Tim Frost ranks 15th in the MWC in scoring (12.4 ppg) and rebounding (4.7 rpg) and 12th in blocked shots (0.60 bpg).
Feb. 5, 2003
Feb. 8 * 7:07 p.m. (MST) * Moby Arena (8,745) * Fort Collins, Colo.
The Game at a Glance
Utah Head Coach: Rick Majerus Colorado State Head Coach: Dale Layer Alma Mater: Marquette, 1970 Alma Mater: Eckerd College, 1980 Record at Utah: 299-86/14th Season Record at CSU: 41-37/3rd Season Career Record: 398-138/19th Season Career Record: 208-124/12th Season
Television: KJZZ-TV (Channel 14, AT&T Cable 3) in Salt Lake City. Steve Brown (play-by-play) and Thurl Bailey (analyst).
Radio: Utah Sports Network (KALL-910 AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). On the Internet at www.UtahUtes.com. Bill Marcroft (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Brad Stone (host).
Series Record: Utah leads 89-38 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 50-14/34-23/5-1 Last Meeting: Utah defeated Colorado State 69-66 on March 7, 2002 in the quarterfinals of the MWC Tournament in Las Vegas.
Utah closes out the first half of its Mountain West Conference schedule at Wyoming on Monday, Feb. 10. The game will be shown on ESPN's "Big Monday" and will tip at 10:00 p.m. (MST). The Runnin' Utes then open a three-game homestand against San Diego State on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 7:07 p.m. (MST).
Quickly On Utah
The Runnin' Utes (16-4, 4-1 MWC) conclude the first half of the Mountain West Conference season with a two-game swing along the front range of the Rockies. Utah opens the road trip against Colorado State (14-6, 3-2 MWC) on Saturday at 7:07 p.m. (MST) in Fort Collins, Colo. The game will be televised by KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City and broadcast on KALL-910 AM and the Utah Sports Network.
Utah has won 11 of its last 12 and four in a row in Mountain West Conference action. The Utes are in a three-way tie for first place in the MWC with Wyoming and BYU. Last weekend, the Runnin' Utes swept a pair of home games, defeating Air Force 45-35 on Saturday and New Mexico 78-68 on Monday. Utah is 11-0 at home this season, 4-2 on the road and 1-2 on neutral courts. The Runnin' Utes rank fifth in the NCAA in scoring defense (58.3 ppg).
Three Utes are averaging double figures in scoring. Junior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 200) has the lead in scoring (12.7 ppg) and is shooting 43.4 percent from three-point range (49-for-113). Junior center Tim Frost (6-10, 236) is second in scoring (12.5 ppg) and is second in rebounding (4.7 rpg). Senior forward Britton Johnsen (6-10, 210) is third in scoring (12.1 ppg) and leads the effort in rebounding (7.0 rpg). Freshman point guard Tim Drisdom (6-3, 203) leads the Utes in assists (3.7 apg). Sophomore guard Marc Jackson (6-1, 177) is Utah's top scorer in MWC play (16.2 ppg) and is the team's best free throw shooter at 89.5 percent, ranking 19th in the NCAA.
Majerus Nearing Two Coaching Milestones
Rick Majerus is closing in on two milestones, one in his overall coaching career and one in his tenure at Utah.
* Majerus needs one more win to register his 300th at Utah. Entering Saturday's game against Colorado State, he is 299-86 in his 14th season on The Hill. He will become the third coach in Utah basketball history with 300 wins.
* Majerus needs two more wins to record the 400th of his career. He currently stands 398-138 in his 19th season as a college head coach. He would become the 12th coach to reach 400 wins in 19 seasons or less.
Scouting The Rams
Colorado State is 14-6 overall and in fourth place in the Mountain West standings with a 3-2 record. The Rams split two road games last weekend, winning at San Diego State 72-69 on Saturday and losing at UNLV 90-57 on Monday. Colorado State is 13-1 at home this season.
Sophomore center Matt Nelson (7-0, 240), who has been playing off the bench as of late after starting 12 games earlier in the season, leads CSU in scoring (14.9 ppg) and free throw shooting (.766), and is second in rebounding (5.8 rpg) and third in assists (2.6 apg). He is also shooting 65.5 percent from the field to rank second in the nation and has 27 blocked shots. Senior forward Brian Greene (6-8, 225) is the team's second-best scorer (13.4 ppg) and top rebounder (6.7 rpg). Senior guard Andy Birley (6-4, 190) is fourth on the team in scoring (11.5 ppg) and is its top three-point threat, shooting 43.8 percent (57-of-130) from long range to rank 24th in the NCAA. Freshman guard Michael Morris (6-3, 185) leads the Rams in assists (3.9 apg) and blocked shots (36).
The Rams rank second in the Mountain West in scoring offense (77.0 ppg), sixth in scoring defense (70.9 ppg), first in rebound margin (+7.3 rpg), first in field goal percentage (.512), first in blocked shots (4.95 bpg) and first in assists (16.40 apg). Colorado State ranks fourth in the NCAA in field goal percentage and 11th in rebound margin.
Head Coach Dale Layer
Dale Layer has a 41-37 record in his third season at Colorado State and a 208-124 career record in his 12th year as a head coach. He previously served as an assistant coach for two seasons at CSU (1998-2000) and was the head coach for nine seasons at Queens College (1989-98) in Charlotte, N.C.
Last season, Colorado State went 12-18 overall and finished tied for seventh in the MWC with a 3-11 record. Layer led the Rams to a 15-13 overall record and a 6-8 mark in the MWC to tie for fifth place in 2000-01. The Rams' 15 wins in 2000-01 was the fourth-highest win total by a first-year head coach in school history. Layer built the Division II program at Queens from the ground up and went 168-87 (.659), twice earning NCAA Regional Coach of the Year honors. Layer took Queens College to the national tournament twice and produced eight consecutive winning seasons.
Utah-Colorado State Series Notes
* Utah and Colorado State meet for the 128th time on Saturday night. The series dates back to a 41-25 win by Utah on Jan. 2, 1937. The two teams have met every year since 1969-70 with the exception of the 1998-99 season.
* The Runnin' Utes lead the all-time series 89-38 and have won four in a row over the Rams.
* Utah took all three meetings last season, winning 67-62 on Feb. 2 in Salt Lake City, 72-62 on Feb. 28 in Fort Collins, Colo., and 69-66 on March 7 in the MWC Tournament quarterfinals.
* In conference play, Utah has an 81-33 advantage.
* In Fort Collins, Colo., the Utes are 34-23. The Utes had lost two in a row at Moby Arena before getting a 72-62 win last season on Feb. 28.
* Utah's most decisive win over Colorado State during the Rick Majerus era was 35 points (92-57) on Feb. 11, 1995 in the Huntsman Center.
* Colorado State's most decisive win against Utah under Rick Majerus was 19 points (67-48) on Jan. 18, 1992.
* Rick Majerus is 16-6 against Colorado State all-time with all of those games taking place during his tenure at Utah.
* Dale Layer is 1-4 against Utah during his tenure at CSU. His only win over the Utes was 73-65 on Jan. 22, 2001 at Moby Arena.
Jeff Johnsen scored a career-high 23 points and Utah held off a late rally to beat Colorado State 69-66 in the opening round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament last season on March 7.
The Utes led 61-52 with 4:58 remaining, but the Rams went on an 11-3 run capped by Andy Birley's three-pointer to pull within 64-63 with 1:11 left. Johnsen and Travis Spivey hit two free throws apiece, but Jon Rakiecki hit a trey for Colorado State with five seconds remaining to make it 68-66. Jeff Johnsen then sank one of two free throws for the final margin, and Birley missed a three-pointer from the top of the arc as time expired.
Matt Nelson scored a game-high 25 points and Brian Greene added 13 for lead Colorado State.
Jeff Johnsen shot 7-of-10 from the field, making one three-pointer, and knocked down 8-of-11 free throws. Britton Johnsen contributed 10 points and six rebounds in 26 minutes before fouling out for Utah. Trace Caton had nine points off the bench, hitting 3-of-4 from the floor and both three-point attempts in 30 minutes.
Utah made only 19-of-34 free throws, while Colorado State was 21-for-27 from the line. The Utes were outrebounded 37-25. Colorado State led most of the game until Utah took the lead for good at 40-37 on Martin Osimani's three-pointer with 14:06 remaining.
Tough Trip Ahead
The road swing along the front range of the Rocky Mountains hasn't been any easy one for the Utes in recent years. In fact, Utah hasn't won at both Colorado State and Wyoming since the 1990-91 season. That year, the two games weren't played as one road trip. The Utes won at Wyoming on Jan. 17 (90-83) and won at Colorado State on Feb. 21 (67-56).
Last season, Utah split the two-game swing with a 72-62 win at Colorado State on Feb. 28 and a 57-56 loss at Wyoming on March 2 in the game that decided the MWC regular-season championship. The two previous seasons, the Utes were swept on the trip by the Rams and Cowboys. In 2000-01, the Utes lost to the Cowboys on Jan. 20 (78-77 in OT) and the Rams on Jan. 22 (73-65). In 1999-2000, Utah fell at Colorado State on Feb. 26 (60-49) and at Wyoming on Feb. 28 (88-61).
Wyoming has won seven in a row over the Utes in Laramie. Utah's last win in the Arena-Auditorium win was 64-45 on Jan. 28, 1993.
Great Britton: Senior Forward Among MWC's Best All-Around Players
Senior forward Britton Johnsen (6-10, 210) was one of 50 players named to the Wooden Award Preseason All-America Team. He is also the reigning Mountain West Conference Player of the Year.
* As he wraps-up his four-year career with the the Utes, Johnsen is closing in on becoming the 29th player to score 1,000 points, currently totaling 954. He also has 515 rebounds in his career.
* This season, Johnsen appears in the top 20 in four MWC statistical categories, ranking 15th in scoring (12.1 ppg), fourth in rebounds (7.0 rpg), 14th in field goal percentage (.483) and 12th in steals (1.17 spg).
* Johnsen had his best offensive game since Nov. 27 (season-high 23 points against Arizona State) when he got 17 points (6-9 FG, 2-2 3FG) in 33 minutes against New Mexico on Feb. 3. He also had nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
* The Murray, Utah, native had his fourth double-double of the season and the 11th of his career with 12 points and 12 rebounds against Brigham Young on Jan. 25. It was his seventh double-dip in the last 23 games he's played in dating back to last season.
* Johnsen has scored in double figures in 12 of the 18 games he's played in this season, leading Utah in scoring four times. Dating back to the 2000-01 season, Johnsen has scored in double figures in 50 of his last 73 contests.
* Johnsen has led Utah in rebounding in 12 of the 18 games he's appeared in this season-including the last five games-averaging 7.0 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.
Jacobson Stroking "J"s
Junior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 200) is Utah's top scorer this season (12.7 ppg) and paces the team in three-pointers made, hitting 49-of-113 (43.4 percent) from beyond the arc.
* Jacobson has scored in double-figures in 36 of the last 50 games dating back to last season, including 15 of the 20 games in 2002-03.
* In the last three games, Jacobson has gone for at least 10 points against BYU, Air Force and New Mexico. He has averaged 13.3 points per game while shooting 40.7 percent from the field, 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from three-point range and 70.6 percent from the free throw line over that stretch. Jacobson also tied a career-high with six rebounds against New Mexico on Feb. 3.
* Jacobson has already climbed into third place in career three-pointers made (157) and fifth in three-pointers attempted (370) at Utah. His career three-point percentage of 42.0 entering this season would have ranked fourth all-time at Utah.
Marc Makes His Mark Off The Bench
Sophomore guard Marc Jackson (6-1, 177) has been putting up impressive numbers off the bench, keying Utah's 4-1 start to the Mountain West Conference season.
* Jackson has been Utah's most productive scorer in conference action, scoring in double figures in all five games. In MWC play, Jackson his is averaging 16.2 points, shooting 70.4 percent from the field, 61.5 percent from three-point range and 89.7 percent from the free throw line in 25.8 minutes per game. He also has 15 assists and five steals.
* Jackson led the Utes in scoring for the fourth consecutive game against New Mexico on Feb. 3. He had 20 points to miss his career high by one, shooting 6-of-6 from the field, 3-of-3 from three-point range and 5-of-6 at the free throw line.
* Jackson ranks 19th in the NCAA in free throw percentage (.895). Before missing his second free throw against New Mexico, he had made 19 consecutive free throws, hitting his last one against UNLV, all 13 against BYU, all four against Air Force and his first against the Lobos.
Game #20 Rewind
Marc Jackson had a nearly perfect shooting night and scored 20 points as Utah defeated New Mexico 78-68 Monday night in the Huntsman Center for its fourth straight win. Jackson came off the bench and shot 6-for-6, including three three-pointers, and was 5-for-6 from the line in just 22 minutes of play.
Ruben Douglas, the third leading scorer in the country with an average of 26.9, scored 32 points for New Mexico, but they didn't come easy. Shadowed and bumped throughout the game, he had to earn 13 of his points from the line.
Jamaal Williams, who scored 13 points, made a jumper to clip Utah's lead to 69-61 and then Johnsen missed two free throws. But just as he has in the last four games, Jackson came to the Utes' rescue with a running bank shot and two free throws to seal the victory, Utah's 14th in a row at home against New Mexico.
Early in the second half, Douglas hit two free throws to close to 48-46 before Utah began to exploit the tiring Lobos, who have just eight scholarship players.
Johnsen made a three-pointer and a pair of foul shots. After two more free throws by Douglas, Jackson scored eight straight points to give Utah a 61-48 lead with 10:32 remaining. The Utes held the Lobos without a field goal for 9:30 of the second half. The Lobos made 11 free throws during the stretch.
Utah led by as many as nine in the first half, but the Lobos, behind Douglas's 15 points, cut the gap to 37-35 at halftime.
Inside the Numbers
* In nine of the 16 wins, Utah has held its opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field. The Utes have outshot their opponents 47.6 to 39.1 percent in their wins. In their four losses, the Utes have been outshoot 44.5 to 42.9 percent.
* The Utes have outrebounded their opponents in 15 of the 16 wins. The exception was a 32-30 deficit in the win over Alabama. In their wins, the Utes have outrebounded the opponents by an average of 35.4 to 28.9. Utah had a season-best +16 advantage in its wins over Pepperdine (48-32) on Dec. 20 and Air Force (36-20) on Feb. 1. In three of the four losses, Utah has been outrebounded. Its average rebound deficit in losses is 35.0 to 30.3.
* The Utes have had the advantage at the free throw line in their 15 wins, making 312 trips to the line compared to 285 for the opponents and shooting 68.3 to 67.4 percent. In the four losses, the opposite has been the case with the opponents outshooting Utah at the free throw line 141 attempts to 60, and making 93 (66.0 percent) to 34 (56.7 percent).
* Utah has yet to relinquish a lead with 5:00 remaining in the second half, going 15-0 when leading at that stage in the game. The Utes are also 14-0 when leading at halftime. Utah's win over UNLV on Jan. 20 was its first when trailing at the half this season. The Utes are 1-3 when trailing at the half and 2-4 when trailing or tied after 20 minutes. Utah came back to win its first game when trailing with 5:00 remaining against Air Force on Feb. 1.
* Utah had a season-low eight turnovers in its win over New Mexico on Feb. 3. The Utes also had 15 assists in that game, missing their season high by one.
From Beyond The Arc
Utah is shooting 37.9 percent from three-point range, and has hit at least 40 percent of its long-range tries nine times and 50 percent or better on four occasions. Utah is 7-2 when shooting at least 40 percent from three-point land this season.
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 10 times in scoring defense, nine times in rebound margin, eight times in field goal percentage defense and eight times in scoring margin.
* This season, Utah ranks fifth in the NCAA in scoring defense (58.3 ppg) as of Feb. 3. Since an 83-79 overtime loss to Arizona State on Nov. 27, the highest point total Utah has surrendered over the next 17 games is 75 points in a win at BYU (79-75) on Jan. 25. Every other opponent has scored 68 points or less.
* The Utes have held 14 teams under 60 points this season and four teams under 50 points.
* Nine opponents have shot under 40 percent from the field this season. No team has shot 50 percent from the field on Utah in 2002-03.
* Utah has not allowed an opponent to score 80 points in 83 consecutive games that have ended in regulation. The last team to score 80 points on the Utes in a 40-minute game was Wyoming (88-61) on Feb. 28, 2000 in Laramie, Wyo.