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Today's word on journalism

February 17, 2009

Why I miss my hate mail:

"It's an odd thing to admit, but in a perverse sort of way, I actually miss the wretched river, the rancid flow of puerile, nasty, sickeningly homophobic email I used to receive on a regular basis from the ultra-right and the Christian right and the Mormon right and the Bush-impaired whenever I would post a friendly, pointed column full of tangy liberal attitude. . . . . Oh, I miss all the lovely and positive email too, which outpaced the nasty stuff by a huge margin. But the hate mail was very special indeed, great fodder for live readings, for the reaction of horrified disbelief of anyone who saw it, for the charming reminder of just how ugly and violent and grammatically challenged the human animal can be."

--Mark Morford, columnist, SFGate.com (2/13/09)

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Aggies continue pace with nation's highest field goal percentage

By Connor Jones

January 6, 2009 | The USU men's basketball team started off its campaign for the WAC championship with a win against the Idaho Vandals, 70-61.

Shooting 53.7 percent from the floor and 53.8 percent from beyond the arc, the Aggies' offense was too much for former USU assistant and first-year Vandal Coach Don Verlin.

"Don has been with me 15 years, and it's always tough to see someone go when they've been with you that long," Coach Stew Morrill said in a statement released by USU last year.

Verlin's team shot 44 percent from the floor and 31.3 from three-point range, far behind USU's marks.

The Aggies' high-percentage field-goal shooting isn't a new development -- as of Sunday, Utah State ranked first in the nation in field-goal shooting at 52.3 percent. Gary Wilkinson, senior forward, ranked 12th nationally in field-goal shooting at 62.6 percent.

Last season's final statistics for all of the NCAA placed Utah State ranked first in field-goal percentage with 51.4, first in free-throw percentage with 79.2, and ninth in three-point percentage with 40.1.

Utah State has had great stats and records for years, but has never been able to break out into the mainstream college basketball talk. That might be beginning to change, as in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll USU received one top 25 vote and is ranked 42nd in the nation.

Recently the seats around the Spectrum have been buzzing with talk, "Could this be the year for a first-round win in the NCAA Tournament, and maybe more?"

With the win Monday night the Aggies become 1-0 in the WAC. They also became the only WAC home team in the 2008-09 season to win in their conference opener.

After five straight home games, all of which were wins, Morrill and his team travel to Louisiana Tech for a Thursday evening WAC showdown on ESPNR at 6 p.m. Last season USU easily handled Louisiana Tech and won on both occasions they were matched up.

After the Louisiana Tech game, the Aggies travel to the Pan American Center to face New Mexico State. The last time New Mexico State hosted USU the Aggies had 17 turnovers and their defense allowed their only hundred-point score of the season in a 70-100 loss.

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