Ute guard Johnnie Bryant has scored in double figures in the last seven games.
Feb. 16, 2006
Television: NoneAfter 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 Air Force Head Coach: Jeff Bzdelik Alma Mater: Minot State, 1985 Alma Mater: Illinois-Chicago, 1976 Record at Utah: 41-17 (2nd Season) Record at Air Force: 20-5 (1st Season) Overall Record: 158-100 (9th Season) Overall Record: 45-36 (3rd Season)
Series Record: Utah leads 42-10 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 24-2/16-8/2-0 Current Streak: Air Force has won 1. Last Meeting: Air Force won 66-44 on Jan. 19, 2006 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Utah Probable Starters No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Statistics 20 F Bryant Markson 6-7 198 Sr. 14.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg 21 F Shaun Green 6-8 208 Fr. 6.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg 50 C Luke Nevill 7-1 250 Fr. 10.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg 1 G Johnnie Bryant 6-0 190 So. 12.8 ppg, 2.3 apg 3 G Chris Grant 6-3 200 So. 2.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg
Air Force Probable Starters No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Statistics 21 F Jacob Burtschi 6-6 225 Jr. 12.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg 34 F Dan Nwaelele 6-5 210 Jr. 12.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg 54 C John Frye 6-10 210 Jr. 5.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg 5 G Matt McCraw 6-2 185 Jr. 11.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg 15 G Antoine Hood 6-4 205 So. 14.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Quickly On Utah
The Runnin' Utes (12-11, 5-7 MWC) close out a two-game home stand against Air Force (20-5, 8-4 MWC) on Saturday at 7:05 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. Tickets are on sale at www.UtahTickets.com, by phone at (801) 581-UTIX, or at the Utah Athletics Rice-Eccles Stadium Ticket Office.
Utah, tied for sixth place in the MWC, had a two-game winning streak snapped with a 69-61 overtime loss to Colorado State on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City. The Utes defeated BYU 79-60 on Feb. 8 at home and won 67-65 at San Diego State last Saturday afternoon. Utah is 9-4 at home overall this season and 3-3 in Mountain West Conference play.
Senior forward Bryant Markson (6-7, 198), a preseason all-Mountain West Conference pick, leads the Utes in scoring (14.0 ppg), assists (2.4 apg) and steals (31), and is second in rebounds (5.9 rpg). Markson is shooting 51.0 percent from the field, 43.8 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 (12.8 ppg), second in assists average (2.3 apg), and is averaging 2.4 rebounds per game. Bryant is also shooting 44.3 percent (51-of-115) from three-point range and 83.3 percent at the free throw line. Freshman center Luke Nevill (7-1, 250) is third on the team in scoring (10.5 ppg) and leads the way in rebounding (6.3 rpg).
Over the last six games, Utah has held its opponents to an average of 61.0 points per game on 38.7 percent shooting from the field and 32.0 percent from three-point range. The Utes have owned a 36.0 to 29.2 edge in rebounds per game, outworking all six teams on the glass.
Utah is playing one redshirt freshman and four other newcomers. Through 23 games, 56.3 percent of the Utes' points, 46.8 percent of their rebounds, 52.1 percent of their assists, and 54.1 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 nine 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 12-2 when holding their opponents to 68 points or less this season and 0-9 when allowing 69 points or more.
Utah Retiring Andrew Bogut's Jersey On Saturday, Basketball Reunion Planned
Andrew Bogut, the 2004-05 National Player of the Year who led Utah to the NCAA Sweet 16, will be honored with the retirement of his No. 4 jersey when the Runnin' Utes host Air Force on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
In honor of Bogut's No. 4 jersey, upper bowl tickets for the game will cost just $4. The first 2,000 fans entering the Huntsman Center that evening will receive a commemorative Andrew Bogut Jersey Pin, courtesy of the University of Utah Alumni Association.
The University of Utah has also invited all former Runnin' Ute basketball lettermen to attend Saturday's game and a pre-game reception at the Huntsman Center. Arnie Ferrin, Bill McGill and Danny Vranes, who have also had their jerseys retired, are expected to among those in attendance.
Before the game, Ute head coach Ray Giacoletti will present Bogut as the seventh player in school history to have his jersey retired. Bogut's jersey will be hung from the rafters of the Huntsman Center and a video chronicling his career will be shown at halftime. Bogut's No. 4 jersey will join McGill's No. 12, Ferrin's No. 22, Vranes' No. 23, Andre Miller's No. 24, Vern Gardner's No. 33 and Keith Van Horn's No. 44 as the only retired jerseys in Runnin' Ute history.
Markson Named MWC Player Of The Week
Utah senior Bryant Markson was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Week on Monday, marking the first weekly honor of his career.
A 6-7 forward from Monrovia, Calif., Markson led the Utes to two conference victories last week with a home win over BYU (79-60) and a road victory over first-place San Diego State (67-65). Against BYU, he scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds, while also tallying three steals and one assist in 27 minutes. Markson followed with his first career double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing a career-high 11 rebounds (seven offensive) versus the conference-leading Aztecs on Saturday. He shot 6-for-12 from the field, including 1-for-2 from three-point land, and hit 5-of-6 free throws in 39 minutes of action. Markson also collected two steals and two assists versus SDSU.
For the week, Markson averaged 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.5 assists per game, while shooting 45.5 percent from the field (10-for-22), 66.7 percent from three-point range (2-for-3) and 75.0 percent from the free throw stripe (9-for-12). Nine of his 17 total rebounds on the week were on the offensive end.
Scouting The Falcons
Air Force is 20-5 overall and in third place in the Mountain West Conference with an 8-4 record. The Falcons are 4-5 on opponents home courts overall this season and 2-4 in conference play.
The Falcons have won two in a row, getting a 62-61 win over Wyoming at home last Saturday and a 63-45 victory at TCU on Wednesday night. Air Force has never won more than two consecutive in conference play this season.
Senior guard Antoine Hood (6-4, 205), a second team all-MWC selection last season, ranks sixth in the MWC in scoring (14.6 ppg), seventh in field goal percentage (53.3) and seventh in steals (1.68 spg). Junior guard/forward Dan Nwaelele (6-5, 210) is 14th in the MWC in scoring (12.3 ppg), ninth in field goal percentage (52.8) and first in three-point percentage (50.0). Junior forward Jacob Burtschi (6-6, 225) is 12th in the conference in scoring (12.7 ppg), 10th in rebounds (6.2 rpg), 11th in assists (2.68 apg) and first in steals (2.32 spg). Junior guard Matt McCraw (6-2, 185) is 20th in the Mountain West in scoring (11.1 ppg), seventh in three-point percentage (40.3) and fourth in steals (1.79 spg).
As of Feb. 14, Air Force ranked first in the nation in scoring defense (54.3 ppg), 11th in three-point percentage (40.6), 11th in free throw percentage (76.1), and 14th in field goal percentage (48.8). Air Force ranks eighth in the MWC in scoring offense (65.3 ppg), first in scoring defense (54.0 ppg), ninth in rebound margin (-4.2 rpg), first in free throw percentage (75.5), first in three-point percentage (40.0), first in steals (8.40 spg) and first in assist/turnover ratio (1.31).
Comparing The Numbers
Utah Air Force Record 12-11 20-5 MWC Record 5-7 8-4 Streak Lost 1 Won 2 Scoring 65.4 65.3 Scoring Defense 64.3 54.0 FG% .468 .489 FG% Defense .435 .427 3-Pt. FG% .372 .400 3-Pt. FG% Def. .356 .307 FT% .672 .755 Rebound Margin +4.7 -4.2 Assists 13.6 14.6 Turnovers 16.2 11.2 Opp. Turnovers 13.1 15.6 Steals 6.0 8.4 Blocked Shots 2.2 2.4Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik
Before taking over over at Air Force, Bzdelik was the head coach of the Denver Nuggets for two and a half seasons, beginning with the 2002-03 season. In 2003-04, he led the Nuggets to the playoffs for the first time since 1994-95 while posting a 43-39 record. From 1995-01, Bzdelik was an assistant coach with the Miami Heat. He also served as an assistant coach with the Washington Bullets from 1988-94.
The Illinois native began his coaching career in 1978 at Davidson (N.C.) College. In 1980, he was named as an assistant coach at Northwestern University where he spent six seasons. He then took the head coaching position at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County for two years. Bzdelik is a 1976 graduate of the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he earned a bachelor's degree in physical education.
Utah vs. Air Force Series Notes
Utah and Air Force meet for the 53rd time on Saturday night. The series dates back to a 108-57 win by the Runnin' Utes on Dec. 23, 1965 in Salt Lake City.
The Utes lead the all-time series 42-10. Utah has won seven of the last 10 and 17 of the last 21 games against the Falcons. However, Air Force has won three of the last five meetings.
Air Force snapped a two-game winning streak by the Utes with a 66-44 win in the first meeting this season on Jan. 19 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
In Salt Lake City, the Utes are 24-2 against Air Force. Utah won last season in the Huntsman Center 63-51 on Jan. 24. Before suffering a loss during the 2003-04 season by a 59-57 score on Feb. 21, Utah had won 12 in a row at home against Air Force.
Utah took both meetings during the 2004-05 season, winning 63-51 on Jan. 24 in Salt Lake City and 65-56 on Feb. 19 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Air Force swept the 2003-04 season series from the Utes. Utah has a 37-10 record against Air Force in conference regular season games. Since the start of the Mountain West Conference in 1999-2000, the Utes have a 9-4 advantage in regular season games and 11-4 when including MWC Tournament games.
Ray Giacoletti is 2-1 all-time against Air Force with all three of those games coming during his career at Utah.
Jeff Bzdelik is 1-0 against Utah.
Antoine Hood had 16 points and Dan Nwaelele added 14 as Air Force beat visiting Utah 66-44 on Jan. 19 at Clune Arena.
Utah allowed Air Force to shoot 68.4 percent from the field and 61.5 percent (8-for-13) from three-point range, both top marks by a Ute opponent this season.
Air Force forced 20 turnovers and had 11 steals in holding an opponent to less than 50 points for the ninth time this season.
Air Force built an early 22-7 lead by hitting four three-pointers in the game's first 10 minutes. The Utes made a 10-3 run to end the first half, bringing the score within 33-23. However, Air Force scored the first 14 points of the second half to amass a 24-point lead.
Center John Frye scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting, while Matt McCraw added 11 points for the Falcons.