Monday, March 10, 2008

End-of-regular season grades for USU basketball

Post Players
Gary Wilkinson: A- Center
Wilkinson's game improved over the course of the season, especially on the road. He particularly became a better rebounder and defender, whie averaging 13.4 ppg and 6.8 rpg. This improvement was reflected in a second-team all-conference honor.
Tai Wesley: B+ Power Forward
Wesley was a pleasant surprise to become the team's starting power forward as a redshirt freshman. With averages of 10.4 ppg and 4.2 rpg, Wesley would often have problems with foul trouble, but occasionally respond with 24/9 or 23/7 games as he did against Hawaii and La. Tech.
Steve DuCharme: C Power Forward/Center
DuCharme wasn't much above average, even in a better second half of the conference season, but rose to the occasion with great games on Senior Night last week and a huge 20-point game at Boise State when the Aggies needed it from him most if they wanted a piece of the conference title. Inconsistent, but there when USU needed him.
Overall: B+

Jaycee Carroll: Valedictorian Shooting Guard
What more can you say. WAC Player of the Year, Senior Class Award Finalist, holds 10 school records, with more accolades headed his way. He averages nearly 22.3 points a game, while bumping it up to 24.5 in conference play, while averaging 6.2 rebounds per game, good for second on the team, as a 6-2 guard. Leads the nation in three-point shooting (50.2%) and is third in free-throw shooting (92.0%), while he is 12th in the nation in scoring average. Beyond the stats, he took his game to another level when USU needed some way to stay in tough games. In the second half of conference play, he routinely scored close to 20 points or more in the second half. All in all, Carroll should be an All-American and hopefully will get to display his shooting ability in the NCAA Tournament.
Tyler Newbold: B+ Small Forward
Newbold is a terrific defender, and is the consumate play-within-yourself type of player. He shoots 47 percent from the three when he does shoot them (averages about 1.5 attempts per game). To consider that he has three more years of eligibility in Logan has to please Aggie fans from anywhere.
Pooh Williams: B- Small Forward/Shooting Guard
"Excrement" made tremendous strides as a defender and even as a minor offensive contributor in the second half of the conference season. Pooh was a huge part of Utah State's amazing final-week finish of the regular season.
Overall: A-

Point Guards
Kris Clark: A-
Clark, for the most part, played well in the final handful of games of the regular season, including setting the USU single-season record for assists on Senior Night, despite turning the ball over five times in that game. He still dished out nine dimes in that game. Clark is not a good shooter, but did improve from last season. He hit a critical 3 against Boise State on Thursday.
Desmond Stephens: B+
You didn't exactly know what you would get out of Stephens, but Aggie fans got a better idea by the final four or five games of the season, when Stephens played his best basketball. He did a tremendous job playing extra minutes that he's accustomed to when Clark dealt with foul trouble at Boise. This is a welcome sign given Stephens will probably be the starting point guard next season.
Overall: A-

Team, Overall: A-

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