Rick Majerus is 13-1 in season openers at Utah.
Nov. 14, 2003
Utah Runnin' Utes (0-0) vs. Georgia State Panthers (0-0)
Nov. 17 * 7:05 p.m. (MST) * Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) * Salt Lake City
The Game at a Glance
Utah Head Coach: Rick Majerus Georgia State Head Coach: Michael Perry Alma Mater: Marquette, 1970 Alma Mater: Richmond, 1981 Record at Utah: 308-90/15th Season Record at GSU: 10-9/2nd Season Overall Record: 407-142/20th Season Overall Record: 10-9/2ndSeason
Radio: Utah Sports Network (KALL-700 AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). On the Internet at www.UtahUtes.com and www.kall910.com. Bill Marcroft (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Brad Stone (host).
Series Record: First Meeting
Should they win their Presason NIT opener, the Runnin' Utes will play either Minnesota or UMKC in the second round on Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 8:35 p.m. (MST) at a site to be determined.
Quickly On Utah
Utah (0-0) opens its regular season against Georgia State (0-0) on Monday, Nov. 17 at 7:05 p.m. (MST) in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The Runnin' Utes split their pair of exhibition games, defeating the L.A. Stars 77-66 on Oct. 31 and losing to the Sydney Comets 75-74 in overtime on Nov. 13.
The Utes return three starters and three other lettermen from last season. Utah went 25-8 overall, advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and claimed a share of the Mountain West Conference regular-season championship with an 11-3 mark.
Senior center Tim Frost (6-9, 244), who has not practiced this season due to a sore back, was placed on the all-MWC second team in his first year with the Runnin' Utes after transferring from Portland. Frost, a native of Klamath Falls, Ore., was second on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) and rebounding (4.9 rpg). He also shot 43.3 percent from three-point range (29-of-67) and had 26 blocked shots. Senior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 206) was named third team all-Mountain West and led Utah in scoring for the second straight year (13.3 ppg). The Fargo, N.D., native was the Utes' most prolific three-point shooter last season, hitting 80-of-189 (42.3 percent). Jacobson also shot 83.5 percent at the free throw line.
The Utes' other four returnees are sophomores. Guard Tim Drisdom (6-2, 212) from Artesia, Calif., led the Utes in assists last season (3.2 apg) while averaging 4.6 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Drisdom also displayed a deft shooting eye, hitting 42.4 percent of his three-pointers (25-of-59) and 81.0 of his free throws. Guard/forward Richard Chaney (6-4, 195), a native of Los Angeles, Calif., was Utah's third-best rebounder (3.5 rpg) and fifth-best scorer (5.4 ppg) last season. Forward Bryant Markson (6-6, 189), who hails from Monrovia, Calif., averaged 3.7 points and 2.2 boards. Center Chris Jackson (6-11, 247) averaged 2.0 points and 1.7 rebounds last season.
From The Training Room
* Senior center Tim Frost has been sitting out since the start of practice with a sore back. Although he is making progress, no timetable has been set for his return to full activity. He is not expected to play in the season opener against Georgia State.
In The Polls
* Utah received 29 votes to rank No. 29 in the ESPN/USA Today preseason poll.
* The Utes received 39 votes to rank 31st in Associated Press preseason poll.
* Utah is 82-13 all-time in season openers and 13-1 under Rick Majerus.
* The Utes' last loss in an opening game came to Kansas (68-79) in the BCI Classic on Nov. 25, 1995 at Kemper Arena in Kansas City. After that loss, Utah has won seven season openers in a row, all coming in the Huntsman Center.
* Last season, Utah defeated Southern Utah 61-47 on Nov. 22 in Salt Lake City.
Scouting Georgia State
The Panthers open the season with four starters and six lettermen returning from last year's team that went 14-15 overall and placed fourth in the Atlantic Sun Conference with an 8-8 mark.
Senior post player Nate Williams (6-11, 225) is Georgia State's top returning scorer (18.0 ppg) and second-best rebounder (6.6 rpg); however, he is suspended for violation of team rules until Dec. 20. Williams led the Atlantic Sun in scoring last season and was named first team all-conference. Senior guard Lamont McIntosh (6-3, 175) is the Panthers' second-best returning scorer (13.3 ppg). McIntosh is also the team top returner in assists (3.2 apg), steals (1.4 spg) and free throw percentage (76.3). Senior forward Trello Galloway (6-7, 195) averaged 7.0 points and is the team's top returning rebounder (6.8 rpg). Sophomore point guard Herman Favors (5-9, 160) averaged 4.0 points a game last season.
The Panthers also add five junior college transfers and two eligible redshirts. Highlighting its schedule later on this season, Georgia State faces Auburn and Tennessee on the road, and hosts Tulsa.
Georgia State finished its exhibition season with a 111-78 win over Clark Atlanta at the Georgia State Sports Arena. The Panthers produced their second win of the exhibition season behind a defense that had 12 steals and forced 30 turnovers. Six Georgia State players hit double figures, led by 22 points from newcomer Marcus Brown (6-7, 215), a junior forward from Georgia Perimeter, and 20 points from newcomer Kevin Thomas, a junior guard/forward (6-4, 190) from Owens CC.
Head Coach Michael Perry
Michael Perry is entering his second year at Georgia State, but it will be his first full season after taking over for "Lefty" Driesell when he retired on Jan. 3. Last season, Perry went 10-9 as the Panthers' head coach after the team got off to a 4-6 start. Perry, who also served as the right-hand man for Driesell during his tenure at Georgia State, is in his seventh year at the school. Under Perry and Driesell, the Panthers have won 63 games the last three years and 80 games over the past four years.
Perry was an honorable mention All-American as a player at Richmond (1978-81). He was drafted by the Kansas City (now Sacramento) Kings.
Utah-Georgia State Series Notes
* The Utes and Panthers meet for the first time on Monday night.
* Utah is 1-0 against teams from the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Utes defeated Troy State 87-56 on Dec. 8, 2001 in Salt Lake City.
The Preseason NIT began in 1985 and is one of the premiere preseason tournaments in college basketball. The tournament field is 16 teams with NCAA legislation allowing for only one team from a conference to participate in a given year. A team may participate once every four years. The first Preseason NIT was won by Duke. Last year's title was taken by North Carolina.
This year's tournament field includes three teams from last year's NCAA Tournament field: Utah, Connecticut and Vermont (which played in Salt Lake City). Five other teams were in the postseason NIT: Texas Tech (final four), Georgia Tech (final eight), Louisiana-Lafayette, Minnesota and Nevada. In addition to Rick Majerus (407 wins), this year's field also includes two other coaches with over 400 wins in Bobby Knight of Texas Tech (808 wins) and Jim Calhoun of Connecticut (645 wins).
Utes In Another Early Season Tournament Under Majerus
Utah will compete in the Preseason NIT for the second time in the last five years this season. This marks the fifth time in the last six years and the sixth time overall that Utah has competed in a certified early season tournament during the Rick Majerus era. The Utes have posted a 7-7 record those tournaments, including a 1-1 record in the Preseason NIT in 1999.
Experimental Rules In Use
The NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee is experimenting with the extended three-point arc and trapeziod lane in exhibition, scrimmage and preseason games played before Jan. 1, 2004. Since the NIT is a certified event, the experimental rules will be used throughout the tournament. The three-point line will be moved back to 20-feet 6 1/4-inches. The lane will widen from 12-feet at the free throw line to 19-feet 8 1/4-inches on the baseline.
Exhibition Game #1 Rewind
Andrew Bogut scored 21 points and had 14 rebounds to lead Utah to a 77-66 exhibition season opening win over the L.A. Stars on Oct. 31 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Four Utes scored in double-figures as Utah shot 61.2 percent from the field and hit 5-of-10 three-pointers. Senior guard Nick Jacobson had 15 points, hitting 3-of-5 from beyond the arc in 33 minutes. Richard Chaney hit 7-of-13 shots for 15 points and six rebounds.
Freshman Josh Olsen started in place of place of point guard Tim Drisdom, who was nursing a sore back and played only eight minutes. Olsen scored 10 points, hitting both shots from the field, a three-pointer and 5-of-8 free throws. He also had four assists, two turnovers and three steals.
Utah had a 36-27 advantage on the boards. Typical of an early season game, the Utes had 20 turnovers to 16 assists. However, they also came up with 12 steals and six blocked shots. Bogut had four of the picks, while Chaney and sophomore Chris Jackson both had two rejections.
Leading 37-26 at halftime, the Utes scored the first two buckets of the second half on a dunk and a layup by Bogut. The Stars then went on a 17-2 run to tie the game at 43 a piece with 15:08 to play. Bogut then scored three of the next four baskets for the Utes to build a 51-43 lead over the next two and a half minutes. L.A. never got closer than five points the rest of the night. The Utes could have made the margin wider had they converted free throws, shooting just 46.2 percent for the game and making 11-of-23 in the second half.
Exhibition Game #2 Rewind
Circus King made a three-pointer with five seconds left in overtime as the Sydney Comets defeated the Utah Utes 75-74 on Nov. 13 in the Huntsman Center.
Andrew Bogut had a double-double of 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Utes' effort. Nick Jacobson had 20 points, hitting 4-of-11 from behind the experimental three-point line, and two steals. Chris Jackson, starting at center in place of an injured Tim Frost, had eight points, two boards and two blocked shots. Tim Drisdom had seven points and four assists.
Utah trailed 23-8 with 9:04 to play in the first half, but came back within three (35-32) at the break. The Utes took a 62-57 lead with 3:09 to play in regulation on a dunk by Bogut. A three-pointer by Matthew Cameron-Gardner with 19 seconds left tied the game at 64-all. Jacobson missed a pair of threes with five seconds left and at the buzzer to send the game into an extra period.
Jacobson then nailed a trey to put Utah up 72-66 with 2:33 left in overtime before Sydney outscored the Utes 9-2 to end the game, getting a trio of three-pointers.
Utah was outshot 47.5 to 43.3 percent from the field and had a 22-15 deficit on the boards. Utah did get six steals and five blocked shots while committing only nine turnovers.
Majerus Fourth Among Active Coaches in Winning Percentage
Rick Majerus is 308-90 (.774) in 14 years at Utah and 407-142 (.741) in 19 years as a head coach. He is the fourth-winningest active coach in NCAA Division I. Only Roy Williams (North Carolina), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) and Lute Olsen (Arizona) have better winning percentages. He is also in the top 20 in all-time winning percentage, currently ranked 17th.
Majerus has averaged 22 wins per year at Utah-amazing in that he coached just one game in 2000-01 and six games in his first season before undergoing heart surgery (he was 4-2 in 1989-90). In 12 full seasons at Utah, he has won 20-plus games 11 times, missing out only in 1993-94 (14-14). Minus the two partial seasons he missed, Majerus has averaged 25 wins per season.
During the Majerus era, the Utes have won 10 conference championships overall and eight in the last nine years. Majerus has taken the Utes to 10 NCAA Tournaments-including each of the last eight years he has been on the bench the entire season-and has lost in the first round only once. In that time, he has led Utah to the Sweet 16 four times, the Elite Eight twice and one Final Four. He also took Ball State to the NCAA Tourney back in 1989. Majerus' record in the NCAA Tournament at Utah is 17-10 (.630). His all-time mark in the "Big Dance" is 18-11 (.621).
The Sheboygan, Wis., native has earned National Coach of the Year honors in three seasons at Utah. He is also a seven-time District Coach of the Year, a one-time Region Coach of the Year, and a five-time conference Coach of the Year.
By notching his 400th career victory with a 69-56 win at Wyoming on Feb. 10, 2003, Majerus became the 16th-fastest coach to reach 400 wins, taking 538 games. He is one of just 12 coaches all-time to win 400 games in 19 seasons or less.
Majerus became just the third coach at the U. to win 300 games with Utah's 71-66 win at Colorado State on Feb. 8, 2003. Vadal Peterson went 385-230 from 1927-53 and Jack Gardner, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, went 339-154 from 1953-71.
2002-03 Season Recap
Winning 25 games for the seventh time in the last 14 years, making it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and winning a share of the Mountain West Conference championship, the 2002-03 season will go down as one of the best during Rick Majerus' tenure at Utah.
After finishing second in the Mountain West in 2001-02, Utah reclaimed its seat at the head of the conference last season by going 11-3, sharing the throne with BYU. Making the Utes' run to the league title all the more impressive was their 6-0 record against the other three teams in the MWC's upper division.
The sweep of the Colorado State-Wyoming road trip for the first time since 1975-76 gave Utah a 6-1 record halfway through the MWC schedule. Utah also won its next three games to cap off a season-best nine-game winning streak at the end of February. The Utes claimed a share of the MWC crown with an 86-70 win over Wyoming on March 8 in Salt Lake City.
Entering the MWC Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev., as the top seed by virtue of sweeping the season series from BYU, Utah defeated No. 8 Air Force 42-38 in the quarterfinals before falling to No. 4 UNLV on its homecourt 64-41 in the semifinals. Utah marched on to the NCAA Tournament. The Utes, seeded No. 9 in the Midwest Regional, defeated No. 8 Oregon 60-58 in a first-round thriller before falling to top-seeded Kentucky in the second round in Nashville, Tenn. Senior forward Britton Johnsen was forced to sit out the entire postseason with mononucleosis.
Jacobson Stroking "J"s
Senior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 206) has been a third team all-Mountain West selection the last two seasons. Jacobson was Utah's leading scorer (13.3 ppg) and paced the team in three-pointers made last season, hitting 80-of-189 (42.3 percent) from beyond the arc. He ranked 13th in the Mountain West in scoring, fifth in three-point percentage and fourth in three-pointers made (2.42).
* Entering his senior season, Jacobson has already climbed into 27th place in career scoring at Utah with 1,073 points. He is one of just 30 players in the 1,000-point club. Jacobson is also in second place in career three-pointers made (188) and second in three-pointers attempted (446) at Utah. His career three point percentage of 42.2 ranks fourth all-time.
* Jacobson has scored in double-figures in 48 of the last 63 games dating back to the 2001-02 season, including 27 of the 33 games in 2002-03. He led the Utes in scoring 10 times last season and reached the 20-points mark five times.
* Last season, Jacobson set the Utah records for three-pointers made (80) and attempted (189). In 2001-02, Jacobson made 71 threes to rank second on the Ute single-season charts and attempted 160, which is fourth-best all-time. His 44.4 three-point shooting percentage in 2001-02 is the sixth-best in a season at the U.
* Also an adept free throw shooter, Jacobson hit 32 consecutive free throws from Feb. 3 until he missed his last three free throw attempts against Colorado State on March 6. It was the third-longest consecutive free throws streak in Utah history. During his hot streak, Jacobson hit 10-of-10 free throws against Air Force on March 3, recording one of 13 games in Utah history where a player has had a perfect night at the line with at least 10 attempts.