The Scorer's Table: An Early Look at the 2013-14 MW Men's Basketball Season

By Mick McGrane | Mountain West Senior Writer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- This is the 10th in a series of Mountain West men's basketball blogs detailing developments surrounding the league's current and future hoops programs since the conclusion of the 2012-13 season. We continue today with Utah State, who will officially join the MW on July 1, 2013.

UTAH STATE AGGIES

Last Season's Record: 21-10, 11-7 WAC (T4th)

Key Losses: F Kyisean Reed.

Key Returners: G Preston Medlin; F/C Jarred Shaw; G/F Spencer Butterfield; G Danny Berger; G Marcel Davis; G Roland TeNale; F Ben Clifford.

2013-14 Signees: G JoJo McGlaston; G Viko Noma'aea; F Kyle Davis; F Jalen Moore; C Carson Shanks.

Sizing Up The Recruits: The 6-4 McGlaston was a four-year letterwinner at Dublin High School in Dublin, Calif., where he led his team in scoring last season (22.0 ppg) while also contributing 7.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.1 steals. Noma'aea, 6-1 combo guard from Sierra Vista Mountain High in Las Vegas, averaged 17.7 points, 5.3 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game during his senior season. Davis is a 6-7 forward who has transferred to Utah State from Southern Utah after finishing a two-year LDS Church mission. As a freshman at Southern Utah, he averaged 8.5 points and 5.3 rebounds after being named the Utah Player of the Year at Alta High School in 2010. Moore is a 6-7 wing from Sky View High in Smithfield, Utah, where he averaged 21.8 points and 7.2 rebounds as a senior in leading his team to the 4A state title. As a senior, Shanks, a 7-footer, from Prior Lake, Minn., was rated the 10th-best center in the state by ESPN.

Overview: The competition in the MW, if not already grueling, just got a whole lot tougher. Utah State, which has made eight NCAA tournament appearances since 2000 under veteran head coach Stew Morrill, enters its first season in the league having won 48 of its last 62 games (.770) in the WAC. Few teams faced bigger obstacles last season than the Aggies, who after starting the season 14-1, nearly lost starting guard Berger to heart failure during a practice session in December. They also lost starting guard Preston Medlin (a first-team All-WAC selection and the squad's leading scorer) to a fractured wrist and starting forward Kyisean Reed to a torn ACL just 16 games into the season. Reed has exhausted his eligibility, but Berger and Medlin (16.3 ppg) return, as do standouts Jarred Shaw and Spencer Butterfield. The 6-10 Shaw ranked sixth in scoring (14.2 ppg) in the WAC last season and was the conference's third-leading rebounder (8.4). Butterfield, a 6-3 guard/forward, ranked first in the conference in free-throw percentage (.835), fourth in three-point field-goal percentage (.425), sixth in field-goal percentage (.498), ninth in rebounding (6.6) and 11th in scoring (12.2). The Aggies enter the MW having won four WAC regular-season championships in the last six years as part of the school's eight years in the league.