The Jon M. Huntsman Center will host
Oct. 3, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah men's and women's basketball teams will take part in the annual "Night with the Utes" on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
The event is free to the public and will give Utah fans a chance to preview the men's and women's teams for the 2005-06 season. Both men's head coach Ray Giacoletti and women's head coach Elaine Elliott will talk to the fans about the upcoming season. The teams will also scrimmage and participate in various skills contests.
A game featuring Utah's student group "The MUSS" will be a part of the event for the first time. Ute players and coaches will be available to sign autographs and pose for pictures at the end of the evening. Matt Thomas, the "Voice of the Utes" on Hot Ticket 700, will serve as the emcee. The Ute men return two starters and four other lettermen from last season. The Runnin' Utes went 29-6 overall, won the Mountain West Conference regular season championship with a 13-1 record, and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Both of the returning starters for the Utes are seniors. Point guard Tim Drisdom (6-3, 215) has been a starter the last three years. In 2004-05, the Artesia, Calif., native averaged 4.7 points and 3.2 assists per game. Bryant Markson (6-7, 198) started 22 games at small forward last season, earning third team all-Mountain West Conference recognition. Markson is Utah's top returning scorer (10.4 ppg) and rebounder (3.9 rpg). The Monrovia, Calif., native also shot 35.8 percent from three-point range last season and scored in double figures in 23 games.
Senior center Chris Jackson, junior forward Jonas Langvad, senior guard Casey Iverson and sophomore guard Chris Grant round out the returning lettermen. The roster also includes redshirt freshman center Luke Nevill and five newcomers. The Runnin' Utes open their exhibition season on Nov. 5 against Whitman College. The regular season opens Nov. 18 against Texas State in the Huntsman Center.
The Ute women return four starters from last year's squad that went 26-8, tied for first in the conference (12-2) and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Headlining the returners are co-MWC Players of the Year Kim Smith (6-1, Sr.) and Shona Thorburn (5-10, Sr.). Smith averaged 17.8 points on 50.2 percent shooting at forward, leading the MWC in both categories. Thorburn tallied 14.9 points in addition to 6.5 assists and six rebounds per game as a guard. Thorburn ranked No. 6 in the nation in assists.
The Ute women also return five other letterwinners who played in at least 28 games last season. Camie Allen, Shauna Brouillard, Heidi Carlsen, Julie Wood and Marie Warner are all returning and will be joined by four freshmen. The 2005-06 campaign begins with an exhibition game on Nov. 3 against Montana-Western. Regular season play starts on Nov. 19 when the Utes host Jacksonville State.