Justin Hawkins keyed Utah's quarterfinal win over SDSU with 10 points.
March 11, 2004
The Game At A Glance
Utah Interim Head Coach: Kerry Rupp BYU Head Coach: Steve Cleveland Alma Mater: Southern Utah, 1977 Alma Mater: UC Irvine, 1976 Record at Utah: 7-3 (1st Season) Record at BYU: 129-85 (7th Season) Overall Record: 7-3 (1st Season) Overall Record: 129-85 (7th Season)
Television: ESPN+Plus (KJZZ-TV 14 in Salt Lake City). ESPN Full Court. Rich Waltz (play-by-play) and Irv Brown (analyst).
Radio: Utah Sports Network (KALL-700 AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). On the Internet at www.TheMWC.com Bill Marcroft (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Brad Stone (host).
Series Record: Utah leads 119-117 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 70-46/46-65/3-6 Last Meeting: BYU won 70-57 on March 1, 2004 in Provo, Utah.
Quickly On Utah
The Runnin' Utes, who are 22-8 overall and finished third in the Mountain West Conference with a 9-5 record, face Brigham Young (21-7, 10-4 MWC) in the MWC Tournament semifinals on Friday at 7:05 p.m. (MST) at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo.
Utah is 7-3 over its last 10 games. The Utes defeated San Diego State 75-69 in the Mountain West Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon. Utah closed out the regular season with a 66-53 win at San Diego State last Saturday afternoon.
In the NCAA statistical rankings released on March 9, Utah was sixth in the NCAA in scoring defense (56.7 ppg), fourth in rebound margin (+7.7 rpg), 46th in scoring margin (+8.1 ppg), 34th in field goal percentage defense (40.3 ppg), 20th in field goal percentage (48.0 ppg) and 20th in three-point percentage (39.0). Currently, the Utes are allowing their opponents to score 57.1 points per game and shoot 40.6 percent from the field. Utah is presently shooting 48.0 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from three-point range, outrebounding its opponents by 7.9 boards per game and outscoring its opponents by 8.1 points per game.
Senior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 206) leads the Utes in scoring (16.5 ppg), hitting 45.1 percent of his three-point attempts. Freshman forward Andrew Bogut (6-10, 233) is second on the team in scoring (12.3 ppg), and is first in both rebounding (9.9 rpg) and blocked shots (44). The native of Melbourne, Australia, has 13 double-doubles this season and is shooting 58.5 percent from the field. Sophomore forward Richard Chaney (6-4, 195) is third in scoring (9.4 ppg), shooting 49.1 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from three-point range. Senior forward Tim Frost is fourth in scoring (9.1 ppg) and second in rebounding (4.5 rpg). Sophomore guard Tim Drisdom (6-2, 212) leads the Utes in assists (3.5 apg).
Utah Conference Tournament History
The Utes have completed in 20 previous conference tournaments-16 as a member of the Western Athletic Conference and the past five in the Mountain West Conference-posting a 24-17 (.585) record. The Utes won WAC Tournament titles in 1995, '97 and '99. In the Mountain West Tournament, the Utes have lost in the semifinals all four years.
The Utes' .585 combined winning percentage in WAC (1984-99) and MWC (2000-03) tournaments ranks second among the conference teams. UNLV at .750 (12-4) before Thursday is first, while New Mexico at .571 (24-18) before Thursday and BYU at .543 (19-16) entering Friday's game (19-16) rank third and fourth, respectively.
Scouting Brigham Young
The Cougars are 21-7 overall and finished second in the Mountain West Conference with a 10-4 record. BYU is 3-0 on neutral courts this season.
BYU has won nine in a row, getting past Wyoming (79-74) in the MWC Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon. The Cougars' current winning streak also includes a 70-57 win over the Utes on March 1 in Provo, Utah, and an 89-88 win at UNLV last Saturday to close out the regular season.
Senior center Rafael Araujo (6-11, 280), the Co-MWC Player of the Year, is one of three players in the Mountain West averaging a double-double. He leads BYU in scoring (18.4 ppg), rebounds (10.1 rpg). blocked shots (25) and steals (43). Araujo is also shooting 57.1 percent from the field and 71.6 percent from the free throw line. Senior forward/guard Mark Bigelow (6-7, 195), a second team all-MWC selection, is second on the team in scoring (13.6 ppg), first in free throw percentage (80.0) and second in rebounding (3.8 rpg). Junior guard Mike Hall (6-3, 205), the MWC Defensive Player of the Year and a third team all-league choice, is third on the BYU team in scoring (12.8 ppg) and third in rebounding (3.5 rpg). Hall is shooting 75.9 percent from the free throw line and has 39 steals. Senior guard Luiz Lemes (6-3, 180) leads the Cougars in assists (4.5 apg) and is shooting 40.8 percent from three-point range to average 8.6 points per game.
Steve Cleveland is in his seventh season at BYU and has a 129-85 career record. Last season, Cleveland guided BYU to a 23-9 overall record, the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and a share of the MWC regular-season title with an 11-3 mark. In 2000-01, Cleveland took BYU to its first NCAA Tournament since 1995, its first conference regular-season title since 1993 and its first conference tournament championship since 1992. Cleveland has taken BYU to the NIT in 2000 (third round) and 2002 (second round).
Utah-BYU Series Notes
* Utah and BYU have met 236 times. The Utah vs. BYU series ranks 10th among NCAA Division I rivalries in 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 119-117, winning 17 of the last 21 meetings. Utah had a three-game winning streak in the series before losing 70-57 on March 1 in Provo, Utah. Utah took the first game this season, 64-56, on Jan. 31 in the Huntsman Center. The U. swept the season series in 2002-03, getting a 79-75 win on Jan. 25 in Provo, Utah, and a 71-64 win on Feb. 24 in Salt Lake City.
* Utah is 1-4 against BYU in conference tournaments and 0-1 in the Mountain West Conference Tournament. The last time Utah and BYU met in the postseason, the Cougars defeated the Utes 58-44 in the semifinals of the 2000 MWC Tournament in Las Vegas.
* On a neutral court, Utah is 3-6 against BYU with a one-game losing streak.
* Kerry Rupp has faced BYU three times as the Ute coach but officially has a 1-1 record against the Cougars. In addition to the two games this season his record is credited, Rupp also led Utah to the win in Provo last season while Rick Majerus attended Andre Miller's stepfather's funeral. Majerus' record was credited with the win.
MWC Quarterfinals Notables
* Utah improved to 4-0 in MWC quarterfinal games, winning its last three games by an average of 4.3 points.
* Utah is now 5-1 against the Aztecs all-time in postseason play and 1-0 in the MWC Tournament.
* Nick Jacobson scored 24 points, which is his career high in an MWC Tournament game. His previous high was 16 vs. UNLV in the 2002 semifinals. Jacobson's seven three-pointers is the second-most in an MWC Tournament game. Air Force's Jarvis Croff had eight against Utah in the 2002 semifinals.
* Nick Jacobson's seven three-pointers tied the school record. Jacobson has set the mark twice (also vs. San Diego State, 7-of-10, on Jan. 14, 2002) and he shares it with Phil Cullen and Phil Dixon. His 11 three-point attempts also tied the third-best mark in Ute history. It is the fourth time Jacobson has attempted 11 threes.
* Andrew Bogut had 12 rebounds against SDSU to tie the MWC Tournament freshman record (R.T. Gunn of New Mexico in 2000).
* Utah has shot 50 percent or better from the field in 12 games this season, going 11-1. The Utes had their best shooting percentage in Mountain West Conference play against New Mexico on Feb. 23, hitting 52.9 percent. The Utes shot 52.4 percent at San Diego State last Saturday.
* Utah ranked 20th in the NCAA in field goal percentage (48.0) as of March 9. Currently, the Utes are still shooting 48.0 percent from the field. Utah has shot at least 40 percent from the field in 20 of the past 21 games. The Utes broke a string of 12 consecutive games of shooting at least 40 percent from the field against San Diego State on Feb. 7-it was the first game Utah won this season when being outshot (41.7 to 39.0 percent). Since then, Utah hasn't shot under 40 percent in the last eight games.
* The Utes are 19-1 when scoring at least 60 points this season with their only loss coming to Wyoming (74-65) on Feb. 16. Utah is 16-1 when holding its opponents to under 60 points with its only loss coming to Air Force (59-57) on Feb. 21.
* Utah's third-place finish is its lowest in conference play since tying for fifth in 1994. Since then, Utah has won at least a share of eight regular-seasons conference titles and had one second place finish (2002).
* The Utes have lost back-to-back games three times this season. Utah has not lost three consecutive games since Jan. 20-29, 2001 when Dick Hunsaker was the acting head coach.
* Against Air Force on Feb. 21, it was the only time this season Utah lost when leading at the half and with 5:00 remaining.
* Utah has been held below 20 points in the first half five times this season: 13 points (UConn on Nov. 28), 18 (New Mexico on Jan. 24), 19 (LSU on Dec. 16, BYU on Jan. 31, BYU on Mar. 1).
* Utah has made significant progress at the free throw line. After shooting just 26.8 percent (11-of-41) from the stripe against Stony Brook, Texas Tech and UConn (getting losses in the later two games), Utah has shot 75.4 percent (318-of-422) in the last 23 games. The Utes shot a season-best 97.1 percent (11-of-12) in games with over 10 attempts from the line against Whitworth. Utah also shot 90.5 percent (19-of-21) from the line against UNLV on Feb. 9 for its second-best effort in 2003-04. Utah is currently shooting 71.4 percent at the line this season.