Richard Chaney had a career-best 17 points against Weber State.
Jan. 4, 2003
Jan. 6 * 7:07 p.m. (MST) * Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) * Salt Lake City
The Game at a Glance
Utah Head Coach: Rick Majerus Saint Mary's Head Coach: Randy Bennett Alma Mater: Marquette, 1970 Alma Mater: UC San Diego, 1986 Record at Utah: 292-85/14th Season Record at Saint Mary's: 16-25/2nd Season Career Record: 391-137/19th Season Career Record: 16-25/2nd SeasonLooking Ahead
Radio: Utah Sports Network (KALL-910 AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). Bill Marcroft (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Brad Stone (host).
Series Record: Utah leads 13-2 Utah Home/Away/Neutral: 9-1/1-0/3-1 Last Meeting: Utah defeated Saint Mary's 41-35 on Jan. 7, 2002 in Moraga, Calif.
Utah continues a five-game homestand against IPFW (formerly known at Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne) on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 1:07 p.m. (MST) in the Huntsman Center. The Runnin' Utes close out their nonconference schedule against Ripon on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 7:07 p.m. (MST).
Quickly On Utah
The Utes (9-3) play the third of five consecutive home games against Saint Mary's College (7-5) on Monday at 7:07 p.m. (MST) at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The game will be broadcast on KALL-910 AM and the Utah Sports Network.
Following a 2-2 start to the season, Utah has won seven of its last eight and is riding a four-game winning streak. The Utes defeated in-state rival Weber State 72-58 on Friday night in Salt Lake City. Last Monday night, Utah dethroned previously unbeaten and then-No. 1 Alabama 51-49 in the Huntsman Center. Utah is 6-0 at home this season.
Three Utes are averaging double figures in scoring. Senior forward Britton Johnsen (6-10, 210) paces Utah in both scoring (13.2 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg) average. Johnsen is also shooting 50.0 percent from the field. Junior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 200) ranks second in scoring average (12.2 ppg), and is shooting 40.0 percent from three-point range (28-for-70) and 85.7 percent from the free throw line. Junior center Tim Frost (6-10, 236) is third in scoring (11.8 ppg) and second in rebounding (4.5 rpg) average. Frost also has seven blocked shots. Freshman point guard Tim Drisdom (6-3, 203) leads the Utes in assists (3.5 apg) and is shooting 44.0 percent from beyond the arc.
From the Training Room
* Senior forward Britton Johnsen returned to action last Monday against Alabama. He missed the two previous games due to surgery on Dec. 18 to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. Johnsen sustained the injury early in the first half of Utah's contest at Utah State on Nov. 17, but finished the game. Johnsen returned to practice on Dec. 27 and will need to wear a splint on his right hand for two weeks.
* Sophomore guard Marc Jackson played against Weber State on Friday after missing the Alabama game. Jackson resprained his right ankle in practice on Dec. 26 after initially spraining it on Nov. 17. He has missed four games this season due to the injury.
Scouting Saint Mary's College
The Gaels are 7-5 and have won their last two games. Saint Mary's defeated Brown 77-63 on Dec. 30 and Yale 66-56 on Jan. 2, playing both games at home. On the road this season, SMC is 0-3, suffering an 88-80 loss at Eastern Washington on Nov. 26, a 67-65 setback at Fresno State on Nov. 30 and 76-58 defeat at Stanford on Dec. 14.
Junior forward Chris Poole (6-8, 220) leads the Gaels in scoring (13.7 ppg), rebounding (7.4 rpg) and steals (25). Freshman forward Daniel Kickert (6-10, 245) is second in scoring (12.9 ppg) and has eight blocked shots. Junior guard Tyler Herr (6-5, 200) is third in scoring (11.0 ppg) and is shooting 33.3 percent from three-point range (23-of-69). Senior guard Samuel Saint-Jean (6-1, 190) is the top assists getter (4.7 apg).
Head Coach Randy Bennett
Randy Bennett is in his second season as the head coach at Saint Mary's. Bennett guided SMC to a 9-20 record in 2001-02.
Bennett was an assistant coach for 16 years on the NCAA Division I level. Before joining the Gaels, he was the top assistant coach at Saint Louis under Lorenzo Romar. He was on Romar's staff when the Billikens lost to Utah in the first round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament, 48-45. Prior to that stint, he was an assistant coach for three years at Pepperdine (1996-99). Bennett has also been an assistant coach at Idaho and San Diego. While at Idaho, he worked under former Chicago Bulls head coach Tim Floyd from 1987-88. He graduated from UC San Diego in 1986 and played basketball there from 1983-85.
Utah-Saint Mary's College Series Notes
* Utah and Saint Mary's meet for the 16th time on Monday night with Utah leading 13-2. The Utes have won eight in a row in the series with seven of those games coming in Salt Lake City.
* This is the second consecutive year the Utes and Gaels are hooking up. Last season, Utah defeated SMC 41-35 on Jan. 7 in Moraga, Calif.
* Before last season, the teams hadn't met since Dec. 11, 1965. Utah won that match-up 95-52 in Salt Lake City. Utah has hosted 10 of the games in the series, winning nine.
* Saint Mary's last win over Utah was on Dec. 19, 1958 in Salt Lake City. Since then, the Utes have won seven in a row at home over SMC.
* The Utes and Gaels first played on Dec. 23, 1929 in San Francisco, Calif., with Utah winning 35-22. The teams played again three days later at the same location with the Utes prevailing 37-26.
* Utah's biggest win in the series was 46 points (70-24) on Dec 23, 1930 in Salt Lake City. Saint Mary's largest margin of victory was five points (36-31) on Dec. 28, 1940 in Berkeley, Calif.
* Rick Majerus is 1-0 against Saint Mary's.
* Saint Mary's is the last of four West Coast Conference teams the Utes will face this season. The Utes lost to Gonzaga in the first round of the Maui Invitational. Before Christmas, Utah recorded road wins over Pepperdine on Dec. 20 and San Diego and Dec. 23.
* Utah is 49-17 (.742) all-time against West Coast Conference teams.
Jeff Johnsen scored 11 points as Utah won its seventh straight game, beating Saint Mary's 41-35 in Moraga, Calif., last season on Jan. 7. Both teams finished their nonconference schedules with a game featuring 40 turnovers and just 29 field goals.
Nick Jacobson scored nine points for Utah, which shot a nonconference season-low 37.2 percent (16-of-43) and made 20 turnovers. Britton Johnsen had seven rebounds. The Utes never managed to pull away from the Gaels, who shot 28 percent-2-of-17 on three-pointers-and also made 20 turnovers. Adam Caporn had eight points to lead Saint Mary's.
The Utes put up the lowest point total since the start of Rick Majerus' tenure. Utah's previous low in Majerus' 13 seasons came in a 44-37 win over Colorado State on Jan. 29, 1990, when assistant Joe Cravens was in charge of the team while Majerus recovered from heart surgery. The 35 points scored by the Gaels was the lowest total given up under Majerus, bettering the 36 points surrendered to Wichita State on Dec. 21, 1991.
Saint Mary's scored one point in the game's first four minutes, but managed a 19-19 tie at halftime thanks to 11 Utah turnovers. Utah led 38-35 when Samuel Saint-Jean missed a wide-open three-pointer for the Gaels with 45 seconds left. Martin Osimani hit a free throw, and after Saint-Jean missed another trey, Osimani hit two more with 13 seconds left.
The Utes had 20 turnovers in the game, which was the second-highest total last season. Utah was outrebounded 34 to 31.
Great Britton: Wooden Award Candidate Back In Lineup
Senior forward Britton Johnsen (6-10, 210), named to the Wooden Award Preseason All-America Team, returned to the Ute lineup against Alabama last Monday. Johnsen missed the previous two games after he tore a ligament in his right thumb against Utah State on Dec. 17 and had surgery the next day. Johnsen is one of 50 players in the nation considered an early candidate for John R. Wooden Award, presented annually to college basketball's player of the year.
* In his second game back against Weber State last Friday, Johnsen had his 10th career double-double and his third of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. He also had four assists and two steals in 30 minutes. Johnsen has had six double-doubles in the last 17 games he's played in dating back to last season.
* Johnsen has scored in double figures in eight of the 10 games he's played in this season, leading Utah in scoring three times. Dating back to the 2000-01 season, Johnsen has scored in double figures in 46 of the last 65 contests he's played in.
* Johnsen has led Utah in rebounding in six of the 10 games he's played in this season, averaging 6.8 boards per contest. He also led the Utes in rebounding 14 of the final 20 games last season, averaging 7.4 rebounds per game during that stretch.
* Johnsen had his best overall game of the season in the overtime loss to Arizona State on Nov. 27. He had a season-high 23 points to lead the Utes, shooting 9-of-18 from the field and 4-of-7 from the free throw line. Johnsen also had a team-best seven rebounds and three assists in 39 minutes. His 23-point effort was his best in 16 games dating back to last season.
* Last season, Johnsen was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Year and USBWA District 8 Player of the Year, and made the NABC/Pontiac All-District 13 first team. Johnsen was second on the team in scoring (12.6 ppg) and first in rebounding (6.3 rpg), ranking 13th and eighth in the Mountain West Conference in those categories, respectively. He also ranked 12th in field goal percentage (49.6) and 15th in three-point percentage (35.6) in the MWC.
Rating the Rookies
With only four lettermen returning from last season and 10 scholarship players on the roster, Rick Majerus has played his freshmen extensively early in the season. Here's a breakdown of how the quartet of Richard Chaney (G/F, 6-4, 186), Tim Drisdom (G, 6-3, 203), Chris Jackson (C, 6-11, 242) and Bryant Markson (F, 6-6, 182) has been producing.
* In the win over Weber State, both Chaney and Markson had career highs in points. Chaney had a game-high 17 points (7-9 FG, 1-2 3FG, 2-4 FT) and four rebounds in 17 minutes. Markson went for 12 points (5-8 FG, 1-3 3FG, 1-2 FT) and four boards in 13 minutes. Figuring in Drisdom's six points, the trio accounted for 35 of Utah's 72 points on 15-for-21 shooting.
* Drisdom, who's started every game at point guard, leads the Utes in assists (3.5 apg) and is third in rebounding (3.3 rpg). He is also shooting 44.0 percent from three-point range, making 11-of-25.
* Chaney (7.1 ppg) and Drisdom (5.2 ppg) rank fourth and fifth, respectively, on the team in scoring. Markson (5.0 ppg) is sixth.
* All four freshmen are shooting above 40 percent from the field, with Chaney at 50.8 percent, Drisdom at 43.8 percent, Jackson at 58.3 percent and Markson at 52.2 percent.
Game #12 Rewind
Freshman Richard Chaney scored a career-high 17 points as Utah cruised to a 72-58 win on Friday in Salt Lake City. Chaney shot 7-of-9 from the field in just 17 minutes and fellow reserve freshman Bryant Markson added 12 points as Utah (9-3) beat Weber State and avoided a letdown after defeating No. 1 Alabama 51-49 on Monday.
Slobodan Ocokoljic, a Serbian transfer from Ohio State, had his best WSU (9-5) game with 17 points and Jermaine Boyette added 14 points, all in the second half.
Britton Johnsen, who played his second game with a soft cast after right thumb surgery on Dec. 18, couldn't shoot confidently but still scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Utah stayed perfect at home in six games.
The Utes shot 53 percent, due largely to the play of Utah's trio of freshmen, who made 15-of-21 from the field. In addition to Chaney and Markson, starting point guard Tim Drisdom made 3-of-4 shots.
Weber State played its sixth straight road game while the Utes hosted their second of five straight home contests. Utah has now won two in a row over the Wildcats who broke the Utes' nation-best 54 game home winning streak the last time they met in Salt Lake City in 2000.
Utah outrebounded Weber State 33-25 and the Wildcats shot 43 percent shooting from the field, including just 30.4 percent in the first half.
Inside the Numbers
* In five of the nine wins, Utah has held its opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field. The Utes have outshot their opponents 47.5 to 37.8 percent in its wins. No team has shot 50 percent from the field on Utah this season.
* The Utes have had the advantage at the free throw line in their eight wins, making 158 trips to the line compared to 135 for the opponents and shooting 70.9 to 65.2 percent. In the three losses, the opposite has been the case with the opponents outshooting Utah at the free throw line 122 attempts to 42, and making 82 (67.2 percent) to 20 (47.6 percent).
* The Utes have outrebounded their opponents in eight of the nine wins. The exception was a 32-30 deficit in the win over Alabama. In its wins, the Utes have outrebounded the opponents by an average of 35.6 to 30.3. Utah had a season-best 48-32 advantage (+16) on the glass in its win over Pepperdine on Dec. 20. In two of the three losses, Utah has been on the negative side of that stat. Its rebound deficit in losses is 34.0 to 30.3.
* Utah tied a season-low mark with just nine turnovers in the win over Alabama, including just one in the second half. The Utes also had nine turnovers in the win over Northern Iowa.
* Utah held Pepperdine to just 13.6 percent from three-point range, its best defensive effort from long range this season.
* Winthrop shot 27.3 percent (15-for-55) from the field, which was the sixth-worst mark by a Ute opponent all-time. It was the Utes' best defensive effort since Concordia shot 20.3 percent, the lowest mark by a Ute opponent all-time, on Dec. 26, 2000.
* Winthrop's 42 points were the lowest allowed by the Utes in 22 games since Saint Mary's (Calif.) scored 35 points on Jan. 7, 2002.
Utes Tough At Home In the Huntsman Center
Utah is 186-17 (.916) in the Huntsman Center during the Majerus era and has never lost back-to-back home games. With Majerus on the bench, taking out the games he missed during the 1989-90 and 2000-01 seasons, the Utes are 167-12 (.933) at home.
* The Utes have won 125 of their last 132 games in the Jon M. Huntsman Center, including a 14-2 mark last season and a 6-0 start this season.
* In conference home games over the past eight years, Utah is 59-2 (.967), which is the best record in the nation over that time span.
* Utah has gone unbeaten seven times in the 33-year history of the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Six of those undefeated home seasons have come under Rick Majerus: 1990-91 (16-0), 1992-93 (15-0), 1994-95 (15-0), 1997-98 (13-0), 1998-99 (14-0) and 1999-2000 (17-0).
* The Utes' all-time record in the Huntsman Center is 418-88. Utah got its 400th win in the history of the facility on Nov. 20, 2001 against Boise State.