Salutes Idaho's Seniors

This Saturday night at 7pm (PST) in the Cowan Spectrum on the campus of the University of Idaho, three Vandal seniors will play their last regular season home game in Vandal gear, as Idaho takes on Utah State. We salute forwards DARIN NAGLE (6-10, 221; Potlatch, ID), Clyde Johnson (6-7, 205; Aurora, CO), and Michael Crowell (6-7, 210; Mesa, AZ), and reflect on their careers at Idaho.

Cowan Spectrum (Kibbie Dome)
Idaho vs. Utah State

Without a doubt, it has been a tumultuous couple of years for the Idaho men's basketball program. In the last two years the program has dealt with a coaching change and signficant roster turnover, all while transitioning into the traditionally more challenging Western Athletic Conference.

Through much of this transition, three seniors who will be honored this Saturday night in the season finale at the Cowan Spectrum battled the adversity - forming a foundation for the rebuilding effort, and leading Idaho to its best season as a member of the WAC - and will play in their last regular season game for the Vandals. Their tenure has been brief - each transferred to Idaho from junior colleges last year and played immediately. But all three have been major contributors to this team since the instant they stepped foot on the Moscow campus, and their loss next season will be significant.

For Idaho fans, this Saturday night (7:05pm PST tipoff) at the Cowan Spectrum in the Kibbie Activity Center is the last opportunity to cheer this year's hard working team on to victory on the home floor. The Vandals (5-10 WAC, 8-19 overall) are 6-6 in home games this season, and are currently seventh in the conference standings. They will battle Utah State (10-4 WAC, 21-9 overall) with a chance to move up to sixth in the standings with a victory - their highest finish since joining the WAC.

Below are capsules for the three seniors - a group that is largely responsible for the team's "never say die" mentality that has been exhibitted throughout the season.

Michael Crowell
6-7, 210, Forward
Mesa, AZ
6-7, 210, Forward
Mesa, AZ (Mesa High School)

No player on the Vandal roster averages more minutes per game than Michael this season - case in point, he has played all but 57-seconds of the last three games. As a team leader, he has been at his best down the stretch, topped off by being named this week's Western Athletic Player of the Week for his performance last Thursday and Saturday when the Vandals registered their first EVER road sweep in the Western Athletic Conference, with victories at Hawaii and San Jose State. In those contests he led the team in scoring for both games, and registered a double-double at Hawaii (20 points, 11 rebounds).

In summary, Michael is having a stellar senior season. He is second on the team with an 11.1 points per game average, he's No. 1 with 34.4 minutes per game, he's shooting 45.2% from the field, 48.4% from the three-point line, and is second on the team at 81.6% from the free throw line. His 5.3 rebounds per game is second on the team, as is his 138 defensive boards for the year.

Prior to Idaho, Michael played his sophomore season at Central Arizona where he averaged 21.7 points per game and 11.3 rebounds. As a freshman he played at Blinn College in Texas, averaging 11.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. As a senior in high school, Crowell averaged 12.7 points per game and 5.8 rebounds.

Clyde Johnson
6-7, 210, Forward
Aurora, CO
6-7, 205, Forward
Aurora, CO (Eaglecrest High School)

Clyde has enjoyed a solid senior season, including scoring a career high 19 points in Idaho's home victory over Louisiana Tech earlier this season - a game in which Clyde got the starting nod at the 3 when regular starters Darin Nagle and Trevor Morris sat out due to injuries, and he went on to go three-of-three from three point land and played 33 minutes. Not a bad pattern for a game. For the year Johnson is averaging 22.6 minutes per game, shooting 41.3% from the floor, has 20 blocks, 21 steals, and is averaging 54.3% from the free throw line.

Clyde transferred to Idaho from Northeastern College last year. In his first year at Idaho he played in all 31 of Idaho's games, ranked second on the team with 93 defensive rebounds, and hit a game-winning 3-pointer to give Idaho a victory over Hawaii. At Northeastern Junior College, was selected to the All-Region IX tournament team, after helping propel the Plainsmen to the Region IX Championship game.

Darin Nagle
6-10, 221, Forward
Potlatch, ID
6-10, 221, Forward
Potlatch, ID (Potlatch High School)

One of northern Idaho's own, Darin is a graduate of nearby Potlatch High School and has spent his collegiate basketball career competing in the north Idaho region. Prior to transferring to the University of Idaho last year, Darin first spent two years at North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene. At NIC he was named a First Team All Region 8 selection following a sophomore season in which he averaged 13.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, and registered 42 blocked shots for the year. One of head coach George Pfeifer's prized recruits in his first recruiting class at Idaho last year, Darin became eligible to compete in December and immediately became a starting forward despite not being able to compete during the preseason. He started all of Idaho's remaining 22 games, averaging 9.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, and almost 2 blocked shots per game.

This season Darin has started 16 games and played in 25, averaging 24.6 minutes per game (third on the team). He's shooting 46% from the floor, 29.7% from three-point land, and 53.7% from the free throw line. He has 32 blocked shots on the year and is averaging 4 rebounds per game.

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