Sophomore forward Shaun Green leads the Mountain West Conference in 3-point field goal shooting at 54.3 percent.
March 1, 2007
UTAH RUNNIN' UTES VS. BYU COUGARS
Saturday, March 3, 2007 5:35 p.m. (MST)
Marriott Center (22,700) Provo, Utah
UTAH (11-17, 6-9) Head Coach: Ray Giacoletti Alma Mater: Minot State, 1985 At Utah: 54-38 (3rd Season) Career: 171-121 (10th Season)
BYU (22-7, 12-3) Head Coach: Dave Rose Alma Mater: Houston, 1983 At BYU: 42-16 (2nd Season) Career: 42-16 (2nd Season)
MEDIA COVERAGE Television: CSTV (Comcast 269) Tom Hart (play-by-play), Steve Lappas (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 124-119 Utah Home/Away/Neutral: 72-47/47-66/5-6 Current Streak: BYU has won 1 Last Meeting: BYU won 76-66 on Jan. 31, 2007 in Salt Lake City
QUICKLY ON UTAH
The Runnin' Utes (11-17, 6-9 MWC) wrap-up the regular season against the BYU Cougars (22-7, 12-3 MWC) on Saturday at 5:35 p.m. (MST) at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah. The game will be televised nationally by CSTV (Comcast 269 in Salt Lake City) and broadcast on SportsRadio 700 The Zone.
Utah is ridding a two-game winning streak into the match-up with its arch rival. The Utes snapped a three-game losing streak with a 93-91 double overtime victory over New Mexico last Saturday afternoon in the Huntsman Center. Utah then closed out its home schedule with a 74-68 win over San Diego State on Tuesday night. The Utes are 9-6 at home this season, 1-9 on opponents' home courts and 2-11 away from home overall.
Sophomore center Luke Nevill (7-1, 265) is the Utes' leading scorer (16.9 ppg) and rebounder (7.7 rpg). He is shooting 63.5 percent from the field, 75.0 percent from the free throw line, and also has a team-best 29 blocked shots. Junior guard Johnnie Bryant (6-0, 180) is second on the team in scoring (15.3 ppg), and has connected on 42.6 percent (83-for-195) of his 3-point attempts and 81.7 percent of his free throws. Bryant leads the team in assists (2.85 apg). Sophomore forward Shaun Green (6-8, 208) is third on the team in scoring (11.5 ppg), and is second in both assists (2.57 apg) and rebounding (6.2 rpg). He is shooting 55.1 percent from the field and 54.3 percent (63-for-116) from 3-point range. Green also leads the Utes in steals (33) and is second in blocked shots (15).
In the latest NCAA statistical rankings released on Feb. 26, Utah ranks second in 3-point percentage (42.7), 12th in field goal percentage (49.3), 79th in 3-pointers made per game (7.5), 29th in free throw percentage (74.0) and 59th in rebound margin (+3.8 rpg). Nevill is ninth in field goal percentage (63.0) and 89th in rebounds per game (7.6). Bryant ranks 25th in 3-pointers made per game (3.1) and 20th in 3-point percentage (43.7). Green is out of the 3-point field goal rankings for the fourth consecutive week, missing the minimum mark to qualify of 2.5 made per game. His 3-point percentage of 54.3 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 66.3 percent of Utah's points, 83.2 percent of its rebounds, 64.7 percent of its assists and 67.6 percent of its minutes.
Utah has won its last six games decided by six points or less after losing its first nine this season.
Nine of Utah's 17 losses have come by a combined 27 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.
In the last three games, Utah has shot 56.3 percent from the field and 46.9 percent from 3-point range, and has a +4.3 rebound margin.
The Utes have shot at least 50 percent from 3-point range 12 times and at least 50 percent from the field 14 times in 28 games this season.
Utah is 2-10 this season when opponents shoot at least 50 percent from the field and 5-14 when they shoot at least 40 percent from 3-point range.
The Utes are 9-0 when leading and 2-17 when trailing or tied at halftime this season.
The Cougars are 22-7 overall and have clinched at least a share of the Mountain West Conference regular-season title with a with a 12-3 mark in league play. BYU is 16-0 at home this season and has the nation's longest homecourt winning streak of 30 games. The Cougars' last loss in the Marriott Center was to Loyola Marymount, 83-71, on Nov. 18, 2006.
Senior forward Keena Young (6-6, 215) leads BYU in scoring (17.1 ppg) and is second in rebounding (6.1 rpg). He is shooting 55.6 percent from the field and 80.5 percent from the free throw line. Sophomore forward Trent Plaisted (6-11, 245) is second in on the team in scoring (12.1 ppg) and first in rebounds (6.2 rpg) and blocked shots (39). Sophomore guard Lee Cummard (6-6, 175) is tied for third on the team in scoring (9.4 ppg) while shooting 44.9 percent from beyond the arc (35-for-78). Cummard is also third in rebounds (5.5 rpg) and second in assists (2.86 apg). Senior guard Austin Ainge (6-2, 180) leads BYU in assists (4.27 apg). Ainge is also shooting a team-best 50.5 percent (48-for-95) from 3-point range and averaging 7.7 points per game.
BYU ranks first in the Mountain West Conference in scoring offense (77.6 ppg), fifth in scoring defense (68.3 ppg), first in rebound margin (+5.6 rpg), fifth in field goal percentage defense (43.6), second in 3-point field goal percentage (40.9) and first in assists (16.14 apg).
COMPARING THE NUMBERS
Utah BYU Overall Record 11-17 22-7 MWC Record 6-9 12-3 Scoring 70.0 77.6 Scoring Defense 71.4 68.3 FG% .495 .488 FG% Defense .495 .436 3-Pt. FG% .426 .409 3-Pt. FG% Defense .463 .333 FT% .735 .666 Rebound Margin +3.8 +5.6 Assists 14.4 16.1 Turnovers 14.5 13.6 Opp. Turnovers 11.5 14.2 Steals 4.7 6.2 Blocked Shots 2.2 3.5
COUGAR HEAD COACH DAVE ROSE
After serving as the top assistant at BYU for eight seasons from 1997-2005, Dave Rose is in his second season as the Cougars' head coach and has a 42-16 record. Rose directed BYU to a 20-9 overall mark, a tie for second place in the Mountain West Conference with a 12-4 record, and the first round of the NIT last season. During Rose's tenure under Steve Cleveland, BYU qualified for postseason play five of the last six seasons--including three NCAA bids--while claiming two MWC titles.
Prior to coming to BYU, Rose was head coach at Dixie College in St. George, Utah. Rose compiled a 167-57 record in seven seasons as head coach at Dixie. Rose guided six of his seven teams to national top-20 rankings, including a ranking as high as No. 2, while earning three conference titles.
Rose was a two-sport athlete at Dixie College before transferring to Houston, where he was a shooting guard and co-captain of the famous "Phi Slamma Jamma" team that was ranked No. 1 nationally and finished second in the 1983 NCAA Tournament. At Houston, Rose played in 1980-81, redshirted in 1981-82, and played his final year in 1982-83.
UTAH VS. BYU SERIES NOTES
Utah and BYU meet for the 244th time on Saturday evening. The Utah vs. BYU series ranks 10th among NCAA Division I rivalries in the number of games played.
The Cougars are the Utes' oldest rivals in a series that dates back to a 32-9 win by BYU on Jan. 23, 1909 in Provo, Utah.
The Utes lead the all-time series 124-119, winning 22 of the last 28 meetings and eight of the last 11. BYU broke a two-game winning streak by Utah with a 76-66 win on Jan. 31 in Salt Lake City.
In Provo, the Cougars lead 66-47. Utah is 2-4 in its last six trips to Provo. The Utes' last win in Provo was on Jan. 31, 2005 by a 72-58 score. BYU defeated Utah in the Marriott Center last season 72-60 on Jan. 7. The Utes broke BYU's 44-game homecourt winning streak with a 79-75 win on Jan. 25, 2003.
Utah took two of its three games with BYU in 2005-06. The Cougars snapped Utah's three-game winning streak in the series with a 72-60 win on Jan. 7 in Provo, Utah. The Utes then defeated BYU 79-60 on Feb. 8 in Salt Lake City. The rivals met for a third time in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament. Utah won 74-70 on March 9 in Denver, Colo.
In conference regular season play, Utah has a 119-113 edge. Since the formation of the Mountain West Conference in 1999-2000, Utah leads 10-5.
Ray Giacoletti is 4-2 against BYU with all of those games coming during his three-year career at Utah.
Dave Rose is 2-2 against Utah with all of those games taking place during his two-year tenure at BYU.
Keena Young scored 21 points and Brigham Young beat Utah 76-66 on Jan. 31 in the Huntsman Center to snap a 12-game road losing skid to the Utes.
Luke Nevill, who led the Utes with 26 points, capped a 9-0 run with a bank shot to cut the lead to 68-59 with 3:25 to play.
But Young made a spinning shot in the lane and added a jumper to clinch the first BYU victory in the Huntsman Center since 1994 when Robbie Reid hit a long 3-pointer to lift the Cougars to a 64-62 win.
Jonathan Tavernari had 17 points and Jimmy Balderson scored 10 of his 11 points in the second half.
Ricky Johns posted 18 points but no one else scored more than seven for the Utes.
The Cougars led 40-27 after Balderson and Cummard hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the second half.
Bryant's fast-break layup cut the lead to 47-40 with 15:24 to play but Tavernari scored nine points in a 15-4 Cougar run. His steal and layup capped the spurt and BYU led 62-44.
BYU shot 58 percent in the second half. For the first dozen possessions, every Utah play went through Nevill and the Utes led early, but when the seven-foot Australian went to the bench, the Cougars grabbed the lead and never relinquished it.
BYU outshot Utah 52.6-51.9 percent from the field and had a 33-26 edge on the boards.
The Runnin' Utes head to Las Vegas for the 2007 Mountain West Conference Tournament, next weekend at the Thomas & Mack Center. The quarterfinals take place on Thursday, followed by the semifinals on Friday and the championship game on Saturday.