Ute fans are anxiously awaiting the start of the 2006-07 basketball season.
Oct. 19, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah men and women's basketball teams will host the annual "Night with the Utes" on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
The event is free to the public and will give Utah fans a sneak-peek of both the men and women's teams for 2006-07. After the teams are introduced, the men and women will compete in separate scrimmages. Then the men and women will go head-to-head in a three-point shootout, followed by a men's slam dunk contest.
The program will conclude with women's head coach Elaine Elliott and men's head coach Ray Giacoletti sitting down for a Q&A Session with Bill Riley, the "Voice of the Utes" on Sports Radio 700 The Zone. The players and coaches will then be available for photos and autographs on the arena floor.
The Ute men return four starters and two other lettermen from last season. Junior guard Johnnie Bryant and sophomore center Luke Nevill both earned all-Mountain West Conference honorable mention last season. Bryant and Nevill ranked among the top 20 scorers in the conference last season, while Nevill was also seventh in rebounding. Sophomore forward Shaun Green started 24 games last season and was a solid all-around contributor.
The other veterans are senior guard/forward Ricky Johns, junior guard Chris Grant, and sophomore guard Lawrence Borha. Junior post player Misha Radojevic, a transfer who sat out last season with a knee-injury, and six scholarship freshmen will also be competing for playing time.
The Runnin' Utes play a pair of exhibition games on Nov. 3 against Brock University and Nov. 6 versus Montana Tech at 7 p.m. in the Huntsman Center. Utah opens the regular season at home on Nov. 10 against Southern Utah at 7 p.m.
Elliott is re-tooling her squad after last year's historic run to the NCAA Elite Eight. The biggest losses from that group are first-team All-Mountain West Conference players Kim Smith and Shona Thorburn.
Returning starters for the Utes are senior guard Heidi Carlsen and junior forward Jessica Perry. The squad will be bolstered by senior inside players Camie Oakey and Shauna Brouillard. Sophomores Morgan Warburton and Joh-Teena Filipe saw a great deal of action in their first collegiate seasons last year. Utah will also count on junior Marie Warner and sophomore Sasha McKinnon to step up their levels of play. The Utes have five newcomers on the roster.
The Ute women play their first exhibition game on Nov. 4 against Albertson College. Another exhibition follows on Nov. 7 against Fort Lewis College. Utah opens the regular season Nov. 10 at Gonzaga.
For season and single-game ticket information, call (801) 581-UTIX or go to www.UtahTickets.com.