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LOGAN, Utah -- Utah State University's head men's basketball coach Stew Morrill announced Thursday the upcoming 2007-08 schedule as the Aggies will play a total of 32 games during the regular season, including a record-tying 17 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, a venue where it has posted a 125-12 (.912) record during the last nine years.
Of its 32 regular season games, four will be against in-state opponents and at least 10 will be against postseason teams from a year ago. NCAA Tournament teams from 2007 on USU's schedule include Nevada, New Mexico State, Oral Roberts, Vanderbilt and Weber State, while Austin Peay, Bradley and Fresno State all participated in last years National Invitation Tournament.
Utah State will also play in two tournaments during the season as it will participate in the third annual South Padre Island Invitational in South Padre, Texas during the Thanksgiving weekend and host the 13th annual Gossner Foods Holiday Classic the weekend before Christmas.
"This schedule has a nice mix of traditional games to go along with some new challenges," said USU head coach Stew Morrill. "In the non-conference we have the always competitive in-state games, a renewal of some Big West rivalries, the return of the Gossner Foods Holiday Classic and the tough South Padre Island event that should all help prepare us for WAC play."
After playing exhibition games against EA Sports and Laval University on Oct. 31 and Nov. 3, Utah State will begin the year with back-to-back in-state contests as it hosts Southern Utah on Friday, Nov. 9 and travels to Weber State on Saturday, Nov. 10. Following a home game on Monday, Nov. 12 against a team yet to be determined, which is designated as a South Padre Island Invitational preliminary game, Utah State will renew a pair of Big West rivalries with games at Cal Poly on Nov. 15 and at UC Irvine on Nov. 17.
Following its two-game trip to California, Utah State will return home and host Austin Peay in another preliminary round game of the South Padre Island Invitational on Tuesday, Nov. 20 before traveling to Texas to face Vanderbilt on Friday, Nov. 23 at the South Padre Convention Center. Following its game against the Commodores, who advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2007 NCAA Tournament, USU will play either Bradley or Iowa on Saturday, Nov. 24 in the final day of competition at the South Padre Island Invitational.
After playing eight games in 16 days in November, Utah State will start the month of December with a home game against Santa Clara on Saturday, Dec. 1, followed by a trip to Salt Lake City to play the University of Utah on Wednesday, Dec. 5. During the last seven years, Utah State has an impressive 18-6 (.750) record against in-state schools.
Utah State will play its final non-conference road game of the season on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Cal State Bakersfield before returning home to host Prairie View A&M on Saturday, Dec. 15 and Oral Roberts on Saturday, Dec. 29. USU will also host Furman, Northern Arizona and Utah Valley State in the Gossner Foods Classic on December 20-21, with Furman and NAU playing the first game on Thursday night, followed by the Aggies facing Utah Valley State.
For the third straight year, Utah State will participate in the annual ESPN BracketBusters, hosting an opponent to be determined on Saturday, Feb. 23. In its previoius two BracketBuster games, USU recorded wins against Northwestern State in 2006 and at Oral Roberts in 2007.
One team not on Utah State's preseason schedule is in-state rival Brigham Young. Despite not playing each other during the 2007-08 season, the two teams have signed a three-year contract to start during the 2008-09 season with the first game to be played at Energy Solutions Arena, followed by a game in Logan the second year and a game in Provo the third year.
Utah State will open Western Athletic Conference play at home against Hawai'i on Thursday, Jan. 3 and will conclude league play on Saturday, Mar. 8 at Idaho, while the 2007 WAC Tournament will once again be held in Las Cruces, N.M., from Mar. 11-15. Note-able home games during league play includes matchups with defending WAC Tournament Champion New Mexico State on Saturday, Jan. 12 and defending WAC regular season champion Nevada on Saturday, Feb. 2. USU's final home game of the regular season will be on Monday, Mar. 3 against Fresno State.
"Our third year in the WAC will be as exciting, if not more so, than the first two," Morrill said. "When you are in one of the top-10 conferences in the country everyone knows it is a battle and wins are hard earned."
Utah State returns three starters and four lettermen from last year's 23-12 team that advanced to its eighth straight postseason as it played at Michigan in the National Invitation Tournament. Among those returning for USU is senior All-American Jaycee Carroll who led the WAC and finished 10th in the nation in scoring as a junior with 21.3 points per game. During the last eight years, USU is one of just four teams in the nation to win at least 23 games in each of those seasons along with Gonzaga, Kansas and Syracuse.
Utah State Men¹s Basketball 2007-08 Tentative Schedule (as of July 19, 2007)
Date Opponent Time Wed., Oct. 31 EA SPORTS (Ex.) 7:05 p.m. Sat., Nov. 3 LAVAL UNIVERSITY (Ex.) 7:05 p.m. Fri., Nov. 9 SOUTHERN UTAH 7:05 p.m. Sat., Nov. 10 at Weber State 7:05 p.m. Mon., Nov. 12 ^TBA, South Padre Island Invitational 7:05 p.m. Thur., Nov. 15 at Cal Poly 8:05 p.m. Sat., Nov. 17 at UC Irvine 8:05 p.m. Tues., Nov. 20 ^AUSTIN PEAY 7:05 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Nov. 23-24 at South Padre Island Invitational Fri., Nov. 23 vs. Vanderbilt TBA Sat., Nov. 24 vs. Bradley/Iowa TBA
Sat., Dec. 1 SANTA CLARA 7:05 p.m. Wed., Dec. 5 at Utah 7:05 p.m. Sat., Dec. 8 at CS Bakersfield 8:05 p.m. Sat., Dec. 15 PRAIRIE VIEW A&M 7:05 p.m. Thur.-Fri., Dec. 20-21 GOSSNER FOODS CLASSIC Thur., Dec. 20 Furman vs. Northern Arizona 5:30 p.m. Utah State vs. Utah Valley State 8:05 p.m. Fri., Dec. 21 Consolation Game 5:30 p.m. Championship Game 8:05 p.m. Sat., Dec. 29 ORAL ROBERTS 7:05 p.m. Thur., Jan. 3 *HAWAI¹I 7:05 p.m. Sat., Jan. 5 *at Nevada 8:05 p.m. Sat., Jan. 12 *NEW MEXICO STATE 7:05 p.m. Thur., Jan. 17 *BOISE STATE 7:05 p.m. Sat., Jan. 19 *IDAHO 7:05 p.m. Thur., Jan. 24 *at Louisiana Tech 6:05 p.m. Sat., Jan. 26 *at New Mexico State 7:05 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 2 *NEVADA 7:05 p.m. Thur., Feb. 7 *at Fresno State 8:05 p.m. Sat., Feb. 9 *SAN JOSE STATE 7:05 p.m. Sat., Feb. 16 *at Hawai¹i 10:05 p.m. Mon., Feb. 18 *at San Jose State 8:05 p.m. Sat., Feb. 23 ESPN BRACKETBUSTER TBA Thur, Feb. 28 *LOUISIANA TECH 7:05 p.m.
Mon., Mar. 3 *FRESNO STATE 7:05 p.m. Thur., Mar. 6 *at Boise State 7:05 p.m. Sat., Mar. 8 *at Idaho 8:05 p.m. Tues.-Sat., Mar. 11-15 at WAC Tournament, Las Cruces, N.M. Thur.-Sun., Mar. 20-23 at NCAA First & Second Rounds TBA
^Denotes South Padre Island Invitational preliminary round game. *Denotes Western Athletic Conference game. Home Games in BOLD AND ALL CAPS. All times are Mountain time, tentative and subject to change.