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USU center Shaw suspended
Utah State basketball » The Aggies lose their leading scorer and rebounder indefinitely.
First Published Dec 16 2013 08:55 pm • Last Updated Dec 16 2013 11:14 pm

Logan • The Utah State men’s basketball team announced Monday morning that senior center Jarred Shaw has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules, leaving the program without its leading scorer and rebounder for the foreseeable future.

Utah State coach Stew Morrill declined to comment on the specific violation or how long the Aggies would be without Shaw to the Tribune. On his radio coaches’ show with Al Lewis on 610 AM KVNU, Morrill said that the violation would have legal implications.

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"We’ll let the case take its course," Morrill said in the interview. "We’ll see what happens in terms of the legal part of it and all that before we get into it too much. But it’s just unfortunate. Really bad choices on his part, and he’s going to have to pay the price. Until we see where it all goes, it’s hard to get too much into it."

Shaw had not been charged with any crimes in connection with the suspension Monday, according to court records.

On the court, Utah State (6-2) will certainly feel Shaw’s absence. The 6-foot-10 Texan is the team’s top threat in the paint, averaging a team-leading 16.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. Shaw shoots 54.3 percent from the floor, which ranks second in the Mountain West, and a team-best 87.1 percent from the free-throw line. He has been a major factor in helping the Aggies achieve a plus-9.6 rebounding margin, which is the 14th best mark in the country.

Depending on the length of Shaw’s suspension, the Aggies will face an uphill battle in replacing his production. Junior 6-foot-10 center Jordan Stone averages 3.1 points and 2.8 rebounds per game, and the Aggies could use smaller lineups with forwards Ben Clifford or Kyle Davis playing at Shaw’s spot. There are no plans to pull 7-foot freshman Carson Shanks off his redshirt year.

"He’s a big part of our team," Morrill said in his KVNU interview. "We’ll just have to have guys step up and try and fill the void as best they can."

The Aggies still have scoring weapons in the backcourt, with seniors Preston Medlin and Spencer Butterfield each averaging more than 13 points per game. Davis leads the Aggies’ forwards with 9.9 points and 7 rebounds per game.

"It’s tough for us, but it’s something we’ve got to look past," Medlin said. "We just got to keep fighting. We’ve still got guys out there who are plenty capable of doing what we need them to do."

The challenge of playing without Shaw begins this week as the Aggies host their annual holiday tournament at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. Starting Thursday, Utah State plays Western Illinois, UC Santa Barbara and Troy on consecutive nights. The Aggies begin Mountain West play at Air Force on Jan. 1.


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kgoon@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kylegoon



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