Jan. 27, 2012
Match-up: Utah (5-15, 2-6 Pac-12) at UCLA (5-16, 0-8 Pac-12)
Date: Saturday, Jan. 28
Tipoff: 9 p.m. MT
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Arena: Galen Center
Utah Sports Radio Network
ESPN 700 AM
Play-by-Play: Bill Riley
Analyst: Jimmy Soto
For up-to-date information including live stats, game notes, media guides, ticketing and more, visit www.UtahUtes.com.
Utah at USC - Quick Hits
Saturday's game will mark the 30th meeting between the Utes and the Trojans. USC leads the series, 15-14, including an 8-4 edge on its home court.
The last time these two teams met, USC won a 65-60 neutral-site decision at the 2000 Wooden Classic in Anaheim. Utah won the last meeting at the Galen Center by a 72-70 score on Dec. 3, 1994.
The Utes are still seeking their first win of the year away from home. Utah is 0-10 away from the Huntsman Center, going 0-7 in true road games and 0-3 in neutral-site contests.
USC is still looking for its first Pac-12 Conference victory of the season and is mired in a nine-game losing streak. The Trojans are 3-9 at home on the year but 0-4 in Pac-12 home games.
The Trojans are led offensively by Maurice Jones, who averages 14.5 points per game and 3.3 assists per game. Aaron Fuller is their top rebounder at 5.9 per contest, however he has missed the last three games with a shoulder injury. Dewayne Dedmon, their starting center, will also be out following an injury suffered Thursday.
Team and Individual Notes
Hines Brings Deep Threat
Junior guard Chris Hines has emerged as Utah's top average scorer in league play at 11.1 points per game. He has hit double figures three times in league play including the last two games, in addition to his career-high 21 points on the road at Stanford.
Of Hines' 30 made field goals in Pac-12 games, 18 have come from 3-point range, including three at UCLA. Even more drastically, of Hines' 54 made field goals for the season, 70.4% of them (38-of-54) have come from beyond the arc.
Including Pac-12 games only, Hines ranks second in the league with 2.6 made 3-pointers per game. Including all games, he ranks fourth with 2.1 per contest.
Utes Post Strongest Defensive Game of the Year vs. ASU
In Utah's 64-43 victory over Arizona State, the Utes posted several season bests on defense. Utah held the Sun Devils to the fewest points by any opponent this season, fewest field goals made and attempted (17-of-44), fewest 3-pointers made (3), fewest rebounds (24), fewest assists (8) and lowest 3-point percentage (20.0%).
Martin Posts Big Game vs. Sun Devils
Junior guard Cedric Martin scored a game-high 17 points in Utah's win over Arizona State last Saturday, his second-highest output of the season, due in large part to his career-high tying five 3-pointers, all coming in the first half. He also posted four assists and grabbed three rebounds.
Martin is now leading the Utes in 3-point field goal percentage at 39.5% for the season (30-of-76), which ranks 11th in the Pac-12 (including all games). In league games only he is shooting 42.4% from beyond the arc (14-of-33), ranking 11th. He is also tied for 13th in 3-pointers made in Pac-12 contests with 2.0 per game.
Martin is now averaging 6.8 points per game, third-most on the team, to go with 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He has also showed the versatility to play the point guard, shooting guard and small forward positions this season, while assuming more ball-handling duties in recent games.
Washburn Should Bounce Back Against USC
After a difficult game at UCLA that saw Washburn score just six points, a bounce-back game at USC is statistically likely. On five occasions this season he has followed up a single-digit game with a double-digit output in the next contest. In most cases, multiple double digit games have followed. He is averaging a team-high 10.5 points per game (including all games) and is second on the team with 9.3 points per game in league contests.
Washburn is also the Utes' top rebounder at 6.3 boards per contest, which is tied for 10th in the Pac-12. However, he is looking to get back to the 7.0 rebound per game mark and thus back onto the pace that head coach Larry Krystkowiak would like his big men to acheive: one rebound every four minutes. Washburn is slightly behind that pace at one every 4.6 minutes (125 rebounds in 572 minutes.)
Washburn is shooting a very efficient 56.6% from the floor for this season (82-of-145), which is highest on the team and tied for sixth-best in the Pac-12. He is also knocking down 72.2% of his free throws (39-of-54), best on the squad.
Storey Performing Well in Starts
Storey, a true freshman, has put up very solid numbers in his four starts at the point guard position. He has scored in three of his four starts, figures each time, averaging 9.5 points, and has posted six assists in three of the four games with only nine combined turnovers, an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.2-to-1. He is also averaging 2.5 rebounds per game in those three starts.
His numbers in games started are significantly better than his season averages of 4.4 points, 1.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
Walk-Ons Earn Playing Time at UCLA
In Utah's blowout loss at UCLA, several walk-ons saw late-game action as they were rewarded for their hard work in practice. Freshman guard Alex Mortensen played a career-high seven minutes, scoring a career-high three points, making his first career field goal and first career steal. Junior guard Kyle Perkins knocked down his first career 3-pointer as well. Freshman forward Blake Wilkinson, who was playing a larger role early in the season, scored three points, all at the free throw line, and grabbed three rebounds.
Utah vs. the Pac-12
Utah now holds an all-time record against the Pac-12 of 148-120 (.552), including a 2-6 mark as a member of the league.
The Utes at the Huntsman Center
Utah owns an all-time record of 531-130 (.803) in its current home, the Jon M. Huntsman Center, including a 5-5 mark this season.
The Utes have posted a winning record at home in 38 consecutive seasons, beginning in 1973-74. In conference home games over the last 18 years, Utah is 106-24 (.815), including a 2-2 mark as a member of the Pac-12. With 15,000 seats, the Huntsman Center is the largest arena in the Pac-12 (excluding temporary and tournament sites).
Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak
With the win against Arizona State on Jan. 21, Krystkowiak picked up his fifth win as the Utes' head coach and his second as a head coach in the Pac-12. For his NCAA coaching career, Krystkowiak is now 47-35 (.573) in his third year.
Krystkowiak (pronounced krist-KOH-vee-ak), who has prior head coaching experience in the NCAA, CBA and NBA, left a position as an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets to become the 15th head coach in Utah men's basketball history.
In his previous collegiate head coaching post, Krystkowiak led his alma mater, the University of Montana, to a 42-20 record and two NCAA appearances as the Grizzlies' from 2004-06 before joining the NBA coaching ranks.