POWER FORWARD/STRETCH 4
2020-21 players not returning: Alphonso Anderson (Transferred to Pacific); Liam McChesney (Transferred to Illinois State)
Returning players: Justin Bean, Matt Wickizer
New faces in 2021-22:
Cade Potter 6’8″ 230 (247 3*) – Orange Lutheran HS, CA – (Return Missionary)
2018-19 (Sr.) Stats: PPG: 10.8 FG%: 52.0 3PT%: 37.0 FT%: 100 REB: 3.6 BLK: 2.0
2017-18 (Jr.) Stats: PPG: 11.4 FG%: 45.0 3PT%: 27.0 FT%: 52.0 REB: 6.5 BLK: 1.8
2016-17 (So.) Stats: PPG: 9.4 FG%: 44.0 3PT%: 17.0 FT%: 64.0 REB: 6.0 BLK: 1.5
2015-16 (Fr.) Stats: PPG: 1.7 FG%: 33.0 3PT%: 0.0 FT%: 67.0 REB: 1.4 BLK: 0.43
Offers from: Cal St-Northridge, Long Beach St
Norbert Thelissen 6’7″ 218 (247 3*) – The Netherlands – (4 years to play 3)
2019-20 (Pro) Stats: PPG: 3.1 FG%: — 3PT%:— FT%:— REB: 1.9 AST: 0.9 STL: 0.5
2019 (International Competition) Stats: PPG: 11.4 FG%: 58.9 3PT%: 40.0 FT%:— REB: 4.5 AST: 1.1
Offers from: utah
With Utah State’s evolving philosophy of “positionless basketball”, you will find that several of the players listed not only here at power forward but also at small forward will not only be interchangeable at times. Neither of the power forwards should see anytime at the shooting guard spot. I think you’ll see them strictly at the “3” or “4” spots. 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.)
Returning as the obvious starter is senior Justin Bean. As a junior in 2020-21, he started in all 29 games and averaged 11.4 points per game, while shooting 51.8 percent from the floor, 23.8 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 82.9 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 7.7 rebounds per game, 1.9 assists per contest, 1.3 steals, and also added 9 blocked shots. For his effort during the season, Justin was named to the Mountain West All-Conference 2nd-Team. As a sophomore in 2019-20, he started in all 34 games during the year, averaging 11.9 points per game, while shooting 51.8 percent from the floor, 27.6 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 80.6 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 10.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per contest. He led the Aggies with 51 steals on the year, averaging 1.5 per game to rank second in the Mountain West. He also swatted 24 shots. He totaled 356 rebounds during the year, marking the fifth-highest single-season total in Utah State basketball history. He also recorded 16 double-doubles which tie him for 7th in a single season in Utah State basketball history. For his effort during the season, he was named third-team all-Mountain West and to the Mountain West all-defensive team. He was also named the MVP of the Jamaica Classic which the Aggies won. As a redshirt freshman in 2018-19, he appeared in 29 games during the year and averaged 4.1 points per game, while shooting 51.2 percent from the floor, 16.7 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 76.3 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 3.8 rebounds per contest. He totaled 22 assists, 19 steals, and eight blocks during the year. After showing vast improvement under former Utah State Head Coach Craig Smith, he was awarded a scholarship mid-way through the season. Following his return from serving an LDS Church mission, he redshirted the during the 2017-18 season. Bean is a relentless rebounder on both ends of the floor. Once the ball is in the air he will not stop until the missed shot is securely in his hands or the hands of a teammate. He is a maniacal defender who revels in the opportunity to get in an opposing player’s face and frustrate him. He is the first to hit the floor to secure a loose ball. He is a capable scorer who is crafty around the basket and can often find a way to score once he gets the ball in the paint. He has worked tirelessly during the offseason to expand his range out to the three-point line.
Pushing for playing time in a couple of different positions will be sophomore transfer Norbert Thelissen. Thelissen joins the Aggies after originally signing with the university of utah. He has four years to complete three years of eligibility. Thelissen spent 2019-20 playing for the Danish team Heroes Den Bosch where he averaged 3.1 points per game, 2.3 rebounds per game, and 1.0 assists in 19 games. In 2019, he appeared in 8 games during FIBA international competition playing for The Netherlands where he averaged 11.4 points per game while shooting 58.9 percent from the floor and 40.0 percent from behind the 3-point line. He averaged 4.5 rebounds per game and 1.1 assists per contest. Thelissen has a ton of potential that is just waiting to be untapped here at Utah State. He is a physically strong player that does a good job of rebounding. He uses that strength to operate effectively in the post. He has an inside/outside game that allows him to spot up and shoot the 3-ball well, drive by a defender and finish at the hoop, or play with his back to the basket. He will also prove to be a capable defender at the mid-major level.
Joining the team earlier this summer and looking to earn some early playing time is true freshman Cade Potter. Potter joined the Aggies in early June after returning from serving an LDS Church mission. Before embarking on his mission Cade enjoyed a solid high school career at Orange Lutheran High (CA). As a senior in 2018-19, he struggled with an injury for much of the season but still averaged 10.8 points per game, while shooting 52.0 percent from the floor, 37.0 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 100.0 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 3.6 rebounds per game and 2.0 blocked shots per contest. As a junior in 2017-18, he averaged 11.4 points per game, while shooting 45.0 percent from the floor, 27.0 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 52.0 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 6.5 rebounds per game and 1.8 blocked shots per game. As a sophomore in 2016-17, he averaged 9.4 points per game, while shooting 44.0 percent from the floor, 17.0 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 64.0 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 6.0 rebounds per game and 1.5 blocked shots per contest. As a freshman in 2015-16, he saw action in about half the varsity games and averaged 1.7 points per game, while shooting 33.0 percent from the floor, he did not make a shot from behind the 3-point line, and 67.0 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 1.4 rebounds per game and 0.43 blocked shots per game. Potter is a tireless worker and a true gym rat. He’s been working on adding muscle to be able to take the pounding at the Division-1 level. As a high school senior he worked a lot on his dribbling ability to help him put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket efficiently and with power and aggression. He has developed a face-up game in the post and out to 15 feet he is very consistent. Potter is a multi-dimensional player that can play both inside and outside. As he continues to become hit the 3-ball with regularity, I believe he will develop into more of a stretch 4, instead of a true post-player at power forward. With Justin Bean and Norbert Thelissen likely to eat up most of the minutes at this spot, it wouldn’t surprise me if Potter redshirted the 2021-22 season.
Adding depth to the position is sophomore Matt Wickizer. As a true freshman in 2020-21, he appeared in 9 games during the year, however, he was unable to break into the scoring column. He did record 4 rebounds. Wickizer joins the Aggies in time for the 2020-21 season after serving an LDS Church mission. As a senior at Kearns High (UT) in 2017-18, he averaged 8.7 points per game, while shooting 45.0 percent from the floor, 40.0 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 67.0 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 5.1 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 1.3 blocks per contest. For his effort, he was named second-team all-Region 2. His father is Utah State Hoops great Nate Wickizer. Wickizer has great size, offensive skill and can shoot the ball for a player of his height. He is a developing young player on the defensive end but is showing great promise. I think we will likely redshirt this season.
PROJECTED 2021-22 PRESEASON DEPTH CHART
POWER FORWARD/STRETCH 4
34 Justin Bean (6-7, 210, Sr., 3L, NR)
21 Norbert Thelissen (6-7, 218, So., TR, 3*)
10 Cade Potter (6-8, 230, Fr., HS, 3*)
35 Matt Wickizer (6-9, 210, Fr., HS, NR)
Coming Up On Monday: Point Guard