Rick Majerus has a 164-12 record in the Huntsman Center.
Dec. 11, 2002
SALT LAKE CITY -
Dec. 14 * 1:07 p.m. (MST) * Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) * Salt Lake City
The Game at a Glance
Utah Head Coach: Rick Majerus Northern Iowa Head Coach: Greg McDermott Alma Mater: Marquette, 1970 Alma Mater: Northern Iowa, 1988 Record at Utah: 287-84/14th Season Record at UNI: 16-18/2nd Season Career Record: 386-136/19th Season Career Record: 147-82/9th Season
Television: None. Radio: Utah Sports Network (KALL-910 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
Utah opens a three-game road swing at Utah State on Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 7:07 p.m. (MST). The Utes then head to the West Coast to play at Pepperdine on Dec. 20 at 7:37 p.m. (PST) and at San Diego on Dec. 23 at 7:05 p.m. (PST).
Quickly On Utah
The Utes (4-2) host Northern Iowa (2-3) on Saturday at 1:07 p.m. (MST) in the Jon M. Huntsman Center to close out a three-game homestand. The game will be broadcast on KALL-910 AM and the Utah Sports Network. This is the first meeting all-time between Utah and Northern Iowa.
Utah won both of its games last week in Salt Lake City, outscoring the opposition by an average of 26.5 points per game. The Runnin' Utes downed Winthrop 72-42 on Dec. 3 and avenged a loss from earlier in the season by defeating Arizona State 78-55 on Dec. 7. Utah is 3-0 at home this season.
Four lettermen return from last year's team that went 21-9 overall, placed second in the Mountain West Conference with a 10-4 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Utah's roster also includes two transfers and and four freshmen.
Senior forward Britton Johnsen (6-10, 210) paces Utah in both scoring (14.5 ppg) and rebounding (7.7 rpg). Junior center Tim Frost (6-10, 236) is tied for the team lead in scoring (14.5 ppg) and is shooting 55.6 percent from the field. Junior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 200) ranks third in scoring (11.7 ppg), and is shooting 41.0 percent from three-point range and 90.9 percent from the free throw line. Freshman point guard Tim Drisdom (6-3, 203) leads the Utes in assists (3.7 apg).
From the Training Room
Sophomore guard Marc Jackson sprained his right ankle on Nov. 17 and is still not fully recovered. Although be played in the Maui Invitational (Nov. 25-27) and against Arizona State on Dec. 7, Jackson missed the season opener against Southern Utah on Nov. 22 and the Winthrop game on Dec. 3. He is listed as doubtful for Saturday's game against Northern Iowa.
Scouting Northern Iowa
The Panthers fell to 2-3 with a 63-54 loss at Iowa on Tuesday night. UNI is coming off three consecutive losses, also falling recently at Siena College (69-58) on Nov. 30 and to Creighton (65-52) at home on Dec. 4. Both of its wins came on the road against Montana (77-71) on Nov. 22 and over Wayne State (71-40) at home on Nov. 25.
Two Panthers are averaging double figures in scoring. Junior forward Matt Schneiderman (6-7, 241) leads the team in scoring (14.6 ppg), shooting 30.4 percent (7-of-23) from three-point range, and is second in rebounding (6.8 rpg). Junior forward David Gruber (6-6, 223) is second in scoring (13.2 ppg) and is the team's best rebounder (9.8 rpg). Sophomore guard Chris Foster (5-10, 195) leads the team in assists (3.8 apg).
The Huntsman Center will be full of Jacobsons on Saturday. Ute junior guard Nick Jacobson, a native of Fargo, N.D., will get the unique chance of squaring-off against his younger brother Adam and cousin Ben Jacosbon when Utah meets Northern Iowa.
Adam is a redshirt freshman guard with the Panthers who has started three of the five games. He is averaging 4.0 points per game and shooting 46.2 percent from three-point range. Ben is in his second season as an assistant coach with the Panthers. He played for North Dakota 1989-93 and joined the coaching staff in 1994 as a graduate assistant. Ben was an assistant coach at UND 1996-2000 and spent the 2000-01 season as an assistant coach at North Dakota State. He made the trek from NDSU to Northern Iowa with head coach Greg McDermott last year. The Ben Jacobson who plays for UNI is no relation.
Several members of the Jacobson family will be in attendance at the game. Utah and Northern Iowa are scheduled to play in Cedar Falls, Iowa, next season.
Head Coach Greg McDermott
Greg McDermott is 16-18 in his second season at UNI and led the Panthers to a 14-15 mark in 2001-02. He has a 147-82 record in his ninth season at a head coach.
McDermott, who played collegiately currently ranks 22nd in career scoring at Northern Iowa, Became a head coach in 1994-95 at Wayne State (Neb.). He went 116-53 in six seasons with WSC. He then spent one season at North Dakota State, going 15-11, before taking the head job at UNI.
Utah-UNI Series Notes
* Utah and Northern Iowa meet for the first time on Saturday.
* Utah is 12-7 all-time against teams in the Missouri Valley Conference, including a 7-1 record in Salt Lake City. The MVC team the Utes have faced the most is Wichita State, going 6-1 overall and 4-0 in Salt Lake City against the Shockers.
* Rick Majerus has never faced UNI. He is 11-3 against Missouri Valley Conference teams during his career and 5-0 at Utah.
Game #6 Rewind
Tim Frost scored 18 points and hauled in seven rebounds as Utah defeated Arizona State 78-55 last Saturday and avenged an overtime loss to the Sun Devils just 10 days before. Frost, a transfer from Portland, had his best game as a Ute with season-highs in points and rebounds in just 23 minutes. Britton Johnsen added 16 points and Nick Jacobson had 12 as the Utes (4-2) shot 56 percent.
Ike Diogu scored 15 points to lead ASU (4-3); however, all but two points came in the second half after the Sun Devils were down by 27. Diogu played only seven minutes in the first half and picked up three fouls. Utah led by as many as 12 before a loose ball foul call with 0.4 seconds remaining in the first half allowed Jamal Hill to cut the margin to 40-30 at halftime.
Curtis Millage and Tommy Smith both had 11 points for ASU. The Sun Devils shot just 38.0 percent.
Utah shot 55.6 percent from the field and 85.7 percent from the free throw line. The Utes also connected on 6-of-17 three-pointers, had a 31-29 advantage on the boards and committed just 11 turnovers while forcing 17 by ASU.
Millage scored 26 points in ASU's 83-79 overtime win over Utah on Nov. 27 in the Maui Invitational but was only able to get off seven field goal attempts against Utah's tight defense. After Millage made a jump shot to open the second half, Johnsen scored seven points in a 21-2 run that gave Utah a 61-34 lead with 11:40 to play. The Sun Devils went scoreless for almost seven minutes during the run.
The Utes scored on a variety of drives and inside shots as the Sun Devils switched back and forth from man to zone defense in an effort to stop the onslaught.
From Beyond The Arc
Through six games, Utah is shooting 37.5 percent from three-point range and has hit 50 percent or better from long range twice. A year ago, the Utes ranked eighth in the nation and first in the Mountain West in three-point percentage (40.5), and shot 50 percent or better from three-point range in four games.
* Utah shot a season-best 57.1 percent (8-of-14) from three-point range against Winthrop. It was the Utes' best effort since hitting 66.7 percent (12-of-18) last season at New Mexico on Jan. 21.
* The Utes hit 5-of-10 three-pointers (50.0 percent) against Massachusetts on Nov. 26. A day later in the third game of the Maui Invitational, Utah made 9-of-22 threes (40.9 percent). Since the Maui Invitational was a certified tournament, the three-point arc was moved nine inches farther back from the center ring of the basket, to 20 feet 6 inches.
Inside the Numbers
* In all four wins, Utah has held its opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field. The Utes have outshot their opponents 49.8 to 34.6 percent in those games. In the last two games, Winthrop and Arizona State combined to shoot 32.4 percent while Utah shot 50.9 percent.
* The Utes have kept their opponents off the free throw line in their four wins, allowing 55 attempts while making 76 trips themselves. In the two losses, the opposition has shot 100 free throws, making 65.
* The Utes have outrebounded their opponents in the four wins by an average of 36.0 to 32.2 and have been on the negative side of that stat in the two losses, 38.5 to 31.5.
* Winthrop shot 27.3 percent (15-for-55) from the field, which was the sixth-worst mark by a Ute opponent all-time. It was the Utes' best defensive effort since Concordia shot 20.3 percent, the lowest mark by a Ute opponent all-time, on Dec. 26, 2000.
* Winthrop's 42 points were the lowest allowed by the Utes in 22 games since Saint Mary's (Calif.) scored 35 points on Jan. 7, 2002.
* Utah's point guards, freshman Tim Drisdom and sophomore Marc Jackson, have combined for 27 assists and 16 turnovers for a 1.69 assist/turnover ratio. Utah has had a positive assist/turnover ratio in five of the six games this season, including each of the last four.
Great Britton: Senior Forward Up For Wooden Award
Senior forward Britton Johnsen (6-10, 210) has been named to the Wooden Award Preseason All-America Team. Johnsen is one of 50 players in the nation considered early candidates for John R. Wooden Award, presented annually to college basketball's player of the year.
* Johnsen has scored in double figures in five of the six games, leading Utah in scoring three times. Dating back to the 2000-01 season, Johnsen has scored in double figures in 43 of the last 61 contests.
* The Murray, Utah, native had a his second double-double of the season with a game-high 10 points and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes in the win over UMass on Nov. 26. He has had seven double-doubles in the last 22 games dating back to last season.
* Johnsen has led Utah in rebounding in five of the six games this season, averaging 7.7 boards per contest. He also led the Utes in rebounding 14 of the final 20 games last season, averaging 7.4 rebounds per game during that stretch.
* Johnsen had his best overall game of the season in the overtime loss to Arizona State on Nov. 27. He had a season-high 23 points to lead the Utes, shooting 9-of-18 from the field and 4-of-7 from the free throw line. Johnsen also had a team-best seven rebounds and three assists in 39 minutes. His 23-point effort was his best in 16 games dating back to last season.
* Last season, Johnsen was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Year and USBWA District 8 Player of the Year, and made the NABC/Pontiac All-District 13 first team. Johnsen was second on the team in scoring (12.6 ppg) and first in rebounding (6.3 rpg), ranking 13th and eighth in the Mountain West Conference in those categories, respectively. He also ranked 12th in field goal percentage (49.6) and 15th in three-point percentage (35.6) in the MWC.
Jacobson Stroking "J"s
Junior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 200) is Utah's third-best scorer this season (11.7 ppg) and paces the team in three-pointers made, making 16-of-39 (41.0 percent) from beyond the arc.
* Jacobson, with 21 points against UMass, reached 20 points for the fifth time in his career and the first time this season. He shot 5-of-10 from the field, 3-of-6 from three-point range and 8-of-9 at the free throw line in 38 minutes.
* After going just 3-for-10 from beyond the arc in the season opener against Southern Utah, Jacobson has made 13 of his last 29 three-point attempts.
* In the final 2001-02 NCAA statistical rankings, Jacobson was 23rd in three-point percentage (44.4). The Fargo, N.D., native was named third team all-Mountain West and second team NABC/Pontiac All-District 13 in 2001-02. Jacobson led the team in scoring (13.0 ppg) and three-point percentage (44.4). He scored in double figures in 21 of the 30 games last season.
* Also last season, Jacobson set the Utah single-season mark with 71 three-pointers made last season, bettering the mark of 68 by Phil Dixon in 1991-92. He also ranked third in three-point attempts (160).
* Jacobson has already climbed into sixth place in career three-pointers made (124) and seventh in three-pointers attempted (296) at Utah. His career three-point percentage of 42.0 entering this season would have ranked fourth all-time at Utah.
Frost Formidable Inside
Junior center Tim Frost (6-10, 236) has established himself as a formidable interior presence during his first six games with the Utes.
* Frost is tied for the team lead in scoring (14.5 ppg), reaching double figures in the last four games, and shooting 55.6 percent from the field. He is also averaging 22.8 minutes and 3.8 rebounds per game and has three blocked shots.
* Frost had season-highs of 18 points, making 8-of-12 shots from the field, and seven rebounds in just 23 minutes against Arizona State on Dec. 7.
* The Klamath Falls, Ore., native spent the first two seasons of his college career at Portland. He was a first team all-West Coast Conference selection in his final season with the Pilots, averaging 14.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game.
Rating the Rookies
With only four lettermen returning from last season and 10 scholarship players on the roster, Rick Majerus has played his freshmen extensively early in the season. Here's a breakdown of how the quartet of Richard Chaney (G/F, 6-4, 186), Tim Drisdom (G, 6-3, 203), Chris Jackson (C, 6-11, 242) and Bryant Markson (F, 6-6, 182) have been producing.
* Drisdom, who's started all six games at point guard, leads the Utes in assists (3.7 apg) and three-point percentage (77.8), making 7-of-9.
* Chaney (6.3 ppg) and Drisdom (5.0 ppg ) rank fourth and fifth, respectively, on the team in scoring. Jackson (3.8 ppg) is seventh.
* Chaney and Drisdom are tied for third in rebounding (3.5 rpg), while Jackson is fifth (2.8 rpg).
* All four freshmen are shooting above 40 percent from the field, with Chaney at 51.2 percent, Drisdom at 52.6 percent, Jackson at 68.8 percent and Markson at 53.8 percent.
Take Note of These Utes
* Bryant Markson reached double figures for the the first time as a Ute against Arizona State on Dec. 7. He had 10 points, shooting 4-of-6 from the field, in 12 minutes.
* Trace Caton tied a career-high with five assists against Winthrop, equalling his mark against Cardinal Stritch on Nov. 28, 2000.
* Richard Chaney reached double-figures in points for the first time with 15 points against Winthrop. He also had personal-best marks with five rebounds and two assists.
* Tim Drisdom set season-highs with nine points, hitting all three of this three-point attempts, and six rebounds against Winthrop. His high mark of six assists came against Arizona State on Nov. 27.
* Chris Jackson set personal-best marks with six points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots against Winthrop.
One of the trademarks of a Utah team during the Rick Majerus era is a stifling half-court defense. Since 1989-90, Utah has ranked in the top 30 in the nation 10 times in scoring defense, nine times in rebound margin, eight times in field goal percentage defense and eight times in scoring margin.
* This season, Utah ranks 25th in the NCAA in scoring defense (58.5 ppg) and 31st in field goal percentage defense (37.7).
* Utah has not allowed and opponent to score 80 points in 69 consecutive games that have ended in regulation. The last team to score 80 points on the Utes in a 40-minute game was Wyoming (88-61) on Feb. 28, 2000 in Laramie, Wyo.
* An opponent reached the 80-point mark on Utah for the first time in 70 games in its 83-79 overtime loss to Arizona State on Nov. 27.
* Last season, Utah ranked 13th in the NCAA in scoring defense (61.3).
Utes Tough At Home In the Huntsman Center
Utah is 183-17 (.915) in the Huntsman Center during the Majerus era and has never lost back-to-back home games. With Majerus on the bench, taking out the games he missed during the 1989-90 and 2000-01 seasons, the Utes are 164-12 (.932) at home.
* The Utes have won 122 of their last 129 games in the Jon M. Huntsman Center, including a 14-2 mark last season and a 3-0 start this season.
* In conference home games over the past eight years, Utah is 59-2 (.967), which is the best record in the nation over that time span.
* Utah has gone unbeaten seven times in the 33-year history of the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Six of those undefeated home seasons have come under Rick Majerus: 1990-91 (16-0), 1992-93 (15-0), 1994-95 (15-0), 1997-98 (13-0), 1998-99 (14-0) and 1999-2000 (17-0).
* The Utes' all-time record in the Huntsman Center is 415-88. Utah got its 400th win in th