LOGAN, Utah – Utah State men’s basketball officially opened its 2021-22 season on Thursday, taking part in its first practice inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Thursday afternoon. The Aggies, under the direction of first-year head coach Ryan Odom, were made up of eight returners and 10 newcomers and took part in conditioning and various drills during the initial practice.
“It was fun to be out here with the guys,” Odom said. “We’ve been together since April, but going two days a week is a little different than taking a couple of days off during a week. We’re excited to get out here and get going and I was really pleased with the first day.”
Odom joined the Aggies after a five-year stint as head coach at Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Odom led the Retrievers to a 97-60 (.573) record, including a 50-29 mark in the America East Conference. In the 2018 NCAA Tournament, UMBC became the first-ever 16-seed to win a first-round game as it posted a 74-54 win against top overall seed Virginia.
The group of returners include a pair of starters in senior forward Justin Bean and senior guard Brock Miller. Bean is a two-time all-MW selection, including second-team honors during the COVID-shortened 2020-21 campaign, and the top returning scorer (11.4 ppg) and rebounder (7.7 rpg) for the Aggies this season.
“I thought it was a good day today,” senior guard Brock Miller said. “We’re excited about this year and this group of guys we have. We’ve got a lot of new faces and a new staff and it is going to be a really interesting year for us. We really competed hard today.”
Some familiar faces are included among the 10 newcomers, including senior guard RJ Eytle-Rock and senior forward Brandon Horvath, who each played under Odom at UMBC. Eytle-Rock and Horvath were the top two scorers for the Retrievers, averaging 14.3 and 13.1 points per game, respectively. The Aggies will also be bolstered by Utah transfer Rylan Jones, who appeared in 45 games with the Utes over the last two years. Jones prepped locally at Logan High School before finishing his high school career at Olympus High School in Holladay, Utah.
“It’s exciting, this is my last first day of practice for my college career,” senior forward Brandon Horvath said. “I thought it was a good, productive day. It gave us a great chance to have the new guys get used to the new staff.”
Utah State will host a Blue/White Scrimmage on Thursday, Oct. 21, and then welcome Montana Western in an exhibition game on Wednesday, Oct. 27. The 2021-22 campaign will officially tip off on Tuesday, Nov. 9, when the Aggies face UC Davis inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in the season opener.
Season tickets for the 2021-22 men’s basketball season are on sale and can be purchased by visiting www.utahstateaggies.com or by calling the Utah State ticket office at 1-888-USTATE-1.
Utah State men’s basketball news and information is available on Facebook (facebook.com/usumensbasketball), on Twitter (@usubasketball) and on Instagram (@usubasketball). Fans can also get USU men’s basketball highlights on YouTube (youtube.com/utahstateathletics). Aggie fans can follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter (@usuathletics), on Facebook (facebook.com/usuathletics) or on Instagram (@usuathletics).