On emotional night, Utah State falls to Colorado State as it honors seniors


Utah State Aggies head coach Ryan Odom reacts to a name in the course of the second half of an NCAA faculty basketball recreation towards Colorado State Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, in Fort Collins, Colo. Colorado State beat Utah State 77-72. (Jack Dempsey, Related Press)

Estimated learn time: 5-6 minutes

LOGAN — Feelings ran excessive inside for the Utah State basketball group contained in the Spectrum Saturday night time.

Within the remaining house recreation of the common season, 4 seniors have been honored earlier than the sport. Justin Bean, Brandon Horvath, Brock Miller and RJ Etyle-Rock walked to heart courtroom with their households and gave a short speech to the group.

The highlight was additionally on sophomore guard Max Shulga, who’s from Kyiv, Ukraine.

To assist his household and nation in the course of the ongoing Russian invasion, Shulga draped a Ukrainian flag over himself earlier than the sport. When he checked into the sport, Utah State students held up blue and yellow papers resembling the Ukrainian flag — a number of Aggies gamers wore yellow and blue shoelaces, as properly.

The feelings have been proven on the courtroom because the Aggies performed one in every of their most intense video games of the season in entrance of 9,219 rowdy followers. But it surely did not translate into effectivity — Utah State shot simply 33% (6 of 18) from the free-throw line, 41.2% from the sphere and 28.6% from 3-point vary.

The offensive struggles have been an excessive amount of to beat and Utah State fell to Colorado State 66-55.

“Enjoyable begin to the night time honoring these 4 guys,” Utah State head coach Ryan Odom stated. “It was nice to see their households on the market and all of our Aggie followers supporting them. That was a neat second to listen to these guys discuss their expertise.

“Tough night time for us, just about all-around. … For us, we will not go 6 for 18 from the free-throw line and count on to beat a superb group; it is simply so simple as that.”

Regardless of the poor offensive numbers, a uncommon alternative for a Quad 1 win at house was alive and properly into the second half. The Aggies have been enjoying great protection and led 41-37 with 10 minutes left within the recreation.

Then Colorado State flexed its muscle.

Tthe Rams switched right into a zone protection and disrupted the Aggies’ capacity to assault the basket. On the opposite finish of the ground, Kendle Moore hit back-to-back 3-pointers to take a 49-41 lead with 6:49 left to play — finishing a 12-0 run by the Rams.

The Aggies clawed again as Etyle-Rock hit a nook 3-pointer to chop the deficit to 2 with 2:52 to play. However switching defenses from man to zone did not decelerate the Rams.

Moore hit a deep 3-pointer with simply over two minutes to play, and Colorado State closed the sport on a 14-5 run to beat the Utah State. Moore completed with a game-high 23 factors and tallied 18 of these factors within the second half. His shock efficiency, together with Utah State’s offensive woes, was an excessive amount of to deal with for the Aggies.

“He stepped up tonight, he shot lights out, to be sincere,” Etyle-Rock stated. “We did not know he was going to shoot like that. We might have guarded him a lot better. We tried to change up our protection within the second half to enter one thing completely different however we simply stored dropping him.”

Etyle-Rock, and the three different seniors, all made a concerted effort in what stands out as the remaining recreation within the Spectrum for every of them.

Etyle-Rock completed with a team-high 14 factors, Horvath had 11 factors, Bean had 10 factors and Miller added 3 factors. The seniors struggled to get nice appears, and Bean was simply 4 of 11 from the sphere and Miller was 1 of 5; Horvath went 3 of 10 from the free-throw line.

However the emotional depth wasn’t missing.

Trailing 25-13 with 5:51 left within the first half, capturing beneath 30% from the sphere, Utah State turned it on. The Aggies compelled Colorado State star David Roddy to show over the ball and Bean completed with a dunk on the opposite finish. After getting one other cease, Horvath had a poster dunk over Colorado State’s Isaiah Rivera to chop the deficit to 25-17.

On the opposite finish, Roddy tried to cease the run with a dunk of his personal. Standing in his method was Bean, who rose up and blocked the ball away from the ring — an amazing play that electrified the sector.

“When he will get any window he is going up with it, so I simply tried to satisfy up on the rim,” Bean stated. “Fortunately, he was in a position to make a superb play and received some momentum for the group and myself.”

The momentum of the play appeared to hold over into the second half. Trailing by 6 factors, Utah State opened the half one 6-0 run, because of a Miller 3-pointer and an and-one layup from Etyle-Rock.

“Our protection form of helped us and allowed us to, going into halftime, have a bit little bit of momentum,” Odom stated.

Ultimately, the efficiency of Moore and the expertise of the Rams overruled the momentum.

“Except for (dropping), it was positively a particular night time right here,” Etyle-Rock stated. “The followers have been nice. I used to be glad my mother was right here. That was a really particular second. All the blokes have been completely happy to have fun us seniors. It was very particular.”

Bean added that it was additionally an awesome alternative to focus on Shulga, who performed for eight minutes and recorded a layup, as he watches what goes on in his native nation.

“Max is an unbelievable particular person,” Bean stated. “His household, clearly, he is pondering of them. He is form of updating us on how they’re doing and he is extra optimistic than others would assume with what he is going via. … I assumed everybody tonight supporting him and praying for the nation — it was simply cool to see that collective unity from town and the group.”

Utah State (16-14, 7-10) closes out the common season at San Jose State Friday earlier than the Mountain West Match in Las Vegas the week after.

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Utah State captain, father to-be is set to lead on senior night despite injury


Utah State guard Brock Miller (22) drives to the basket as Colorado State ahead Adam Thistlewood (31) defends through the first half of an NCAA school basketball sport Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Logan, Utah. (Eli Lucero, The Herald Journal by way of AP)

Estimated learn time: 8-9 minutes

LOGAN — Halfway by way of the second half of Utah State basketball’s 32-point win over New Orleans on Dec. 11, Aggies guard Sean Bairstow sliced his finger open and blood spewed onto the courtroom.

Fellow guard Steven Ashworth grabbed a towel to wash it up, and a crew supervisor got here onto the ground to help. They appeared to have it taken care of, however as play was about to restart, senior guard Brock Miller seen extra drops of blood close to the free-throw line.

Motioning for a towel, Miller proceeded to splotch up the remaining drops. As he completed up, a chant reigned down from the scholar sections.

“Mr. Clear! Mr. Clear”

Miller, whose signature look is a bald head with the headscarf, liked it. He turned to the gang, waved his fingers within the air, and inspired the chants.

Quick ahead two months.

After lacking 14-straight video games as a consequence of an ongoing decrease again damage he sustained final season, Miller took the courtroom on Tuesday evening in opposition to New Mexico. He hasn’t performed for the reason that Air Drive sport on Dec. 29.

Six minutes into the second half, Miller hit a nook 3-ball and the gang erupted. As Miller waved his arms towards the gang, the mantra from December resurfaced.

“Mr. Clear! Mr. Clear!”

Miller smiled, and as soon as once more inspired the gang.

Miller’s response to the mantra is an ideal illustration of his character. The 25-year-old Sandy native has Alopecia, a illness the place all of the hair on his physique falls off. The mantra, a reference to the bald mascot of the cleansing model Mr. Clear, might have been seen as offensive to some. However to not Miller.

“I simply suppose that simply exhibits the sort of nature this child has,” Utah State assistant coach Nate Dixon mentioned. “You already know, like, he is a straightforward going man who loves college students. He loves the followers. And he simply went with it. You already know, he might have been mad about it; he wasn’t mad about it. He had enjoyable with it.”

It has been a roller-coaster season for the Aggies, particularly in convention play. They misplaced 5 video games in a row in January after which received 5 in a row. Then, they proceeded to lose 4 in a row.

However all through the season, Miller has been a relentless presence on the sidelines, regardless of not enjoying a big portion of it. The captain has constantly discovered methods to help the crew, whether or not it is by displaying up on time to practices, sending out textual content messages to teammates or being within the huddles earlier than the sport.

“He is a frontrunner off the courtroom. I imply, he is teaching, serving to these guys,” Dixon mentioned. “He is simply, you already know, he brings much more that folks do not ever see.”

Miller has managed to assist maintain issues gentle, regardless of the back-and-forth season.

Whereas unable to observe, he’d beg the coaches to place him on the scout crew, saying, “I can go a bit bit coach.” His teammates would dish it again to him. “Hey Mr. Clear man, you are gonna go get the ground.”

The jokes occur within the movie room, too. All the time sitting on the entrance row whereas the crew watches tape, Miller has a working joke about popcorn.

“I will go into movie and I will go, ‘hey, man, did you get your popcorn prepared,” Dixon mentioned. “He is like, ‘Dixon, are we gonna be in right here a very long time? Do I want my popcorn at the moment?'”

After somebody introduced popcorn to the crew following the win over New Mexico, he prompt placing it on the desk of head coach Ryan Odom — a fellow popcorn admirer — to see if anyone steals it.

“He retains it severe when it must be however he is a fair keel,” Dixon mentioned. “You at all times know what you are going to get from the dude. He by no means had a nasty day. It is unimaginable for Brock Miller to have a nasty day.”

“You already know, he simply supplies an depth, management that’s so vital for any crew,” Odom mentioned. “He means a ton to us.”

Miller’s worth is obvious — even past his management. A four-year starter, he is a dependable perimeter defender and a harmful 3-point risk. He is constantly averaged simply over 8 factors per sport all through his profession.

This season Utah State has gone 10-5, together with a Quad 1 win over Oklahoma, the place Miller hit back-to-back 3-pointers to provide the Aggies a late lead. In the course of the powerful convention slate, during which Miller was out, the Aggies went simply 6-8.

Miller has handled three bulging discs, two fractures and “a pair” of tears in his decrease again. The damage wasn’t sufficient to finish Miller’s season, however the fixed ache has admittedly made issues troublesome.

“Your again impacts every thing in your life,” Miller mentioned, whereas sitting within the acquainted entrance row of the movie room. “You do not notice how a lot you utilize it till you harm it.”

However not one to complain, the Brighton Excessive graduate mentioned his “stage of gratitude” towards the sport has grown as a result of he is needed to sit out. He is fast to thank the trainers and the college for offering sources to assist.

Miller appears to be a strolling instance of the Spanish phrase “Así es la vida,” which he could have heard on the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina, throughout his church mission.

Immediately translated to English, the phrase means “That is life,” and extra not directly, it means “that is the way it goes.”

Sitting on the sideline in ache, Miller managed to drift.

“I might say that my perspective of life and sort of the place I used to be heading and stuff, it had stayed fairly stage, as a consequence of sort of what defines me as a human being,” Miller mentioned.

“Basketball has by no means been one thing that is outlined my life and who I’m as an individual,” he added. “I take pleasure in it quite a bit; it is actually enjoyable. I like enjoying. You already know, my perspective is at all times, put God first, household second.”

It is a wholesome perspective to have, particularly contemplating basketball is not the one vital factor occurring in Miller’s life. His spouse, Bailey, is pregnant with their first baby and he or she’s anticipated to provide delivery to a child boy Wednesday.

A pregnant spouse and an injured husband has little question made for a busy winter for the Millers. However Miller admits he feels a combination of “nerves and “pleasure” about beginning a household.

“Clearly, there’s quite a bit happening,” Miller mentioned. “Nevertheless it hasn’t been tremendous troublesome due to how superb (Bailey) is as an individual and as a accomplice. She supported me each step of the way in which. And, clearly, you already know, it is an thrilling time. … We’re excited for the chance to begin a household, it is one thing that we have at all times needed to do.”

However earlier than turning into a father to a boy who “already has a scholarship provide” based on Odom, Miller has an enormous basketball sport to play in on Saturday evening in opposition to Colorado State.

Miller, who technically has one yr of eligibility remaining as a consequence of COVID-19, can be honored on senior evening Saturday, in what may very well be his closing sport within the Spectrum.

If he’s finished after this season, it’s going to be the top of an period for a participant who’s the hyperlink to 4 completely different Aggies basketball generations.

Miller was recruited out of highschool by Stew Morrill — the winningest coach in Aggie historical past. However Morrill retired in 2015, so Miller performed beneath Tim Duryea his freshman season from 2017-18; Duryea was changed by Craig Smith in 2018. Miller performed beneath Smith from his redshirt freshman season by way of his junior yr. Now, following Smith’s departure to Utah, Miller is a senior beneath Odom.

“I have been a part of so many various groups and so many various issues that I might say, you already know, now it is sort of all come collectively this final season,” Miller mentioned. “My understanding is quite a bit larger, I might say, from the place I used to be once I first began right here.

Miller has began 104 video games in his profession, seventh most in Aggies historical past. He is helped Utah State qualify for 3 NCAA Tournaments, win two Mountain West event championships and one regular-season championship.

Following senior evening at Colorado State, the Aggies go to San Jose State Friday. Then it is onto the Mountain West Event.

At 16-13 on the season, the Aggies will not safe an at-large bid to the NCAA Event, however they’ve sufficient expertise and high quality wins on the season that exhibits they’re able to working the desk at their convention event and incomes an automated bid. Presently seventh within the convention — 52nd nationally within the KenPom.com rating — Utah State believes they’ll do it once more, and Miller is concentrated on serving to his crew win.

“The one factor he is ever mentioned to me since day one, he mentioned to the opposite guys, for the crew is, I need one other ring,” Dixon mentioned.

It begins Saturday evening. A number of members of the family will come as much as watch Miller play at a college and in a metropolis and for a crew that each one “means a lot” to him. In the event that they’re fortunate, possibly he’ll hit a number of 3-pointers, igniting a number of chants of “Mr. Clear!”

It doesn’t matter what in the end occurs, Miller can be all proper. His “by no means too excessive, by no means too low” mantra has gotten him by way of 5 seasons of Aggies basketball. It is helped him by way of a crippling again damage, and it will assist him as he turns into a father within the coming days.

Basketball, like every thing else, has its place.

“Once I go residence to my spouse and now my youngsters quickly, it’s going to be a factor of, once I go residence, I am residence,” Miller mentioned. “I am residence with the household and people stresses and issues will not translate to the way in which that I deal with them and the issues that I do and that I will be constant.”

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LOVELOUD Night with the Utah Jazz Set for March 9



The Utah Jazz introduced at this time plans to rejoice variety, fairness, inclusion and unity with members and allies of the LGBTQ+ group by internet hosting LOVELOUD Evening with the Utah Jazz at Vivint Enviornment on Wednesday, March 9.

Based in 2017 by Think about Dragons musician Dan Reynolds, the LOVELOUD Basis is a catalyst to deliver communities and households collectively to assist ignite the important dialog about what it means to unconditionally love LGBTQ+ youth. The Basis has awarded grants and is aligned with 28 native organizations or chapters, together with Encircle, Equality Utah, Mama Dragons, Utah Delight Middle and Human Rights Marketing campaign Utah.

Followers can buy an higher bowl ticket and a restricted version LOVELOUD T-shirt (sizes topic to availability) beginning at $30. Ticket and T-shirt packages, together with decrease bowl seats for $80, can be found on the market at www.utahjazz.com/tickets/plans. Recreation time is 8 p.m. MT towards the Portland Path Blazers.

“The Utah Jazz embrace inclusivity and imagine in creating an setting that’s welcoming to everybody,” mentioned Chief Expertise Officer Andrea Williams. “LOVELOUD Evening is without doubt one of the methods the Jazz group demonstrates its assist for acceptance and inclusion. We look ahead to recognizing the voices, contributions and skills of the LGBTQ+ group throughout a Jazz sport.”

The LOVELOUD Basis advisory board mentioned, “The Utah Jazz are on the forefront of making an area of inclusivity in Utah. The LOVELOUD Basis is so grateful for the chance to accomplice with the Utah Jazz in creating an area the place we will proceed our mission of igniting the dialog of what it means to unconditionally love and rejoice our LGBTQ+ family and friends.”

To rejoice the work of LGBTQ+ non-profit organizations, the Jazz will host a pre-game reception and donate tickets bought by the gamers to native teams. Tyler Glenn, lead vocalist for the band Neon Timber, will sing the Nationwide Anthem. Jazz sport evening at Vivint Enviornment may also embody a video to acknowledge LGBTQ+ organizations in Utah, a charitable donation alternative for the LOVELOUD Basis and different particular performances.

This summer time Vivint Enviornment can also be internet hosting the fourth LOVELOUD Competition on Could 14 to learn LGBTQ+ youth. Extra data on the musical performers and ticket gross sales will probably be out there at a later date.

Additionally upcoming, after internet hosting Filipino Evening in January, the Jazz proceed to rejoice variety and inclusivity with a second worldwide evening. French Evening offered by Socios.com will probably be held on March 15 towards the Chicago Bulls at Vivint Enviornment.