As we know, the Mountain West is one of the best basketball leagues in the country. I believe if our team stays positive and gains confidence as the year goes along, we will have a chance to surprise and be better than expected. —Stew Morrill
Utah State's men's basketball head coach Stew Morrill announced the Aggies' 2014-15 non-conference and Mountain West schedule on Thursday, which includes 16 home games in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum as part of a 30-game slate.
USU plays nine teams that played in the postseason during the 2013-14 season. Four of those played in the NCAA Tournament in Weber State, BYU, New Mexico and San Diego State. Illinois State, South Dakota State, Wyoming and Fresno State played in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), while Utah Valley played in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
Featured home non-conference games include in-state rivals Weber State and BYU, as well as hosting Santa Clara. The Aggies have some key non-conference road matchups, traveling to USC, Mississippi State, Illinois State and UC Davis, as well as a Beehive State battle at Utah Valley.
"Our non-conference schedule has lots of challenges and should help our team mature and get ready for conference play," Morrill said.
USU will also have an 18-game Mountain West ledger, as the Aggies are in their second year in the conference, and Utah State hosts nine league games and plays nine road league games. The Aggies will have home-and-home games against Air Force, Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, New Mexico, San José State, UNLV and Wyoming, while only playing Colorado State and San Diego State once, playing at SDSU and hosting CSU.
"As we know, the Mountain West is one of the best basketball leagues in the country. I believe if our team stays positive and gains confidence as the year goes along, we will have a chance to surprise and be better than expected," Morrill said.
Utah State will also be hosting the three-day, six-game World Vision Classic on Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 18-20, welcoming Cal State Bakersfield, Idaho State and South Dakota State to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The Aggies start their ledger with a pair of exhibition games against Texas A&M-International in a Halloween matchup on Friday, Oct. 31, and Arkansas-Fort Smith on Friday, Nov. 7.
USU officially opens the 2014-15 season against in-state foe Weber State on Friday, Nov. 14. The Aggies are 40-26 all-time against the Wildcats, including 24-8 in Logan. It also marks the second-straight season USU has opened up against a Big Sky Conference opponent after taking on Idaho State last season. Additionally, it is the third time in the last three seasons that the Aggies and Wildcats have met in USU's season opener, also meeting in the 2009-10 and 2010-11 season tipoffs.
Utah State's first road game of the season takes the Aggies to Normal, Illinois, to take on Illinois State on Sunday, Nov. 16. USU is 3-3 all-time against ISU, including 1-3 at Normal, playing there for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
USU returns home to square off against Santa Clara on Wednesday, Nov. 19. The Aggies lead the overall series with the Broncos, 5-3, including 2-1 at Logan, meeting for the first time since 2011-12 overall and at Logan for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
Utah State plays at Mississippi State on Saturday, Nov. 22, returning to Starkville, Mississippi, for the first time since the 2011-12 season. The Aggies and Bulldogs are tied at 1-1 in the overall series.
After a trip to the South, Utah State then heads to the West Coast to tangle with UC Davis on Wednesday, Nov. 26, in an all-Aggie clash. USU and UCD are meeting for the first time since the 2012-13 season, and Utah State leads the series, 2-0.
USU hosts BYU on Tuesday, Dec. 2, welcoming the Cougars to the Spectrum for the first time since the 2011-12 season. BYU leads the all-time series, 138-92, but USU holds a 60-51 advantage in Logan.
The Aggies return to the Golden State on Sunday, Dec. 7, to take on the Trojans of USC. The Trojans have a slim 8-7 series lead, including 1-1 in known games played in Los Angeles. USU has won the last two meetings and three of the last four.
USU's final non-conference road game is on Saturday, Dec. 13, against in-state foe Utah Valley. The Aggies are 9-0 all-time against the Wolverines, including 4-0 in Orem.
Utah State will host the World Vision Classic on Dec. 18-20. The Aggies will take on Cal State Bakersfield on Thursday, Dec. 18, then Idaho State on Friday, Dec. 19, and South Dakota State on Saturday, Dec. 20. USU is 7-0 all-time against CSUB, including 3-0 at home. The Aggies are 36-13 overall against the Bengals of ISU, including 15-2 in home games. USU is also 4-0 all-time against South Dakota State, including 3-0 at home.
The Aggies wrap up non-conference action by hosting Wayland Baptist on Saturday, Dec. 27, in the first-ever meeting between the Aggies and Pioneers.
USU commences its second season in the Mountain West and closes out the 2014 portion of its schedule against former Western Athletic Conference foe San José State with a New Year's Eve home contest on Wednesday, Dec. 31. The Aggies lead the all-time series with the Spartans, 53-21.
Utah State opens the 2015 part of the ledger with two games on the road, first heading to Boise, Idaho, to tangle with Boise State on Saturday, Jan. 3. The Aggies hold a 29-9 all-time series advantage over the Broncos. USU then travels to Fresno, California, to face Fresno State on Wednesday, Jan. 7. The Aggies are 31-21 overall against the Bulldogs, facing off in Fresno for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
The Aggies then open the first of a pair of two-game conference homestands, hosting defending MW Tournament Champion New Mexico on Saturday, Jan. 10, and Air Force on Jan. 17. USU is 19-6 all-time against UNM, while the Aggies hold a 10-3 series advantage against the Falcons, hosting Air Force for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
Utah State then plays a pair of games in the Silver State, first at Reno, Nevada, against Nevada on Tuesday, Jan. 20, and then heading to Las Vegas to tangle with UNLV on Saturday, Jan. 24. USU is 32-16 against Nevada, while UNLV holds a 29-3 advantage in the series.
The Aggies return home to host border foe Wyoming on Wednesday, Jan. 28. The Cowboys have a 44-24 advantage over the Aggies. Utah State then wraps up the first half of league action at defending regular-season champion San Diego State. USU is 3-3 overall against SDSU.
After four home games during the first half of the conference slate, Utah State has five home league contests in the second half, opening with Boise State on Wednesday, Feb. 4. The Aggies then head to Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Saturday, Feb. 7, to face New Mexico, before returning home to host Nevada on Wednesday, Feb. 11. USU then plays at San José State on Wednesday, Feb. 18.
The Aggies host Fresno State and UNLV on Saturday, Feb. 21, and Tuesday, Feb. 24, respectively, in USU's second two-game homestand of the league schedule. Utah State travels to Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Saturday, Feb. 28, to tangle with Air Force, then returns to the High Plains on Tuesday, March 24, to play at Wyoming. Utah State then hosts Colorado State for the first and only time of the season in the Aggies' home and regular season finale.
The 2015 Reese's Mountain West Championships is Wednesday-Saturday, March 11-14, at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring 10 teams, with the exclusion of San José State.
Start times as well as televised games have yet to be determined and will be announced at a later date.
"I believe this is a high-character group of young men who will do everything possible to reach their potential," Morrill said. "Our staff is looking forward to coaching them in the upcoming season."
USU men's basketball season ticket renewals and new season tickets are now on sale. For more Aggie men's basketball ticket information, contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online through the USU Athletics website.