Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Where Has The Time Gone?

It seems like just yesterday that we were carrying the WAC Championship trophy through the Las Vegas airport on our way home from a successful tournament run. I can still feel the emotions of hearing our names called out in the NCAA tournament bracket and can still feel the frustrations of coming up short in that game. It all still feels so recent and yet here we are again, three weeks into school with the upcoming season just around the corner.
As anyone that has followed Aggie Basketball in the past few years would know, we lost a ton of leadership, talent and experience with last year’s graduating class. Losing, Tyler Newbold, Pooh Williams, Tai Wesley, Brian Green, Matt Formisano and Nate Bendall obviously leaves a huge hole needing to be filled in this year’s team. It’s been kind of funny to talk to people over the summer about the team becausemany act as if the Utah State Basketball program ended with last year’s seniors- like there isn’t even going to be a game played in the Spectrum this year. Well ladies and gentleman, there will be a team this year, and to be honest, I think we will surprise some people.
The coaching staff has done an awesome job over the summer in bringing in some great recruits. I dare say that I believe we will be one of the most athletic teams in Utah State’s recent past. We are taller, quicker and more explosive than we’ve been since I’ve been an Aggie. The question still to be answered is will we have as much mental toughness and heart as the past years team.
With school now rolling, the team has been in the weight room and gym for a couple hours each day. Last week we began our preseason conditioning program and boy was it tough. It’s amazing how quickly your body loses its “previous conditioning”. Along with conditioning, we’ve been lifting four days a week, having individual workouts twice a week and playing pickup ball 3-4 times a week. We’ve already come a long way as a team but still have a lot of learning to do. We currently only have four players that have ever played in a Division I basketball game. Luckily we have a staff that’s been very successful and knows what it takes to get a team ready to win basketball games. I have no doubt that by the time the season rolls around we will be ready to go. And as always, Coach Morrill will have us playing our best basketball come conference play.

--Brady Jardine

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Aggie Basketball Tradition

We finished this season with a disappointing loss to Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament. We prepared well and played extremely hard but we did not play extremely well. I am so sad to see my collegiate career come to an end along with many of my teammates who I love. I am so proud to be able to say that I played for Coach Morrill all four years. I got to be a part of the winningest senior class in the history of Utah State. The memories and lessons I have learned will stick with me forever. I am so grateful to the fans that have been so supportive!! Even though my career is over, Aggie Basketball will always be a part of me. I will miss being on the court when the Spectrum is rocking, but I will never forget how it feels. Even though many seniors graduate this year, Aggie Basketball will carry on the great tradition that has been built up over the years!!

--Tyler Newbold

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March Madness!!!

As the WAC Tournament week came upon us we were excited to finish out the season strong. We headed down to Las Vegas on Thursday night after most teams had already played. We were excited to finally get down and play against a San Jose State team that played extremely well during the tournament. They played us tough and luckily we played an excellent defensive game or else we would have lost. It was nice to get that win under our belt and we knew we would play better in the title game against a Boise State team which had played well as of late. The championship game was so much fun as we came out and played confidently!! The thrill of our students rushing the court was incredible. Winning the WAC by numerous games and completing the year by winning the tournament was the best way to do it our senior year. We celebrated all night with the amazing Aggie fans that packed the Orleans Arena. Making our tournament games feel like home games has been a trend recently for Aggie fans at the conference tournament. We are so appreciative of our fans that are so dedicated and travel with us!! Thank you!!

Winning the tournament means that we punched our ticket to the Big Dance. We had a party on the third floor of our athletic facility to watch where we would be headed. The excitement of waiting for our name to be called is so much fun. I have always dreamed of playing in the NCAA Tournament and this will be the third time I am able to play which has been a dream come true. We found where we are headed during the last bracket announced. We play Kansas State in Tucson on Thursday night. We are excited to play against a really great Big 12 team. We are going to prepare to win and show the country that the Utah State Aggies are for real. We are excited for the opportunity to make a wonderful season even better!!

--Tyler Newbold

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Championship Week

ESPN calls this week championship week. All the teams in Division I conferences get to battle it out during a one week tournament for a chance to make the Big Dance automatically. This week we get to go to Vegas. We are excited for the games to start so that we can see who we are going to play. The WAC finally decided to have a neutral site conference tournament which is going to be a blast. We are putting in the work this week to give us the best shot we can at winning the whole thing. This week is what college basketball is all about. A chance to earn a trip to play in the NCAA Tournament is at stake and we will be ready for the challenge. We are excited to leave this week and hope many people are able to come and cheer us on in the WAC Tournament. GO AGGIES!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Little More In The Coming Weeks!

This regular season has been very successful. If someone would have told me that we would be 28-3 and nationally ranked for much of the last few months of the season I would have been ecstatic. We completed a road sweep this last road trip to close out the regular season. Our defense has helped us to win close games. Winning at New Mexico State felt great!! It is always a great accomplishment to beat them in Las Cruces. They had not lost a WAC game this year at home and we were able to break their streak. We overwhelmed Louisiana Tech in the first 10 minutes to have a big lead that we would not surrender. We were so excited to win the WAC with a 15-1 record. Our fourth straight conference championship means a lot to me and my teammates. All the hard work we have put in this past year has paid off. It was weird playing my final regular season game as an Aggie. We have done great things this season, but we look forward to a little more in the coming weeks!!

--Tyler Newbold