Chris Jackson (right), a senior from Los Alamos, N.M., is averaging 9.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
Dec. 30, 2005
Television: KJZZ-TV 14 in Salt Lake City. ESPN Full Court (pay-per-view) Steve Brown (play-by-play) and Pace Mannion (analyst).
Radio: Utah Sports Network (Hot Ticket 700/KALL-AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). On the Internet at www.UtahUtes.com. Get Utah All-Access Here Matt Thomas (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Bill Riley (host).
Utah Head Coach: Ray Giacoletti New Mexico Head Coach: Ritchie McKay Alma Mater: Minot State, 1985 Alma Mater: Seattle Pacific, 1987 Record at Utah: 36-10 (2nd Season) Record at UNM: 59-43 (4th Season) Overall Record: 153-93 (9th Season) Overall Record: 142-133 (10th Season)
Series Record: Utah leads 74-41 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 49-5/23-34/2-2 Current Streak: New Mexico has won 2 in a row Last Meeting: New Mexico won 60-56 on March 12, 2005 in Denver, Colo.
Utah Probable Starters No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Statistics 20 F Bryant Markson 6-7 198 Sr. 14.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg 30 C Chris Jackson 6-11 245 Sr. 9.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg 1 G Johnnie Bryant 6-0 190 So. 10.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg 2 G Lawrence Borha 6-3 205 Fr. 3.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg 3 G Chris Grant 6-3 200 So. 1.3 ppg, 0.8 rpg
New Mexico Probable Starters No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Statistics 13 F David Chiotti 6-9 240 Sr. 12.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg 32 F Tony Danridge 6-5 205 So. 10.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg 3 G Kris Collins 6-2 190 Sr. 4.8 ppg, 2.5 apg 5 G Mark Walters 6-2 225 Sr. 15.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg 21 G Ryan Kersten 6-1 195 Fr. 6.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg
The Runnin' Utes play BYU on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 1:05 p.m. (MST) in Provo, Utah. The game will be televised on ESPN Regional as the Mountain West Conference "Game of the Week."
Quickly On Utah
The Runnin' Utes (7-4, 0-0 MWC) open Mountain West Conference play against New Mexico (9-4, 0-0 MWC) on Wednesday at 7:07 p.m. (MST) in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The game will be televised by KJZZ-TV 14 in Salt Lake, shown on ESPN Full Court, and broadcast on Hot Ticket 700 (KALL-AM) and the Utah Sports Network.
Utah has won three of this last seven games after beginning the season 4-0. The Utes closed out their nonconference schedule with an 80-44 win over High Point in the Huntsman Center last Wednesday night. While playing three games in six days before the Christmas break, Utah lost to No. 24 Arizona, 73-43, on Dec. 17 and defeated Adams State, 68-51, on Dec. 19 in Salt Lake City before losing to Washington State, 69-42, on Dec. 22 at Key Arena in Seattle, Wash.
Senior forward Bryant Markson (6-7, 198), a preseason all-Mountain West Conference pick, leads the Utes in scoring (14.5 ppg), assists (3.3 apg) and steals (19), and is second in rebounds (5.5 rpg). Markson is shooting 75.5 percent at the free throw line. Sophomore guard Johnnie Bryant (6-0, 190), a junior college transfer in his first season with the Utes, is second on the team in scoring (10.3 ppg) and is averaging 3.2 rebounds per game. Bryant is also shooting 40.9 percent (18-of-44) from three-point range and 90.5 percent from the free throw line. Senior center Chris Jackson (6-11, 245) is third in both scoring (9.0 ppg) and rebounding (4.4 rpg). Freshman center Luke Nevill (7-1, 250) is fourth on the team in scoring (8.8 ppg) and leads the way in rebounding (5.9 rpg).
Utah ranked 42nd in the NCAA in rebound margin (+6.7) and 71st in field goal percentage (47.1) as of Dec. 20. The Utes currently have a +6.7 rebound margin and are shooting 47.0 percent from the field.
Utah is 6-1 in the Huntsman Center this season and has captured 38 of its last 40 games at home. In conference home games over the last 11 years, Utah is 78-4 (.951). Its winning percentage ranks first in the nation over that period, just ahead of Kansas which is 81-5 (.941).
The Utes scored 80 points in a game for the second time this season against High Point last Wednesday night. The U.'s other 80-point game was in a 96-94 loss at Rice in triple overtime on Dec. 3.
Utah is playing one redshirt freshman and four other newcomers. Through 11 games, 52.5 percent of the Utes' points, 48.9 percent of their rebounds, 62.1 percent of their assists and 54.9 percent of their minutes played have come from the first-year players.
The Utes are 7-0 when holding their opponents to 68 points or less this season and 0-4 when allowing 69 points or more.
The Utes have a -3.7 turnover margin, averaging 17.1 turnovers per game compared to 13.4 for their opponents. Utah also has a 0.8 assist/turnover ratio (153 assists/188 turnovers).
Let The Conference Games Begin
The Runnin' Utes have the most league wins in the five-year history of the Mountain West Conference. Utah is 63-21 (.750) in MWC games, including 39-3 at home and 24-18 on the road. UNLV, BYU and Wyoming are tied for second at 48-36 (.571).
Utah is 5-1 in Mountain West Conference openers overall and 3-0 at home. The Runnin' Utes' only loss in an MWC opener was at San Diego State (58-56) on Jan. 18, 2003. Last year, Utah defeated UNLV 70-52 on Jan. 10 in the Huntsman Center.
Second year Ute head coach Ray Giacoletti is 6-2 in conference openers overall and 3-1 at home during his stints at North Dakota State, Eastern Washington and Utah.
Scouting The Lobos
New Mexico is 9-4 overall and 0-4 away from home this season. The Lobos have won their last two games, both coming this past week in the Comcast/Lobo Invitational in Albuqueque, N.M. New Mexico defeated Dartmouth, 66-60, on Wednesday night and Texas-Arlington, 63-51, on Thursday night.
Senior guard Mark Walters (6-2, 225) ranks sixith in the MWC in scoring (15.3 ppg), 18th in rebounding (4.8 rpg), 11th in assists (2.77 apg), and third in steals (2.15 spg). Walters is also shooting 34.7 percent (25-for-72) from three-point range. Senior forward David Chiotti (6-9, 240) is 12th in the conference in scoring (12.5 ppg), fifth in rebounding (7.5 rpg), seventh in field goal percentage (58.9), 10th in free throw pecentage (68.1), and seventh in blocked shots (1.23 bpg). Sophomore guard/forward Tony Dandridge is the third Lobo averaging double figures in scoring (10.5 ppg) and is shooting 84.2 percent from the free throw line.
New Mexico ranks sixth in the Mountain West in scoring offense (68.3 ppg), second in scoring defense (61.8 ppg) and seventh in rebound margin (+0.2 rpg).
Comparing The Numbers
Utah New Mexico Record 7-4 9-4 Streak Won 1 Won 2 Scoring 65.6 68.3 Scoring Defense 63.5 61.8 FG% .470 .461 FG% Defense .429 .448 3-Pt. FG% .348 .354 3-Pt. FG% Def. .333 .318 FT% .646 .698 Rebound Margin +6.7 +0.2 Assists 13.9 14.8 Turnovers 17.1 12.3 Opp. Turnovers 13.4 14.6 Steals 6.6 7.4 Blocked Shots 1.7 2.2
Head Coach Ritchie McKay
Ritchie McKay is 59-43 in his fourth season at New Mexico and has a 142-133 record in his 10th year as a head coach. After going 24-32 in his first two years at New Mexico, McKay guided the Lobos to a 26-7 record and the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2004-05. New Mexico also went 10-4 to place second in the Mountain West Conference last season--their highest finish as an MWC member--and went on to win the league tournament.
McKay, who was the head coach at Colorado State for two seasons (1998-2000), returned to the Mountain West Conference following a two-year stint at Oregon State (2000-02) where he went 22-37. At CSU, McKay went 19-11 in 1998-99, taking the Rams to the third round of the NIT. His team went 18-12 in 1999-2000 when he was named Coach of the Year by College Hoops Insider magazine. McKay began his head coaching career at Portland State, going 24-29 in two seasons from 1996-98.
Utah-New Mexico Series Notes
The Utes and Lobos meet for the 116th time on Wednesday night. The series dates back to a 59-47 win by Utah on Jan. 3, 1952 in Albuquerque, N.M., in a Skyline Conference match-up.
Utah leads the all-time series 74-41, winning 12 of the last 18 games. However, New Mexico has won the last two meetings. In games played either in Salt Lake City or Albuquerque, the home team has won each of the last six games.
In Salt Lake City, Utah has a 49-5 advantage and has won 16 in a row. The Utes haven't lost to the Lobos in the Huntsman Center since falling 79-76 on Feb. 16, 1989.
New Mexico took the 2004-05 season series 2-1. Utah took the first meeting 69-58 on Jan. 22 in Salt Lake City. New Mexico defeated the Utes 65-54 on Feb. 21 in Albuquerque, N.M., to snap Utah's 18-game winning streak, then won 60-56 on March 12 in the MWC Tournament championship game in Denver.
In conference regular season play, the Utes have a 71-37 advantage. Utah leads 8-4 in Mountain West games.
Ray Giacoletti is 1-2 against New Mexico.
Ritchie McKay is 5-4 against Utah, including a 4-3 record while at New Mexico. He went 1-1 against Utah during his tenure at Colorado State.
Jackson The Center Of Attention
Senior center Chris Jackson (6-11, 245) has started all 11 of Utah's games this season. Jackson is third on the team in scoring (9.0 ppg) and third in rebounding (4.4 rpg) in 19.8 minutes per game. He is shooting a team-best 77.6 percent (45-for-58) from the field but has struggled at the free throw line, going just 9-for-26 (.346).
Jackson had his first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 10 rebounds against High Point on Dec. 28. He made all seven of his shots from the field and had five offensive rebounds in 26 minutes.
Jackson has five of his six career double-figure scoring games this season. He reached double figures in points in four consecutive games from Nov. 30 through Dec. 10.
The Los Alamos, N.M., native had a career-best scoring night with 15 points (6-6 FG, 3-6 FT) in 23 minutes against Southern Utah on Dec. 10.
Entering this season, Jackson had career averages 2.4 points and 1.8 rebounds per game, and was a 65.8 percent career field goal shooter. The fifth-year senior has already earned his degree in chemical and fuels engineering and is in the U's MBA program.
Take Note Of These Utes
Freshman guard Lawrence Borha (6-3, 205) started fof the third time this season against High Point. He responded with a season-high 12 points (2-6 FG, 2-3 3FG, 6-8 FT), three rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes.
Junior guard Ricky Johns (6-3, 190), a junior college transfer in his first season with the Utes, had a season-high 16 points (7-9, 1-1 3FG, 1-2 FT) in 18 minutes off the bench against High Point. He also had three rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Sophomore guard Chris Grant (6-3, 200) earned the second start of his career the first of the season against High Point. Grant had four points (2-4 FG, 0-1 3FG), four rebounds, three assists and one steal in 24 minutes.