2020-21 players not returning: Zahar Vedischev (Returned to Russia)
Returning players: Brock Miller, Max Shulga
New faces in 2021-22:
Muzamil (Zee) Hamoda 6’7″ 180 (NR) – Bridgton Academy, ME
2020-21 (Sr.) Stats: Stats Unavailable
2019 (FIBA Tournament) Stats: PPG: 23.0 FG%: 69.0 3PT%: 42.9 FT%: 40.0 REB: 13.0 AST: 3.6 STL: 4.4 BLK: 2.6
2018 (FIBA Tournament) Stats: PPG: 9.4 FG%: 35.2 3PT%: 23.3 FT%:— REB: 5.4 AST: 1.7 STL: 0.7
Travis Wagstaff 6’7″ 185 (NR) – Snow JC, UT – (Preferred Walk-on; 4 years to play 4)
2020-21 (RsFr.) Stats: PPG:16.2 FG%: 41.9 3PT%: 34.2 FT%: 80.4 REB: 4.9 AST: 2.9
2019-20 (Fr.) Stats: Redshirted at Utah Valley University
Offers from: Coppin St, North Dakota, Utah Valley, Western Michigan
\With Utah State’s evolving philosophy of “positionless basketball”, you will find that several of the players listed not only here at small forward but also at power forward will not only be interchangeable at times but a couple of these players may see minutes at the shooting guard position as well. 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 into 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 senior Brock Miller will resume his role as the starter at this position. As a junior in 2020-21, Miller started in all 27 games that he was available for and averaged 8.8 points per game, while shooting 38.4 percent from the floor, 36.5 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 71.4 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 1.8 rebounds per game. He also recorded 25 assists and 14 steals on the season. As a sophomore in 2019-20, Miller appeared in 34 games during the year, starting in 29 and averaged 8.4 points per game, while shooting 35.2 percent from the floor, 30.5 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 82.8 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 2.3 rebounds per game and 1.0 assists per contest. As a redshirt freshman in 2018-19, he appeared and started in all 35 games during the year and averaged 8.1 points per game, while shooting 36.4 percent from the floor, 35.4 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 88.9 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 1.8 rebounds per contest and also recorded 11 assists. He made 95 field goals throughout the season which ranks his 10th best for a freshman in Utah State basketball history. Following his return from serving an LDS Church mission, as a true freshman in 2017-18, he appeared in each of the first 5 games before a severe foot injury forced him to miss the remainder of the season. Before the injury, he was averaging 6.8 points per game, while shooting 46.2 percent from the floor, 47.4 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 100.0 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 1.4 rebounds per contest. Miller is a rangy scoring guard with a prolific jump shot. His release is textbook and he gets great lift on his shot. He can hit the 3-pointer off the catch or the dribble. He is developing a pump fake mid-range jumper that would complement his 3-point skills. He is a good free-throw shooter. He has good length that helps him on the defensive end of the floor.
Battling for playing time at this spot is junior Sean Bairstow. As a sophomore in 2020-21, Bairstow appeared in 25 games during the year, starting in 1 and averaged 3.7 points per game, while shooting 47.4 percent from the floor, 38.5 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 68.8 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 1.1 rebounds per game and recorded 19 assists, 9 steals, and blocked 3 shots on the season. As a true freshman in 2019-20, Bairstow appeared in 32 games during the year and averaged 2.8 points per game, while shooting 44.6 percent from the floor, 33.3 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 71.3 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 1.5 rebounds per game. He also contributed 33 assists and 5 blocks on the season. As a prep player at Churchie in Brisbane, Australia, he averaged 22.0 points per game and 10.0 rebounds. He was also a member of the Under-19 Australian National team. Bairstow is a very mobile, high basketball IQ stat stuffer. His off-the-charts athleticism allows him to play multiple positions on the floor. He has a lightning-quick first step that allows him to get to the basket with ease. His improved shooting from long range allows him to score in several different ways. His excellent length and athleticism help him tremendously on the defensive end of the floor.
One player that has been making some noise and may see action much sooner than initially expected is true freshman Zee Hamoda. Hamoda joins the Aggies after spending a season at Bridgton Academy (ME). Unfortunately, his stats for his season at Bridgton were not available at press time. He has seen a few years of international action for his home country of Bahrain. During international play in 2019, Hamoda averaged 23.0 points per game, while shooting 69.0 percent from the floor, 42.9 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 40.0 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 13.0 rebounds per game, 3.6 assists, 4.4 steals, and 2.6 blocked shots per contest. He got his first taste of international play in 2018, where he averaged 9.4 points per game while shooting 35.2 percent from the floor, and 23.3 percent from behind the 3-point line. He averaged 5.4 rebounds per game, 1.7 assists, and 0.7 steals per contest. Hamoda is an extremely athletic player with the versatility to play several different positions on the floor. He handles the ball well and can put it on the floor and slash to the basket in a hurry. He is currently a capable three-point shooter that will only get better as time goes on. His long wingspan allows him to get up and rebound much better than one would anticipate. He uses that length to his advantage on the defensive end of the floor as well, as he does a good job of keeping his opponent in front of him. I initially thought Hamoda was a sure-fire redshirt candidate but from what I’m hearing coming out of practices, I now believe he is going to prove to be too good to redshirt.
Adding depth to the position will be sophomore junior college transfer, Travis Wagstaff. Wagstaff joins the Aggies after playing one season at Snow Junior College (UT). He has 4 years to complete 4 years of eligibility. As a redshirt freshman in 2020-21, Wagstaff appeared and started in a combination of 22 games during the year, averaging 16.2 points per game, while shooting 41.9 percent from the floor, 34.2 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 80.4 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 4.9 rebounds per game and 2.9 assists per contest. He also added 18 steals and 3 blocked shots on the season. As a true freshman in 2019-20, he sat out the season while redshirting at Utah Valley University. Wagstaff is a very good shooter. He can score at all three levels on the floor. He can handle the ball well for a player his size. He is an efficient scorer as he hits his shots at a good percentage rate. He rebounds the ball on both ends of the floor adequately. He is a very solid addition to the Aggie scout team and he could see some brief spot duty from time to time.
PROJECTED 2021-22 PRESEASON DEPTH CHART
22 Brock Miller (6-5, 200, Sr., 3L, 3*)
2 Sean Bairstow (6-8, 190, Jr., 2L, 3*) OR
24 Zee Hamoda (6-7, 170, Fr., HS, NR)
1 Travis Wagstaff (6-7, 185, So., JC, NR)