fans around the US think 'winner,' why don't they think
By Connor Jones
November 10, 2008 | Ask any die-hard college hoops
fan to name five college teams that have dominated in
the last decade and you'd probably hear names such as
Duke, Gonzaga, North Carolina, Kansas and Texas.
One team you probably wouldn't hear mentioned is Utah
State. Over the last nine years, Utah State is one of
three NCAA schools to have won at least 23 games in
each of those seasons; the other two are Gonzaga and
Since 2000, Utah State is ranked No. 5 in best winning
percentage in the NCAA with .753 percent.
So why aren't the Aggies (no not A&M) one of the first
teams to pop into any college basketball fan's head?
USU has a tradition of great basketball teams. From
E. Lowell Romney's 1934-35, 17-win team, to Ladell Anderson's
1963-64 team that went to the NCAA Tournament and advanced
to the second round, USU knows how to get it done on
the hard court. The only question is when will the Aggies
get respected for it?
The Utah State basketball team has averaged 24.7 wins
in the last nine seasons. In the 2007-08 season Utah
State was first in the NCAA in free-throw percentage
with 79.2, first in field-goal percentage with 51.4,
eighth in assists per game with 17.7, and ninth in three-point
percentage with 40.1.
Under coach Stew Morrill's reign, USU has been impressive
to say the least. Morrill has been the Aggie coach since
1999, where he's gone 238 wins and 86 losses, making
him the winningest coach in school history. Within conference
play Morrill's winning percentage is .738 with 124 wins
and 44 losses.
Since arriving at Utah State, Morrill has never had
a losing season and has led the Aggies to nine strait
postseason appearances. Morrill is in a select group
of only 33 active coaches with 400 or more career wins
at the Division 1 level. He is also one of only 13 active
coaches to have 13 20-win seasons.
The Aggies have three starters returning this season:
Tyler Newbold, Tai Wesley and Gary Wilkinson. They hope
to help USU return to the NCAA Tournament for the first
time since 2006.