Utah State hands out awards at annual basketball banquet

LOGAN, Utah — Utah State’s men’s basketball team held its annual postseason banquet Tuesday, honoring the 2010-11 team that won its fourth-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season championship and played in the school’s 20th NCAA Tournament all-time, including its eighth in the last 12 years. Along with handing out individual awards, a highlight video recapping the year was shown. Utah State tied the 2008-09 team for the most wins in school history with 30, while its 30-4 record is the best ever at USU. Utah State also won its second WAC Tournament Championship in the last three years and advanced to its third-straight NCAA Tournament, which is a school record. Utah State extended two more school records during the year as it posted its 12th-straight 23-win season and advanced to postseason play for the 12th straight year. USU is also one of just three teams in the nation to win at least 23 games in each of the last 12 seasons along with Gonzaga and Kansas, and its string of 12-straight postseasons is tied for the 12th-longest active streak in the nation. Utah State also set a school and WAC record during the season as it won 25-straight league games over a two-year period, and became just the seventh team in the 49-year history of the WAC to lose one or fewer league games as it finished the year with a 15-1 conference mark. Along with all of its records, Utah State was also nationally ranked for nine consecutive weeks during the 2010-11 season and finished the year No. 25 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll, marking the first time since 1978 that a USU team has finished the year nationally ranked. During the banquet, Utah State recognized seven players who received various awards from the WAC during the course of the season in senior forwards Nate Bendall, Matt Formisano and Tai Wesley, senior guards Brian Green and Tyler Newbold, junior forward Brady Jardine and junior guard Brockeith Pane. Wesley and Pane were both named first-team all-WAC, marking the 12th-straight year that Utah State has had at least one player earn first-team all-conference honors. Wesley was also named the WAC’s Player of the Year, marking the third time in the last four years that USU has had the league’s top player. Along with being named the WAC’s Player of the Year, Wesley was also named an honorable mention All-America by the Associated Press, marking the fourth time in the last five years that USU has had an All-American. Joining Wesley and Pane on the all-WAC teams was Green who was named to the league’s second-team, while Newbold was voted to the WAC’s all-defensive team. Wesley was also named WAC Player of the Week three times during the season, while Green and Jardine each one the award once. Utah State also had three players named to the WAC’s all-tournament team as Pane was named the Most Valuable Player, while Bendall and Wesley were both named to the all-tournament team. Utah State also had four players earn academic all-WAC honors this year in Formisano, Jardine, Newbold and Wesley, while Jardine and Newbold were also named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team. Formisano and Newbold earned academic all-conference honors for the fourth straight year, while Jardine received the award for the third year in row. Under Coach Morrill, Utah State has now had 14 players earn academic all-conference honors a total of 27 times. As for team honors, Wesley was voted the Most Valuable Player, which is named in honor of the late H. Cecil Baker who played at Utah State from 1923-25 and later coached at USU from 1951-61. Green was named the team’s Most Inspirational Player for the second year in a row, while Newbold was named the player that Best Represents Aggie Basketball for the third year in a row. Newbold was also named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year, while Bendall was presented the 10th annual Varsity Award by the Big Blue Scholarship Fund which is annually given to a senior who best represents outstanding achievement in academic, athletics and community service.Utah State Team HonorsH. Cecil Baker Most Valuable Player – Tai WesleyMost Inspirational – Brian Green Best Defensive Player – Tyler NewboldBest Represents Aggie Basketball – Tyler NewboldBig Blue Scholarship Fund Varsity Award – Nate BendallAll-Western Athletic Conference SelectionsCoach of the Year – Stew MorrillPlayer of the Year – Tai WesleyFirst Team – Brockeith Pane, Tai WesleySecond Team – Brian GreenAll-Defensive Team – Tyler NewboldAll-Newcomer Team – Brockeith Pane Western Athletic Conference All-Tournament TeamBrockeith Pane (MVP), Nate Bendall, Tai WesleyWestern Athletic Conference Player of the WeekTai Wesley (3), Brian Green (1), Brady Jardine (1)Academic All-Western Athletic Conference HonoreesMatt Formisano, Brady Jardine, Tyler Newbold, Tai WesleyCoSIDA Academic All-DistrictBrady Jardine, Tyler NewboldNABC All-District 6 HonorsCoach of the Year – Stew MorrillFirst Team – Tai WesleyUSBWA All-District VIII HonorsFirst Team – Tai WesleyJim Phelan National Coach of the YearStew MorrillAssociated Press All-AmericanTai Wesley (honorable mention)-USU-

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!