Boise State Salute to Utah State Basketball

Utah State has been the model for WAC basketball teams in recent years. They feature packed houses of rabid fans, a following built from years of great success.

Utah State was founded in 1888 in Logan and known as the Agricultural College of Utah. From that beginning, the school has received national and world recognition for its academic work. The name was soon changed to Utah State Agricultural College and then Utah State University of Agriculture and Applied Science in 1957.

Logan ranks #1 as the safest U.S. metropolitan area, #3 in "Best Cities to Find a Job" and #10 in "Best Small Places for Business and Careers", according to U.S. News and World Report. Logan Canyon has a popular system of trails and parks along the river. Camping and hiking are popular and additional recreational opportunities consist of Beaver Mountain Ski Resort and Bear Lake. Aggie Ice Cream, on the east side of the campus, is a local hotspot dating back to the school's founding 1888. The Logan icon produces world-famous ice cream and cheese, sandwiches and soups.

The original goal for Utah State was to fuse a school with the highest scientific and academic research along with an agriculture focus. Vendia Bernston (14 years old) was enrolled as the first student. Two attempts to consolidate the school's operations with the University of Utah failed. When the Logan school began to branch out beyond its agricultural beginning, fans of the University of Utah feared that such expansion would detract from their school and pushed consolidation. A compromise was struck in 1907 to limit the curricula of the Agricultural College to agriculture, domestic science and mechanical arts. A highly-accomplished music department in Logan was thus closed. Even though courses in law and medicine that were in the original charter were given up in this deal and still remain the sole property of Utah, most of the other restrictions were lifted in the next couple of decades. In 1915, UAC awarded its first master's degrees. The school doubled as a result of offering a training ground for the Student Army Training Corps, an effort during World War I. The growth continued when UAC was accepted by the Association of American Universities in 1926. Doctoral degrees were awarded in 1950. Under the direction of President George Emert, Utah State increased its endowment fund from $7 million to $80 million from 1992-2000. USU continues to grow in enrollment, endowment and research. The school recently embarked on an ambitious $400 million fundraising campaign.

Today USU has an enrollment of over 25,000 students. The campus of over 100 major buildings is located on 500 acres at the mouth of Logan Canyon. Utah State is accredited as a major research university by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. They offer 176 bachelor's degrees, 97 master's degrees and 38 doctoral degrees. There are eight colleges: Caine College of the Arts, the College of Agriculture, the College of Engineering, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Natural Resources, the College of Science, the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services and the Jon Huntsman School of Business.

Utah State's facilities include the Space Dynamics Laboratory to focus on military and science projects. Utah State has deep ties to both the Department of Defense and NASA (The Aggies conduct major aerospace research.) The SDL submits projects to NASA and the Department of Defense on a regular basis. Utah State has won numerous national aerospace engineering competitions, including two in 2008-09. USU ranks #1 among all U.S. universities for aerospace research and leads the nation in student experiments accepted for trial in space. The Utah Water Research Laboratory is the oldest and largest facility of its kind in the nation and Utah State is the world's #1 university for water-related engineering and scientific disciplines. The Water Laboratory enables Utah State to participate in several international projects, particularly in the arid Middle Eastern nations.

Utah State students graduating from the College of Science are accepted into medical and dental programs at a rate nearly 30 percent above the national average. The Physics Department has produced a Rhodes Scholar, a Marshall Scholar, a Fulbright Student Scholar, nine Goldwater Scholars and two Carnegie Professors of the Year. Utah State features the most Carnegie-recognized professors in Utah, and boasts 9 of the last 15 in the state. The Department of Mathematics & Statistics includes one of just three actuarial science programs in the West. In 2005, chemist Alexander Boldyrev and colleague Lai-Sheng Wang discovered inorganic aromaticity, a property in chemistry that was originally thought to occur only in organic material. Recently, Boldyrev and Wang also recently discovered antiaromaticity, which was featured in the April 24 issue of Science magazine.

In response to the recent massive oil spills, Utah State has created its own Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan with a detailed map of locations, oil types, quantities and containment specifications. The plan maps all possible spills from storage locations that could impact the waters of the United States. Research is underway to produce a cost-competitive bio-diesel fuel from algae. USU professors formed the Biofuels Program at Energy Dynamics Laboratory on campus to develop new technologies that will produce methane, biodiesel, hydrogen and alcohols from renewable, carbon-dioxide-neutral energy sources such as consumer and agricultural waste and sunlight.

The Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services ranks in the nation's top 2% of prestigious graduate schools in the last decade (U.S. News and World Report). Utah State features one of the nation's few combined programs in graduate psychology training, which integrates doctoral-level training across clinical, counseling and school psychology.

Spurred by a $26 million donation by philanthropist Jon M. Huntsman in 2007, the Huntsman College of Business has ambitious goals for the future. The substantial donation has enabled USU to begin the Huntsman Scholar Program and to hire high-profile faculty such as Stephen Covey, management scholar and author of the best-seller The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The renowned School of Accountancy ranks in the Top 5 nationally in CPA exam scores by its graduates and the Institute of Management Accountants has been awarded the Gold Level Award of Excellence in each of the last 14 years, essentially making it the top such institution in the nation.

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is the largest in Logan. Utah State is the host for scholarly journals such as Western American Literature and the Western Historical Quarterly, the official publications of the Western Literature Association and the Western History Association, respectively. University Special Collections and Archives, a collection of the Merrill-Cazier Library, has extensive holdings that document the state of Utah, the Intermountain West and works of western author Jack London.

USU's music program is led by Dean Craig Jessop, former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Other faculty include opera singer Michael Ballam and Julliard-trained pianist Gary Amano. Aggie students have made significant breakthroughs in plants and soil science, animal science, veterinary science and economics. Researchers collaborated with the University of Idaho to produce the first cloned equine and Utah State is also a leader in classifying and researching the sheep genome. The College of Natural Resources is a springboard for many Aggie graduates to assume high positions within the National Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.

Regional campuses also exist in Brigham City, Tooele and Uintah Basin. Also, the Price and San Juan branches that formed the former College of Eastern Utah are now known as USU-College of Eastern Utah.

Old Main, the college's first building, still stands. The university completed the Merrill-Cazier Library in 2005, a facility that holds over 1.5 million volumes. The Manon Caine Russell-Kathryn Caine Wanlass Performance Hall is said to have some of the best acoustics in the Western United States.

In 2010, Forbes listed Utah State as the #1 public university in the nation within its category of most inexpensive places to go to college. It is also #1 in the West and top five nationally on Forbes list of "America's Best College Buys". The Princeton Review has ranked Utah State among the "Best Western" schools for several years. Popular Science named Utah State one of the "Top 10 Smartest Schools in the nation". The Carnegie Foundation classifies Utah State as a research university with "high research activity". USU received a record $187 million in research this past year.

Someone can become a True Aggie if they kiss another True Aggie on top of the Block "A". USU held the Guinness Book of World Record for the most couples kissing at the same place at the same time. The lighted "A" atop the Old Main tower shines blue when an athletic team has picked up a victory or some other special event has occurred on campus.

USU has more than 110,000 alumni throughout the United States and in more than 100 other nations. Notable Utah State alumni include:

Lionel Aldridge, former NFL defensive end, New York Giants

Kent Baer, standout linebacker who set record for single season tackles (116) that stood for 10 years; assistant coach at Utah State, Idaho, California, Notre Dame, Arizona State, Stanford, Washington, and now defensive coordinator at San Jose State; Broyles Award Finalist in 2002 for nation's top assistant collegiate coach

Rick Baird, U.S. Bobsled Team (1998-2003), forerunner in 2002 Winter Olympics

Nathanial Baldwin, inventor of headphones

Michael Ballam, renowned tenor

Rick Bass, prize-winning novelist; essayist; environmental activist

Ezra Taft Benson, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (1953-1961); President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Jay Don Blake, professional golfer and PGA Tour winner

Randy L. Bott, named #1 Professor in United States by

Prasert Bunsumpun, President & CEO , PTT Public Company, Thailand 's only Fortune Global 500 Company

Nolan Bushnell, founded both Atari, Inc. and Chuck E. Cheese

John K. Cannon, Air Commander-in-Chief, Allied Air Forces, Mediterranean Theater of Operations, WW II 4-star General

Gregory C. Carr, entrepreneur, founded the company that first developed voice mail; chaired Prodigy, an early global ISP

Kathleen Clarke, former Director of the Bureau of Land Management (2002-2007)

Mary Cleave, NASA astronaut

George Clyde, Governor of Utah

Chris Cooley, two-time NFL Pro Bowl tight end, currently with the Washington Redskins

Reed Cowan, Emmy Award-winning journalist; documentary filmmaker

Richard F. Daines, Commissioner of Health for New York State , head of the New York Department of Health

Freddy Deeb, professional poker player, World Series of Poker, over $6 million in live tournament winnings

Charlie Denson, President of Nike

Glen Edwards, award-winning watercolor and oil painter

LaVell Edwards, All-Mountain States player in 1950; legendary College Football Hall of Fame coach; head coach of 1984 National Champion BYU Cougars

Richard and Linda J. Eyre, co-authors of 33 books on parenting, including the New York Times' #1 best-seller Teaching Your Children Values, developed and founded Joy Schools preschool system

Al Faccinto, Jr., President & COO , MGM Mirage International, Inc.

Norah al-Faiz, Deputy Minister for Women's Education in Saudi Arabia (first woman appointed to ministerial post)

Mary Lou Ramm Flippen, inaugural National Softball Hall of Fame inductee; played for Team USA

John and Steven Ford, sons of former U.S. President Gerald Ford

Gar Forman, General Manager, Chicago Bulls

Niranjan R. Gandhi, PhD, world-renowned biotechnologist and food scientist; owner of Jeneil Biotech, Inc.

Cornell Green, 5-time NFL Pro-Bowler with the Dallas Cowboys

Kenny Guinn, Governor of Nevada

Lars Peter Hansen, award-winning economist

Paula Hawkins, United States Senator from 1981-1987

Donnie Henderson, former Defensive Coordinator, New York Jets and Detroit Lions

Eric Hipple, former starting NFL quarterback, Detroit Lions

William Marion Jardine, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (1925-1929), U.S. Ambassador to Egypt

Phil Johnson, former NBA head coach; currently longtime assistant coach, Utah Jazz; named NBA's top assistant coach three times

Sonia Johnson, feminist

Lee Jones, PhD, President of Houghton Mifflin-Riverside Publishing

Rulon Jones, former NFL defensive lineman, Denver Broncos; AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1986

Ardeshir Kahedi, former Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to the United States

Greg Kragen, former NFL Pro Bowl defensive tackle, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers

Dave Kragthorpe, two-time All-Skyline Eight Conference player in 1953-54; voted as a member of Utah State's All-Century Football Team at offensive tackle; Head coach at Oregon State and Idaho State and longtime assistant at BYU; led Idaho State to I-AA National Championship in 1981

Jason Lindsey, Co-founder, President of

Russell Maughan, pilot of first-ever dawn-to-dusk transcontinental flight across the United States

Evan Mecham, Governor of Arizona

Dick Motta, one of top 10 winningest NBA head coaches of all-time; NBA Coach of the Year, 1971; head coach of 1978 NBA Champion Washington Bullets

Deanna Okun, Commissioner, U.S. International Trade Commission

Merlin Olsen, College Hall of Fame defensive tackle, former Los Angeles Ram Hall of Famer, selected to 14 Pro Bowls, 1974 NFL MVP; actor and TV personality

Ward Parkinson, Founder of Micron Technology

Norm Parrish, NJCAA Division I men's basketball Coach of the Year, 2009; NJCAA National Champions, 2009 ( Salt Lake CC )

Archimedes Plutonium (Ludwig van Ludvig), proposed Atom Totality Theory and Fusion Barrier Principle and Superconductivity research

Don Quayle, first President of National Public Radio

Bill Ransom, science fiction writer; Stegner Fellow at Stanford

James H. Quigley, Global CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Harry Reid, United States Senator from Nevada ; former Senate Majority Leader

Mathana Santiwat Maac, President of Bangkok University , Thailand

Jay Silvester, four-time Olympian discus thrower; silver medal (1972); broke world record four times, first person to throw 60 meters

Mike Simpson, U.S. Congressman from Idaho

Bart Stevens, Director, Bureau of Indian Education

May Swenson, renowned poet; Chancellor of Academy of American Poets

Kay Toolson, CEO of Monaco Coach Corporation

Jim Turner, placekicker for 16 seasons with the New York Jets and Denver in the NFL; was a two-time Pro Bowler

Andy Van Schaak, PhD, co-inventor of the Livescribe smartpen

Mark Walton, Annie-nominated voice actor and story artist, known as the voice of "Rhino" in the movie "Bolt".

Kevin Wasden, science fiction and fantasy artist and illustrator

Jean Westwood, first female Chair of the Democratic National Committee (1972)

Shang Fa Yang, PhD, research unlocked the key to prolonging freshness in fruits and flowers, won the 1991 Wolf Prize in Agriculture

Notable Utah State Players in the NBA:

Center Larry Bunce was one of the most accomplished Aggies to go on to a professional career. Bunce averaged 12.1 points and 8.3 rebounds a game in his rookie season with Anaheim of the ABA and made the All-Star game. He played one more season with Dallas, averaging 4.9 points and 4.0 rebounds a game.

Guard Bert Cook played a season with the New York Knicks (1954-55), averaging 3.2 points and 1.9 rebounds a game.

Guard Pat Dunn also played one season in the NBA, averaging 2.5 points and 1.1 rebounds with Philadelphia.

Guard Hal Hale played with Houston of the ABA one season (1967-68) and averaged 5.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2 assists per game.

Guard Shaler Halimon had 23.6 points in 1967-68 and 26.8 points and 11.7 rebounds as a senior. He averaged 25.2 points a game in his great Utah State career and was an All-American in 1967. Halimon played four seasons in the NBA. He was drafted in the 1st round of the 1968 NBA Draft by Philadelphia. He played with Chicago for the next two years and then was traded to Portland. Halimon averaged 8.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists a game with the Blazers and concluded his career in Dallas for two seasons. In his career, Shaler averaged 6.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He played in the NBA Playoffs in 1969 with Philadelphia, with the Bulls in 1970 and with Dallas in 1972.

Glenn Hansen was a transfer from LSU prior to coming to Utah State. He began his career with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA and did well his first season, averaging 6.5 points and 2.8 rebounds. The New York Knicks of the NBA picked him up and he also played with the Chicago Bulls. In his two-year professional career, Hansen averaged 5.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and .8 assists per contest.

Forward Ariel Maughan enjoyed a five-year career in the pros. He played with the Detroit Pistons of the NBA and averaged 9.0 points a game. Ariel then moved to Providence and St. Louis and averaged 10.8 points and 1.8 assists for St. Louis in 1948-49. He played his final season with the Washington Capitols and averaged 7.9 points and 1.2 assists per game.

Forward Desmond Penigar was MVP of the 2003 Big West Tournament and was named All-Big West in each of his final two seasons at Utah State. Penigar is the most recent Aggie to advance to the pros. Penigar played one season with Orlando, hitting 14-28 field goals, 4-4 free throws and grabbing 24 rebounds for the Magic .

Forward Marv Roberts pulled down 12.5 rebounds a game and averaged 27.6 points in the 1968-69 season and averaged 22.4 points and 13.9 rebounds the following year. As a senior, Marv averaged 20.8 points and 11.8 rebounds a game. In his career, Roberts averaged 23.6 points and 12.8 rebounds from 1969-1971. He is fifth all-time with 693 career field goals in 1,487 attempts and holds school records with 17 straight 10-rebound games in 1970-71 and for 54 career double doubles. Roberts made the All-America team in both 1969 and 1970.

Roberts was drafted in the third round of the 2003 NBA Draft by Detroit. He went to Denver of the ABA to begin his career however, and averaged 7.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in his rookie season. He scored 12.3 points and grabbed 5.2 rebounds a game in 1972-73, one of his best seasons. Roberts then played with Carolina, averaging 8.9 points and 5.0 rebounds, before playing two seasons with the famed Kentucky Colonels of the ABA.

Roberts helped Denver and Carolina make the ABA Playoffs. Kentucky won 22 of its last 25 games in 1976, including 10 in a row, to catch the New York Nets for first place in the Eastern Division. In a one-game playoff, the Colonels defeated the Nets 108-99. Kentucky then proceeded to win consecutive 4-1 series against Memphis, St. Louis and the defending ABA Champion Indiana Pacers featuring George McGinnis to win the final ABA Championship. When the NBA expanded to pick up the best ABA teams, Kentucky was noticeably absent, likely because they were too much of a threat to the existing power structure of the NBA. Roberts averaged 10.5 points and 3.6 rebounds in the Colonels' playoff run that year. He spent his final season with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1976-77 and closed out his career with a nice 8.8 scoring average and 4.1 rebounds per game.

Guard Nate Williams paced Utah State with 21.7 points per game in 1969-70. Williams is the most accomplished Utah State player in the pros. He began his career with Cincinnati of the NBA, where he scored 11.9 points a game and had 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists. The following two seasons, Williams played for the Kansas City Kings, hitting 15.5 points per game, recording an 81.8% free throw percentage and grabbing 4.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in the 1973-74 season. Williams continued to score in double figures, with 12.5 for the Kings, 14.3 for New Orleans in 1974-75, and hitting 12.8 and 12.3 points, respectively, for the Jazz the following two seasons. In his eight-year career, Williams scored 7,709 points (12.0 average), hit 80.5% of his free throws, grabbed 2,469 rebounds (3.8 average), and had 963 assists and 543 steals.

But these great players do not tell all the story. Throughout their history, and especially behind Stew Morrill, the Aggies have been one of the top teams in college basketball. Utah State has made a total of 19 NCAA Tournament appearances. They enjoyed one of their best performances in 1970, when they downed UTEP 91-81 in the second round and edged Santa Clara in the regional semifinal 69-68 before losing to UCLA. USU defeated Ohio State 77-68 in the opening round of the 2001 Tournament before falling to UCLA. Utah State also scored second-round wins over Arizona State in 1962 and 1964.

Morrill is in his 25th year as a head basketball coach, building the Montana Grizzlies into a power and then working his magic in Logan in his 13th season with Utah State. Morrill passed E. Lowell Romney's 225 career wins in 2008 with a win over Boise State and is now the school's winningest coach.

In that time, Morrill has posed a 294-99 (74.8%) record at Utah State, including a 152-48 (76.0%) mark in the Big West and Western Athletic Conferences. Utah State has won 23 or more games in 11 straight seasons of postseason ball (7 in the NCAA Tournament and 4 more in the NIT). Who does that? Gonzaga and Kansas are the only two other teams in the nation who can match Utah State's achievements over that last 11 years. Utah State won 28 games in 2000, another 28 in 2001, set a school record with 30 wins in 2009 and won 27 games in 2010. They appear to be well on their way to threatening those marks with a 22-2 record this season and a #21 national ranking.

13 Aggies have been named All-League players a total of 18 times under Morrill. Coach Morrill has been named Coach of the Year four times in his 12 seasons at Utah State. Morrill is 19th in the nation among active coaches and 67th all-time with 512 career wins. He also is one of just 12 active coaches to notch at least 15 20-win seasons. His current streak of 11 straight 20-win seasons is tied for sixth among active coaches and is tied for 11th all-time.

Utah State has been making their mark on the national scene. The Aggies led the nation in rebounding margin in both 1994 (+8.6 per game) and 1997 (+10.8 per game). They were #1 in the country in field goal percentage in 2005 (52.5%), 2008 (51.4%) and 2009 (49.6%) and paced the country in free-throw percentage in 2008, hitting an amazing 79.2% as a team. Utah State finished 8th in the national polls in 1960, 18th in 1962, 16th in 1970, 15th in 1964, 14th in 1967, 13th in 1975 and 17th in 1978.

Aggie fans love their basketball, and it isn't hard to see why with that tremendous level of success. They are in a class of their own in the WAC and appear to be coasting towards yet another conference title.

Thus, even though these players did not reach the pros, they helped establish the great tradition that is Utah State basketball, and must be saluted:

Jaycee Carroll (2005-2008) enjoyed a career high 22.4 points per game as a senior. Carroll was the Big West Freshman of the Year in 2005, second-team All-Big West and MVP of the 2005 Big West Tournament. He was the WAC Player of the Year in 2008, second-team All-WAC in 2006 and All-WAC in both 2007 and 2008. He also made the All-Tournament team his last two seasons. Carroll was an honorable mention All-American in both 2007 and 2008. Jaycee's high-point game was 44 against New Mexico State.

Carroll holds school records for points (2,522), field goals (880, attempts (1,721), 3-pointers (369), 3-point attempts (793), 3-point percentage (46.5%), 3-point attempts in a season (229 in 2007-08) and 3-point percentage in a season (49.89% in 2007-08). Carroll ranks seventh with 393 career free throws, averaged 18.8 points over his career, is third all-time in free-throw percentage (86.2%), ranks 7th with 123 career steals and is 15th in career assists (270).

Wayne Estes was a prolific scorer from 1963-65. Estes holds single-season records for field goals (309), points (821) in the 1963-64 season and for an incredible 33.7 points a game (2nd in the nation to Rick Barry) in the 1964-65 season when he also pulled down 13.7 rebounds a game. He also averaged 28.3 points and 13 rebounds his junior year. Estes averaged a record 26.7 points over his career and is third all-time with 766 field goals and 1,591 attempts. Estes set a record with 469 free throws in 548 attempts, for an 85.6% percentage that ranks fourth in Logan history. He also contributed 63 blocks (5th all-time). Wayne averaged 11.9 rebounds.

On February 8, 1965, Estes had just gone over 2,000 career points. After the game Wayne and some friends stopped at the scene of a car accident near campus. While crossing the street, Wayne brushed against a downed high power line and was electrocuted. Wayne Estes would have likely been a high draft pick in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1965. The Los Angeles Lakers had intended to draft him in the first round. Estes was named to the All-America team posthumously at the end of the 1965 season and was named to the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 1967.

Greg Grant averaged 22.6 points in his senior season to close out a great career. Grant is second all-time in both field goals (852) and attempts (1,604). He averaged 18.5 points a game over his career from 1983-1986 and scored 2,127 points (2nd all-time). Grant also averaged 8.7 rebounds a game, set a record with 226 steals (2 per game) and ranks seventh all-time with 308 assists. In fact, Grant owns three of the top steals performances in school history—he is #3 with 66 steals as a senior, #4 with 59 in the 1984-85 season and is #5 with 57 as a sophomore. Grant is also fifth with 420 career free throws. He was named Big West Freshman of the Year in 1983 and was a four-time honoree on the conference all-star team, making the second team his freshman and sophomore seasons and the All-Big West team his final two years. Grant was named to the second-team Big West Conference Double Decade team.

Cornell Green (1960-62) averaged 21.2 points and 13.9 rebounds in 1959-60 and 25.7 points, 12.4 rebounds the following year and 25.7 points and 11.8 rebounds as a senior. Green averaged 22.5 points a game in his career, scoring 1,890 points and averaging 12.7 rebounds. He holds the school record with 1,067 rebounds and hit 227 free throws in the 1961-62 season. Green is 10th with 381 career free throws. Cornell was an All-American in 1960 and 1961 for the Aggies.

Brian Jackson enjoyed his best season in 1980-81, when he scored at a 22.6 points per game clip. Jackson is fourth with 1,900 career points (1978-1981) and fourth with 753 field goals in 1,432 attempts. He averaged 7.4 rebounds in his college career and hit 397 free throws, which ranks sixth at Utah State. Brian was second-team All-Big West in both 1979 and 1980 and All-Big West his senior year.

Oscar Williams (1975-1978) is still the career leader in assists with 562, an impressive 6.0 per game.

We admire you, Utah State, for your great roundball success. Clearly, you have one of the best coaches in the business and truth be told, I knew he would be the second he was hired. Best of luck this year and in the future.

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