Sophomore point guard Tim Drisdom has averaged 15.0 points over the last four games.
Feb. 15, 2004
Feb. 16 * 7:07 p.m. (MST) * Arena-Auditorium (15,000) * Laramie, Wyo.
The Game At A Glance
Utah Interim Head Coach: Kerry Rupp Wyoming Head Coach: Steve McClain Alma Mater: Southern Utah, 1977 Alma Mater: Chardon State, 1984 Record at Utah: 4-0 (1st Season) Record at Wyoming: 109-65 (6th Season) Overall Record: 4-0 (1st Season) Overall Record: 109-65 (6th Season)
Television: KJZZ-TV 14 in Salt Lake City. ESPN Full Court (pay-per-view). Steve Brown (play-by-play) and Mike Lageschulte (analyst).
Radio: Utah Sports Network (KALL-700 AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). On the Internet at www.UtahUtes.com and www.kall700.com. Bill Marcroft (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Brad Stone (host).
Series Record: Utah leads 85-69 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 54-22/45-29/2-2 Last Meeting: Utah won 60-49 on Jan. 17, 2004 in Salt Lake City.
The Utes return to the Huntsman Center for their final home games of the season. Utah takes on Air Force on Saturday at 1:04 p.m. (MST) and New Mexico next Monday at 7:07 p.m. (MST).
Quickly On Utah
Utah (19-5, 7-2 MWC), in second place in the Mountain West Conference standings, closes out a two-game swing along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains against Wyoming (9-13, 2-7 MWC) on Monday at 7:07 p.m. (MST) in Laramie, Wyo. The game will be televised by KJZZ-TV 14 in Salt Lake City and broadcast on KALL-700 AM and the Utah Sports Network. The Wyoming contest continues a stretch of four of six games on the road, where Utah is 5-3 this season.
Utah opened the road trip with an 80-70 win at Colorado State on Saturday night. The Utes won a pair of home games last weekend, defeating San Diego State (65-61) on Saturday afternoon and UNLV (70-56) on Monday night. The Utes have won four in a row and 13 of their last 15 games.
Senior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 206) leads the Utes in scoring (15.9 ppg), hitting 45.9 percent of his three-point attempts. Freshman forward Andrew Bogut (6-10, 233) is second on the team in scoring (12.2 ppg), and is first in both rebounding (10.1 rpg) and blocked shots (30). The native of Melbourne, Australia, has 12 double-doubles this season and is shooting 60.5 percent from the field. Sophomore forward Richard Chaney (6-4, 195) is third in scoring (10.4 ppg), shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 44.6 percent from three-point range. Sophomore guard Tim Drisdom (6-2, 212) leads the Utes in assists (3.5 apg).
Utah Closing In On 20-Win Season
With its next win, Utah will hit the 20-wins mark for the 12th time in the last 15 years, spanning the Rick Majerus era. Two of the years the Utes failed to get 20 wins, Majerus did not coach the entire season. The last time Majerus missed games was in 2000-01 when Utah finished 19-12.
Utah's 20-win seasons at Utah since the beginning of the 90s: 1990-91 (30-4), 1991-92 (24-11), 1992-93 (24-7), 1994-95 (28-6), 1995-96 (27-7), 1996-97 (29-4), 1997-98 (30-4), 1998-99 (28-5), 1999-2000 (23-9), 2001-02 (21-9), 2002-03 (25-8).
From The Training Room
* Sophomore center Chris Jackson reaggravated a back injury during the shootaround before the Colorado State game on Saturday and was unable to play. He is doubtful for the Wyoming game.
* Sophomore guard/forward Richard Chaney has an injured right foot and was limited to just nine minutes against Colorado State. He is probable for the Wyoming game.
The Cowboys are 9-13 overall and in eighth place in the Mountain West Conference with a 2-7 record. Wyoming is 8-4 at home this season.
Wyoming has lost four in a row and seven of its last eight. Five of those losses came on the road. The Cowboys are coming off a 67-53 loss to BYU in Laramie on Saturday. Last weekend, Wyoming dropped a pair of road games, falling to Air Force (83-71) on Saturday and New Mexico (87-75) on Monday.
Junior guard Jay Straight (5-11, 178) ranks fourth in the Mountain West in scoring (16.0 ppg), fifth in assists (3.62 apg) and seventh in steals (1.43 spg). Senior guard David Adams (6-2, 185) is 20th in the conference in scoring (10.3 ppg), fourth in three-point percentage (45.6) and fourth in three-pointers per game (1.86). Senior forward Mory Correa is 12th (5.1 rpg) and senior forward Joe Ries (6-8, 225) is 13th (5.1 rpg) in the MWC in rebounding. Correa is also first in the MWC in blocked shots (2.05 bpg); however, he played only two minutes against BYU due to an ankle injury.
Wyoming ranks sixth in the Mountain West in scoring (70.5 ppg), fifth in scoring defense (68.5 ppg), fourth in rebound margin (+2.2) and second in blocked shots (3.95 bpg).
Head Coach Steve McClain
Steve McClain has a 109-65 career record in his sixth season at Wyoming. Last season, Wyoming went 21-11 overall, tied for third in the MWC and advanced to the second round of the NIT. In 2001-02, McClain led the Cowboys to a 22-9 record and an 11-3 mark in league play to claim UW's second consecutive Mountain West title. Wyoming also advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. McClain's team went 20-10 in 2000-02 and finished in a three-way tie with the Utah and BYU for the MWC title at 10-4, capturing the Pokes' first conference title in 15 seasons. He has led three Wyoming teams to the NIT and one to the NCAAs.
Prior to going to Wyoming, McClain served as an assistant coach for Billy Tubbs at TCU. During his four seasons at TCU, McClain helped the Horned Frogs to one NIT appearance (1997), one NCAA appearance (1998) and one conference title (1998). In 1994 as the head coach at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, he led his team to the National Junior College Championship while earning NJCAA National Coach of the Year honors.
Utah-Wyoming Series Notes
* Utah and Wyoming meet for the 155th time on Monday night in a series that dates back to a 41-25 win by Utah on March 11, 1914 in Laramie, Wyo. Before not meeting during the 1996-97 and 1998-99 seasons, the Runnin' Utes and Cowboys had met every year since 1943-44.
* Utah leads the all-time series 85-69. Wyoming had won three in a row-with two of those wins coming in Laramie-before Utah swept the 2002-03 season series. The Utes won 69-56 on Feb. 10 in Laramie and 86-70 on March 8 in Salt Lake City.
* Utah won the first meeting this season 60-49 on Jan. 17 in Salt Lake City.
* In conference regular-season play, Utah has a 72-59 advantage.
* Steve McClain is 4-5 against Utah during his tenure at Wyoming, including a 1-3 mark in Salt Lake City and a 3-1 mark in Laramie.
* In Laramie, the Cowboys have a 45-29 edge. Wyoming had won seven in a row before falling last season. It was Utah's first win in the Arena-Auditorium since prevailing 64-45 on Jan. 28, 1993.
Andrew Bogut scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, helping Utah outlast Wyoming 60-49 on Jan. 17 at the Huntsman Center for its eight straight victory.
Bogut blocked a career-best five shots and hit 8-of-13 from the floor, but converted just 4-of-12 free throws and didn't score in the last 14:50 of the game.
As the Cowboy defense began focusing on Bogut, Nick Jacobson found his range. Jacobson scored 13 of his 17 points in the final 13:16, including four free throws in the final minute, to keep Utah unbeaten at home this season.
Mory Correa scored 14 points and Jay Straight added 11 for the Cowboys, who scored just three points after cutting Utah's lead to 47-46 with 4:47 to play.
The Utes didn't lead until the second half, but then a pair of three-pointers by Jacobson-including a four-point play where he was fouled on the shot-gave them to a 46-35 advantage with 10:52 to play.
The Cowboys started going inside to Correa, who scored seven points in an 11-1 run and forced Utah starting center Tim Frost to foul out. Correa scored and drew Frost's fifth foul on a runner in the lane with 4:47 remaining to close the gap to 47-46.
Correa missed the free throw and then missed the front end of a one-and-one on the next possession. Jacobson and Justin Hawkins hit jumpers down the stretch and the Utes made their final eight free throws.
The Utes held the Cowboys to their lowest point total of the season at that stage. Utah also outrebounded Wyoming 39-28, and kept the Cowboys without a single fast break point.
Tough Trip Along the Front Range
Utah closes out its Colorado State/Wyoming road trip on Monday night in Laramie, going for its second consecutive sweep after an 80-70 win at Colorado State on Saturday. The Utes took the two-game swing last season for the first time since 1975-76. Utah won at both Colorado State and Wyoming during the 1990-91 season; however, that year the two games weren't played as one trip.
Last season, the Utes won at Colorado State (71-66) on Feb. 8 and at Wyoming (69-56) on Feb. 10. Before last year, Utah had lost seven in a row in Laramie with its previous win in the Arena-Auditorium coming on Jan. 28, 1992 (64-45).
Utes With Best Road Record In MWC Play
Heading into Monday's games, Utah has the best road record in the five-year history of the Mountain West Conference at 17-15 (.531). Wyoming is in second place at 15-18 (.455) and UNLV is third at 13-20 (.394).
Jacobson Stroking "J"s
Senior guard Nick Jacobson (6-4, 206) has been a third team all-Mountain West selection the last two seasons. This season, he leads the Utes in scoring (15.9 ppg), hitting 45.9 percent (62-of-135) from beyond the arc and 83.5 percent from the free throw line. He has had nine 20-point games this season.
* In the NCAA statistical rankings released Feb. 10, Jacobson was 15th in three-point field goal percentage (45.3).
* He has scored in double figures in all nine Mountain West Conference games, averaging 18.6 points per game to rank third in the league. He also ranks first in three-pointers made per game (2.67), seventh in three-point percentage (43.6) and third in free throw percentage (85.4) in MWC games.
* Jacobson has scored at least 20 points in eight of the last 15 games. He has also been in double figures 14 of the last 15 contests, shooting 47.4 percent from the field and 45.8 percent (44-for-96) from three-point range to average 18.8 points per game during that stretch. He had a career-high 28 points against Weber State on Jan. 3, hitting 8-of-12 field goals, 5-of-7 threes and 7-of-7 free throws in 39 minutes.
* Jacobson has already climbed into 17th place in career scoring at Utah with 1,455 points. He is one of just 30 players in the 1,000-point club and currently ranks behind Merv Jackson (1,458 points).
Boasting Of Bogut
Freshman forward Andrew Bogut (6-10, 233) is second on the team in scoring (12.2 ppg) and is first in both rebounding (10.1 rpg) and blocked shots (30). He is shooting 60.5 percent from the field.
* In the NCAA statistical rankings released on Feb. 10, Bogut was 12th in rebounds per game (10.1).
* Bogut is one of four players in the Mountain West Conference averaging a double-double.
* He has 12 double-doubles this season-including four in eight conference games. Bogut has already broken the Mountain West freshman record of eight double-doubles set by Tom Bellairs of Air Force in 1999-2000. Bogut ranked tied for ninth in the nation in double-doubles as of Feb. 13. He has doubled-up in the last two games, getting 16 points and 10 rebounds at Colorado State on Saturday, and 14 points and 13 rebounds against UNLV on Feb. 9. He also had a career-high tying five blocked shots against UNLV.
* Bogut has 16 double-figure scoring games and 14 double-figure rebound games. He has scored in double-figures 12 of the last 17 games.
Drisdom Turning It Up
Sophomore guard Tim Drisdom (6-2, 212) has improved on his season scoring and rebounding numbers since the start of Mountain West Conference play.
* Averaging 4.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists over 15 nonconference games, Drisdom has put up 9.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 29.4 minutes in nine league contests. His improved scoring average can be attributed to shooting percentages of 52.3 from the field, 52.6 (10-of-19) from three-point range and 91.7 (33-of-36) from the free throw line. In the MWC league games statistical rankings, Drisdom is 15th in rebounds, tied for ninth in assists, tied for 15th in steals (1.11 spg), second in three-pointers made per game (5.26) and first in free throw percentage.
* Drisdom has been at his best the past four games, averaging 15.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. He has also shot 63.0 percent from the field, 63.6 percent (7-of-11) from three-point range and 90.5 (19-of-21) percent at the line.
* The Artesia, Calif., native's signature game was a career-high 24 points at Colorado State on Saturday when he shot 6-of-10 from the floor, 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and 8-of-8 at free throw line. Drisdom also had four assists, one turnover, one steal and four rebounds in 34 minutes.
Game #24 Rewind
Andrew Bogut also had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Utah (19-5, 7-2 MWC), which completed a two-game sweep of Colorado State. The win was the fourth straight for Utah, which remained a game back of first-place Air Force.
Dwight Boatner led Colorado State (11-11, 3-6 MWC) with 16 points. Michael Morris had 15 for the Rams, who lost their third straight and played their fourth consecutive game without injured center Matt Nelson.
Jacobson's layup extended Utah's lead to 40-27 two minutes into the second half. The Rams then tightened their defense. A layup and free throw by Morris closed the gap to 42-37.
The Utes responded with a 13-3 run begun by a four-point play to move ahead 55-40 with 6:10 remaining.
Colorado State cut the gap to 75-68 after Ronnie Clark's layup with 1:22 left. The Utes then put the game out of reach by sinking 5-of-6 free throws-three by Jacobson-in the final 1:12.
Drisdom and Jacobson had 11 points each by halftime, and Utah used two runs to lead 34-26 at the break. Colorado State missed its first eight shots, allowing the Utes to build a 12-1 lead.
The Rams heated up to hit 6-of-10 shots, cutting the lead to 18-16. Utah regained control and Drisdom buried two three-pointers and scored on a backdoor layup with 2:44 left to put the Utes ahead 30-19.
One of the trademarks of a Utah team during the Rick Majerus era has been a stifling half-court defense. Since 1989-90, Utah has ranked in the top 30 in the nation 11 times in scoring defense, nine times in rebound margin, eight times in field goal percentage defense and eight times in scoring margin.
* In the NCAA statistical rankings released on Feb. 10, Utah ranked third in the nation in scoring defense (55.5 ppg), 35th in field goal percentage defense (40.1) and sixth in rebound margin (+8.0 rpg). Currently, Utah is allowing opponents to score 56.1 points per game and shoot 40.0 percent while maintaining a +7.9 rebound margin.
* The Utes have outrebounded 22 of 24 opponents this season.
* Utah has held 13 of its 24 opponents to lower than 40 percent shooting from the field and 12 teams to under 30 percent from three-point range. Savannah State shot 18.2 percent against the Utes on Dec. 13, which is the lowest mark for a Utah opponent all-time.
* Only 10 teams have reached 60 points and nine opponents have been held to under 50 points this season.
* Only three teams have shot better than 50 percent from the field against the Utes this season: UConn (62.3), New Mexico on Jan. 24 (53.5) and Air Force (55.3) on Jan. 26.
* Utah has not allowed an opponent to score 80 points in 119 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) on Feb. 28, 2000 in Laramie, Wyo.
From Beyond The Arc
Utah has connected on at least 40 percent of its three-point field goals in 15 games this season-including 10 of the last 14-winning all of but one of them (Air Force on Jan. 26). Conversely, when the Utes shoot under 40 percent from beyond the arc, they are 5-4. Over the last 14 games, Utah has shot 43.6 percent (99-for-227) from three-point range.
* In the NCAA statistical rankings released on Feb. 10, Utah ranked 15th in three-point field goal percentage (40.2). Currently, Utah is shooting 40.8 percent from beyond the arc.
* The Utes have hit at least half of their three-point tries six times this season: Southern Utah (57.9) with a season-best percentage, Colorado State on Feb. 14 (53.3), UNLV on Jan. 12 (53.8), Pepperdine (51.9) with a season-high 27 attempts, Colorado (50.0) and Stony Brook (50.0).
* Utah ranked 21st in the NCAA in field goal percentage (48.1) as of Feb. 10. Utah has shot 48.9 percent from the field over the last 15 games and 43.6 percent from three-point range over the last 15 games.The Utes broke a string of 12 consecutive games of shooting at least 40 percent from the field against San Diego State on Feb. 7. It was the first game Utah won this season when being outshot (41.7 to 39.0 percent). The Utes bounced back to shoot 46.0 percent against UNLV last Monday and 50.0 percent against Colorado State on Saturday.
* The Utes are 16-0 when scoring at least 60 points this season and 13-0 when holding their opponents to under 60 points.
Taking Care Of The Ball
Turnovers have been a problem for the Utes, who are averaging 14.2 per game. Utah has had a positive assist/turnover ratio in just eight of the 24 games this season, but the numbers have been improving.
* Utah averaged 18.0 turnovers during the first five games, including a season-high 21 against Georgia State in the opener. Since that opening stretch, Utah has improved by averaging 13.2 turnovers over the last 19 games.
* The Utes have had a season-low eight turnovers against Colorado State on Saturday. Utah has also had nine turnovers three times in Mountain West play: New Mexico on Jan. 24, Wyoming on Jan. 17 and San Diego State and Feb. 7. Utah has had a positive assist/turnover ratio in six of the last 13 games.
Strong At The Finish
The Utes have outscored 19 of their 24 opponents in the second half and are 8-0 in games decided by 10 points or less in 2003-04. In Mountain West Conference play, Utah has outscored eight of its nine opponents in the second half for an average margin of +6.3 points. Utah finished off nine close games in the final eight minutes for wins this season.