Utah State basketball: Jarred Shaw rejoins Aggies after guilty plea
Aggies center could have third-degree felony pot possession charge reduced.
Published: January 4, 2014 01:19PM
Updated: January 4, 2014 06:30PM
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Utah State center Jarred Shaw (5) takes a shot as Southern Utah forward Jaren Jeffery (42) defends during an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, in Logan, Utah. (AP Photo/The Herald Journal, Eli Lucero)

After missing five games, Utah State basketball player Jarred Shaw has been reinstated to the team after he pleaded guilty to a drug charge Friday.

Shaw pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony marijuana possession charge, which could be reduced to a misdemeanor by his sentencing on March 17 or on completion of probation, attorney Shannon Demler said.

Demler, who represented Shaw in the case stemming from a Dec. 15 incident, said he expected the Aggies to reinstate their 6-foot-10 center before the day was out. The Aggies sent out a release confirming his reinstatement on Friday afternoon.

““There has been lots of speculation and untrue rumors regarding Jarred,” coach Stew Morrill said in the release. “Jarred Shaw is a student-athlete who graduates this spring and who made a mistake. This was his first offense and he has served his penalty by missing five games. We will go forward from here, and our team is certainly excited to have Jarred back.”

Two other charges — misdemeanor counts of possession and contributing to the delinquency of a minor — were dismissed.

Shaw originally faced a second-degree felony distribution charge that was amended to a third-degree possession charge. Demler said it could be further reduced to a misdemeanor for his sentencing if he completes counseling and community service requirements set by the court.

Cache County Attorney James Swink was not immediately available for comment.

The Aggies are certainly relieved to be bringing back Shaw, the team’s leading scorer (16.1 ppg) rebounder (7.8 rpg) and shot-blocker (1.4 bpg) at the time of the incident. Utah State has gone 4-1 in his absence, but the loss came against Air Force in the program’s first-ever Mountain West game.

Without Shaw, the Aggies struggled with shallow depth at center. Beyond junior Jordan Stone, the team played forwards Ben Clifford and Kyle Davis out of position. With Shaw back in the fold, Utah State brings back its top low-post scoring and rebounding threat which potentially helps it compete closer to the top of the league.

Shaw was a second-team all-WAC honoree last season in his first year with the team after transferring from Oklahoma State.

kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon

San Jose State at Utah State

O Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, Logan

Tipoff • Saturday, 7 p.m.

Radio • 1280 AM

Records • USU 10-3, 0-1 MW; SJSU 6-7, 0-1 MW

Series history • USU leads 50-21

Last meeting • USU 63, SJSU 36 (Feb. 8, 2013)

About the Aggies • Utah State is expected to start senior center Jarred Shaw, who is coming off a five-game suspension. … The Aggies average 18.1 assists per game, which is sixth-best in the nation. … Senior guards Preston Medlin and Spencer Butterfield are each averaging 14.2 points per game, which is tied for 15th in the Mountain West.

About the Spartans • San Jose State is under first-year coach Dave Wojcik, who previously served on the coaching staff at Boise State. … Freshman Rashad Muhammad leads the team with 16.4 points per game coming off the bench — one of only seven freshmen in the nation’s top 150 scorers. … Prior to falling to Nevada on Wednesday to start conference play, the Spartains had been on a four-game winning streak.