 percent (75-of-191) from the field, including 35.8 percent (43-of-120) from three-point range, along with 76.7 percent (33-of-43) at the free-throw line. He led the Crusaders in scoring in three games, including a career-high 25 points. Moore led NNU in rebounding in 10 games, highlighted by a career-best 14 boards. Off the court, Moore earned academic all-conference honors.

"Grayson is very active and athletic," Morrill said. "He has improved by leaps and bounds every year during his career. He can play either forward position and will continue to raise his game, so as to be able to play at the Mountain West level."

In 2012-13, Moore played in 19 games, making 11 starts, and averaged 7.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 0.7 steals per game. Moore played his freshman season at Sheridan College, where he averaged three points, two rebounds and one block per game in seeing action in 15 games.

Moore averaged 15 points, five rebounds and five assists per game during his senior season at Sky View High School in Smithfield, Utah. He earned all-region accolades as well as second-team all-state honors after helping the Bobcats to a 15-7 overall record and the 2011 4A title for Region 5. In addition to being teammates with his brother, Jalen, Moore was also teammates with current USU football player Jordan Nielsen. Off the court, Moore was a member of the Sky View National Honor Society. He is the son of Jimmy and Debra Moore. Jimmy Moore played basketball at USU from 1972-75, is in the USU Hall of Fame and still ranks 24th all-time in school history with 1,164 career points and No. 15 all-time in rebounds with 652. Jimmy Moore is currently the assistant athletics director for special projects for Utah State Athletics. Moore intends on majoring in exercise science at USU.

A native of Salt Lake City, Evans played in 34 games, making 22 starts, last season at Tulsa, helping the Golden Hurricane to a 21-13 record, including a 13-3 Conference USA mark, as well as winning the C-USA title and advancing to the NCAA Tournament, where they lost to UCLA in the second round. Evans averaged 5.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 0.7 steals, while playing 20.6 minutes per game. He shot 34.4 percent (63-of-183) from the field, including 25.9 percent (29-of-112) from three-point range, along with 58.1 percent (25-of-43) at the free-throw line. He led Tulsa in rebounding in three games, highlighted by a season-high 11 boards in two different games, for his two double-digit rebounding games, along with netting double figure points in two games, including a season-high 14. He netted three 3-pointers in a game on three separate occasions, as well as posting single game season-highs of three assists, two blocks and two steals.

"Lew is a big that gives us skill and physicality, which are attributes that are always needed. He is an excellent shooter, a solid defender, and his upside is exciting," Morrill said.

Evans played his freshman season at Casper College, where he played in 30 games, averaging 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one steal per game. He shot 43 percent from the field and made 85 percent of his free throws in helping the Thunderbirds to the Region 9 regular season championship.

Evans played one season at New Hampton Prep in New Hampton, New Hampshire, where he averaged 10 points and six rebounds for the Huskies. He was a four-year letterwinner at Highland High School in Salt Lake City, where he earned first-team Utah Class 4A all-State accolades after leading the Rams to the 2011 Utah Class 4A State Championship, after posting 15 points and nine rebounds per game. As a junior, Evans earned second-team all-state honors after averaging 10 points and six rebounds, and helping Highland to a third-place finish in the state playoffs. Evans was an honorable mention all-state and third-team all-region honoree as a sophomore, after averaging seven points and five rebounds. Evans was also a three-year letterwinner and a two-year starter on Highland's baseball team.

Evans is the oldest child of four children of Matt and Dayna Evans. He intends on majoring in business with a minor in management at USU.

Utah State ended the 2013-14 season with an 18-14 overall and a 7-11 Mountain West record in USU's first season in the league. The seven conference wins were the most of any of the five newest teams to the league in their first season.

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