Center Luke Nevill had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds against TCU last Saturday.
Feb. 6, 2007
UTAH RUNNIN' UTES VS. COLORADO STATE RAMS
Wednesday, February 7, 2007 7:05 p.m. (MST)
Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) Salt Lake City
UTAH (8-14, 3-6) Head Coach: Ray Giacoletti Alma Mater: Minot State, 1985 At Utah: 52-34 (3rd Season) Career: 169-117 (10th Season)
COLORADO STATE (14-7, 4-5) Head Coach: Dale Layer Alma Mater: Eckerd College, 1980 At CSU: 100-100 (7th Season) Career: 267-187 (16th Season)
MEDIA COVERAGE Television: The mtn. (Comcast 37) Rich Cellini (play-by-play), Joe Cravens (analyst) Radio: Sports Radio 700 The Zone Bill Riley (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst), Scott Gerrard (host) Internet Audio/Live Stats: www.UtahUtes.com Get Utah All-Access Here
THE SERIES Overall: Utah leads 95-42 Utah Home/Away/Neutral: 52-15/37-26/6-1 Current Streak: Colorado State has won 3 Last Meeting: CSU won 73-57 on Jan. 9, 2007 in Fort Collins, Colo.
QUICKLY ON UTAH
The Runnin' Utes (8-14, 3-6 MWC) host the Colorado State Rams (14-7, 4-5 MWC) on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. (MST) at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised by The mtn--MountainWest Sports Network (Comcast 37 in Salt Lake City) and broadcast on Sports Radio 700 The Zone.
Utah has won three of its last five games, including a 70-65 win at TCU on Saturday night. Before that win over the Horned Frogs, the Utes had lost two in a row, falling 63-53 at San Diego State Jan. 27 and 76-66 to BYU at home on Jan. 31. Utah is 6-5 at home this season, 1-7 on opponents' home courts and 2-9 away from home overall.
Sophomore center Luke Nevill (7-1, 265) is the Utes' leading scorer (17.0 ppg) and rebounder (8.0 rpg). He is shooting 65.3 percent from the field, 77.6 percent from the free throw line, and also has a team-best 22 blocked shots. Junior guard Johnnie Bryant (6-0, 180) is second on the team in scoring (15.1 ppg), and has connected on 42.3 percent (66-for-156) of his 3-point attempts and 79.0 percent of his free throws. Bryant leads the team in assists (2.55 apg). Sophomore forward Shaun Green (6-8, 208) is third on the team in scoring (11.6 ppg), and is second in both assists (2.32 apg) and rebounding (6.2 rpg). He is shooting 54.5 percent from the field and 55.1 percent (54-for-98) from 3-point range. Green also leads the Utes in steals (29) and is second in blocked shots (11).
In the latest NCAA statistical rankings released on Feb. 5, Utah ranks sixth in 3-point percentage (41.8), 22nd in field goal percentage (48.8), 81st in 3-pointers made per game (7.5), 36th in free throw percentage (73.6) and 58th in rebound margin (+4.1 rpg). Nevill is fifth in field goal percentage (65.3), 82nd in points per game (17.0) and 70th in rebounds per game (8.0). Bryant ranks 29th in 3-pointers made per game (3.0) and 43rd in 3-point percentage (42.3). Green fell out of the 3-point field goal rankings after dropping below the minimum mark to qualify of 2.5 3-pointers made per game.
RUNNIN' UTE NOTABLES
Seven of the 13 Utes who have seen action this season are first-year players. Six of those players are freshmen. The nine freshmen and sophomores who have played account for 68.1 percent of Utah's points, 83.4 percent of its rebounds, 67.0 percent of its assists and 68.4 percent of its minutes.
Utah has won its last three games decided by six points or less after losing its first nine this season.
Eight of Utah's 14 losses have come by a combined 19 points. The Utes have lost three games by one point, four by three points and one by four points. Three of Utah's losses have been in overtime.
The Utes have shot at least 50 percent from 3-point range nine times and at least 50 percent from the field 10 times in 20 games this season.
Utah is 0-8 this season when opponents shoot at least 50 percent from the field and 4-11 when they shoot at least 40 percent from 3-point range.
The Utes are 7-0 when leading at halftime and 1-14 when they trail this season.
SCOUTING COLORADO STATE
The Rams are 14-7 overall and tied for fifth place in the Mountain West Conference with a 4-5 record. They are 5-2 on opponents' home courts this season. Colorado State has lost three in a row, falling at Wyoming, 75-70, on Jan. 24, and losing at home to UNLV, 76-59, on Jan. 30 and to New Mexico, 70-66, last Saturday.
Junior forward Jason Smith (7-0, 240) leads CSU in scoring (16.5 ppg) and rebounding (9.2 rpg). He is shooting 58.5 percent from the field and 75.2 percent from the free throw line. Senior guard Cory Lewis (6-0, 175) is second on the team in scoring (11.1 ppg) while shooting 38.8 percent (26-for-67) from 3-point range and 79.4 percent at the free throw line. Lewis also leads CSU in assists (4.5 apg). Junior center Stuart Creason (7-0, 260) and junior guard Tyler Smith (6-3, 200) are tied for third in scoring average (10.5 ppg). Creason is second in rebounding (6.0 rpg) and leads the Rams with 56 blocked shots. Sophomore guard Stephan Gilling (6-2, 200) is CSU's top 3-point shooter, connecting on 44.4 percent of his attempts (48-for-108) from beyond the arc to average 8.7 points per game.
Colorado State ranks fifth in the Mountain West in scoring offense (74.0 ppg), seventh in scoring defense (70.1 ppg), second in rebound margin (+5.5 rpg) and seventh in assist/turnover ratio (0.81).
COMPARING THE NUMBERS
Utah CSU Overall Record 8-14 14-7 MWC Record 3-6 4-5 Scoring 69.6 74.0 Scoring Defense 70.0 70.1 FG% .488 .487 FG% Defense .488 .428 3-Pt. FG% .418 .377 3-Pt. FG% Defense .450 .401 FT% .736 .715 Rebound Margin +4.1 +5.5 Assists 14.0 14.2 Turnovers 14.2 17.6 Opp. Turnovers 11.6 15.1 Steals 4.9 7.1 Blocked Shots 2.1 5.6
HEAD COACH DALE LAYER
Dale Layer has a 100-100 record in his seventh season at Colorado State and a 267-184 career record in his 16th 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.
In 2002-03, Layer led CSU to its first NCAA Tournament since 1989-90. Colorado State went 19-14 overall and placed sixth in the MWC with a 5-9 mark. The Rams also captured their first-ever conference tournament championship to receive the MWC's automatic bid to the NCAAs.
UTAH VS. COLORADO STATE SERIES NOTES
Utah and Colorado State meet for the 137th time on Wednesday evening. The series dates back to a 41-25 win by Utah on Jan. 2, 1937. The two teams have met annually since 1969-70 with the exception of the 1998-99 season.
The Runnin' Utes lead the all-time series 95-42 and have won 10 of the last 14 meetings. However, the Rams have taken the last three games in the series. Utah had won five in a row before the Rams took both contests last season and the first game this season. In 2005-06, Colorado State won 84-78 on Jan. 14 in Fort Collins, Colo., and 69-61 in overtime on Feb. 15 in Salt Lake City. In the first meeting between the Utes and Rams this season, CSU won 73-57 on Jan. 9 in Fort Collins.
In Salt Lake City, the Utes are 52-15 against Colorado State. The Utes had taken two in a row over the Rams in the Huntsman Center before CSU won in overtime last season 69-61 on Feb. 15.
In conference regular-season play, Utah has an 86-37 advantage. Since the formation of the Mountain West Conference in 1999-2000, Utah leads 9-6.
Ray Giacoletti is 3-3 against Colorado State. He won all three games against the Rams in 2004-05 before losing twice last season and the first meeting this season.
Dale Layer is 5-10 against Utah during his tenure at CSU. In addition to winning the last three over the Utes, Layer's other wins were on March 6, 2003 (66-65) in Salt Lake City and on Jan. 22, 2001 (73-65) at Moby Arena.
Tim Denson, Tyler Smith, and Jason Smith each scored 13 points as Colorado State beat Utah 73-57 on Jan. 9 in Fort Collins, Colo.
Cory Lewis added 12 points for the Rams. Johnnie Bryant led Utah with 16 points. Shaun Green and Luka Drca each scored 11 points with Drca setting a career-high. Utah's leading scorer Luke Nevill was held to 10 points and added five rebounds.
Utah led 17-15 after a dunk by Nevill with 9:26 to play in the first half. Colorado State then pulled away and led 37-27 at the break. The Rams opened the second half with a 15-3 run to build an insurmountable 52-30 lead. Utah's first field goal of the second half came with 12:57 remaining on a 3-pointer by Bryant.
The Utes were excellent from 3-point range, connecting on 10-of-17 (.588). However, the Rams outshot Utah 52.4 to 41.3 percent overall and had a 35-20 advantage on the boards.
The Runnin' Utes have a week off before facing the Air Force Falcons on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 8:05 p.m. (MST) in Colorado Springs, Colo. The game will be televised nationally by VERSUS. Utah then hosts the UNLV Runnin' Rebels on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 4:05 p.m. (MST). The game has been moved from its originally scheduled 4:35 p.m. tip-off to accommodate television.