LOGAN, Utah – Utah State’s men’s basketball team garnered four votes in the preseason Associated Press top 25 poll that was released Thursday to rank tied for 43rd in the country along with Miami, Fla., Xavier and Ohio. Duke is ranked No. 1 in the poll, while preseason opponents Georgetown and Brigham Young are ranked 20th and 24th, respectively.Utah State also received six top 25 votes in the preseason ESPN/USA Today coaches poll to rank 40th in the country, marking the first time since the 2005-06 season that USU received preseason votes in both polls.Utah State is picked to win the Western Athletic Conference according to both the league’s coaches and media for the second-straight season.Utah State returns four starters (Nate Bendall, Tyler Newbold, Tai Wesley, Pooh Williams) and eight letterwinners from last year’s team that advanced to its 19th NCAA Tournament all-time, including its seventh in the last 11 years under head coach Stew Morrill as it lost to Texas A&M, 69-53, in the first round.Utah State finished the 2009-10 season with a 27-8 record and went 14-2 in Western Athletic Conference play to claim its third-straight regular season league championship, which is a school record. Prior to its current run, the school record for consecutive conference titles was two set by the 1935-36 teams (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) and the 1997-98 teams (Big West Conference). Over the last three years, USU has a combined record of 81-24 (.771) including a 40-8 (.833) WAC mark.USU will play its first exhibition game of the season on Saturday, Oct. 30 against Universite Laval at 7 p.m. The Aggies will then play its final exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 5 against Grand Canyon at 7 p.m. before beginning the regular season at home against Weber State on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. Season tickets are available through USU’s website at www.UtahStateAggies.com or by calling the ticket office toll free at 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305. -USU-
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