November 14, 2019 /Sports News – Local No. 17 Utah State Men’s Basketball Hosts North Carolina A&T Friday Tags: North Carolina A&T Men’s Basketball/USU Men’s Basketball Written by Brad James FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailLOGAN, Utah-Friday, No. 17 Utah State (3-0) hosts North Carolina A&T (1-2) of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference at the Spectrum in a battle of two of the schools nicknamed “Aggies” in Division I.The Utah State Aggies are currently 59-18 (.766) all-time as a ranked team by The Associated Press.In his second season at Logan, head coach Craig Smith is currently 31-7 (.816) at the helm and 110-62 (.640) as a head coach in Division I men’s basketball.Utah State is tied for 36th nationally (89 points per game) in scoring offense with San Francisco and Connecticut.USU senior guard Sam Merrill (18.7 points, 4.7 rebounds a game) leads the way for the squad as he has consistently done throughout his career.In the absence of rising star, sophomore center Neemias Queta, sophomore guard Brock Miller (14.7 points per game) and sophomore forward Justin Bean (13 points, 11.3 rebounds per game) have picked up the slack.Bean is currently one of four Mountain West Conference student-athletes averaging a double-double, along with Colorado State forward/center Nico Carvacho, Fresno State forward Nate Grimes and Boise State forward RJ Williams.Utah State’s defense has been stingy as it surrenders only 54.3 points per game, ranking 27th nationally.USU opponents are shooting only 35 percent from the field and in the last two games, Weber State (21.7 percent) and Denver (38.9 percent) have had a hard time getting things going.Polish national, junior center Kuba Karwowski, currently has 6 blocks on the season to pace Utah State in that category. Senior Portuguese national, Diogo Brito, has a team-best 6 steals.North Carolina A&T comes to Logan on the heels of a 90-64 loss at Western Carolina Tuesday.In his fifth season at the helm of the program, head coach Jay Joyner is currently 48-64 (.429).NCAT scores 59 points per game, tying them for 322nd nationally with Florida A&M, St. Bonaventure and Alabama A&M.Senior forward Ronald Jackson leads NCAT with 13.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Jackson is also the defensive leader on the squad, with three blocked shots. He is complemented by junior guard Kameron Langley (10 points, 6.7 rebounds per game).In scoring defense, NCAT surrenders 74 points per game, tying them for 250th nationally with Manhattan, Albany, Nicholls State and Central Florida. NCAT’s steals leader is junior guard Tyler Maye, who has seven thefts in the first three games of the season.This is the first meeting in school history between these two Aggies.