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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mr. Regular Season

Stew Morrill is one of the best basketball coaches in the country...... during the regular season.

When it comes to the NCAA tournament, he would not be considered a good coach with his record.

As the head man at Utah State, Morrill's record during the regular season is second to none. There is an obvious reason why the Aggies just extended his contract to 2016-17, at which time Morrill will turn 65. Every year Morrill's name comes up for open jobs and every year he stays with the Aggies. Not only do teams love Morrill for his record, but in these days when the pressure is on academically more than ever, it is no accident that people take note of the fact in his 13 years at Utah State, 85 percent of his players have obtained a degree.

The numbers for Morrill in his 13 seasons as head coach in Logan are staggering to say the least.

All his seniors who graduated this year,  did in their four year career were to go 70-1 at home, in which that group went to the NCAA three times and NIT once. That alone,  is envious for any college program, but there is much more under the guidance of Morrill.

In his 13 seasons at Utah State his teams have won 324 times, losing only 103 times. Over that period at home the Aggies have gone, 193-13. As I have mentioned often, it is no wonder that Utah State is the best home arena atmosphere anywhere in the country and a must visit for any college basketball fan.

With that sterling record, the last 12 straight years, the Aggies have won at least 23 games in the season. Only three other teams in the country can match that statistic over the same time period. Obviously with those stats it has paid dividends for post season, with eight NCCA appearances and four NIT visits.

Finishing up, in conference games under Morrill the Aggies are 167-49 and in conference tournament games the Aggies have once again dominated with a 25-7 record. Stats do not always tell the whole story, but in this case they tell a lot, the Aggies under Morrill dominate regular season, end of story.

A couple of down notes. For some it might not mean anything, but for others it will mean a lot. The success of the Aggies in NCAA play has been dismal, they have never made the sweet 16 under Morrill and the sad part it might reflect with some, in their thoughts about putting Morrill in the greatness category of college coaches, despite his regular season record.

Just like the fact that rivals Portland State and University of Portland will not play each other this year (which is a joke), for the first time since 1943, Utah State will not play Utah this year. So sad on both accounts and hopefully something that can be rectified in both Utah and Oregon.

Most people do not even know who Stew Morrill is, but hopefully they will eventually find out that he is a pretty darn good basketball coach, who continues to win and continues to produce quality human beings. Just hoping he can have some success in post season, because we all know the Aggies will get there many more times.

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