LOGAN, Utah – Utah State men’s basketball head coach Tim Duryea announced the Aggies’ 2015-16 schedule on Wednesday, including 17 home games and USU’s first-ever meeting against reigning national champion Duke.
The schedule also includes five first-time opponents and five foes that advanced to a postseason appearance in 2014-15.
The Aggies will host a pair of exhibition games to begin the year, facing Oklahoma Panhandle State and Cal State Monterey Bay on Saturday, Oct. 31 and Friday, Nov. 6, respectively.
The season then officially gets underway when Utah State travels to Ogden, Utah, to face Weber State on Friday, Nov. 13. The game will mark the second year in a row that the Aggies will open against the Wildcats, also opening against WSU in 2009-10 and 2010-11. Utah State is 41-26 all-time against Weber State, but trail the Wildcats, 18-16, at the Dee Events Center.
“It is never easy to play at Weber State and that will give us a test right off the bat,” Duryea said of the season opener. “The in-state games are always very exciting and very challenging.”
The Aggies then host three-straight home games, welcoming Division II Adams State to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Tuesday, Nov. 17. The game will pit new USU assistant coach Louis Wilson against his former team, coaching the Grizzlies to a 95-46 mark in his five years in Alamosa.
Utah State continues its homestand against Union College, a Division III school out of Schenectady, N.Y., on Friday, Nov. 20.
“Our preseason schedule starts out a little unusually with our non-Division I games as our home openers,” Duryea said. “But they are some of our first-time opponents, also looking at Duke, Missouri State and North Dakota State.”
USU will look to continue its perfect 10-0 record against Utah Valley when the Aggies host the Wolverines on Tuesday, Nov. 24. The flawless mark includes a 6-0 record against UVU in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Utah State then takes its first extended road trip of the year, facing first-time opponents Duke and Missouri State on Sunday, Nov. 29 and and Tuesday, Dec. 1, respectively. The game against the Blue Devils is also the first time since the 1999-2000 season that the Aggies will face the defending national champion, when USU suffered a 75-67 defeat to UConn in the first round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament.
The Missouri State game is part of the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge, but it will be the first time that either team has faced one another. The Aggies are 16-13 all-time against teams from the Missouri Valley.
Utah State then returns to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum for a game with UC Davis on Saturday, Dec. 5. The Aggies suffered a 77-70 overtime defeat in Davis during the 2014-15 season, but still lead the all-time series 2-1. UCD was selected to play in the NIT last season after finishing 25-7.
USU will punctuate its in-state games on Wednesday, Dec. 9, traveling to Provo to face Brigham Young. Utah State is 92-139 all-time against the Cougars, marking the longest rivalry in Aggie history. USU is 32-85 in Provo, capturing its last win in the Marriott Center on Dec. 18, 2004, in an 84-62 victory.
Utah State will host another long-standing rival in UC Irvine, a former Big West opponent, on Saturday, Dec. 12. The Aggies lead the all-time series, 31-27, but have not faced the Anteaters since the 2007-08 season.
USU will, once again, host its tournament sponsored by Gossner Foods Dec. 21-23, facing Texas-Rio Grande Valley, Idaho State and North Dakota State over the course of three days. Idaho State will appear in the tournament for the second consecutive year, but UTRGV and NDSU are both first-time foes for the Aggies. North Dakota State earned the Summit League’s bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2014-15, besting South Dakota State in the Summit League Tournament final.
Texas-Rio Grande Valley will be in its first year of existence, forming from Texas-Pan American and Texas-Brownsville.
Utah State opens its third season in the Mountain West with a road game, traveling to San José State on Wednesday, Dec. 30 with the Spartans returning to Logan on Saturday, Feb. 27. The Aggies swept the Spartans last season and hold the all-time series lead, 55-21.
USU rings in the new year by hosting San Diego State in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Saturday, Jan. 2. The Aggies trail the Aztecs 4-3 in the all-time series and will have a return trip to San Diego on Saturday, Jan. 23.
The home games continue with a matchup against Boise State on Wednesday, Jan. 6. The two teams split the series last season with the road team coming out on top. However, the Aggies still lead the all-time series, 30-10, and will look to widen the gap in the return game at Boise on Wednesday, Feb. 3.
Utah State will look for its second straight victory at WiesPies Arena (aka The Pit) on Saturday, Jan. 9 when the Aggies face New Mexico in Albuquerque. USU bested the Lobos, 63-60, last season, picking up the first victory at New Mexico since the 1979 season. UNM will return to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Wednesday, Feb. 10.
Utah State then hosts the Air Force Academy on Wednesday, Jan. 13, another MW opponent that the Aggies swept in 2014-15. The Aggies will then make the return trip to Colorado Springs on Wednesday, March 2, looking to extend their all-time series lead of 12-3.
USU will face Colorado State twice in 2015-16, after having only faced the Rams once in 2014-15. The first game of the series will happen in Fort Collins on Saturday, Jan. 16 with the return game in Logan set for Wednesday, Feb. 17. Utah State holds the all-time series lead, 52-35, but suffered a Senior Day defeat to CSU last season.
The Aggies will host UNLV on Wednesday, Jan. 20 in the only meeting between the two schools in 2015-16. UNLV leads the series, 30-4, but fell 83-65 in Logan last season.
Utah State wraps up the month of January against Nevada on Saturday, Jan. 30, leading the Wolf Pack 34-16 in the all-time series. The Aggies took both games from Nevada last season and will return to Reno on Wednesday, Feb. 24.
Following its road trip to Boise, USU continues the season at Wyoming on Saturday, Feb. 6 in Laramie, marking the only time the two teams will play in the regular season. The Cowboys lead the all-time series, 46-25, including the last four games in Laramie.
The Aggies then host New Mexico and Colorado State on Wednesday, Feb. 10 and 17 before facing Fresno State on the road on Saturday, Feb. 20. The Aggies and Bulldogs split the series last season with the home side capturing the win and the pair will face off again in Logan on Senior Day, Saturday, March 5. Utah State leads the all-time series, 32-22.
“The expectations for this team will be much higher than they were last year,” Duryea said of the 2015-16 squad. “Mainly because of the experience we have this year as compared to last year. We really are excited about our schedule.”
All of the dates on the men’s basketball schedule are subject to change with start times and televised games to be announced at a later date.
USU men’s basketball season ticket renewals and new season tickets are now on sale. For more Aggie men’s basketball ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the “Buy Tickets” tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Utah State finished the 2014-15 season with an overall mark of 18-13, including an 11-7 ledger in Mountain West play, finishing fourth. The finish far exceeded expectations after being picked 10th of 11 in the preseason poll.
The 2015-16 squad will be poised for even greater success as the Aggies return all five starters and nine letterwinners, including all three all-conference honorees in junior wing Jalen Moore (second-team), sophomore forward David Collette (third-team) and senior guard Chris Smith (honorable mention).
Utah State men’s basketball news and information is available on Facebook facebook.com/USUmen’sbasketball and on Twitter @Aggiehoops. Fans can also get USU men’s basketball highlights on YouTube at youtube.com/UtahStateAthletics. Aggie fans can follow the Utah State athletic program at Twitter @USUAthletics, on Facebook at facebook.com/USUAthletics, or on Instagram @USUAthletics.
Oct. 31 – Oklahoma Panhandle State (exh)
Nov. 6 – Cal State Monterey Bay (exh)
Nov. 13 – at Weber State
Nov. 17 – Adams State
Nov. 20 – Union College
Nov. 24 – Utah Valley
Nov. 29 – at Duke
Dec. 1 – at Missouri State
Dec. 5 – UC Davis
Dec. 9 – at BYU
Dec. 12 – UC Irvine
Dec. 21 – Texas-Rio Grande Valley#
Dec. 22 – Idaho State#
Dec. 23 – North Dakota State#
Dec. 30 – at San José State
Jan. 2 – San Diego State
Jan. 6 – Boise State
Jan. 9 – at New Mexico
Jan. 13 – Air Force
Jan. 16 – at Colorado State
Jan. 20 – UNLV
Jan. 23 – at San Diego State
Jan. 30 – Nevada
Feb. 3 – at Boise State
Feb. 6 – at Wyoming
Feb. 10 – New Mexico
Feb. 17 – Colorado State
Feb. 20 – at Fresno State
Feb. 24 – at Nevada
Feb. 27 – San José State
Mar. 2 – at Air Force
Mar. 5 – Fresno State