USU men’s basketball ranked among top-25 in six categories

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State men’s basketball is among the best in the nation in several statistics this season, including the top-25 across six different categories.

The Aggies are fourth in the nation in rebounding margin, outrebounding the opposition by 10.6 boards per game. Utah State has won the battle of the boards in all but one game this season and is among the best at closing out opponent possessions, as the team is 10th in the nation in defensive rebounds per game, averaging 30.3 per contest. USU is also 13th in the nation in total rebounds, averaging 41.2 per game.

Utah State is sixth in the nation in defensive field goal percentage, holding opponents to just 37.9 percent from the floor. The Aggies have held four opponents to season lows in Saint Mary’s (.290), Northern Iowa (.310), Alabama State (.207) and Houston (.317), and have held opponents to less than 40 percent from the floor in 14 games this season.

USU is No. 22 in the nation with 16.8 assists per game, logging 20 or more helpers in five games this season. Overall, Utah State is 14-2 on the year when recording more assists than the opposition.

Utah State rounds out its showings in the top-25 in scoring margin, outscoring opponents by 13.4 points per game to rank No. 25 in the nation. The Aggies are 12-1 on the year in games decided by 16 points or more, and have outscored their opponents by 22.2 points per game in each of their 14 victories this season.

Utah State is just outside the top-25 at the charity stripe, shooting 75.6 percent at the free throw line to rank No. 26 in the nation. Individually, junior guard Sam Merrill is 15th in the nation at the free throw line, shooting 89.9 percent.

Freshman center Neemias Queta is also among the national leaders, averaging a Mountain West-best 2.5 blocks per game to rank No. 16 in the nation. Overall, Queta has recorded a block in every game for the Aggies and ranks No. 5 in school history with 47 blocks in a single season with 12 games left to play in the regular season.

Utah State is among the top five in the Mountain West in all but two statistics, shooting 34.4 percent from behind the arc to rank sixth in the league and making 7.3 3-point baskets per game to rank No. 7. The Aggies lead the league in nine statistics, including scoring defense (65.5), free throw percentage (.756), field goal percentage (.476), field goal percentage defense (.379), rebounding offense (41.1), rebounding margin (+10.6), assists (16.7), defensive rebounds (30.2) and defensive rebound percentage (.787).

The Aggies are second in the league in scoring offense (79.1), scoring margin (+13.5), rebounding defense (30.5), blocks (4.3), steals (7.0) and offensive rebound percentage (.328). Utah State is fourth in assist/turnover ratio (1.2) and fifth in 3-point percentage defense (.340) and turnover margin (-0.4).

Individually, Merrill is second in the MW in points per game with 18.7 per contest and is the only player in the league that ranks among the top-10 in field goal percentage (.483, 4th), free throw percentage (.899, 1st) and 3-point field goal percentage (.375, 7th). Redshirt freshman guard Brock Miller is just behind Merrill behind the 3-point line, shooting 36.1 percent from long range to rank eighth in the MW.

Merrill is third in assist/turnover ratio (2.1), sixth in assists per game (4.2), seventh in minutes per game (33.3), tied for eighth with teammate Diogo Brito with 1.2 steals per game and tied for ninth with Miller with 2.1 3-point baskets made per game.

Queta ranks sixth in the league with 8.2 rebounds per game and also appears among the leaders on the offensive and defensive glass, ranking sixth with 5.9 defensive rebounds per game and seventh with 2.3 offensive rebounds per game. Senior forward Quinn Taylor is No. 11 in rebounds per game with 6.3 per contest and fifth in offensive rebounds per game, pulling down 2.3 per contest.

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