2021-22 players not returning: NONE
Returning players: Steven Ashworth, Rylan Jones, Connor Odom
New faces in 2022-23: NONE
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 senior Rylan Jones will grab the top spot at this position. As a junior during the 2021-22 season, he played in 31 games with 22 starts. He averaged 6.5 points per game while shooting 43.5 percent from the floor, 30.5 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 88.5 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 2.6 boards per contest, 4.5 assists, and 1.2 steals. He also blocked 1 shot during the year. Jones joined the Aggies prior to the 2021-22 season after beginning his collegiate career at the university of utah. As a sophomore in 2020-21 at Utah, he fought through an injury-plagued season to start in 15 of the 17 games he was healthy enough to play in. He averaged 4.4 points per game while shooting 35.7 percent from the floor, 30.0 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 70.6 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 1.8 boards, 4.0 assists, and 1.2 steals per contest. As a true freshman in 2019-20. he started in all 28 games. He averaged 9.6 points per game while shooting 40.0 percent from the floor, 38.6 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 86.3 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 2.9 boards, 4.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per contest. Rylan is a highly skilled point guard with a high basketball IQ. He is a good decision-maker who does not commit many turnovers. He does a nice job balancing scoring and creating for his teammates. He is a very good ball-handler with fantastic court vision. He is a shooter who can score from all three levels on the floor. He has a high motor and is very quick.
I expect junior Steven Ashworth to once again be a major contributor this season. As a sophomore in 2021-22, he played in 33 games with 15 starts. He averaged 8.7 points per game while shooting 40.4 percent from the floor, 39.2 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 86.0 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 2.5 boards per contest, 3.6 assists, and also recorded 27 steals and blocked 1 shot during the year. As a true freshman in 2020-21, he played in all 29 games. He averaged 6.1 points per game while shooting 35.7 percent from the floor, 36.5 percent from behind the 3-point line, and 89.8 percent at the free-throw line. He averaged 1.9 boards per contest, 2.6 assists, and also recorded 16 steals and blocked 1 shot during the year. As a senior at Lone Peak High (UT) in 2017-18, he averaged 16.4 points per game. He also averaged 4.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists and 3.0 steals per contest. His 7.1 assists per game were second in the state. For his efforts, he was named the Utah Valley Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Utah 6-A MVP, and first-team all-state during his final year at Lone Peak HS. He was also named to the GEICO National all-tournament team. As a junior in 2016-17, he averaged 13.9 points per game. He also averaged 5.5 rebounds and 6.9 assists and 2.5 steals per contest. In today’s game, Ashworth is a true point guard in every sense of the phrase. He can score the ball at a very high percentage and he is a solid marksman from 3-point range. He is developing a mid-range shot that will complement his ability to hit the three nicely. He has been a floor general his entire career and he is very good at creating open looks and layups for his teammates. He has a great feel for the game on the defensive end of the floor and he uses his instincts to fill passing lanes to create steals and loose balls.
Adding depth to the position will be junior Connor Odom. As a sophomore in 2021-22, he played in 6 games. In limited minutes he scored 3 points while shooting 25.0 percent from the floor, and 50.0 percent from behind the 3-point line. He did not attempt a free throw. He also recorded 2 rebounds during the season. Odom joined the Aggies in time for the 2021-22 season after being enrolled at Flagler College (FL). Before enrolling at Flagler College, Odom spent his first collegiate season as a walk-on at the University of Maryland. As a senior at Arch Bishop Spalding (MD) in 2018-19, he missed the season due to an illness. As a junior in 2017-18 at high school basketball powerhouse Oak Hill Academy (VA), he helped guide the Warriors to #4 in the national high school rankings. Odom is known as a capable outside shooter. He can handle the ball well and has a pass-first old-school point guard mentality. He is a complete team player and a floor general. He will do a great job of handling scout team duties as the Aggies prepare for their opponents. Odom is also the son of Utah State Head Coach Ryan Odom.
PROJECTED 2022-23 PRESEASON DEPTH CHART
15 Rylan Jones (6-0, 178, Sr., 1L, 4*)
3 Steven Ashworth (6-1, 170, Jr., 2L, NR)
14 Connor Odom (5-11, 165, Jr., SQ, NR)
Coming Up On Tuesday: Shooting Guard