Up to Speed with Aggie Basketball

16 12 2010

The Utah State basketball team is nine games into the 2010-2011 season and have managed to attain a record of 7-2.  A big core of players are returning from last year including preseason WAC player of the year Tai Wesley. Other key players returning include Pooh Williams, Brian Green, Nate Bendall, Tyler Newbold, and Brady Jardine.  New players on the team include highly praised Brockeith Pane and speedy James Walker, who both play the point guard position.

Tai Wesley has definitely proven that he was a worthy pick for WAC player of the year.  Wesley is averaging 14.7 points and 8 rebounds a game, both career highs.  Along with Wesley, Jardine and Green have stepped up their game as well.  Combined they are averaging over 20 points a game.  Jardine is just about averaging a double-double at 9 points and 9 rebounds.

The key loss from last season’s team was point guard Jared Quayle.  Quayle averaged 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists per game, very hard numbers to replicate especially the rebounding numbers from the point guard position.  The newcomers Pane and Walker are doing their best to fill the void by averaging a combined 10 points, 3 assists, and almost 6 rebounds per game.  The only void they seem to have trouble filling is Quayle leadership.

Like  mentioned before, the Aggies record is 7-2.  Those two losses? At currently ranked 15th Georgetown and 16th ranked BYU.  We all have murmured about the Aggies schedule, and not playing big time schools, and finally we got a game.  Unfortunately we didn’t compete  in the 68-51 loss to Georgetown, but it’s still going to go a long ways for a team who year in and year out need RPI and strength of schedule help.  Currently the Aggies are 28th in the RPI while BYU sits at number five and Georgetown is at number two.  It will be really interesting to watch how that all shapes out once the Aggies get into conference play with the WAC being pretty weak this year.

It should be once again, another great season for Utah State basketball.  One thing they need to fix is their field goal percentage which uncharacteristically has them ranked 106th in the country.  The Spectrum will be popping like always as the Aggies get ready to win another WAC title.

Written by: Matthew Flygare
HMHD team

Aggies welcome Gaels to the Spectrum

4 12 2009

After a big win against the Cougars on Wednesday night, the Aggies welcome the St. Mary’s Gaels to town.  The Gaels are a solid team from the WCC, which is quietly becoming a very good basketball conference.  The Gaels have one lose on the year a two point defeat at the hands of a very solid Vanderbilt team.  The Aggies are going to have to bring their “A” game in order for them to come out with their 38th straight home victory.

The Gaels are solid, but it does beg the question what’s a Gael? I really had no idea, but didn’t want to look foolish so I asked around.  I got a few responses that sounded reasonable, one person told me it was a type of bird, but they also asked not to be quoted.  Turns out a Gael is a Gaelic-speaking Celt in Ireland or Scotland or the Isle of Man, wow.  If you knew that congrats, I had no idea. This game should be a good one in front of another packed house at the Spectrum.  The Gaels are getting some votes and a win for the Aggies would garner some national attention, if it weren’t championship Saturday in college football.

Championship Saturday is going to be huge this weekend, both spots for the title game will be set this weekend with one spot going to the winner of Alabama and Florida.  Texas also can punch their ticket to the title tilt with a win against Nebraska.  It’s likely that Texas and Florida will meet one another in the title.  I think TCU deserves a shot at the national title and just might get that shot if Texas were to lose to Nebraska.  I am looking forward to the SEC championship game this year because I feel like there might be a Ian Johnson moment this weekend.  That moment I am predicting only happens if Florida wins though and Urban Meyer asks Tim Tebow for his hand in marriage.  Let’s just hope Mrs. Meyer is more understanding than Elin Woods.

Written by: Jesse Kunz
The halfmanhalfdog team

One Aggie Fan is Ready, Are You?

1 12 2009

As Utah State’s men basketball team gets ready to square off against instate rival BYU, I thought about not writing a preview from a writer’s perspective but a fans.  And not just a normal fan, but one of the most dedicated Aggie fans that Logan has to offer.  You can always count on Matt “fafner” Sonnenberg to not only be at the Utah State games, but to be in the exact same seat and lead the cheers.  Sonnenberg isn’t alone on the front row, his group is always there which includes Bart Bowen, Isaac Higham, Pat Tebbs, Chad Wilson, and Brayden Bunce.  If I was an opposing player I would hate them, the reason why I would hate them? Because they sit kitty corner away from the visitor bench, so close that when they yell, some of their spit just might hit you in the face. Sonnenberg, also is a cofounder of The Refraction, the unofficial gameday newsletter of the Spectrum.  I wanted to get a little bit more info out of Sonnenberg, however, so I asked him four simple questions.

I know that Faf, as most like to call him, and his friend tend to get to the games extremely early to get their front row seats, so I asked Faf, what time are you planning to head up for the BYU game? Sonnenburg replied “For the sake of revealing to much information that might lead to people getting into line before me, I can’t answer this question entirely, but I will say that it is earlier than I’ve ever gone to any other game. It will be very very early.”  A noble answer, but leaves the mind to wonder how early that really might be.

The next thing I wanted to know was which game he got more excited for, BYU or Utah. It was clear which one it was to Sonnenberg when he said “BYU. Utah has the balls to play here every other year and I’ve seldom struggled to get along with Utah fans. All in all, they’re a respectable program and a school. BYU I have no respect for. BYU pisses me off beyond measure. Dave Rose‘s whole refusal to play here was one of the weakest moves of all time.”  A weak move indeed, and I think the entire city of Logan gets more excited for BYU.

I wanted to know what the best thing about Aggie basketball was to Sonnenberg, he simply replied “The Spectrum, There’s no game day environment like it. When The Spectrum gets rocking at its best, there is no more fun place to be. You’ll never hear anything so loud in your entire life.”  The Spectrum will be rocking Wednesday night when the Cougars travel to town and I recommend at some point in anyone’s life to get to a game in Logan.

The students are definently a unique aspect to the games, with crazy cheers.  I asked Sonnenberg what are some of the Unique cheers that the Aggie fans do.  Sonnenberg wasn’t sure any were unique by saying “Tough call as to what to say is unique. Chances are with any one of them there could be another school somewhere that does the same thing” but later he said “The best chants at USU are the ones thought up on the spot of a player’s appearance or sub-par play. I think our ability at coming up with those chants is what really sets us apart from most.” I have heard these chants, and do raise a smile on my face frequently.

If you want to know more about The Refraction simply click here, but when BYU comes on Wednesday, the Spectrum and Sonnenberg  will be rocking. And when Utah State travels, Expect Sonnenberg and crew to follow.  At least one Aggie fan is ready for the game, question is, are you?

Written by: Matthew Flygare
halfmanhalfdog team

Utah State basketball

17 11 2009

While I went to check Sportscenter last night, I forgot that the college basketball marathon was starting. The marathon oddly enough was starting at ten and will be ending tonight around 11.  So college basketball will be on and live for 24 straight hours on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPN 360.  At any point of the day, you can watch live basketball.  The marathon features the number 1 ranked Kansas Jayhawks, and the number 2 ranked Michigan St. Spartans later tonight.  Last night, UCLA was upset was Cal State Fullerton, which is why I love college basketball, any team can win.  Here at HMHD, being from the northern Utah area, we are quite fond of a college basketball that has been winning games at a record pace the past decade, and for everyone else in the country, we would like to introduce you to the Utah State Aggie basketball team.

Last season, the Aggies put up a record of 27-4 throughout the preseason and conference season schedule, and spent 4 weeks in the top 25 rankings and was ranked as high as 17th.  Utah State is one of 3 teams to have at least 23 wins in each of the past ten seasons. The others are Kansas and Gonzaga, that’s pretty good company.  Utah State also went to their 7th straight postseason last year but fell short to a very good Marquette team 58-57 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.  Utah State’s final record was 30-5 which was 6th in the country, and the Aggies led the country in field goal percentage at 49.8.

This season, Utah State has received votes for the top 25 in the preseason polls for the second time in three years.  The Aggies have reloaded, getting junior transfer Nate Bendall to replace Gary Wilkinson.  Bendall and other Aggie transfer Brian Green, won a jr. college championship at Salt Lake Community College last season.  Utah State also snagged freshman guard Preston Medlin who should see ample playing time with his outside game.  All eyes however are on the lone senior, Jared Quayle.  This team can go as high as Quayle can fly them.  Last season, Quayle averaged 13 points, 6 rebounds, and about 4 assists per game, and came up big and lead the team down the stretch.  Quayle, another transfer needed a few games to get the feel for the division-1 game but after he put up 23 points at Southern Utah, he, and the team took off.  Look for Quayle, who was a preseason All-Wac guard, to have a big season for the Aggies.

Utah State (1-0) has many key games like playing at Utah tomorrow which is always a heated game BYU and Saint Mary’s travel to Logan to try and tame the Aggies in the Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum.  The Spectrum is one of the toughest places to play in all of college basketball, and actually gets in the way of scheduling teams because of their reluctance to play up in Logan.  If you haven’t seen Utah State play, or Utah State’s crowd, I highly recommend it.  Utah State will most likely end up in the postseason again, so you will get your chance sooner or later, at least for now we can all be happy that college basketball has finally tipped off.

Written by: Matthew Flygare
halfmanhalfdog team