99 in 99: #41 Utah State Aggies

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Utah State basketball

It says something when a team from the wickety, wickety, wickety WAC does not win the conference tournament but still earns an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.  That is what Utah State accomplished last season and barring a serious upset, the Aggies should be dancing for a third straight year.

The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” ranks the 72 power conference college basketball teams and top 27 mid-majors.  Click here if you missed teams #42-#99.

By: David Kay


Utah State Aggies (1st, 14-2 in WAC, 27-8 overall)

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Nate Bendall (Sr)/Morgan Grim (Jr)
F: Tai Wesley (Sr)/Brady Jardine (Jr)/Matt Formisano (Sr)/Ben Clifford (Fr)
G/F: Pooh Williams (Sr)/Antonio Bumpus (Jr)
G: Tyler Newbold (Sr)/Preston Medlin (So)/James Walker (Fr)
PG: Brian Green (Sr)/Brockeith Pane (Jr)/Leon Cooper Jr. (Fr)

Gone: PG-Jared Quayle, -Modou Niang (transfer-Seattle Pacific), PG-Jaxon Myaer (transfer-MSU-Billings)

2010-2011 Outlook:

Four starters return from last season’s team that was second in the NCAA with a 41.9 three-point percentage.  Jared Quayle led the Aggies with 69 triples and has graduated but he will be replaced by the equally dangerous outside threat Brian Green who hit 53 three’s on 50% shooting in a reserve role last season.

He will be joined on the wing by Tyler Newbold who connected on 42.1% from deep and the team’s top defensive player, Pooh Williams.  Preston Medlin gives USU another deep threat off the bench.  JUCO transfers Antonio Bumpus and Brockeith Pane will be asked to provide some depth in their first year with the Aggies.

All-First Team WAC member Tai Wesley returns as the one of most versatile players in the conference.  At 6-9, Nate Bendall is the tallest player on the Aggies’ roster and is coming off a productive first season after transferring from a community college.  Utah transfer Morgan Grimm will add some depth up-front along with Brady Jardine who was a solid role player a year ago.

With Nevada losing Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson to the NBA, Fresno State suffering the same fate with Paul George, and Louisiana Tech without their top three scorers from last year; the WAC title figures to boil down between Utah State and New Mexico State.  But like the past two seasons, expect the Aggies to end up on the top of the standings and head to the tourney.

Tai Wesley Utah StatePlayer to Watch: Tai Wesley, F
Wesley defines the phrase “multi-talented.” The 6-7, 240 pounder led Utah State in points, rebounds, and blocked shots while finishing second in assists and steals.  He has improved his face-up game and is effective playing with his back to the basket which helps open up things on the perimeter for the Aggies deadly shooters.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/13 vs. Weber State
11/17 at BYU
11/24 vs. Utah
12/4 at Georgetown
2/19 vs. TBA (ESPN’s Bracket Busters)

Other 99 in 99’s:
#42 Maryland
#43 Richmond
#44 UNLV
#45 Seton Hall
#46 Wichita State
#47 Washington State
#48 St. Louis
#49 Old Dominion
#50 Minnesota
#51 New Mexico
#52 UConn
#53 Northwestern
#54 UCLA
#55 Southern Mississippi
#56 St. Mary’s
#57 Texas A&M
#58 Louisville
#59 Arizona State
#60 Northern Iowa
#61 Creighton
#62 Clemson
#63 Cincinnati
#64 Texas Tech
#65 Miami, FL
#66 Charlotte
#67 UTEP
#68 Ole Miss
#69 George Mason
#70 Colorado
#71 Weber State
#72 Alabama
#73 Bradley
#74 Central Florida
#75 Wake Forest
#76 Georgia Tech
#77 USC
#78 Oklahoma State
#79 Cal
#80 Oklahoma
#81 Virginia
#82 South Carolina
#83 Indiana
#84 Stanford
#85 Oregon
#86 Penn State
#87 South Florida
#88 Arkansas
#89 Boston College
#90 LSU
#91 Providence
#92 Michigan
#93 Oregon State
#94. Nebraska
#95. Auburn
#96. DePaul
#97. Iowa State
#98. Rutgers
#99. Iowa

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