2009-10 Opponent Preview: Utah State

As the 2009-10 season men’s basketball season approaches, BYUCougars.com continues to preview each of the Cougars’ opponents. Today’s preview—Utah State.

Game Preview

BYU and Utah State will play for the 226th time in the history of the series on Dec. 2 in Logan. The Cougars own a 135-90 advantage in the all-time series and have won the last two meetings between the teams. The Aggies had won four-straight prior to BYU’s two wins and have won the last four meetings in Logan. The Cougars last won in Logan in 2000.

BYU head coach Dave Rose is 2-1 against Utah State. Last season the teams played at Energy Solutions Arena and the Cougars won a hard-fought battle 68-63. Jonathan Tavernari led BYU with 24 points, nine rebounds and four steals in the win. Jimmer Fredette added 16 points and five boards.

Season Outlook

Head coach Stew Morrill, last season’s WAC Coach of the Year, enters his 12th season at Utah State, where he is 267-91 (.746). Last season Utah State was 30-5 overall and 14-2 for a first-place finish in the WAC. The Aggies lost 58-57 to Marquette in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Utah State was 17-0 at home in 2008-09.

The Aggies return eight letterwinners including four starters. Jared Quayle (13.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg), Tai Wesley (12.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg), Tyler Newbold (9.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg) and Pooh Williams (5.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg) were starters last season and are joined by four other returning lettermen, one redshirt and seven newcomers. Utah State will have to replace postman Gary Wilkinson, who led the team in scoring (17.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg) last season. Salt Lake Community College transfers Nate Bendall (forward) and Brian Green (point guard) should play prominent roles this season for the Aggies.

Player to Watch

http://www.utahstateaggies.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/quayle_jared00.html " target="_blank">Jared Quayle, G, Sr., 6-1, 180

Quayle returns for his senior season after earning second-team All-WAC, WAC All-Tournament and WAC All-Newcomer Team honors in 2008-09. He averaged 13.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists while shooting 46.5 percent from the field, 38.8 percent on threes and 76.4 percent from the free throw line. He averaged 24.4 points at Western Wyoming CC before transferring to Utah State and will likely become more of a scorer this season with the departure of Gary Wilkinson’s 17.1 points per game.

Other Key Players

Tai Wesley, F

Tyler Newbold, G

Pooh Williams, G

Nate Bendall, F

Game Implications

BYU won last season’s meeting at Energy Solutions Arena and the previous meeting at home in 2006. The Cougars have not won in Logan since 2000 and Utah State has won 34-straight at home, the second-longest home winning streak in the nation.

Aggies at a Glance

Head Coach Stew Morrill
At Utah State 12th year / 267-91
2008-09 Record 30-5 overall, 14-2 WAC
Home/Road/Neutral 17-0, 11-3, 2-2
Starters Ret/Lost 4/1
Lettermen Ret/Lost 8/2

2008-09 Team Stats

Points/Game 72.4
Points Allowed/Game 62.0
Field Goal % .496
Opponent FG % .419
Rebounds/Game 34.3
Assists/Game 16.2
Steals/Game 11.2
Blocks/Game 2.5

Returning Stat Leaders

Points/Game Jared Quayle, 13.1
Rebounds/Game Tai Wesley, 6.0
Assists/Game Jared Quayle, 3.7
Steals Jared Quayle, 50
Blocks Tai Wesley, 29
Three-pointers Tyler Newbold, 60