In addition to his scoring, Bryant Markson has also helped Utah become one of the best defensive teams in the nation.
Feb. 4, 2005
By Owen Jackson, U. Sports Information Assistant
Bryant Markson drew a lot of attention while in high school from basketball powerhouses such as Kentucky, Missouri, Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina and Michigan State.
However, the 6-6 forward chose Utah as the place to play basketball. The reason, "I chose Utah because of Tim Drisdrom and my coaches at L.A. Rockfish told me that it would be a good place for me to improve my half-court game."
Despite averaging 26.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists as a senior in high school, the transition from high school basketball to college basketball wasn't that easy. "It was tough," reflects Markson. "I re-injured my ACL the first day of practice and had to play catch-up with everyone else."
However, the junior forward certainly has caught up with the rest of the team. Halfway through the conference season, Markson has started 10 games, averaging 10.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 25.8 minutes per game. After scoring 13 points in a loss at Arizona, the junior had a good feeling about the rest of the season.
"Against Washington, I didn't think we were prepared," comments Markson. "At Arizona, we all pitched in together and decided that we were going to win or lose together. We didn't care what outcome it was, just as long as we competed and I think everyone started learning their roles."
Through the first six Mountain West Conference games, Markson is averaging 14.7 points and shooting 63 percent from the field in league play, helping to lead the Utes to a 6-0 record and a 13-game winning streak.
Although Head Coach Ray Giacoletti's open system suits Markson better, the junior was slow to warm up to his new head coach. "It took me a while to ease into the new coaching staff," says Markson. "I don't open up to people easily, and it took me a while to get used to them, but the system is cool and is more open. It gives us a chance to run more and score."
As much as Markson enjoys playing offense, he prides himself more on his defense. "I'm like the mellow one on the team," says Markson. "I play defense and motivate the team that way. Defense is what got me in the game with Coach Majerus, and that was my attitude, to shut people down and to let them know that they don't have anything for me."
Defense isn't the only thing that got the junior into the game, as Markson needed a little more encouragement when he was younger to even start playing basketball. In the 2003-04 season, Markson saw action in all but one of the 33 games. The one game he missed was to attend the funeral of his uncle--the one who motivated Markson to play basketball.
"A lot of people told me I should play basketball when I was younger, but I was a little scared," says Markson. "My uncle was the one that helped get me started. I came home and he gave me a basketball, and that motivated me to start playing."
However, the junior gives most of the credit for who he is to his grandmother. "She basically raised me," says the junior. "She is the one that supplied me with shoes and education, the everyday life things."
When not on the court, Markson enjoys finishing and working on cars. The junior is working towards a degree in human development and family studies, and after his playing time is over at the University of Utah, Markson hopes to use his degree. "I want to get a regular job. I want to do something in social work, work with kids or something like that."
While at Utah, Markson hopes to be remembered as someone that goes out there to have fun, plays defense and hopes he will help the team constantly improve. "I see us climbing the ladder," says Markson. "As a team I think we are going to be alright. We've made some mistakes, but they can all be worked out. I think the future is bright for Uta