LOGAN — The 2008-09 Utah State University men's basketball schedule, as announced Wednesday by head coach Stew Morrill, includes 31 regular-season games, 17 home games, five contests against instate opponents and at least seven games against foes who reached postseason play last year.

The Aggies' five instate games are the most since they went 5-0 against local competition during the 2006-07 season, and it's the first time USU will play five different instate teams in the same season.

Utah State plays BYU on Saturday, Dec. 6, at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City and plays host to Utah on Monday, Dec. 22.

Besides BYU and Utah, USU opponents who were in postseason play last year include UC Santa Barbara, Boise State and Nevada.

"We are excited about our 2008-09 schedule and hope our team understands the challenges it presents," said Morrill.

USU begins with exhibitions against Northwest Nazarene (Oct. 31) and Concordia (Nov. 8), then opens the regular season at home against Montana State-Northern (Nov. 14) and visits UCSB (Nov. 17) for its road opener.

The Aggies then have a three-game homestand — against Weber State (Nov. 24), Cal Poly (Nov. 29) and UC Irvine (Dec. 2) — before embarking on a four-game road swing. Besides the BYU game in Salt Lake City, USU also plays at Utah Valley (Dec. 13), makes a first-ever stop at Southern Utah (Dec. 17) and concludes at Idaho State (Dec. 20).

Utah State continues its nonconference schedule with four home games, beginning with the Utah date, followed by the Dec. 29-31 Duel in the Desert as the Aggies host Houston Baptist, Howard and Wyoming in the four-team round-robin played over three days.

The Aggies will defend their shared Western Athletic Conference regular-season title with the conference slate beginning Jan. 5 at home against Idaho and concluding in Logan on March 7 against San Jose State. The 2009 WAC Tournament will be played March 10-14 in Reno, Nev.