Luka Drca and the Runnin' Utes host Utah State Wednesday night.
Nov. 16, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah men's basketball team hosts Utah State (1-0) at the Jon M. Huntsman Center Wednesday as the Runnin' Utes and the Aggies renew their in-state rivalry for the 222nd time. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. and the game will be televised live on the Mtn.
Utah leads the all-time series against Utah State, 129-92, including a 79-33 record at home. Last year's game ended on a buzzer-beater that gave USU a 66-64 victory in Logan. The last time the two teams met in Salt Lake City, Utah captured a 72-48 win in 2007.
The home team has won in the last seven meetings, with Utah State being the last to score an away win, beating the Utes at the Huntsman Center in 2001, 78-65.
The Utes are looking to repeat recent history and bounce back from a 94-87 loss to Idaho in their season-opener last Friday. After losing their season-opening game last year, Utah reeled off five consecutive wins.
Utah was led by redshirt freshman center Jason Washburn (Battle Creek, Mich.) with a game-high 20 points to go with seven rebounds, and true freshman guard Marshall Henderson (Hurst, Texas), who scored 18 and added three boards and two steals.
Utah State won its season-opener Friday, defeating Weber State, 66-60, in Ogden, Utah. The Aggies were led by Tyler Newbold's 15 points, while Jared Quayle was the top rebounder with eight boards. USU held WSU to just 33.3% shooting (21-of-63), while shooting 47.7% themselves (21-of-44).
Third-year head coach of the Runnin' Utes Jim Boylen holds a 42-26 (.618) career record, including a 1-1 mark against the Aggies.
Utah State is coached by Stew Morrill, now in his 24th year, who holds a record of 486-229 (.680).
Utah Athletics and Alumni Association Team Up For Food Drive
With the holidays approaching, the Utah Alumni Association and Utah Athletics are asking for our fans' help with a canned food drive, benefitting the Utah Food Bank, as part of Rivalry Week. We are asking all fans who attend the Utah vs. Utah State men's basketball game on Wednesday to please bring a canned or non-perishable food item to the Huntsman Center. Collection bins will be placed outside the gates to accept donations. Thank you for your generosity!
Two Utes Post Top Freshman Debut Efforts in 28 Years
Washburn and Henderson wasted no time in showing Ute fans why they were two very highly-touted recruits out of high school. The two combined for 38 points against Idaho in their first-ever collegiate game.
Both of their respective efforts marked the highest scoring output by a freshman in his collegiate debut since before 1981. All-American and NBA No. 1 Draft Pick Andrew Bogut scored 15 points in his career debut in 2003.
Washburn poured in a game-high 20 points (8-9 FG, 4-5 FT) and grabbed seven rebounds, while also recording an assist, a block and a steal.
Henderson was second on the squad with 18 points (5-14 FG, 3-10 3FG, 5-6 FT), pulled in three rebounds, made one assist and two steals.
Two other players also made their Utah debut against Idaho: junior transfer Matt Read (Weatherford, Texas), who finished with three poitns and two rebounds in 11 minutes, and true freshman Shawn Glover (Cedar Hill, Texas), who scored two points and pulled in one rebound in five minutes.
Tillie Starts 2009-10 Off Right
Senior forward Kim Tillie (Cagnes-sur-Mer, France) scored 10 points and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds in the season opener against Idaho. His 10 points equal his season high from 2008-09, while his four field goals doubled his season high from last year.
Foster Scores Eight in Return
Sophomore David Foster (Lake Forest, Calif.), who rejoined the Utes this year after serving a two-year LDS mission, tied his career high with eight points against Idaho in his first action since his true freshman year in 2006-07. Foster went 4-of-4 from the field, while grabbing three rebounds in 13 minutes.
Shoot To Win
Utah shot over 50% from the field 16 times last season, posting a 15-1 record in those games. The Utes were 9-9 when shooting less than 50%.
Though Utah has only played one game this year, the trend has held true. The Utes came up just short of the mark in a loss to Idaho, shooting 48.5%.
Drca Looking to Crack Utah's Top 10 in Assists
After posting nine assists against Idaho, senior guard Luka Drca (Belgrade, Serbia) is now 74 helpers shy of cracking the top 10 all-time at Utah in career assists.
The Three is Key
In congruence with last year's three-point shooting trend, when the Utes shoot a better percentage from long range than their opponent, regardless of how many are taken, their winning percentage is drastically higher. Utah was 17-3 in such situations last year, while going 7-6 when shooting a lower three-point percentage. This year, Utah is 0-1 when shooting a lower three-point percentage than its opponent.
Another Top Schedule
Three of Utah's non-conference opponents are listed in the AP/USA Today Top 25 polls: Michigan (15/16), Oklahoma (17/17) and Illinois (23/25). Up to four more of the Utes' 2009-10 foes are receiving votes in at least one poll: BYU, San Diego State, Utah State and possible opponent Oklahoma State.
Home Sweet Huntsman
Utah owns a 508-112 (.819) all-time record in its current home, the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Utah captured its 500th win in the 40-year old building with a blowout win against LSU, 91-61, on Dec. 6, 2008.
The Utes finished last season undefeated in conference home games at 8-0 and went 13-2 overall. Utah had won 11 straight home contests before dropping this year's season-opener to Idaho.
In two seasons under Boylen, Utah has posted a 24-7 (.774) mark at the Huntsman Center.
Runnin' Utes on TV
Utah will play at least 20 games on television this year as the Utes continue to receive regional and national exposure. This week's contest against Utah State marks their first appearance of the season. Last year, Utah went 17-8 in televised games.
Utah finished last season with the No. 14-ranked NCAA RPI. The first official RPI of this year will not be released until the beginning of conference play, however the Utes will watch RealTimeRPI.com, a website that seeks to duplicate the RPI formula used by the NCAA Tournament selection committee to help determine participants in the "Big Dance."
Through a team vote of more than 30 players, coaches and staff members, the Runnin' Utes selected four captains for 2009-10: Drca, Tillie, Carlon Brown (Riverside, Calif.) and Tre Smith (Magna, Utah).
Future Runnin' Utes
University of Utah head basketball coach Jim Boylen has announced the signing of four high school prospects that will join the Runnin' Utes in 2010.
The 2009 signing class is comprised of four high school seniors who will join the Utes in 2010 as true freshmen: Preston Guiot, Dominique Lee, Neil Monson, and JJ O'Brien.
Utah Picked Fourth In MWC
The Runnin' Utes were selected fourth in the MWC preseason coaches and media poll with 143 points. Utah trails BYU (215), San Diego State (166) and UNLV (161).
NBA Efficiency Ratings
The NBA Efficiency Ratings are used to determine how efficient and effective professional basketball players are throughout the season. Purely for fun, this space will list the efficiency ratings of Utah's players, according to the NBA's formula, which takes into account both positive contributions (points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks) and negative (turnovers, missed shots). The current NBA leader, as of Nov. 16, is Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors, with a 29.9 rating.
#42 Jason Washburn 28 #14 Kim Tillie 16 #5 Luka Drca 14 #3 Marshall Henderson 12 #51 David Foster 12 #2 Jace Tavita 6 #13 Matt Read 3 #15 Carlon Brown 0 #32 Shawn Glover 0
Last Time Out:
Idaho 94, Utah 87
(AP) - Mac Hopson scored eight of his 16 points in the last six minutes as Idaho beat Utah 94-87 on Friday, bringing the team its first win against the school in 71 years.
Plagued by foul trouble, Hopson re-entered the game with the score tied and engineered a 13-6 run to end the game.
Steffan Johnson scored 19 points and Jeff Ledbetter added 16 as the Vandals (1-0) took its first game after losing 11-straight on the road.
The teams have played 15 times over the years and last Idaho victory was in 1938. The Utes (0-1) trailed much of the game but made their comeback behind Washburn. After falling behind by eight, Washburn scored six points.
But Hopson promptly hit an outside jumper and a leaner in the lane to spark the clinching surge for Idaho in the season opener for both teams.
Last Year's Matchup:
Utah State 66, Utah 64
(AP) - Tai Wesley tipped-in a missed basket with less than a second to play to give Utah State a 66-64 victory over Utah on Monday night.
Wesley scored 17 of his 18 points in the second half. Quayle finished with 16 points, and Gary Wilkinson added 14 for the Aggies (9-1).
Utah State led 28-22 at the break and took an 11-point advantage midway through the second half. But Utah tied the game with 29 seconds to play on a layup by Brown.
Quayle missed a 16-foot jumper for Utah State, but the Aggies recovered the rebound with 2.4 seconds remaining. Tyler Newbold's short jumper missed, and Wesley tipped in the game winner.