2020-21 players not returning: Kuba Karwowski (Transferred to Sam Houston State ); Neemias Queta (NBA Draft 2nd-Round Sacramento Kings)
Returning players: Trevin Dorius, Szymon Zapala
New faces in 2021-22:
Brandon Horvath 6’10” 210 (NR) – University of Maryland-Baltimore County – (1 year to play 1)
2020-21 (Sr.) Stats: PPG: 13.1 FG%: 47.5 3PT%: 30.0 FT%: 70.0 REB: 8.7 AST: 1.9 STL: 0.6 BLK: 0.4
2019-20 (Jr.) Stats: PPG: 11.0 FG%: 48.5 3PT%: 36.8 FT%: 62.4 REB: 6.7 AST: 1.0 STL: 0.9 BLK: 0.5
2018-19 (So.) Stats: PPG: 9.1 FG%: 42.1 3PT%: 28.6 FT%: 68.0 REB: 4.4 AST: 1.0 STL: 0.8 BLK: 0.4
2017-18 (Fr.) Stats: PPG: 3.3 FG%: 43.2 3PT%: 29.1 FT%: 40.7 REB: 2.1 AST: 0.4 STL: 0.3 BLK: 0.2
With Utah State’s evolving philosophy of “positionless basketball”, you will find that while I have Brandon Horvath at the “center” position, his game resembles that of a “stretch 4 or 5”. You will not find him playing as a “true” center. For the sake of a preseason preview I have placed each player in the position I believe they will see the bulk of their minutes at during the 2020-21 season but this by no means is an indicator of pegging any of the players to one specific position
In regards to the NCAA mandated eligibility freeze from the 2020 season, what I’ve learned is that the player’s eligibility will continue to accrue. Once the player reaches his 4th or 5th season, depending on if the player uses a redshirt season, the player will have the option to return to school for a 5th or 6th season and continue playing one more season. The player will then move from being listed as a senior (Sr.) to a graduate senior (Gr-Sr.)
I believe that graduate transfer senior Brandon Horvath will see the bulk of his minutes in this role. Horvath joins the Aggies in time for the 2021-22 season after spending his first four seasons at The University of Maryland-Baltimore County. This will be his final season of collegiate eligibility. As a senior in 2020-21 at Maryland-Baltimore County, he started in all 19 games. He averaged 13.1 points per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the floor, 30.0 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 70.0 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 8.7 boards per contest and also totaled 7 blocks, 39 assists, and 12 steals during the year. As a junior in 2019-20, he appeared in 33 games, including 30 starts. He averaged 11.0 points per game while shooting 48.5 percent from the floor, 36.8 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 62.4 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 6.7 rebounds per game and also totaled 15 blocks, 32 assists, and 31 steals during the year. As a sophomore in 2018-19, he appeared in 30 games, including 2 starts. He averaged 9.1 points per game while shooting 42.1 percent from the floor, 28.6 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 68.0 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 4.4 boards per contest and also totaled 11 blocks, 29 assists, and 25 steals during the year. As a freshman in 2017-18, he appeared in 31 games, including 3 starts. He averaged 3.3 points per game while shooting 43.2 percent from the floor, 29.1 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 40.7 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 2.1 boards per contest and also totaled 5 blocks, 12 assists, and 8 steals during the year. He spent the 2016-17 season redshirting at Maryland-Baltimore County. For a player of his height, Horvath shoots the ball pretty well. He is good at coming off ball screens and shooting behind it the screen, that’s something you don’t see a lot of from a player that stands 6-foot-10. Before he hit a huge growth spurt in high school, he played guard. Because of that experience, he can put the ball on the floor and is comfortable doing so. But with his height, he can also score inside when needed. Last year he was like a dominant force inside, and at times commanded a doubled team nearly every game. He is a high-energy guy who is going to make the right plays.
Competing for playing time behind Horvath is junior Trevin Dorius. As a sophomore in 2020-21, he appeared in 25 games. He averaged 2.0 points per game while shooting 53.7 percent from the floor, he did not take any shots from behind the 3-point line and 41.2 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 2.7 boards per contest and also totaled 12 blocks, 7 assists, and 14 steals during the year. Dorius returned from serving an LDS Church mission in time to participate in the 2019-20 season. As a redshirt freshman, he appeared in 25 games, including three starts. He averaged 2.7 points per game while shooting 51.9 percent from the floor, 100.0 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 38.7 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 2.6 boards per contest and also totaled 9 blocks, 5 assists, and 4 steals during the year. He was also a member of the 2016-17 Utah State team as a true freshman and spent his first season at USU as a redshirt. Dorius is one of the more improved players on the Utah State team in the past couple of years. He has worked hard and developed a good touch around the basket but is aggressive enough to try and dunk everything around the rim. He also rebounds the ball at a high level and provides quality minutes during his time on the floor. He has also become a very good defender in both the screen and roll and in the post as an individual and help defender.
Looking to make some noise this season is sophomore Szymon Zapala. As a true freshman in 2020-21, he appeared in 13 games. He scored 14 points during the season while shooting 33.3 percent from the floor, he did not attempt any shots from behind the 3-point line and 50.0 percent at the free-throw line. He also totaled 16 rebounds, 2 blocks, 2 assists, and 1 steal during the year. On the high school level during the 2019-20 season at SMS PZkosz Wladyslawowo located in Poland, Zapala averaged 17.9 points per game, while shooting 58.6 percent from the floor and 47.1 percent from behind the 3-point line. He averaged 13.5 boards per contest, 2.1 assists, and 2.4 blocks per game. He also competed with the Under-18 Polish national team in 2019-20 and during international competition, he averaged 7.5 points per game, while shooting 61.0 percent from the floor. He averaged 5.1 boards per contest with 1.0 blocks per game. He also played for club team Trefl Sopot in the Under-20 Polish Cup, helping his team to the championship game and earning tournament MVP honors. Zapala is a big-bodied “5” man. He runs the floor very well for a post player of his size. He plays extremely hard on both ends of the floor and has a very good basketball IQ which allows him to pick things up quickly. He is also a very capable scorer in the post and can put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways.
PROJECTED 2021-22 PRESEASON DEPTH CHART
4 Brandon Horvath (6-10, 210, GrSr., TR., NR)
32 Trevin Dorius (7-0, 240, Jr., 2L, NR)
12 Szymon Zapala (6-11, 240, So., 1L, 4*)
Coming Up On Friday: Power Forward/Stretch 4