Junior Richard Chaney had 16 points against Carroll College last Saturday.
Nov. 10, 2004
Utah plays its final exhibition game against Western State College on Saturday at 12:05 (MST) in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
The Runnin' Utes open their regular season against Stony Brook on Friday, Nov. 19 at 8:05 p.m. in the Huntsman Center. Utah then plays in the Great Alaska Shootout, Nov. 25-27, in Anchorage.
First year head coach Ray Giacoletti has three returning starters and five other lettermen on his 2004-05 roster. Last season, Utah went 24-9 overall and placed third in the Mountain West Conference during the regular season with a 9-5 record. Utah won the Mountain West Conference Tournament title and received the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The only senior on the roster is guard Marc Jackson (6-1, 175), who is back with the Utes after taking off last season. Jackson earned second team all-Mountain West Conference honors as a sophomore in 2002-03. He averaged 9.3 points, 2.8 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 22.0 minutes per game as a non-starter. Jackson also shot 44.8 percent from three-point range and 84.2 percent from the free throw line in 29 games, missing four because of an ankle injury.
Sophomore forward/center Andrew Bogut (7-0, 240), the 2003-04 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year and a second team all-league pick, is one of the three returning starters. Bogut was second on the team in scoring (12.5 ppg), and first in both rebounding (9.9 rpg) and blocked shots (44) last season. The native of Melbourne, Australia, had 14 double-doubles on the year and shot 57.7 percent from the field. Junior forward Richard Chaney (6-4, 195) started 31 of 33 games last season. The Los Angeles, Calif., native was third on the team in scoring (9.5 ppg), shooting 49.4 percent from the field, 41.5 percent from three-point range and 82.2 percent at the line. Junior Tim Drisdom (6-3, 210) has started all but one game the last two years at point guard. The Artesia, Calif., native led the Utes in assists (3.6 apg) and steals (35) last season. He also averaged 6.1 points, shooting 34.0 percent from three-point range and 78.9 percent from the free throw line, and 3.7 rebounds.
The Utes also return four other lettermen from last season. Sophomore forward Justin Hawkins (6-5, 220) was the Utes' most productive player off the bench, averaging 19.0 minutes in 32 games. Hawkins, a native of Anaheim, Calif., who also started three games in 2003-04, averaged 5.3 points and 3.2 rebounds. Junior center Chris Jackson (6-11, 245) missed the final 10 games of last season after having surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back on Feb. 25. The Los Alamos, N.M., native is close to full strength as practice begins. Jackson played in 20 games last season, averaging 3.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 12.5 minutes. He made 70.5 percent of his field goal attempts. Junior forward Bryant Markson (6-6, 190) played in 32 games with two starts last season. Markson, from Monrovia, Calif., averaged 2.2 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.0 minutes per game. Sophomore forward Jonas Langvad (6-9, 230), who came to the U. from Skovlunde, Denmark, averaged 1.6 points and 1.8 rebounds while appearing in eight games.
Three scholarship freshmen and two non-scholarship players have joined the Utes. Point guard Jermaine Calvin (5-9, 177) from Tempe, Ariz., and forward Jake Schmidt (6-7, 247) from Thermopolis, Wyo., signed letters of intent with Utah during the early signing period. Center Luke Nevill (7-0, 240) from Perth, Australia, signed with the Utes during the late signing period. Joining the team as non-scholarship players this season are junior guard Casey Iverson (6-1, 190) and freshman forward Austin Robison (6-6, 185).
Calvin earned first team all-state honors as a senior and second team all-state recognition as a junior. In 2003-04, Calvin averaged 20.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game while leading McClintock High School to a state runner-up finish.
Schmidt was the 2003-04 Gatorade Player of the Year in Wyoming. While leading Hot Springs County High School to the state championship for the second year in a row, Schmidt was an all-state and East 3A all-conference selection. He averaged 17.4 points, 12.7 rebounds, 5.3 blocked shots, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game as a senior.
Nevill lived in Marietta, Ga., last year as an exchange student. While playing for Kell High School, Nevill averaged 17.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocked shots and 2.5 assists per game. He shot 70 percent from floor and 68 percent at the free throw line. Nevill earned honorable mention all-state and second team all-region honors.
Iverson was an honorable mention all-conference selection at the College of Eastern Utah in 2003-04, averaging 12.0 points, 2.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. Robison was a Salt Lake Tribune first team all-state performer as a senior at Jordan High School (Utah). He averaged 18.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.9 blocked shots and 2.6 steals per game in 2003-04.
Scouting Western State College
The Mountaineers, an NCAA Division II program, open their exhibition season on Nov. 11 at Southern Utah before facing the Utes on Saturday. Western State College is located in Gunnison, Colo., with an enrollment of 2,400.
Western State returns two starters and six lettermen from last year's team that went 2-25 and placed seventh in the West Division of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Senior guard Ryan Jobe (6-10, 160) averaged 9.5 points and 3.1 assists per game last season. Junior forward Dusty Axtell (6-4, 215) averaged 7.9 points and 3.7 boards per game in 2003-04. Al Sokaitis is in his first year at Western State and has a 369-268 career record in 17 years.
From The Training Room
Junior guard Tim Drisdom sprained his right ankle during the team's "Night with the Utes" scrimmage on Oct. 28. He has not been progressing as well as hoped and had an MRI on Wednesday. Drisdom is doubtful for the exhibition game against Western State College on Saturday.
Sophomore forward Justin Hawkins missed two days of practice early this week with a stomach virus. He is expected to play against Western State College on Saturday.
Freshman center Luke Nevill, a native of Perth, Australia, is expected to redshirt this season. He did not suit up for the Utes' first exhibition game against Carroll College. Ray Giacoletti has been impressed with Nevill in practice and had a difficult time making the decision. But, Nevill was not projected to play a lot of minutes this season, and it was determined best to save the year of eligibility. "He's only played four years," said Giacoletti. "He has the chance to be real good."
Exhibition Game #1 Rewind
Sophomore forward Andrew Bogut had a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead Utah to an 86-62 win over Carroll College in the Utes' exhibition season opener last Saturday. It was Ray Giacoletti's first game as Utah's head coach.
Four Utes scored in double figures. Senior guard Marc Jackson had 18 points and three assists. Richard Chaney, a junior from Los Angeles, had 16 points while making both three-point attempts. Junior forward Bryant Markson elevated for a couple of impressive dunks en route to scoring 15 points in a starting role.
Carroll College, an NAIA school in Helena, Mont., had a 5-0 record entering the game. But the Fighting Saints had a tough time in hanging with the Utes, picked second in the Mountain West Conference preseason poll. Utah shot 69 percent from the field and 67 percent (8-of-12) from three-point range. The Utes also connected on 10-of-13 free throws (77 percent) and had a 30-18 advantage on the boards.
Andy Brown paced the Fighting Saints with 15 points. Dallas Leslie came off the bench to hit 4-of-5 three-pointers and contribute 14 points.
Holding a 5-4 lead just over two minutes into the game, Utah went on a 13-2 run over the next four minutes to pull ahead 18-6 with 13:47 remaining in the first half. The run included three-pointers by Markson, Chaney and Jackson.
The Utes stretched their lead to 18 points inside the final six minutes of the half. Utah went on an 11-2 run to take a 45-27 lead with 3:18 to play in the first half. Bogut had six points during that stretch by making a pair of free throws, following up a missed jumper by Chaney, and throwing down a dunk.
Utes Receiving Votes In ESPN/USA Today Preseason Poll
Utah received six votes to rank 34th in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Preseason Poll. Washington, Utah's first round opponent in the Great Alaska Shootout, is ranked 24th. Two other teams in the Great Alaska Shootout field, Alabama and Oklahoma, are ranked 18th and 30th, respectively. Arizona, which will host the Utes in Tucson, Ariz., on Dec. 11, is ranked 11th. UNLV of the Mountain West Conference is receiving nine votes to rank 33rd.
They've Got The License To Shoot
Want to have the go-ahead to shoot a three-pointer if you play for the Utes? You have to earn your license first. A Ute player earns his "License to Shoot" from the coaching staff by making 35 of 50 three-pointers from all over the floor during a drill that can be attempted once a day. It must be completed five times before the season.