Freshman center Luke Nevill is scheduled to make his first career start against UNLV on Saturday.
Jan. 20, 2006
Television: None.After This
Radio: Utah Sports Network (Hot Ticket 700/KALL-AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). On the Internet at www.UtahUtes.com. Get Utah All-Access Here Matt Thomas (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Bill Riley (host).
Utah Head Coach: Ray Giacoletti UNLV Head Coach: Lon Krueger Alma Mater: Minot State, 1985 Alma Mater: Kansas State, 1975 Record at Utah: 37-14 (2nd Season) Record at UNLV: 26-21 (2nd Season) Overall Record: 154-97 (9th Season) Overall Record: 344-254 (20th Season)
Series Record: Utah leads 18-13 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 10-2/6-9/2-2 Current Streak: Utah has won 6 in a row. Last Meeting: Utah won 73-67 on March 11, 2005 in Denver, Colo.
Utah Probable Starters No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Statistics 32 F Ricky Johns 6-3 190 Jr. 4.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg 30 C Chris Jackson 6-11 245 Sr. 8.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg 50 C Luke Nevill 7-1 250 Fr. 9.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg 1 G Johnnie Bryant 6-0 190 So. 11.4 ppg, 2.3 apg 3 G Chris Grant 6-3 200 So. 2.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg
UNLV Probable Starters No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Statistics 22 F Louis Amundson 6-9 225 Sr. 14.5 ppg, 9.7 rpg 31 F Curtis Terry 6-5 205 So. 6.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg 41 F Dustin Villepigue 6-9 230 Sr. 7.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg 1 G Jo'Van Adams 6-0 190 Fr. 10.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg 13 G Jason Petrimoulx 6-4 195 Jr. 10.3 ppg, 3.8 apg
Quickly On Utah
The Runnin' Utes (8-8, 1-4 MWC) open a two-game home stand against Mountain West Conference rival UNLV (9-7, 3-1 MWC) Saturday at 7:07 p.m. (MST) in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The game will be broadcast on Hot Ticket 700 (KALL-AM) and the Utah Sports Network.
Utah is 7-2 at home this season. The Utes are coming off four consecutive losses--three of which came on the road. This past week, the Runnin' Utes fell to Colorado State, 84-78, Saturday in Fort Collins, Colo., and to Air Force, 66-44, Thursday night in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Senior forward Bryant Markson (6-7, 198), a preseason all-Mountain West Conference pick, leads the Utes in scoring (14.1 ppg), assists (2.9 apg) and steals (24), and is second in rebounds (5.3 rpg). Markson is shooting 78.1 percent at the free throw line. Sophomore guard Johnnie Bryant (6-0, 190), a junior college transfer in his first season with the Utes, is second on the team in scoring (11.4 ppg) and assists (2.3 apg), and is averaging 2.7 rebounds per game. Bryant is also shooting 41.1 percent (30-of-73) from three-point range and 88.5 percent from the free throw line. Freshman center Luke Nevill (7-1, 250) is third on the team in scoring (9.1 ppg) and leads the way in rebounding (5.8 rpg). Senior center Chris Jackson (6-11, 245) is fourth in scoring (8.0 ppg) while shooting a team-best 77.3 percent from the field, and ranks third in rebounding (4.0 rpg).
Markson Disciplined And Will Not Play Against UNLV
Utah senior forward Bryant Markson will not suit up for Saturday's game against UNLV for disciplinary reasons. The announcement came from Ute head coach Ray Giacoletti Friday afternoon.
"As the head coach, I retain the right to discipline my players for a variety of reasons," said Giacoletti of the suspension.
Utah is playing one redshirt freshman and four other newcomers. Through 16 games, 54.1 percent of the Utes' points, 48.4 percent of their rebounds, 48.2 percent of their assists, and 54.7 percent of their minutes played have come from the first-year players.
The Utes are 8-1 when holding their opponents to 68 points or less this season and 0-7 when allowing 69 points or more.
The Utes have a -3.2 turnover margin, averaging 16.3 turnovers per game compared to 13.1 for their opponents. Utah also has a 0.8 assist/turnover ratio (220 assists/260 turnovers).
Scouting The Runnin' Rebels
UNLV is 9-7 overall and in third place in the Mountain West Conference with a 3-1 record. The Rebels are 1-5 on the road this season. UNLV opened league play with back-to-back wins at Wyoming (88-77) on Jan. 4 and against BYU (82-72) at home on Jan. 11. After a loss at San Diego State (83-67) last Saturday, the Rebels defeated Colorado State (68-57) in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.
Senior forward Louis Amundson (6-9, 225) ranks eighth in the MWC in scoring (14.5 ppg), third in rebounding (9.7 rpg), fifth in field goal percentage (57.0) and 15th in blocked shots (0.69 bpg). Junior guard Michael Umeh (6-2, 205) is 16th in the conference in scoring (11.9 ppg) and tied for 15th in assists (2.50 apg). Junior guard Jason Petrimoulx (6-4,195) ranks third in assits (3.75 apg) and second in assist/turnover ratio (2.14). Petrimoulx is also averaging 10.3 points per game. Senior forward Dustin Villepigue (6-9, 230) ranks ninth in the MWC in rebounds (5.9 rpg) and second field goal percentage (63.4).
UNLV ranks third in the Mountain West Conference in scoring offense (73.7 ppg), ninth in scoring defense (70.2 ppg) and sixth in rebound margin (+2.4 rpg).
Comparing The Numbers
Utah UNLV Record 8-8 9-7 MWC Record 1-4 3-1 Streak Lost 4 Won 1 Scoring 64.7 73.7 Scoring Defense 65.1 70.2 FG% .474 .450 FG% Defense .452 .438 3-Pt. FG% .354 .327 3-Pt. FG% Def. .366 .316 FT% .630 .636 Rebound Margin +4.7 +2.4 Assists 13.8 15.8 Turnovers 16.3 15.4 Opp. Turnovers 13.1 16.1 Steals 6.0 7.6 Blocked Shots 1.9 2.8
Head Coach Lon Kruger
A veteran of two decades as a head coach on the collegiate and professional levels, Lon Kruger took over as UNLV's head coach in 2004-05 after a four-year stint in the NBA. Following an 18-year career as a successful college coach, Kruger spent three seasons (2000-03) as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks and then part of the 2003-04 season as an assistant with the New York Knicks.
At the collegiate level, Kruger has compiled a 344-254 overall mark in 20 seasons as a head coach at Pan American (1982-86), Kansas State (1986-90), Florida (1990-96), Illinois (1996-2000) and UNLV. Kruger piloted his teams to the postseason on 12 different occasions, with nine appearances in the NCAA Tournament and three in the NIT. He compiled seven 20-plus victory seasons, was a two-time SEC Coach of the Year (1992 and 1994) and led his 1993-94 Florida squad to the NCAA Final Four.
Utah vs. UNLV Series Notes
Utah and UNLV meet for the 32nd time on Saturday night. The Utes lead the series 18-13 and have taken 12 of the last 15 games, including six in a row.
The Runnin' Utes won all three games last season, prevailing 70-52 on Jan. 10 in Salt Lake City, 57-53 on Feb. 7 in Las Vegas, and 73-67 on March 11 in the MWC Tournament semifinals in Denver.
In conference regular-season play, Utah has an 13-2 advantage, winning 10 of the last 11. Since both teams became members of the Mountain West Conference in 1999-2000, Utah leads 10-2.
Utah has a 10-2 edge in games played in Salt Lake City and has won seven in a row. UNLV's last win in Salt Lake City was on Jan. 21, 1982 (76-67) in a nonconference tilt.
Ray Giacoletti is 3-0 against UNLV.
Lon Kruger is 0-4 against Utah. In addition to facing the U. three times last season, his Florida team lost to the Utes 81-78 on April 1, 1992 in the NIT Final Four.
Andrew Bogut had 25 points and 12 rebounds as No. 15 Utah held on for a 73-67 victory over UNLV in the Mountain West semifinals last year on March 11.
Utah led by 22 points in the second half before UNLV stormed back from a miserable first half behind Romel Beck, but didn't have enough left to finish it off. The Rebels had no answer for Bogut inside and couldn't make the big shot in the closing minutes in losing to Utah for the sixth straight time.
The Utes held UNLV to two points during a seven-minute span to go up 14 late in the first half, then opened the second with a 10-2 run that put them up 42-20.
Then Beck brought the Rebels back.
The senior forward hit three three-pointers during a 14-2 run that cut Utah's lead to 52-46 with eight minutes left, then trimmed the margin to 57-54 on a hard drive. He added a runner with just over a minute left, finishing with 17 of his 19 points in the second half.
Once the Rebels got within striking distance, Utah went back to Bogut--and he responded. Bogut fed Bryant Markson for a layup, then converted inside on the next possession to put Utah up 63-56 with 3:32 left. UNLV twice cut the lead to three again, but Bogut answered again, this time breaking the press to set up two free throws and a layup by Justin Hawkins that made it 67-62.
Bogut scored Utah's first seven points and had 11 in the first eight minutes after scoring 11 in four minutes against Colorado State in the first round. He finished 9-of-17 from the field.
Dictating the pace with its deliberate offense, Utah prevented the Rebels from running and cut down on their penetration in half-court sets. Point guard Marc Jackson was particularly effective, using his in-your-face style to hound Ricky Morgan into six turnovers.
Of course, it helped that the Utes had Bogut in back to make up for any mistakes. Bogut blocked just one shot, but the Rebels certainly knew he was there. In one sequence late in the first half, Bogut made Jerel Blassingame change his shot, then turned around and harassed Joel Anthony into a miss on the rebound.
Tough At Home In The Huntsman Center
Utah is 233-21 (.917) in the Huntsman Center over the past 17 seasons and has never lost back-to-back home games. The Utes' all-time record in the 37-year-old facility is 465-92.
The U. is 7-2 at home this season. The last time the Utes lost two home games in a season was 2001-02 when they went 14-2.
The Utes were 16-0 at home in 2004-05 to record one of seven undefeated seasons in the history of the Huntsman Center.
Utah has captured 39 of its last 42 games at home. Its three losses during that stretch were to Air Force on Feb. 21, 2004 terminating a string of 15 consecutive home wins, to Arizona on Dec. 17, 2005 breaking a 21-game winning streak, and to San Diego State on Jan. 11.
Dating back to the 1993-94 season, the Utes have won 172 of their last 185 games in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
In conference home games over the last 12 years, Utah is 79-5 (.940). That winning percentage ranks first in the nation over that period, just ahead of Kansas which is 81-6 (.931).
The Runnin' Utes had a 21-game home court winning streak halted with its loss to Arizona on Dec 17. It was the fifth-longest winning streak in NCAA Division I. Utah's previous home loss was to Air Force on Feb. 21, 2004.