Throwback: Utah State, an Aggies experience in Italy

Il nostro throwback di oggi ha come protagonista Utah State. A differenza di altri college, la scorsa edizione gli Aggies hanno fatto tappa anche nelle Marche. Vediamo come è andata direttamente dal loro blog: 
Le foto presenti sono state invece pubblicate sulla pagina FB ufficiale della squadra (tanti i video disponibili):

16 Agosto 2017

Aggies in Italy Tour
Aggies in Italy Tour

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State men’s basketball opened its 10-day tour of Italy on Wednesday, traveling to its first destination of Rome. The tour will then take the team to stops in Vatican City, San Marino, Pesaro, Venice, Trieste and Lake Como.

The Aggies will make stops at notable sites, including the Colosseum in Rome, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, and the famous gondolas in Venice.

USU recently completed 10 days of practice leading up to the tour, allowing the team to report earlier than normal. The practices included all four of the Aggies’ newcomers in junior college transfers Dwayne Brown and DeAngelo Isby, and freshmen signees Brock Miller and Crew Ainge.

“This will be our first foreign tour and will give us a good head start with our new players,” head men’s basketball coach Tim Duryea said. “We are able to show them the culture of your practices and the expectation of your practices. On the other hand, you can be patient in teaching those things to the new kids because you are not under the gun with opening day right around the corner.”

Utah State will play four teams during its Italian tour, including Lithuania side BC Silute and Italian side Basket Lecco. Silute finished seventh in the Lithuanian standings last season with a record of 19-19 and was led by 6-foot-9 center Aurelijus Pukelis with 20.1 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game. Pukelis also led the team from the floor, shooting 67.3 percent (228-of-339).

Lecco finished sixth in its group last year with an overall mark of 19-11. The team is paced by its post players in 6-8 forward Jacopo Balanzoni and 6-11 forward Gaetano Spera with 16.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, and 11.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, respectively.

Utah State will face BC Silute on Saturday night at 7 in Rome (11 am MT) and Lecco in Lake Como on Friday, Aug. 25, at 7 pm (11 am MT). The Aggies have two other games scheduled during the tour, facing Adriatic Sea Triton on Monday, Aug. 21, in San Marino and ASD Pallacanestro Interclub Muggia on Wednesday, Aug. 23, in Trieste.

“We would like to see what our players can do,” Duryea said. “We’ll try not to give them too many restraints. We’ll play different combinations and groups with all 13 players that are healthy and eligible. We’re hoping to play them similar minutes and see them play at maximum effort.

“We’ll want to see the principles that we’ve practiced over the last 10 days carry over,” he continued. “We’ll film all four of our games and have a ‘good’s and bad’s’ film edit. They’ll see all of the good things that they’ve done on offense and defense, and all of the bad things that we need to get better. When practice gets started in late September, it will be an invaluable teaching tool to them.”

The tour is organized by Basketball Travelers Inc., an organization that also coordinates basketball tournaments such as the Paradise Jam and the Great Alaska Shootout. BTI, along with private donations, will supplement travel costs for the team and in turn Utah State will be playing in the Great Alaska Shootout during the 2019-20 season.

Aggies Gladiators at the Colosseo
Aggies Gladiators at the Colosseo


Aggies Gladiators at the Colosseo
Aggies Gladiators at the Colosseo

19 Agosto

Utah State men’s basketball lost its opening game on its Italian tour on Saturday, losing 85-78 to Silute BC, a team from Lithuania.

Sophomore guard Koby McEwen led the Aggies with 19 points, while adding six rebounds, three assists and one steal. He was followed in scoring by junior college transfer DeAngelo Isby with 12 points and sophomore guard Sam Merrill with 11. Isby was also among the leaders on the glass, totaling seven rebounds, second only to junior forward Alex Dargenton’s eight.

Several Aggies made their debut with the team as redshirt freshman Klay Stall recorded seven points and four rebounds, junior college transfer Dwayne Brown, Jr., recorded six points and five rebounds, freshman Brock Miller recorded five points and three rebounds and redshirt freshman Daron Henson scored four points, coupled with three rebounds.

Silute BC led 25-18 at the end of the first quarter and held the lead throughout the game. Utah State made a final push in the fourth, outscoring Silute 25-22 during the final frame, but came up short in the 85-78 loss.

The Aggies will have their next game on Monday, slated to face the Adriatic Sea Tritons that evening. The team will leave Rome on Sunday and travel to San Marino, an independent state surrounded by Italy.

Match in Rome
Match in Rome


Aggies in St Peter Square
Aggies in St Peter Square

21 Agosto

SENIGALLIA, Italy – Utah State junior Dwayne Brown, Jr., paced the Aggies with a double-double effort of 12 points and 13 rebounds as USU posted a 77-42 victory over the Adriatic Sea Tritons on Monday. The game was the second of four that the Aggies will play during their 10-day tour of Italy.

“Tonight was all about seeing some new guys get better,” head coach Tim Duryea said. “We saw a lot of carry over in what we’ve been trying to teach the new guys in the 10 practices we had. We saw some lights come on tonight in some different areas with some young guys, so that was good to see.”

Junior college transfer DeAngelo Isby led all Utah State scorers with 16 points and added five rebounds, four steals and three assists. He was followed by Brown and redshirt freshman Daron Henson with 11 points.

“DeAngelo Isby made a big jump tonight, especially on the defensive end,” Duryea said. “He can really score. His challenge is to get better on defensively.”

Freshman guard Crew Ainge made his debut as an Aggie, scoring five points and adding two steals and two assists.

“It was really good to see Crew Ainge out tonight,” he continued. “He is still not 100 percent healthy, but does a great job with his defensive intensity and really knows how to run a team.”

Utah State led start-to-finish, building a 42-11 lead at the half and riding the momentum towards the 77-42 conclusion.

The men’s basketball team will travel to Venice on Tuesday before journeying to Trieste on the northeastern side of Italy on Wednesday. The Aggies will play their third game of the tour in Trieste, facing ASD Pallacanestro Interclub Muggia on Wednesday night.

San Marino bound
San Marino bound
Senigallia match and group picture
Senigallia match and group picture


MUGGIA, Italy – Utah State men’s basketball played its third game of its 10-day Italian tour on Wednesday, losing 76-67 to KK Koper, a team from Slovenia. In the loss, USU had three players record double figures with sophomore guard Koby McEwen leading the way with 19 points and sophomore guard Sam Merrill and junior forward Dwayne Brown, Jr., following with 11 and 10, respectively.

Brown flirted with a double-double, tying for the team lead with nine rebounds and matching junior forward Alex Dargenton’s total. McEwen was just behind with seven rebounds, while also adding a team-best three steals and two assists. Utah State’s weakness in the game proved to be its turnovers, committing 27.

The teams finished the first quarter in a deadlock, 15-15, but Koper put together 10-2 run in the second to take a 31-21 lead. Koper maintained its advantage going into the break, leading 39-29. Utah State trailed by double digits through most of the second half before putting together an 8-2 run, pulling to within six, 62-56, with 4:21 to play in the final quarter. The lead narrowed to two, 62-60, with just under four minutes to play, but it was as close as the Aggies came down the stretch in the 76-
67 loss.

Aggies fans follow their guys also in Italy!
Aggies fans follow their guys also in Italy!


23 Agosto

LECCO, Italy – Utah State men’s basketball played its final contest of its Italian tour on Friday, posting a 71-66 victory over Basket Lecco in a hot and muggy gym in Lecco, Italy.

“It was an extremely hot gym and an extremely physical team we played against,” head coach Tim Duryea said after the game. “I thought we grew up a lot. There was a lot of positive characteristics to this team in terms of leadership, effort and defensive intensity. We do a lot of things well, even though we are not great at our technique after 10 practices. However, our effort and will is really good and I’m pleased with that.”

Sophomore guard Koby McEwen led the Aggies with 19 points, shooting 10-of-11 at the free throw line, as free throws decided the game down the stretch. Junior forward Dwayne Brown, Jr., recorded 10 points and hit the go-ahead shot for Utah State with 50 seconds left to seal the victory. Freshman guard Brock Miller also logged double-digit points, finishing the game with 11.

“Brock Miller made some tough shots tonight,” Duryea said. “Koby McEwen played well in the fourth quarter and we have some other guys that are learning some tough lessons at this level. That is a good thing.”

Junior forward Alex Dargenton led the Aggies on the glass with nine rebounds and was followed by Brown with seven. McEwen recorded a team-best five steals, while senior guard Julion Pearre led Utah State with four assists.
Junior forward Quinn Taylor saw his first action of the tour, scoring four points and logging two assists and one rebound.

“It was great to have Quinn Taylor back on the floor with us tonight,” Duryea said. “He does a fantastic job of helping our team be better. All in all, it is great to be going home with a win against a really good team on their home floor in brutally hot conditions.”

Utah State will return to Logan on Saturday night and will officially begin preparation for the 2017-18 season at the end of September.