QUICKLY: The 4th ranked Utes (11-0) return home to face Rice (3-9) in a nationally televised game on ESPN2. The game will start at 8:30 p.m. ... the game will also be broadcast on KALL radio ... the Rice game is the Utes' crossover game this year and does not count as a conference game this season ... Utes are ranked 4th in the USA Today/ESPN poll and 4th in the Associated Press poll this week.
UTES PICK UP UWM WIN: The Utes continued their perfect season with a 66-51 victory at Wisconsin-Milwaukee Saturday. Utah struggled early with the score tied at halftime. The Utes rallied in the second half outscoring the Panthers 40-25 to pick up the 15 point win. HANNO MOTTOLA, MICHAEL DOLEAC and ANDRE MILLER each scored 14 points to pace Utah. Miller also had a team-leading 9 rebounds and 5 assists. The Utes shot .489 from the field while holding UWM to .340 percent and just .250 percent from three-point range.
UTES ON THE INFO CONNECTION Utah Basketball is available via your fax machine by dialing the Info Connection from the handset of your fax machine at (770) 399-3066. The WAC passcode is 922#. Ute Basketball release information is at 2205 and the last game box score is available at 2207.
RADIO: The Rice game will be broadcast live on KALL RADIO (910) AM. BILL MARCROFT will call the play-by-play with JEFF JONAS doing color. BRAD STONE handles pre and post-game show duties. Stations on the network are KOAL (Price), KSGI AM (St. George), KZEZ FM (St. George) and KVEL (Vernal). Tipoff time in Salt Lake is 6:05 p.m.
TV: The Rice game will be broadcast live on ESPN2. CRAIG BOLERJACK will call the play-by-play with TERRY GANNON providing color commentary. Tipoff time 8:35 p.m.
SATELLITE: N/A Doleac is in 18th place on the Ute career scoring chart with 1,143 career points. He needs 11 points to move into 17th place on the list.
MILLER TIME: ANDRE MILLER continues to play well from the point guard position. Miller is second on the team in scoring averaging 14.8 points per game. He also leads in assists averaging 4.3 per game and steals with 23 on the year. Perhaps his biggest improvement this season has come at the free throw line where he is shooting .780 on the season compared to the .582 he shot last season. Andre is 16-17 from the free throw line in his last three games. That includes a 12-12 performance against Oregon State, tying him for the fourth best single game free throw performance in school history.
SERIES RECORD VS. RICE: Utah leads in the series with the Owls 3-0. Last year the Utes won both games beating the Owls 78-58 in Salt Lake and 75-66 in Houston ... first meeting took place during the 1964 season with the Utes taking a 79-72 victory in Salt Lake ... MICHAEL DOLEAC had 20 points and 10 rebounds in the first meeting with the Owls and 19 points in the second game. ANDRE MILLER had 11 points and 7 assists in the second game. SERIES SCORES 1964-Utah 79, Rice 72 (H) 1997-Utah 78, Rice 58 (H) 1997-Utah 75, Rice 66 (A)PROBABLE STARTERS:
SCOUTING RICE: The Owls are 3-9 on the season with a 75-55 win over Stetson Monday night in Houston ... their other two wins were against Missouri-Rolla (79-57) and Evansville (59-54) ... the Owls have lost to three nationally
RICK MAJERUS VS. UWM 1991-Utah 80, UWM 78 (A) 1992-Utah 70, UWM 54 (H) 1993-Utah 96, UWM 62 (H) 1997-Utah 77, UWM 63 (H)
NOVEMBER NOV. 6-UTAH 60, HUNGARY 56 (H) NOV. 12-UTAH 79, CAL. ALL-STARS 56 (H) NOV. 15- UTAH 87, C.S. FULLERTON 59 (H) Nov. 19-Utah 87, Weber State 72 (A) NOV. 22-UTAH 66, SO. UTAH, 48 (H) Nov. 25-Utah 89, Loyola Marymount 50 (A) NOV. 29-UTAH 83, UC IRVINE 45 (H) DECEMBER Dec. 2-Utah 64, Providence 58 (Great 8) (N) Dec. 6-Utah 62, Wake Forest 53 (A) DEC. 10-UTAH 71,UTAH STATE 55 (H) DEC. 12-UTAH 78, AZUSA PACIFIC 58 (H) Dec. 20-Utah 69, Oregon State 61 (N) Dec. 27-Utah 66, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 51 (A) JANUARY JAN. 3-RICE, 8:30 P.M. Jan. 10-at Brigham Young, 7:05 p.m. JAN.15-COLORADO STATE, 7:35 P.M. JAN. 17-WYOMING, 7:35 P.M. Jan. 22-at Air Force, 7:35 p.m. Jan. 24-at UNLV, 11:00 a.m. JAN. 29-UTEP, 7:35 P.M. FEBRUARY Feb. 1-at New Mexico, 1:30 p.m. FEB. 5-BRIGHAM YOUNG, 7: 35 P.M. Feb. 7-at Rice, 5:00 p.m. Feb. 12-at Wyoming, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14-at Colorado State, 8:30 p.m. FEB. 21-AIR FORCE, 7:35 P.M. FEB. 23-UNLV, 10:00 P.M. Feb. 26-at UTEP, 7:05 p.m. FEB. 28-NEW MEXICO, 7:35 P.M. (11-0, WAC: 0-0)Saturday, Jan. 3-8:35 p.m. ESPN2 Huntsman Center (15,000) Salt Lake City, Utah
MICHAEL DOLEAC is currently in 18th place on the Ute career scoring list with 1,143 points. He needs 11 points to pass JIMMY SOTO (1989-93, 1153 points) to move into the 17th spot on the list.
UTES AMONG TOP TEAMS IN THE 90s: Going into the season the Utes were ranked 10th in the country for most victories and highest winning percentage in the decade of the 1990s. Utah has posted a 203-67 record during that time for a .752 winning percentage.
UTES IN 1,000 VICTORY CLUB: The Utes are one of the teams in the country with over 1,000 basketball wins in their history. In the 89 years of Utah basketball, Utah hoop teams have won 1,357 games and have lost just 728. That works out to a .651 winning percentage. Utah first started playing basketball in 1908.UTAH'S RANKINGS IN THIS WEEK'S WAC TEAM STATS:
SCORING: 8TH (74.7) SCORING DEFENSE: 1ST (55.5) F. G. PERCENTAGE: 4TH (.486) F. G. PERCENTAGE DEF: 1ST (.353) 3PT. F. G. PER. DEFENSE: 4TH (.301) 3PT. F. G. PERCENTAGE 6TH (.374) FREE THROW PER. 1ST (.756) STEALS: 9TH (6.2) TURNOVER MARGIN: 13TH (2.4) REBOUND MARGIN: 1ST (16.7) SCORING MARGIN: 2ND (19.2) 3PT F.G. PER GAME: 9TH (5. 5) OPP. REBOUNDS: 1ST (25.8)
UTES IN THE HUNTSMAN CENTER: Utah basketball teams have compiled a 346-83 (.806) record in the JON M. HUNTSMAN CENTER since the building opened for the 1969-70 season. RICK MAJERUS has posted a 106-10 (.914) record in the building since he has been the Ute coach ... the Utes have won 13 games in a row in the JMHC dating back to last season's Dec. 31 loss to Wake Forest ... that is tied for the nation's 15th longest home winning streak.
RICK'S REMARKS: ON RICE: "When we last left Rice they were a highly competitive team that did a good job of taking us out of our offense. They gave us a number of looks defensively. My last memories of Rice are not very fond because they were highly competitive. We are going to have to play smart and determined and we will have to play to our potential. We didn't do that against UWM" ... ON THE UTES: "I think we are playing well. We are looking to try and integrate Britton Johnsen into the rotation. I've got to do a better job with substitution patterns, that's my fault. We have to get in better condition. Our conditioning has been poor since the Christmas break and hopefully we can come out and utilize these next two weeks and gain some ground relative to our conditioning."UTE NOTES: Although Rice is a WAC school, the game does not count as a conference game because not all schools are playing crossover games this year ... the Utes will face a fourth straight week with just one game when they travel to BYU, Saturday, Jan. 10 to open the conference season against the Cougars ... Utes are shooting .486 from the field and holding opponents to .353 ... opponents are shooting .301 from three-point range, Utes are shooting .374 ... Utes are out rebounding opponents 42.5 to 25.8.