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




Turbin Needs to be a Household Name

14 12 2009

Most people in the country aren’t familiar with Utah State football, or Utah State in general. The Utah State Aggies, for those who don’t know, play in the WAC along with Boise State, Nevada, and Fresno State.  The Aggies have a new coach this year, Gary Anderson.  Anderson was previously at Utah as their defensive coordinator.  With Utah State turning their program around, we want to get awareness out about one particular player, Robert Turbin. Turbin didn’t get many offers from schools to play, but Utah State gathered him up, and found a gem.

It hasn’t been since Emmett White in 2001 that Utah State has produced a 1,000 yard rusher in a season.  White had consecutive years in 2000 and 2001, rushing for over 1,300 each year.  Utah State hadn’t even seen a career 1,500 yard rushers since White as well.  Turbin has finally broken those streaks this past season accumulating 1,296 yards on the ground, and pushing his career total to 1,798.

Good news for Aggie fans, Turbin is only a sophomore, and with his size, people everywhere should get familiar with him because he will be playing on Sundays.  This past season, Turbin put in seven games of over 100 yards rushing, including a 184 and a 190 yard game. Turbin also collected 418 yards receiving and 5 touchdowns to go along with his 13 rushing Tds.

Emmett White holds the all time record for most yards by an Aggie with 2,791, and next year, we should have a new leader.  Turbin earned second team All-Wac this year, and will continue to receive recognition.  We are going to make it a point of emphasis to follow Turbin’s career, because up here at Utah State, we have a very special player who most people don’t know about.

Written by: Matthew Flyare
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USU looking at changes to student seating

9 12 2009

This past week Utah State squared off against in state rival BYU the stands were packed with students, some of which camped out overnight for their seats.  The game was so full in fact that students who didn’t come early were held out of the game.  It seems that one student who was locked out of the game because he didn’t get there early enough is upset.  Sophomore Kevin Moultrie wrote a letter because he didn’t get to the game early enough to grab a seat for the game.  Moultrie said, that he and many other students weren’t allowed to support their school and he also said he was,  “one of the masses of people turned away from the game, having been in Draper that afternoon to support a dear friend who was swearing in to the Army National Guard.”  Now because of Kevin’s complaint, the University is rethinking the way student seating is done.

USU is talking about a new plan for distributing tickets that would be similar to the way things were handled for the game between USU and BYU at the Energy Solutions Arena last year.  They had students come to the ticket office a few days prior to the game and show their student identification card in exchange for a free game ticket.  Their plan is to make these tickets general admission and limit them to 4000 students and that way you’d be guaranteed a spot at the game even if you aren’t dedicated enough to come early to the games.  If this policy were put into place if you want a good seat you’d have to come just as early as before, but you would get to wait in two lines now instead of one.

The issues of people cutting in line and pushing and running for the good seats would still be there so this policy would really only help out Kevin Moultrie and people of his ilk.  If the University wants to make to rid themselves of messes at the door like the one that happened at the BYU game the only real solution is to give out hard tickets with numbered seating for the students and have students camp out for tickets a few days before the game.  If you ask me they should just leave things the way they are now.

This last part is for you Kevin Moultrie I’m glad that you supported your friend being sworn into the National Guard, good for you, but you chose that over the game so quit complaining.  If you want a seat just show up earlier.  I’m sure some of the students that got good seats chose to be standing out in the cold hours before the game, signs in hand, and they chose it over school or work and I say to these students, good choice.

Written by: Jesse Kunz
The halfmanhalfdog 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




Make that 37

2 12 2009

USU vs. BYU

It’s finally here, tonight Utah State goes up against instate rival BYU in the most anticipated game of the year for Utah State fans.  After a one year hiatus and a game on a neutral floor last year Utah State and BYU square off in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum for the 226 meeting between the two teams.  Last year the Aggies fell to the Cougars at Energy Solutions Arena in a matchup that was criticized by Utah State fans.  Both teams claim the other side was at fault, but everybody knows why BYU didn’t want to come to Logan.  They were scared of the Spectrum.  Can you blame them though?

In the Spectrum it gets a little crazy to say the least.  Fans are on their feet the entire game yelling and chanting.  Not only are they up for every play, but Aggie fans are smart and are all over opposing players for every mistake they make and look out if you throw up an air ball for the rest of the night, every time you touch the ball you’re gonna hear the crowd chanting “Air ball!  Air ball!”  The crowd is rough enough and one of the loudest in America, but don’t forget that the team isn’t too shabby either. The last 11 years Utah State has compiled a record of 255-80, only Duke, Kansas and Gonzaga are better over that span.

Utah State has a 36 game winning streak in the Spectrum and it’ll be 37 in a row after a win tonight.  The streak dates back to the 2007-2008 season and is the second longest home winning streak in the country behind Kansas who has won 44 in a row.  Will the Aggies make it 37, yes they will.  This year’s team hasn’t gotten off to the usual hot start, but I wouldn’t pick against the Aggies in this one.  Junior guard Pooh Williams recently returned from injury and looks to be getting into a rhythm scoring 17 points last time out along with Freshmen Preston Medlin who also scored 17 last time out.

The Aggies will need a big game from Jared Quayle and Tai Wesley, Wesley leads the team in scoring while Quayle is team’s second leading scorer and oddly leads the team in rebounding averaging 8 rebounds per game.  BYU rolls into the Spectrum having won its first five games of this young college basketball season.  Then again who have they really played?  Nobody in particular, but judging by last year’s matchup the Aggies will need to contain Jonathan Tavernari and Jimmer Fredette, Tavernari had 24 points and 9 rebounds and Fredette dropped in 16 last year when the two teams met.

The Aggies haven’t lost to the Cougars at home in nearly ten years and tonight shouldn’t be any different.  A win tonight would really get USU rolling before WAC play starts up.  You know both teams want this one bad and the fans will be as loud as ever.  The game has been sold out for months now and students have been camping out all week to get a front row seat to what should be a great game.  So if you can get a seat wear your Aggie apparel and be loud, it’ll be a good one.  Just make sure to not be too ruthless tonight, stay classy in case Max Hall and his family come to the game.

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




How good is Boise?

23 11 2009

The first ever ESPN game at Romney Stadium didn’t go so well for the Utah State Aggies.  Utah State, now 3-8 was matched up against the undefeated and 6th ranked Boise State Broncos.  Utah State held Boise early and even had the game tied at 14-14 in the second quarter, but quickly after the game was tied, the Broncos scored, recovered a fumble, and scored their second again in just 43 seconds, and the game from that point on, was out of hand.  Boise State ended up scoring four touchdowns in the second quarter and held a 35-14 lead at halftime.  Utah State was only able to score once in the second half and the final score was 52-21.  Boise State racked up 572 yards of total offense including two 100 yard rushers.  Doug Martin rushed for 121 yards and four touchdowns while Jeremy Avery rushed for 116 and two scores.

How good is Boise though?  While I watched the game from the sidelines, I had a perfect angle to see for myself.  For the first quarter and a half, I wasn’t all too impressed.  For the second half of the game, the true Broncos came out and Boise looked fast, and unbeatable. It never helps when Boise State takes care of the ball and commits no turnovers.  The only bad I saw was that Boise was fooled on two fake punts and was called for 9 penalties, but other than that, Boise looked like the 6th best team in the country and should get the chance to play in a BCS game again.

It was a good chance for Utah State to get their school and campus on national television, unfortunately they ran into the Broncos and lost big.  Boise State is as good as their ranking, and in the long run might actually help out Utah State by getting more money from a BCS game.  Up close, and on television, the Broncos are legit and I want to watch them in a BCS game again.

Written by: Matthew Flygare
halfmanhalfdog team