The Utah State men’s basketball team got gutted at the guard position after the abrupt end to the 2019-20 season. So coach Craig Smith has been on the lookout for someone to fill the role of facilitator.
Karson Stastny, a 6-foot-4 guard from Celina, Texas, could be that player. He will join the team with four years of eligibility this fall, Smith announced Friday.
Stastny compiled more than 500 assists in high school, but showed he can also be a scoring threat. He put up more than 2,000 career points, averaging 20 points per game on 64.2% shooting from the field as a senior. He also averaged five rebounds per contest on his way to earning four district MVP titles and a Texas Area Basketball Coaches all-state selection as a senior.
Off the court, Stastny was a member of the National Honor Society and National Math Society. He also won district championships in the 200 meters and high jump. His father was his high school basketball coach and his sisters played collegiately for Lipscomb and Texas Woman’s University.
“Karson has [a] great feel for the game,” Smith said in a press statement. “He is skilled and can really shoot the ball.”
The Aggies will take their biggest hits at the guard position, losing both two-time Mountain West Conference Tournament MVP Sam Merrill and sixth-man Diogo Brito to graduation and starter Abel Porter to Ohio State. However, guard Brock Miller, who saw significant playing time during USU’s run to the MWCT championship, is expected to return. USU also will have the services of Virginia transfer Marco Anthony, a rising senior, and newly signed 6-4 guard Max Shulga of the Ukraine. Rising sophomore Sean Bairstow and rising senior Carson Bischoff, a Weber High product, are also listed as guards on the Aggies’s 2019-20 roster.
In addition to Shulga, this spring the Aggies announced the addition of Matthew Wickizer, a 6-9 forward from Kearns who recently finished his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Szymon Zapala, a 6-11 center from Poland.