Sophomore guard Johnnie Bryant has scored in double figures in 19 games this season.
March 6, 2006
Utah Probable Starters No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Statistics 20 F Bryant Markson 6-7 198 Sr. 13.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg 21 F Shaun Green 6-8 208 Fr. 6.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg 50 C Luke Nevill 7-1 250 Fr. 10.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg 1 G Johnnie Bryant 6-0 190 So. 13.3 ppg, 2.4 apg 3 G Chris Grant 6-3 200 So. 2.6 ppg, 2.3 rpgJust The Facts
Head Coach: Ray Giacoletti (Minot State, 1985) Record at Utah: 42-20 (2nd Season) Overall Record: 159-103 (9th Season)
Off The Bench No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Statistics 2 G Lawrence Borha 6-3 205 Fr. 3.5 ppg, 1.8 rpg 10 G Casey Iverson 6-2 200 Sr. 1.8 ppg, 0.7 rpg 11 G Tim Drisdom 6-3 215 Sr. 2.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg 14 G Mike Mesdaghi 5-10 175 Jr. 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg 25 F Marc Hadfield 6-5 180 Fr. 0.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg 30 C Chris Jackson 6-11 245 Sr. 6.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg 32 F Ricky Johns 6-3 190 Jr. 3.7 ppg, 1.5 rpg
The Utes placed sixth in the Mountain West Conference during the regular season and earned the No. 6 seed in the tournament. Utah opens tournament play against No. 3 BYU (20-7, 12-4 MWC) in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 10:05 p.m. (MST). Should Utah win, it will advance to face the winner of No. 2 Air Force (24-5, 12-4 MWC) and No. 7 Wyoming (12-17, 5-11 MWC) in the semifinal round on Friday at 10:05 p.m. (MST). The championship game takes place on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. (MST). The Mountain West Conference Tournament champion earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
ESPN will televise Utah's quarterfinal game against BYU on Thursday at 10:05 p.m. (MST) with Dave Pasch (play-by-play) and Hubert Davis (analyst) calling the action. Should the Utes advance to semifinals on Friday at 10:05 p.m. (MST) and the championship game on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. (MST), both of those games would also be televised by ESPN.
ESPN+Plus will televise the first three quarterfinals on Thursday and the first semifinal game on Friday. All ESPN+Plus games are shown in Salt Lake City on KJZZ-TV 14. Rich Waltz (play-by-play) and Irv Brown (analyst) are the broadcasters.
All of the Utes' games in the Mountain West Conference Tournament will be broadcast on the Utah Sports Network (Hot Ticket 700/KALL-AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). Matt Thomas (play-by-play) and Bill Riley (analyst) call the action.
The entire Mountain West Conference Tournament will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.TheMWC.com. Live stats and updated brackets will also be available on the conference's web site.
Utah's Conference Tournament History
The Utes have competed in 22 previous conference tournaments-16 as a member of the Western Athletic Conference and the last six in the Mountain West Conference-posting a 28-18 (.609) record.
Recently in the Mountain West Tournament, Utah was the No. 1 seed and lost in the championship game in 2005. The Utes claimed the title as the No. 3 seed in 2004 after losing in the semifinals each of the previous four years. The Utes won WAC Tournament titles in 1995, `97 and `99.
Utah has never lost in the quarterfinals (5-0) and boasts an 8-5 all-time mark in the MWC Tournament. This year's sixth seed is the lowest for the Utes in the MWC Tournament.
The Utes' .609 combined winning percentage in WAC (1984-99) and MWC (2000-05) tournaments ranks second among the conference teams. UNLV at .788 (41-11) is first, while New Mexico at .587 (27-19) and BYU at .514 (19-18) rank third and fourth, respectively.
Quickly On Utah
The Runnin' Utes are 13-14 overall and placed sixth in the Mountain West Conference with a 6-10 record. Utah has gone 5-5 over its last 10 games entering postseason play. Last week, the Utes closed out the regular season with a 65-59 loss at TCU on Wednesday night and a 79-70 win over Wyoming at home on Saturday night.
Senior forward Bryant Markson (6-7, 198) is tied for the team lead in scoring average (13.3 ppg) and leads the Utes in steals (36). He is also second in assists (2.34 apg) and rebounds (5.3 rpg). Markson is shooting 52.4 percent from the field, 44.1 percent from three-point range and 77.1 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 tied for the top scoring average on the team (13.3 ppg), ranks first in assists (2.37 apg), and is averaging 2.8 rebounds per game. Bryant is also shooting 46.4 percent (65-of-140) 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 (10.7 ppg), and leads the way in rebounding (6.2 rpg) and blocked shots (24). Nevill is also shooting 54.2 percent from the field.
Utah ranks sixth in the MWC in scoring offense (65.1 ppg), third in scoring defense (64.3 ppg) and first in rebounding margin (+4.6 rpg).
Before defeating Wyoming last Saturday night at home, Utah had lost its last four games by an average of five points, including one overtime game.
Twelve of the Runnin' Utes' games have been decided by nine points or less, with Utah going 5-7 in those games.
Utah is playing one redshirt freshman and four other newcomers. Through 27 games, 57.7 percent of the Utes' points, 48.3 percent of their rebounds, 51.5 percent of their assists, and 54.0 percent of their minutes played have come from first-year players.
The Utes are 12-4 when holding their opponents to 68 points or less this season and 1-10 when allowing 69 points or more.
Over the last 10 games, Utah has held its opponents to an average of 62.2 points per game on 40.9 percent shooting from the field and 32.7 percent from three-point range. The U. has shot 47.9 percent from the field and 43.6 percent from three-point range. The Utes have owned a 33.3 to 27.5 edge in rebounds per game, outworking nine teams on the glass and equalling the other. However, Utah has also had a -4.1 turnover ratio.
Markson Makes All-Mountain West Conference Team
Ute senior forward Bryant Markson earned third team all-Mountain West honors for the second consecutive year. Sophomore guard Johnnie Bryant and freshman center Luke Nevill both earned honorable mention.
From The Training Room
Junior forward Jonas Langvad broke a bone in his right hand during the TCU game last Wednesday night. Langvad will be out the remainder of the season.
Freshman center Luke Nevill suffered a sprained ankle against Wyoming last Saturday night but is expected to play against BYU in the MWC Tournament quarterfinals.
BYU, the No. 3 seed in the Mountain West Conference Tournament, is 20-7 overall. The Cougars tied Air Force for second place in the MWC during the regular season with a 12-4 record.
Utah handed BYU its last loss (79-60) in Salt Lake City on Feb. 8. Since then the Cougars have won six in a row. Last week in a pair of home games, BYU defeated Colorado State (77-69) on Wednesday night and New Mexico (76-68) on Saturday night.
Freshman forward Trent Plaisted (6-11, 240) ranks eight in the Mountain West in scoring (13.4 ppg), ninth in field goal percentage (51.6), fifth in rebounding (6.7 rpg) and 10th in blocked shots (0.85 bpg). Senior guard Brock Reichner (6-4, 205) ranks 18th in the conference in scoring (10.9 ppg), shooting 48.1 percent from three-point range (51-for-106), and 15th in assists (2.59 apg). Junior forward Keena Young (6-6, 205) is 10th in the MWC in rebounding (5.9 rpg) and is averaging 10.0 points per game. Junior guard Rashaun Broadus (6-0, 195) is fourth in the MWC in assists (3.73 apg).
The Cougars rank first in the MWC in scoring offense (76.7 ppg), eighth in scoring defense (71.4 ppg), fourth in rebound margin (+2.3 rpg) and first in assists (16.07 apg).
Utah-BYU Series Notes
Utah and BYU have met 241 times. 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 123-118, winning 21 of the last 26 meetings and seven of the last nine. BYU has a 6-4 edge over Utah on neutral courts.
The Cougars and Utes have met twice in the MWC Tournament with each team winning once in the semifinal round. BYU prevailed 58-54 on March 10, 2000 in Las Vegas. Four years later Utah won 54-51 on March 12, 2004 in Denver. This year marks the first meeting between the teams in the quarterfinals.
Utah and BYU split their two games during the 2005-06 regular season. 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 defeated BYU 79-60 on Feb. 8 in Salt Lake CIty.
In conference regular season play, Utah has a 119-112 edge. Since the formation of the Mountain West Conference in 1999-2000, Utah leads 10-4.