Delon Wright and the Utes play at Cal on Wednesday evening
Utah Runnin’ Utes (19-9, 8-8) vs.
California Golden Bears (20-9, 9-7)
Date: Wednesday, March 5
Tipoff: 9 p.m. MT
Location: Berkeley, Calif.
Arena: Haas Pavilion
Play-by-Play: Beth Mowins
Utah Sports Radio Network
Play-by-Play: Bill Riley
Utah Men’s Basketball
For up-to-date information including live stats, game notes, media guides, ticketing and more, visit www.UtahUtes.com
Utah vs. California - Quick Hits
• Utah dropped two of three games vs. California last season but got the one that mattered most, an overtime victory in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals
• The Utes have won 15 of their 19 games this season by double figures and rank seventh in the nation in scoring margin (+14.0).
• Utah is third in the nation shooting 50.1 percent from the field and Delon Wright leads the Pac-12, and ranks 11th nationally, at 60.4 percent
• Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak played for Cal head coach Mike Montgomery at Montana, winning the Big Sky title in 1986.
• Utah currently ranks third in the Pac-12 in defensive points per possession and fourth in offensive points per possession
Crunching the Numbers
Utah currently ranks No. 34 in the ESPN BPI and No. 35 in the KenPom rankings, higher than fellow Pac-12 teams Stanford, Colorado and California.
Strength of Schedule
77 - Cincinnati
81 - St. Louis
98 - Gonzaga
99 - UTAH
102 - Louisville
113 - Wichita State
118 - San Diego State
The Utes have nine losses this season, seven by four points or fewer (two of them in overtime).
Average RPI of Losses
42 - Creighton
45 - Michigan
45 - UCLA
50 - UTAH
59 - Syracuse
66 - North Carolina
76 - SMU
The Utes are 6-8 against the RPI top 100 with the wins coming by a combined 76 points, and their losses are by a combined 41 points. This gives them the No. 18 RPI against top-100 teams.
Same amount of or more top-50 wins than:
San Diego State
In Utah’s nine games against teams ranked outside the RPI top 200, it won by an average of 33.7 points.
History vs. California
The Utes trail the all-time series, 12-9, after dropping two of three contests last season against the Golden Bears.
However, Utah won the game that mattered most, a 79-69 overtime victory against Cal in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals.
It was the first win Utah earned against the Golden Bears since joining the Pac-12, snapping a five-game losing streak.
The Utes are 2-6 all-time in Berkeley with the last victory occurring in 2007, 67-65. The only other road win for Utah in this series happened in 1940.
DuBois Lifts Utah Men’s Basketball Past Cal, 79-69
Jarred DuBois scored 21 points and hit a tying three-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation, Jordan Loveridge scored eight of his 20 points in overtime, and Utah upset second-seeded California 79-69 in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals last season
The 10th-seeded Utes trailed 59-56 in regulation after Allen Crabbe hit two free throws, but Utah worked the ball around to DuBois, who hit a contested three-pointer with four seconds left to tie the game.
Krystkowiak’s Montana/Montgomery Connection
Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak played for Cal head coach Mike Montgomery from 1982-86 at the University of Montana. The Grizzlies went 84-37 overall, 37-19 in Big Sky play, winning a share of the conference title during Krystkowiak’s senior season.
Krystkowiak, the only three-time player of the year in Big Sky history, was a second round pick by the Chicago Bulls in 1986 while Montgomery left to become the head coach at Stanford.
Krystkowiak played 11 years in the NBA before starting his coaching career back at Montana as an assistant in 1998.
He would eventually become head coach of the Grizzlies for two years and led them to consecutive Big Sky titles.
Last Time Out
The Utes shot 70.8 percent (17-of-24) from the field in the second half to pull away from the Buffaloes. The Buffaloes shot just 39.6 percent (21-of-53) from the field and were undone by 11 second-half turnovers.
After trailing by as many eight late in the first half, Utah shut down Colorado’s offense before halftime. The Utes held the Buffaloes without a field goal over a stretch of 8:14 spanning both halves.
It allowed Utah to finally claim its first lead early in the second half. The Utes scored 17 unanswered points as Colorado missed 10-of-11 shots. Utah also forced the Buffaloes to commit eight turnovers during that decisive 23-2 run.
Wright Having Quite a Debut
Utah’s Delon Wright was named Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for play from Jan. 13-19.
In the win over USC earlier this year, Wright led the way with 22 points, six rebounds, six steals and five assists. He followed that performance with 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists against the nationally-ranked Bruins.
Wright leads the league in steals with 3.1 per contest and also ranks among the top 15 in minutes played (1st), assists (3rd), field goal percentage (3rd), assist/turnover ratio (5th), scoring (5th), blocks (6th) free throw percentage (10th) and rebounds (12th).
Wright joins Jordan Loveridge as Player of the Week selections this year for Utah, its first winners since joining the Pac-12 Conference in 2011. The duo is scoring 45 percent of Utah’s points this season and grabbing 39 percent of the rebounds.
Wright has scored in double figures the last 16 games for the Utes and has scored 20 points or more in eight games. Utah is 7-1 this year when Wright scores seven field goals or more.
Loveridge Leading the Way
Utah’s Jordan Loveridge was named Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for play from Dec. 2-8. The sophomore averaged 24.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.0 blocks
It marked the first Player of the Week selection for Utah since joining the Pac-12 Conference in 2011.
Loveridge currently ranks 11th in the Pac-12 in rebounding (7.4) and 12th in scoring (15.5), while racking up six double-doubles.
Utah is 14-3 this season when Loveridge makes five field goals or more and he has eclipsed the 20-point mark in 10 contests over two years.
Taylor Named CoSIDA Academic All-District
Utah sophomore Brandon Taylor was selected to the 2013-14 Capital One Academic All-District Men’s Basketball Team for Region 8.
He currently owns a 3.70 GPA and is majoring in psychology while leading the Utes in 3-pointers made. Taylor also ranks fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio, ninth in assists per game, 13th in 3-point field goal percentage and steals.
The Utes have not lost this season when Taylor gets to the free-throw line four times or more (4-0).
Utah in the National Rankings
The Utes have won 15 of their 19 games this season by double figures and rank seventh in the nation in scoring margin (+14.0).
The Utes have won every game this season (6-0) after recording 86 or more total points and are 11-0 when their field goal percentage has been 53 percent or better.
Utah is also third in the nation shooting 50.1 percent from the field. They also rank in the top-20 nationally in assists per game (16th - 16.0)
Success in Double Figures
The Utes are 17-4 this season when they place three players in double figures are 10-0 when they place four players in double figures this season.
Brandon Taylor in particular, has been key to the Utes. When the sophomore scores in double figures, the Utes are 9-2 this season. They are 8-1 when he hits three 3-pointers or more.
Utah is also 5-0 this season when Dakarai Tucker scores 13 points or more.
Utah Basketball Earns 1,700th Win
The Utes are 15th all-time in NCAA history with 1,704 wins and rank 19th all-time with 27 trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Utah’s 32 regular-season conference championships put it fifth among all Division I schools trailing Kansas, Kentucky, Penn and North Carolina
Utah Adds Three for 2014-15
Utah men’s basketball head coach Larry Krystkowiak announced the addition of three players, Brekkott Chapman, Kyle Kuzma and Isaiah Wright, for the 2014-15 season.
Kyle Kuzma is originally from Burton, Michigan. Scout.com currently lists Kuzma as the 25th best power forward in the nation for his class and ESPN recently rated him as a four-star commit.
Brekkott Chapman is a local product having attended Roy High School in Roy, Utah. The 6-8 forward is ranked No. 12 in the class of 2014 by ESPN and also plays for the Utah Prospects AAU team.
Isaiah Wright, a 6-2 point guard, attends Borah High School in Boise, Idaho. The 2013 Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year was also named the 5A All-Idaho Player of the Year and MVP of the 5A Idaho State Tournament while leading his squad to a state title.
McGill to be Inducted into Pac-12 Hall of Honor
The Pac-12 Conference will honor Utah legend Billy McGill along with 11 other former student-athletes by inducting them into the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Hall of Honor.
The induction will occur on Friday, March 14, during a ceremony prior to the semifinal games at the 2014 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
Rumored to be the originator of the “jump hook”, the 6’9” McGill became the 11th player in collegiate history to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds during his career and was eventually drafted with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1962 NBA Draft by the Chicago Zephyrs.
He still ranks No. 2 all-time at Utah in Utah career scoring (2,321 points) and No. 1 in career rebounding (1,106). McGill also owns the Utah single-season (1,009) and single-game (60) records for scoring, as well as the single-season (430) and single-game (24) records for rebounding.
He is one of seven Utes to have his jersey retired and was honored in 2008 as a member of the University of Utah All-Century team.
New Utah Basketball Facility
Official fundraising efforts for the new $36 million Jon M. and Karen Huntsman Basketball Center kicked off Nov. 25. Construction on the new 80,000-square-foot facility will get underway in the spring of 2014. Work is scheduled to be completed prior to the 2015-16 basketball season.
The project will include a new basketball practice and training facility for the men’s and women’s teams, as well as renovations to the main arena and strength and conditioning rooms for several other U. sports.
Besides the new basketball practice center, which will include two gymnasiums, a sports medicine center, film rooms, locker rooms and a strength and conditioning center, some $6 million will be used for arena improvements for lighting, sound and draping for other sports, as well as two grand entrances for a hall of fame and legacy hall.