A year ago Aggie basketball fans were introduced to Neemias Queta at Aggie Madness.

However, another Utah State player was able to out do the 7-footer from Portugal in the dunk contest. That’s right. Justin Bean broke onto the scene with a wild throw down to edge his teammate that would go on to become the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, along with earning MW Freshman of the Year accolades at the end of the 2018-19 season.

Bean also went on to become an integral part of the men’s basketball team, coming off the bench to add valuable energy on the boards as USU went on to capture the MW Tournament title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The former walk-on also became a fan favorite.

Well, Bean will be back to defend his dunk title Thursday night on Kirby Court in the Wayne Estes Center. Aggie basketball fans are invited to Aggie Madness, presented by Maceys, Thursday night at 8:30.

Whether Queta will compete is doubtful. He injured a knee during the summer playing for his country in the European U20 Championships, which Portugal won. The Aggie big man has been wearing a brace and rehabbing in hopes of being ready for the season next month.

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams at USU are part of the event, which will feature a 3-point shootout, a dunk contest and eight-minute scrimmages by both teams. This will be the first look fans will get of the two squads prior to the 2019-20 season.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early for the event with the doors opening at the Wayne Estes Center at 7:30 p.m. Free pizza will be provided to USU students in attendance.

The evening will start with team introductions, followed by a scrimmage between the women’s team and then a scrimmage between the men’s team. There will then be a 3-point shooting contest that will pit four players from both squads against each other in a bracket to determine the 3-point champion.

The evening will conclude with a dunk competition by the men’s team. Throughout the event, students will have the opportunity to compete in “Not Your Average Aggie,” where students will be paired with a player from the men’s or women’s teams for various contests.

The Aggie men open the season on Oct. 30, with an exhibition game against the College of Idaho in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The regular season begins on Nov. 5, when Montana State visits the Spectrum.

The USU women host Arizona Christian on Nov. 2, in an exhibition. The ladies regular season also opens at home, when Portland comes to town on Nov. 7. The women also play their home games in the Spectrum.

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Shawn Harrison is the sports editor at The Herald Journal. He can be reached at sharrison@hjnews.com or 435-792-7233.

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