Johnnie Bryant, a sophomore guard, had 15 points and five assists against TCU on Saturday.
Jan. 30, 2006
Television: KJZZ-TV 14 in Salt Lake City. Steve Brown (play-by-play) and Thurl Bailey (analyst).
Radio: Utah Sports Network (Hot Ticket 700/KALL-AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). On the Internet at www.UtahUtes.com. Matt Thomas (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Bill Riley (host).
Utah Head Coach: Ray Giacoletti Wyoming Head Coach: Steve McClain Alma Mater: Minot State, 1985 Alma Mater: Chadron State, 1984 Record at Utah: 38-15 (2nd Season) Record at Wyoming: 137-91 (8th Season) Overall Record: 155-98 (9th Season) Overall Record: 137-91 (8th Season)
Series Record: Utah leads 87-70 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 55-22/30-46/2-2 Current Streak: Utah has won 2 in a row. Last Meeting: Utah won 71-62 on Feb. 14, 2005 in Salt Lake City.
Utah Probable Starters No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Statistics 20 F Bryant Markson 6-7 198 Sr. 13.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg 21 F Shaun Green 6-8 208 Fr. 6.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg 50 C Luke Nevill 7-1 250 Fr. 9.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg 1 G Johnnie Bryant 6-0 190 So. 11.7 ppg, 2.4 apg 3 G Chris Grant 6-3 200 So. 2.5 ppg, 1.7 rpg
Wyoming Probable Starters No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Statistics 2 F Justin Williams 6-10 225 Sr. 11.1 ppg, 10.4 rpg 15 F Steve Leven 6-5 205 Jr. 13.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg 54 C Derek Wabbington 6-9 240 Sr. 6.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg 1 G Brad Jones 6-0 170 So. 8.8 ppg, 3.8 apg 23 G Brandon Ewing 6-2 190 Fr. 11.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Quickly On Utah
The Runnin' Utes (9-9, 2-5 MWC) face three of their next four games on the road, begining that stretch against Wyoming (11-9, 4-3 MWC) on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. (MST) at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, Wyo. The game will be televised by KJZZ-TV 14 in Salt Lake City and broadcast on Hot Ticket 700 (KALL-AM) and the Utah Sports Network.
Utah is 1-6 away from home this season and 0-3 in Mountain West Conference play. The Utes defeated TCU 80-45 in the Huntsman Center last Saturday afternoon, snapping a five-game losing streak. A week earlier the Utes fell to UNLV in Salt Lake City, 71-59.
Senior forward Bryant Markson (6-7, 198), a preseason all-Mountain West Conference pick, leads the Utes in scoring (13.8 ppg), assists (2.8 apg) and steals (24), and is second in rebounds (5.5 rpg). Markson is shooting 54.1 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from three-point range and 78.3 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 (11.7 ppg) and assists (2.4 apg), and is averaging 2.6 rebounds per game. Bryant is also shooting 43.4 percent (36-of-83) from three-point range and 85.7 percent from the free throw line. Freshman center Luke Nevill (7-1, 250) is third on the team in scoring (9.8 ppg) and leads the way in rebounding (5.9 rpg). Senior center Chris Jackson (6-11, 245) is fourth in scoring (7.6 ppg) while shooting a team-best 77.2 percent from the field, and ranks third in rebounding (3.8 rpg).
Utah is playing one redshirt freshman and four other newcomers. Through 18 games, 55.6 percent of the Utes' points, 48.0 percent of their rebounds, 53.0 percent of their assists, and 54.9 percent of their minutes played have come from the first-year players.
Four different players have led the Utes in scoring this season, six in rebounding and seven in assists. Eleven different players have earned at least one start. Utah also has 10 players averaging at least 10 minutes per game.
The Utes are 9-1 when holding their opponents to 68 points or less this season and 0-8 when allowing 69 points or more.
Scouting The Cowboys
Wyoming is 11-9 overall and tied for fourth place in the Mountain West Conference with a 4-3 record. After realing off three consecutive wins, the Cowboys have lost two of their last three. Wyoming lost at BYU (80-67) on Jan. 18, won at Colorado State (72-67) last Wednesday and lost to San Diego State (78-77 in OT) last Saturday at home.
Junior guard/forward Steve Leven (6-5, 205) ranks ninth in the MWC in scoring (13.6 ppg), third in free throw percentage (80.8), and seventh in three-point percentage (38.5). Freshman guard Brandon Ewing (6-2, 190) is 17th in the league in scoring (11.4 ppg), fifth in assists (3.25 apg), third in assist/turnover ratio (1.51) sixth in free throw percentage (77.8) and 10th in steals (1.40 spg). Senior forward/center Justin Williams (6-10, 225) ranks 18th in the conference in scoring (11.1 ppg), second in rebounding (10.4 rpg) and first in blocked shots (5.58 bpg). Sophomore guard Brad Jones (6-0, 170) is fourth in the MWC in assists (3.75 apg), seventh in assist/turnover ratio (0.95), 15th in steals (1.25 spg) and 11th in free throw percentage (70.2)
The Cowboys rank fifth in the MWC in scoring offense (69.6 ppg), fifth in scoring defense (67.2 ppg), first in rebounding margin (+5.7 rpg), first in field goal percentage defense (39.6), first in three-point percentage defense (30.7), and first in blocked shots (7.4 bpg).
Comparing The Numbers
Utah Wyoming Record 9-9 11-9 MWC Record 2-5 4-3 Streak Won 1 Lost 1 Scoring 65.2 69.6 Scoring Defense 64.3 67.2 FG% .474 .428 FG% Defense .444 .396 3-Pt. FG% .362 .321 3-Pt. FG% Def. .357 .307 FT% .646 .646 Rebound Margin +4.4 +5.7 Assists 14.1 11.8 Turnovers 16.1 17.1 Opp. Turnovers 13.1 13.7 Steals 6.1 5.8 Blocked Shots 2.1 7.4
Head Coach Steve McClain
Steve McClain has a 137-91 career record in his eighth season at Wyoming. McClain's team had posted three consecutive 20-win seasons before going 11-17 in 2003-04 and 15-13 in `04-05. The Cowboys went 21-11 overall and advanced to the second round of the NIT in 2002-03. 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 2000-01 and finished in a three-way tie with 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 vs. Wyoming Series Notes
Utah and Wyoming meet for the 158th time on Wednesday night in a series that dates back to a 41-25 win by Utah on March 11, 1914 in Laramie, Wyo. Other than not meeting during the 1996-97 and 1998-99 seasons, the Runnin' Utes and Cowboys have met every year since 1943-44.
Utah leads the all-time series 87-70 and has won two in a row. The Runnin' Utes took both games last season, winning 74-49 on Jan. 15 in Laramie, Wyo., and 71-62 on Feb. 14 in Salt Lake City.
In conference regular-season play, Utah has a 74-60 advantage. Since the formation of the Mountain West Conference in 1999-2000, Utah leads 7-5.
In Laramie, the Cowboys have a 46-30 edge. Wyoming had won seven in a row in the Arena-Auditorium before Utah won there during the 2002-03 season. It was the U.'s first win since prevailing 64-45 on Jan. 28, 1993. Wyoming protected its home court with a 74-65 win on Feb. 16, 2004 before Utah won there last season on Jan. 15, 74-49. Ray Giacoletti is 2-1 against Wyoming. Giacoletti led the Utes to a pair of wins over the `Pokes last season. His Eastern Washington team lost to the Cowboys 78-71 in Laramie, Wyo., in the first round of the NIT on March 20, 2003.
Steve McClain is 5-7 against Utah during his tenure at Wyoming, including a 1-5 record in Salt Lake City.
Johnnie Be Good
Sophomore guard Johnnie Bryant (6-0, 190) is second on the team in scoring (11.7 ppg) and assists (2.4 apg), and is averaging 2.6 rebounds per game. Bryant is also shooting 43.4 percent (36-of-83) from three-point range and 85.7 percent from the free throw line, leading Utah in three-pointers made and free throw percentage. He has scored in double figures 11 times this season.
Bryant has scored in double figures in six of the seven Mountain West Conference games--including the first four. In conference games, Bryant is averaging a team-best 13.9 points per game to rank ninth in the league. He is shooting 50.7 percent from the field, 46.2 percent (18-for-39) from three-point range and 5-for-7 at the free throw line.
Bryant tied a career high with five assists against TCU last Saturday. He also had 15 points (6-9 FG, 3-5 3FG) in 25 minutes.
He had a career-high 23 points against BYU on Jan. 7. He shot 9-for-17 from the field, 4-for-8 from three-point range and 1-for-1 at the line in 36 minutes.
Bryant has had three 20-point games this season. In addition to 23 points against BYU, he scored 21 points against both Texas State in the season opener and Weber State on Nov. 26.
The Oakland, Calif., native joined the Utes last December after earning his associate's degree. As a first team all-conference pick at San Francisco City College in 2003-04, he averaged 15 points and four assists per game.
Take Notice Of Nevill
Redshirt freshman center Luke Nevill (7-1, 250) is averaging 9.8 points (third-best on the team) and 5.9 rebounds (best on the team) per game. He has scored in double figures nine times this season--including four of the seven conference games--and has a pair of double-doubles. Nevill has started the last two games.
In conference play, Nevill ranks eighth in the Mountain West in rebounding (6.0 rpg) and ninth in field goal percentage (54.0) to average 11.3 points in 24.1 minutes per game.
Nevill had his second double-double against UNLV on Jan. 21. He had 12 points (5-11 FG, 2-4 FT) and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes in his first career start.
He had season highs of 19 points and 13 rebounds in 29 minutes during Utah's triple overtime loss to Rice on Dec. 3. Eight of Nevill's rebounds were on the offensive end, giving him his first double-double.
Nevill had the second-highest scoring game of his career with 18 points versus TCU last Saturday. He made a career-best 8-of-8 free throws and 5-of-6 field goals in 27 minutes.
The native of Perth, Australia, lived in Marietta, Ga., and attended Kell High School as an exchange student in 2003-04. Nevill averaged 17.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocked shots and 2.5 assists per game at Kell. He earned honorable mention all-state and second team all-region honors.
Game #18 Rewind
Freshman center Luke Nevill scored 18 points and Johnnie Bryant had 15 to lead Utah 80-45 over TCU last Saturday. The Utes (9-9, 2-5 MWC) broke a five-game losing streak, while the Horned Frogs (5-16, 1-6 MWC) lost their eighth game in the last nine.
The Utes shot 50 percent from the field, including 11-25 from three-point range, while TCU struggled on offense, hitting 30 percent from the field, 44 percent from the free throw line and only 4-of-21 shots from beyond the three-point arc.
The Frogs stayed close in the first half, never letting the Utes get a lead bigger than five points. But it was a different story in the second half as the Utes quickly jumped ahead.
Using an 11-3 run to start the half and a 16-2 run later on, Utah blew open the game, seeing their lead grow to the final 35-point advantage with 1:41 to play.
Nevill's 18 points were one less than his career high. He went 8-of-8 from the free throw line after entering the contest with a .518 free throw shooting percentage.
Chudi Chinweze led the Frogs with nine points and seven rebounds.
Bryant tied his career high with five assists, while Bryant Markson tied a career-best with nine rebounds and added eight points.
Notables From Game #18
The Utes had their most decisive win in a conference home game (35 points) since defeating UNLV by 44 points (96-52) on Feb. 21, 2000.
Utah scored 53 points in the second half, the most points it has scored in a half this season.
Utah's defense held the Horned Frogs to a .300 shooting percentage. That is the lowest shooting percentage by a Utah opponent this season. TCU's 15 total field goals were also a season-low by a Ute opponent.