Sophomore center Luke Nevill ranks 11th in the NCAA in field goal percentage.
Feb. 20, 2007
UTAH RUNNIN' UTES VS. WYOMING COWBOYS
Wednesday, February 21, 2007 6:05 p.m. (MST)
Arena-Auditorium (15,000) Laramie, Wyo.
UTAH (9-16, 4-8) Head Coach: Ray Giacoletti Alma Mater: Minot State, 1985 At Utah: 53-36 (3rd Season) Career: 170-119 (10th Season)
WYOMING (14-12, 5-7) Head Coach: Steve McClain Alma Mater: Chadron State, 1984 At UW: 154-112 (9th Season) Career: 154-112 (9th Season)
MEDIA COVERAGE Television: The Mtn. (Comcast 37) Tim Neverett (play-by-play), Dave Bollwinkel (analyst) Radio: Sports Radio 700 The Zone Bill Riley (play-by-play), Joe Cravens (analyst), Scott Gerrard (host) Internet Audio/Live Stats: www.UtahUtes.com Get Utah All-Access Here
THE SERIES Overall: Utah leads 90-71 Utah Home/Away/Neutral: 57-22/31-46/2-3 Current Streak: Utah has won 1 Last Meeting: Utah won 62-60 on Jan. 20, 2007 in Salt Lake City
QUICKLY ON UTAH
The Runnin' Utes (9-16, 4-8 MWC) play their final regular season game outside of the state of Utah Wednesday night against the Wyoming Cowboys (14-12, 5-7 MWC) at 6:05 p.m. (MST) at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, Wyo. The game will be televised by The Mtn.--MountainWest Sports Network (Comcast 37 in Salt Lake City) and broadcast on SportsRadio 700 The Zone.
Utah has dropped its last two games after winning four of six. Last week, Utah fell at No. 17 Air Force 69-43 on Wednesday night and lost to UNLV at home 70-57 on Saturday afternoon. The Utes are 7-6 at home this season, 1-8 on opponents' home courts and 2-10 away from home overall.
Sophomore center Luke Nevill (7-1, 265) is the Utes' leading scorer (17.0 ppg) and rebounder (7.7 rpg). He is shooting 62.9 percent from the field, 76.1 percent from the free throw line, and also has a team-best 26 blocked shots. Junior guard Johnnie Bryant (6-0, 180) is second on the team in scoring (14.8 ppg), and has connected on 43.1 percent (75-for-174) of his 3-point attempts and 80.3 percent of his free throws. Bryant leads the team in assists (2.76 apg). Sophomore forward Shaun Green (6-8, 208) is third on the team in scoring (11.4 ppg), and is second in both assists (2.40 apg) and rebounding (6.0 rpg). He is shooting 54.5 percent from the field and 54.7 percent (58-for-106) from 3-point range. Green also leads the Utes in steals (31) and is second in blocked shots (13).
In the latest NCAA statistical rankings released on Feb. 19, Utah ranks seventh in 3-point percentage (42.1), 22nd in field goal percentage (48.7), 91st in 3-pointers made per game (7.4), 36th in free throw percentage (73.4) and 64th in rebound margin (+3.7 rpg). Nevill is 11th in field goal percentage (62.9), 96th in points per game (17.0) and 83rd in rebounds per game (7.7). Bryant ranks 31st in 3-pointers made per game (3.0) and 28th in 3-point percentage (43.1). Green is out of the 3-point field goal rankings for the third consecutive week, missing the minimum mark to qualify of 2.5 made per game. His 3-point percentage of 54.7 would lead the nation.
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 68.3 percent of Utah's points, 83.1 percent of its rebounds, 63.7 percent of its assists and 68.2 percent of its minutes.
Utah has won its last four games decided by six points or less after losing its first nine this season.
Eight of Utah's 16 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 10 times and at least 50 percent from the field 11 times in 25 games this season.
Utah is 1-9 this season when opponents shoot at least 50 percent from the field and 4-13 when they shoot at least 40 percent from 3-point range.
The Utes are 7-0 when leading and 2-16 when they trail or are tied at halftime this season.
FROM THE TRAINING ROOM
Freshman guard Curtis Eatmon (6-3, 175) broke his nose in the first half against UNLV on Saturday. He underwent surgery on Tuesday and will not play against Wyoming.
Sophomore center Luke Nevill (7-1, 265) suffered a right hip pointer in practice on Monday and is questionable for the Wyoming game.
The Cowboys are 14-12 overall and in fifth place in the Mountain West Conference with a 5-7 record. Wyoming broke a four-game losing streak with an 80-71 win over San Diego State at home on Saturday. The previous week, the Cowboys fell to BYU 77-73 at home on Feb. 6 and lost at UNLV 80-70 on Feb. 10. The `Pokes are 10-2 at home this season.
Sophomore guard Brandon Ewing (6-2, 190) leads the `Pokes in scoring (19.5 ppg), shooting 29.8 percent (39-for-131) from 3-point range and 79.4 percent at the free throw line. Junior guard Brad Jones (6-0, 170) is second in scoring (17.5 ppg), first in assists (4.4 apg) and first in steals (31). He is also shooting a team-best 79.9 percent at the free throw line. Jones was named the MWC Player of the Week on Monday after scoring a game-high 32 points (7-12 FG, 17-18 FT) against San Diego State. He also pulled down seven rebounds and dished out a game-best five assists against SDSU. Junior forward James Spencer (6-4, 195) is the third Cowboy averaging double figures in points (11.5 ppg). Spencer leads UW in 3-point percentage (43.0, 37-for-86). Senior center Daaron Brown (6-9, 260) is the team's leading rebounder (7.3 rpg).
Wyoming ranks fourth in the Mountain West Conference in scoring offense (74.1 ppg), ninth in scoring defense (74.2 ppg), fifth in rebound margin (+0.3 rpg), eighth in 3-point percentage (33.6) and eighth in assist/turnover ratio (0.75).
COMPARING THE NUMBERS
Utah Wyoming Overall Record 9-16 14-15 MWC Record 4-8 5-7 Scoring 68.6 74.1 Scoring Defense 70.2 74.2 FG% .487 .459 FG% Defense .493 .442 3-Pt. FG% .421 .336 3-Pt. FG% Defense .457 .332 FT% .734 .724 Rebound Margin +3.7 +0.3 Assists 14.0 11.3 Turnovers 14.3 15.0 Opp. Turnovers 11.4 13.2 Steals 4.8 5.8 Blocked Shots 2.2 3.7
HEAD COACH STEVE McCLAIN
Steve McClain has a 154-112 career record in his ninth season at Wyoming. McClain's team had posted three consecutive 20-win seasons before averaging 13 wins the past three seasons.
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 NCAA's.
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 have met 161 times 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 `98-99 seasons, the Runnin' Utes and Cowboys have met every year since 1943-44.
Utah leads the all-time series 90-71. The Runnin' Utes took the first meeting this season 62-60 on Jan. 20 in Salt Lake City, giving them wins in five of the last six games against the `Pokes. The Utes had taken four in a row over the Cowboys before losing 60-47 last season in the MWC Tournament semifinals on March 10 in Denver, Colo.
In Laramie, the Cowboys have a 46-31 edge. Wyoming had won seven in a row in the Arena-Auditorium before Utah has taken three of the last four meetings there. After the Utes won in Laramie during the 2002-03 season, Wyoming protected its home court with a 74-65 win on Feb. 16, 2004. Utah has taken the last two, winning 74-49 on Jan. 15, 2005 and 71-63 on Feb. 1, 2006.
In conference regular-season play, Utah has a 76-60 advantage. Since the formation of the Mountain West Conference in 1999-2000, Utah leads 10-5.
Ray Giacoletti is 5-2 against Wyoming. Giacoletti has led the Utes to four wins and one loss against the `Pokes. 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 6-10 against Utah with all of his games coming during his tenure at Wyoming.
Utah's Luke Nevill made a short hook shot with 57 seconds remaining, then blocked a layup attempt and watched his teammates make seven straight free throws to beat Wyoming 62-60 on Jan. 20 in Salt Lake City.
Wyoming's Brad Jones missed a runner as time expired and the Cowboys lost their third straight game.
Jones had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Cowboys, who made just 11 of 17 free throws, while the Utes hit 25 of 34.
The Utes made six straight from the line after Nevill's hook shot to build a 61-57 lead with 13.3 seconds left. But Utah's Luka Drca fouled Eric Platt on a 3-point attempt with 4.4 seconds left, and Platt made all three free throws to cut the lead to 61-60.
Bryant was fouled on the inbounds pass and the Cowboys got a break when the clock didn't start. Bryant made his first free throw and missed the second. The Cowboys got the rebound and had enough time for Jones' final shot, but the ball bounced off the rim.
The Runinn' Utes had their worst shooting percentages of the season from the field (34.0) and 3-point range (23.1) against the Cowboys.
The Runnin' Utes open their final home stand against the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday at 3:35 p.m. (MST). The game will be televised by The Mtn.--MountainWest Sports Network. Utah then closes out its home schedule against the San Diego State Aztecs on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 7:05 p.m. (MST).