No. 17 USU Men’s Basketball Hosts Denver Tuesday

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailLOGAN, Utah-Tuesday, No. 17 Utah State men’s basketball (2-0) returns to action at the Spectrum by hosting the Summit League’s Denver Pioneers (1-1).This is the third of five successive home games to start the season for the Aggies, who are 58-18 (.763) all-time when ranked by The Associated Press.Utah State head coach, Craig Smith (30-7 [.811] at Utah State, 109-62 [.637] as a collegiate head coach), is 5-4 all-time against the Pioneers. When he was at South Dakota (2014-18) he coached against Denver twice a season as he was at a fellow Summit League institution.The Aggies are coming off an 89-34 rout of Weber State last Friday which saw them limit the Wildcats  to 21.7 percent shooting.This 55-point margin of victory ties the Aggies’ largest against a fellow Division I opponent. They routed Cal State Fullerton 115-60 December 23, 1972.Utah State is currently tied for 73rd nationally in scoring offense (85 points per game) with Oral Roberts, Georgetown, Florida International, Saint Louis and Washington State.Senior guard Sam Merrill averages 21 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 95 percent (19 of 20) at the foul line. This ranks him 116th in the nation currently, as 115 Division I men’s basketball student-athletes have yet to miss a free throw.In sophomore center Neemias Queta’s absence, sophomore forward Justin Bean (15.5 points, 9.5 rebounds per game) is Utah State’s second banana. Bean is also shooting 50 percent from the field in the wins against Montana State and Weber State.The Aggies’ defense surrenders only 53.5 points per game thus far. This ties them for 29th in the nation with Providence, Northern Iowa and Maryland-Baltimore County. Junior Polish national Kuba Karwoski has proven valuable in Queta’s absence with four blocked shots to lead Utah State.For the Pioneers, this is their second consecutive game against a Beehive State foe as last Saturday, they bested Utah Valley 74-62 at home. This was Denver’s first win of the season as they fell to Colorado State at Fort Collins, Colo. 74-63 November 5.The Pioneers are coached by Rodney Billups who, in his fourth season, is 40-52 (.435) at the helm.Denver currently averages 68.5 points per game. This ties them for 234th nationally with East Carolina, Wichita State, Little Rock, Cal State Northridge, Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe and Marshall.The Pioneers are led by senior guard Ade Murkey (13.5 points, 5 rebounds per game) and sophomore guard Jase Townsend (12.5 points, 4.5 rebounds per game).Denver is tied for 169th in scoring defense with 68 points per game surrendered. The Pioneers are deadlocked with Buffalo, Lehigh, Lafayette, Chattanooga, Florida International, South Carolina-Upstate, Pittsburgh and St. John’s in this category.Dutch national, sophomore forward David Nzekwesi, leads the Pioneers with three blocked shots on the season.The Aggies lead the Pioneers 54-37 all-time and 19-5 all-time at Logan as the schools meet for the first time since 2013. November 11, 2019 /Sports News – Local No. 17 USU Men’s Basketball Hosts Denver Tuesday Brad James Tags: Denver Men’s Basketball/USU Men’s Basketball Written bylast_img read more