2008 NIT Capsule: Utah State
Utah State Aggies
Western Athletic Conference (24-10, 12-4)
Big Wins: 12/29 Oral Roberts (76-55), 2/2 Nevada (77-63), 2/22 UC Santa Barbara (72-59)
Bad Losses: 11/15 at Cal Poly (69-83), 2/16 at Hawaii (66-71), 2/18 at San Jose State (67-70)
Coach: Stew Morrill
Kris Clark, Senior, Guard, 5.6 ppg, 6.4 apg
Jaycee Carroll, Senior, Guard, 22.6 ppg, 2.1 apg, 6.0 rpg
Tyler Newbold, Freshman, Guard, 5.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Tai Wesley, Freshman, Forward, 10.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Gary Wilkinson, Junior, Forward, 13.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg
Desmond Stephens, Junior, Guard, 2.6 ppg, 1.7 apg
DeUndrae Spraggins, Junior, Guard, 2.7 ppg, 1.1 apg
Pooh Williams, Freshman, Guard, 2.2 ppg, 1.0 apg
Stephen DuCharme, Senior, Forward, 9.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Utah State is a great shooting team from everywhere on the floor and nobody epitomizes the solid shooting more than leading scorer Jaycee Carroll. The 6-2 senior shoots 53.3 percent from the floor, 50.7 percent from behind the arc and 92.3 percent from the charity stripe. Carroll, who also grabs 6.0 rebounds per game, is a dynamic scorer and has reached double digits in every game this season. He is capable of busting out a huge game on any given day and a 30 point effort is not out of the ordinary.
The offensive presence of forwards Gary Wilkinson, Tai Wesley and Stephen DuCharme has opened up some space for Carroll. Wilkinson adjusted quickly after spending some time at Salt Lake Community College. The 6-9 forward works hard and his toughness will earn him plenty of buckets and rebounds. Wesley, at 6-6, is not a post scorer, but he has some of the same toughness that ignites Wilkinson and is a quality player on the offensive end.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The Aggies have a lot of offensive weapons, but they could use one more. Carroll makes the second most three-pointers in the Western Athletic Conference, but the team ranks near the bottom in total attempts. Which means if somebody is taking a shot, it is Carroll. That is all well and good since he makes most of them, but it makes it much easier on the opposing defense. There are options like Tyler Newbold, DeUndrae Spraggins, Desmond Stephens and Pooh Williams, but they are mostly inexperienced and ineffective as scoring threats.
Who To Watch:
Kris Clark will not be that scorer either, but his shooting has gotten better during his senior season. The 6-2 point guard does a wonderful job taking care of the ball and finding his teammates and Clark averages 6.4 assists per game and just 2.7 turnovers. Most of the team could stand to avoid a turnover or two, but nobody can complain about Clark’s assist-to-turnover ratio. Clark could be more aggressive getting to the basket, but he is certainly a pass first point guard who simply sets up his teammates.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 74.2 (76th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.8 (146, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 51.6 (1, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.6 (165, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.8 (241, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.2 (10, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 79.1 (1, 1)
Rebound Margin: 4.0 (50, 3)
Assists Per Game: 18.0 (8, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.0 (141, 4)
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