Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The 2012-13 Utah State Aggies

The following is the current USU roster (alphabetized):

Marcel Davis 6-2 180 Guard FR American Fork, Utah/American Fork

Ben Clifford 6-7 220 Forward SO    South Jordan, Utah/Bingham

* Quinn Taylor 6-7 185 Guard/Forward FR Houston, Texas/Langham Creek

Matt Lopez 6-11 245 Center SO Erial, N.J./Washington Township/LaSalle

Jarred Shaw 6-10 235 Forward/Center JR Dallas, Texas/Carter/Oklahoma State

Danny Berger 6-6 205 Guard/Forward JR Medford, Ore./North Medford/Chemeketa (Ore.) CC

Preston Medlin 6-4 175 Guard JR Carrollton, Texas/Hebron

* Marvin Jean 6-4 190 Forward JR Harriman, N.Y./Mt. Zion (NC) Christian Academy/Sullivan CC

TeNale Roland 6-1 170 Guard JR Louisville, Ky./New Albany (Ind.)/Rend Lake College

Spencer Butterfield 6-3 205 Guard/Forward JR Loomis, Calif./Del Oro/Yuba CC

Riley Bradshaw 6-2 180 Guard FR Corvallis, Mont./Corvallis

Jordan Stone 6-10 270 Center SO    Smithfield, Utah/Sky View

** Sean Harris 6-7 220 Forward JR Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin/Yuba CC

Quincy Bair 6-5 180 Guard/Forward FR American Fork, Utah/American Fork

Kyisean Reed 6-6 215 Forward SR    Palmdale, Calif./Highland/Antelope Valley (Calif.) JC

* denotes walk-on

** Harris has been declared out this season due to injury


Utah State shot 49% overall in conference play last season (first place), 37% in trey attempts (second place), and held opponents to 42% overall shooting (second place), 32% in long distance defending (second place).

Those numbers are going to be bettered in the 2012-13 go-around.

For many reasons.

Because Jarred Shaw, Jordan Stone and Matt Lopez will man the middle, an upgrade over the duo of Morgan Grim, despite his solid numbers last season, and Stone as a freshman.

Lopez probably has the best offensive potential of the trio at the moment, with Shaw leading as a defender. None are well-rounded at this point but a bevy of shooters at other positions on the team is going to open up put back and close-in opportunities for Stew Morrill's bigs.

Power forward will be the most interesting position as Kyisean Reed returns. Sean Harris was supposed to the backup here but an injury has sidelined him for the season. Again, the need to protect against the perimeter shooters on the team is going to open up more spectacular opportunities for Reed but the question of his overall consistency remains unanswered as he enter his senior year.

This position is the biggest concern for Stew Morrill as he needs point and rebound production, especially the latter as the Aggies finished just +0.4 in rebounding last season. USU won't be big so it's likely going to have to be a team effort on the boards.

Returnee Danny Berger, JC newcomer Marvin Jean and fellow community college transfer Spencer Butterfield are the leaders on the wing. Berger struggled with consistency as a frosh -- not unexpected coming off a mission -- but enjoyed some solid shooting streaks. Between Jean and Butterfield, hard-nosed play will be on display, alongside outside shooting and dribble-drive efforts.

Preston Medlin owns the two, period. Look for him to be the leading Aggie scorer and assist man.

It's between JUCO TeNale Roland and frosh Marcel Davis at the point. Both will play but the sophomore Roland has more experience, a very solid résumé and the likelihood of offering greater consistency from the get-go.

Where freshman Riley Bradshaw fits in 2012-13 is anyone's guess at the moment.

In summary, the USU wing and guard positions offer Morrill multiple options and the going with the hot hand. That's not necessarily so at power forward and what each center will produce each night remains to be seen. The Aggies have question marks upfront but also quality talents to turn to in addressing such.

It will be fascinating to see at what level this team performs:

* dominating the WAC?
* good enough?
* up-and-down?


The expected Aggie starting five:

* Jarred Shaw
* Kyisean Reed
* Spencer Butterfield
* Preston Medlin
* TeNale Roland

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