Bryant Markson came off the bench to key Utah's win over UNLV on Monday.
Jan. 15, 2004
Jan. 17 * 3:05 p.m. (MST) * Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) * Salt Lake City
The Game At A Glance
Utah Head Coach: Rick Majerus Wyoming Head Coach: Steve McClain Alma Mater: Marquette, 1970 Alma Mater: Chadron State, 1984 Record at Utah: 321-93 (15th Season) Record at Wyoming: 108-58 (6th Season) Overall Record: 420-145 (20th Season) Overall Record: 108-58 (6th Season)
Television: KJZZ-TV 14 in Salt Lake City. ESPN Full Court. Steve Brown (play-by-play) and Mark Eaton (analyst).
Radio: Utah Sports Network (KALL-700 AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). On the Internet at www.UtahUtes.com and www.kall700.com. Bill Marcroft (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Brad Stone (host).
Series Record: Utah leads 84-69 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 53-22/29-45/2-2 Last Meeting: Utah won 86-70 on March 8, 2003 in Salt Lake City
The Utes take on Colorado State in the Huntsman Center on Monday at 10:00 p.m. on ESPN's "Big Monday." Utah then hits the road for a pair of games next weekend, facing New Mexico on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. (MST) and Air Force on Monday at 7:05 pm. (MST).
Quickly On Utah
Utah (13-3, 1-0 MWC) plays its first Mountain West Conference home game against Wyoming (8-6, 1-0 MWC) on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. (MST) in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The game will be televised by KJZZ-TV and broadcast on KALL-700 AM and the Utah Sports Network. The Utes are 9-0 at home this season.
The Utes have won seven in a row and 10 of their last 11 games. Utah opened its conference slate with a 72-67 win over UNLV on Monday night in Las Vegas.
Senior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 206) leads the Utes in scoring (15.1 ppg), hitting 47.1 percent of his three-point attempts. Sophomore forward Richard Chaney (6-4, 195) is second in scoring (12.2 ppg), shooting 53.1 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from three-point range. Freshman forward Andrew Bogut (6-10, 233) is third on the team in scoring (11.6 ppg), and first in both rebounding (9.7 rpg) and blocked shots (13). The native of Melbourne, Australia, has seven double-doubles this season and is shooting 64.4 percent from the field. Sophomore guard Tim Drisdom (6-2, 212) leads the Utes in assists (3.8 apg).
From The Training Room
* Senior center Tim Frost has been nursing a sore back since the start of fall practice. After sitting out three of the previous four games, Frost was back in the starting lineup against UNLV. He will be day-to-day the rest of the season.
* Freshman forward Justin Hawkins bruised his knee during the Pepperdine game and sat out against Whitworth. He returned to action against UNLV on Monday.
* Sophomore center Chris Jackson has a sore back but hasn't missed any games due to the injury.
The Cowboys are 8-6 overall, 1-0 in Mountain West Conference play and 0-4 on the road this season. Wyoming opened its league schedule with an 82-77 home victory over New Mexico on Monday night. The win broke a two-game losing streak. The Cowboys lost their final nonconference games at Denver (63-62) on Jan. 6 and at Middle Tennessee (82-77) on Jan. 8.
Junior guard Jay Straight (5-11, 178) ranks eighth in the Mountain West in scoring (14.4 ppg), sixth in assists (3.8 apg) and seventh in steals (16). Senior guard David Adams (6-2, 185) is 20th in the conference in scoring (10.6 ppg) and third in three-point percentage (49.2), and leads the team in rebounding (4.3 rpg). Senior forward Mory Correa is third on the team in scoring (9.9 ppg) and sixth in the MWC rebounding (6.3 rpg).
Wyoming ranks sixth in the Mountain West in scoring (73.1 ppg), fifth in scoring defense (64.9 ppg), third in rebound margin (+4.9) and first in blocked shots (4.86 bpg).
Head Coach Steve McClain
Steve McClain has a 108-58 career record in his sixth season at Wyoming. Last season, Wyoming went 21-11 overall, tied for third in the MWC and advanced to the second round of the NIT. In 2001-02, McClain led the Cowboys to a 22-9 record and an 11-3 mark in league play to claim UW's second consecutive Mountain West title. Wyoming also advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. McClain's team went 20-10 in 2000-02 and finished in a three-way tie with the Utah and BYU for the MWC title at 10-4, capturing the Pokes' first conference title in 15 seasons. He has led three Wyoming teams to the NIT and one to the NCAAs.
Prior to going to Wyoming, McClain served as an assistant coach for Billy Tubbs at TCU. During his four seasons at TCU, McClain helped the Horned Frogs to one NIT appearance (1997), one NCAA appearance (1998) and one conference title (1998). In 1994 as the head coach at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, he led his team to the National Junior College Championship while earning NJCAA National Coach of the Year honors.
Utah-Wyoming Series Notes
* Utah and Wyoming meet for the 154th time on Saturday afternoon in a series that dates back to a 41-25 win by Utah on March 11, 1914 in Laramie, Wyo. Before not meeting during the 1996-97 and 1998-99 seasons, the Runnin' Utes and Cowboys had met every year since 1943-44.
* Utah leads the all-time series 84-69. Wyoming had won three in a row-with two of those wins coming in Laramie-before Utah swept the 2002-03 season series. The Utes won 69-56 on Feb. 10 in Laramie and 86-70 on March 8 in Salt Lake City.
* In conference regular-season play, Utah has a 71-59 advantage.
* In Salt Lake City, the Utes are 53-22, winning eight of the last nine. Utah had won seven in a row before Wyoming prevailed 54-46 on Feb. 4, 2002. Before then, Utah had not lost to Wyoming in the Huntsman Center since falling 70-57 on Feb. 22, 1992.
* Utah's most decisive win over Wyoming during Rick Majerus' tenure was 19 points (64-45) on Jan. 28, 1993.
* Wyoming most decisive win over Utah under Rick Majerus was 13 points (70-57) on Feb. 22, 1992.
* Rick Majerus is 13-8 against Wyoming all-time with all of those games taking place during his tenure at Utah. Majerus is 8-2 in Salt Lake City and 5-6 in Laramie, including one win during the 1991 WAC Tournament.
* Steve McClain is 4-4 against Utah during his tenure at Wyoming, including a 1-3 mark in Salt Lake City.
Trace Caton scored a career-high 20 points in his final home game and fellow senior Britton Johnsen scored 17 as Utah beat Wyoming 86-70 at the Huntsman Center in the final game of the 2002-03 regular season on March 8. The win gave the Utes a share of their eighth conference title in nine years. Nick Jacobson scored 14 and Marc Jackson had 11 points for Utah.
Uche Nsonwu-Amadi led Wyoming with 24 points. Donta Richardson scored 16 and Jay Straight had 15 points for the Cowboys, who never got closer than 10 in the second half.
Johnsen, Caton and senior classmate Cameron Koford, who scored eight Saturday, all received standing ovations when they were pulled late in the game.
With a little more than three minutes left and the Utes up 77-65, Caton pulled up for a three-pointer and hit it to reach 20 points. Caton was 7-for-11 and made 5-of-6 three-pointers.
The Utes tied their season high for points by going 28-for-53 from the floor
Wyoming used an 11-2 run to cut Utah's lead to 31-26, but the Utes regrouped and outscored the Cowboys 15-6 the rest of the half. Johnsen closed the half with five straight points, leaping through the Cowboys for a two-handed dunk and following it with a three-point play that put the Utes up 46-32 at halftime.
Wyoming got the lead down to 10 three times in the second half, but couldn't get any closer. After Richardson cut it to 73-63, Jackson made four straight free throws to put the Utes back up by 14. Richardson added another field goal, but Caton hit his final three-pointer and the Utes coasted the rest of the way.
Jacobson Stroking "J"s
Senior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 206) has been a third team all-Mountain West selection the last two seasons. This season, he leads the Utes in scoring (15.1 ppg), hitting 47.1 percent (41-of-87) from beyond the arc and 84.6 percent from the free throw line.
* In the NCAA statistical rankings released Jan. 5, Jacobson was 17th in three-point field goal percentage (47.1).
* Jacobson has scored at least 20 points in five of the last seven games-including four consecutive games from Dec. 19 through Jan. 3. During this seven-game stretch, Jacobson has shot 51.1 percent from the field and 47.9 percent (23-for-48) from three-point range to average 20.4 points per game. He had a career-high 28 points against Weber State on Jan. 3, hitting 8-of-12 field goals, 5-of-7 threes and 7-of-7 free throws in 39 minutes. He has had six 20-point games this season.
* Jacobson has already climbed into 18th place in career scoring at Utah with 1,315 points. He is one of just 30 players in the 1,000-point club and currently ranks behind Jerry Chambers (1,400 points).
* With his first three-pointer against Cal State Northridge on Dec. 19, Jacobson took over sole possession of the top mark for career threes made at Utah. He tied Keith Van Horn's mark of 206 against LSU-Jacobson took 103 games while Van Horn needed 122. Jacobson now has 229 career three-pointers. He is also first in three-pointers attempted (530) at Utah, passing Van Horn's former top mark of 514 against Pepperdine on Jan. 5. His career three point percentage of 43.2 entering Saturday's game ranks second all-time.
* Jacobson has scored in double-figures in 59 of the last 79 games dating back to the 2001-02 season, including 27 of the 33 games in 2002-03 and 11 of 16 games this year.
Frost Playing Through Back Injury In Final Season
Senior center Tim Frost (6-9, 244) established himself as a strong interior presence in his first season with the Utes, earning second team all-Mountain West honors in 2002-03. Frost has been dealing with a sore back since the start of fall training, missing the first month of practice and the first game against Georgia State on Nov. 17. He has missed four games in all due to the injury.
* Currently, Frost is fourth on the team in scoring average (7.9 ppg) and second in rebounding average (4.3 rpg). He has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games he's played.
* After missing three of the previous four games, Frost was back in the starting lineup for the conference opener against UNLV on Monday. Playing a season-high 27 minutes, Frost scored 14 points while hitting 6-of-8 field goals, 1-of-3 three-pointers and 1-of-2 free throws.
Take Note Of These Utes
* Sophomore forward Bryant Markson (6-6, 189) came up big in Utah's MWC opener at UNLV. Playing a season-high 28 minutes, Markson had seven points and season-highs of five rebounds and three assists. He also had a solid defensive effort, guarding players in positions one through four.
* Sophomore point guard Tim Drisdom (6-2, 212) had seven assists and a season-high 10 points against Pepperdine.
Game #16 Rewind
Nick Jacobson scored a game-high 27 points, including two free throws with nine seconds left to seal the win, lifting Utah past UNLV 72-67 in the Mountain West Conference opener for both teams Monday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Jacobson went 8-of-8 from the free throw line and was 3-of-7 from three-point range. Also for Utah (13-3), Tim Frost scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. Tim Drisdom had seven points and six rebounds.
For UNLV (9-4), Odartey Blankson and Jerel Blassingame scored 17 points apiece. J.K. Edwards added 14 for the Rebels.
The Utes, who outrebounded the Rebels 32-22, built a 42-32 lead with 14:04 remaining. The Rebels eventually tied it at 63 and then again at 65 with 2:12 left; but they never took the lead. The Utes led for most of the first half, building their biggest advantage at 31-25 with 1:09 left until halftime. Earlier, the lead changed hands seven times before Utah went ahead 13-12 with 12:47 left.
Utah outshot UNLV from the field (54.3-40.0 percent), three-point range (53.8-25.0) and the free throw line (88.2-73.0). However, by committing 29 fouls, Utah sent UNLV to the free throw line 37 times. The Runnin' Rebels made 27 at the stripe while the Runnin' Utes attempted just 17. UNLV also had seven blocked shots and got six steals off 20 Utah turnovers.
Utes One Of The Nation's Youngest Teams
With eight of the Utes' 10 contributing players freshmen and sophomores (80%), Utah is fielding one of the six youngest teams in NCAA Division I in 2003-04. The Utes are topped only by Northwestern State (85%), Florida (82%) and Maryland (82%), and are tied with La Salle and Villanova. The numbers are based on student-athletes accounting for at least two percent of the team's minutes played.
The young Utes have also faced a challenging nonconference schedule, facing two teams from the Big 12 (Texas Tech and Colorado), one from the Big Ten (Minnesota), one from the Big East (Connecticut), one from the SEC (LSU). With the exception of the Minnesota game, all of them were on the road.
From Beyond The Arc
Utah has connected on at least 40 percent of its three-point field goals in 11 games this season-including the last six-winning all of them. Conversely, when the Utes shoot under 40 percent from beyond the arc, they are 2-3. In the last six games, Utah is shooting 50.5 percent (54-for-107) from beyond the arc.
* In the NCAA statistical rankings released on Jan. 12, Utah ranked fourth in three-point field goal percentage (42.5).
* The Utes have hit at least half of their three-point tries five times this season: Southern Utah (57.9) with a season-best percentage, UNLV on Jan. 12 (53.8), Pepperdine (51.9) with a season-high 27 attempts, Colorado (50.0) and Stony Brook (50.0).
One of the trademarks of a Utah team during the Rick Majerus era is a stifling half-court defense. Since 1989-90, Utah has ranked in the top 30 in the nation 11 times in scoring defense, nine times in rebound margin, eight times in field goal percentage defense and eight times in scoring margin.
* In the NCAA statistical rankings released on Jan. 12, Utah ranked second nation in scoring defense (54.6 ppg), 12th in field goal percentage defense (38.7) and 17th in rebound margin (+7.3 rpg).
* The Utes have outrebounded 14 of 16 opponents this season.
* Utah has held 10 of its 16 opponents to less than 40 percent shooting from the field. Only six teams have reached 60 points and seven opponents have been held to under 50 points this season. Savannah State shot 18.2 percent against the Utes on Dec. 13, which is the lowest mark for a Utah opponent all-time. Only one team (UConn at 62.3 percent) has shot better than 50 percent from the field against the Utes this season.
* Utah has not allowed an opponent to score 80 points in 111 consecutive games that have ended in regulation. The last team to score 80 points on the Utes in a 40-minute game was Wyoming (88) on Feb. 28, 2000 in Laramie, Wyo.
Utes Tough At Home In The Huntsman Center
Utah is 204-18 (.919) in the Huntsman Center during the Rick 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 186-13 (.935) at home.
* The Utes have won 142 of their last 150 games in the Jon M. Huntsman Center, dating back to the 1993-94 season.
* More recently, Utah has won 10 in a row (including a 9-0 record this season) and 26 of the last 27 at home. Its last loss in the JMHC was to Colorado State on March 6, 2003, which ended a 16-game home winning streak.
* In conference home games over the last nine years, Utah is 65-3 (.956), which is the best record in the nation over that time span.