Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utes Looking to Defend WAC Title

Utah enters the WACTournament<br>ranked No. 5 in thenation largely <br>because of its defense.

Utah enters the WACTournament
ranked No. 5 in thenation largely
because of its defense.

March 3, 1998

QUICKLY: The 5th ranked Utes (25-2, WAC: 12-2) captured their second straight WAC Mountain Division title with their 65-55 victory over New Mexico Saturday night ... they now head to the 1998 Qwest WAC Tournament in Las Vegas where they face the winner of Tuesday's game between Hawaii and UNLV, Thursday at 9 p.m. (PST) ... all Ute games in the WAC Tournament will be broadcast live, nationally on ESPN ... all games will also be broadcast live on KALL radio and the Utah Sports Network ... the Utes are ranked 5th this week in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll and 5th in the Associated Press poll.

UTES CLINCH SECOND STRAIGHT WAC DIVISION CROWN: The Utes won their second straight WAC Mountain Division Championship with a 65-55 victory over New Mexico in the Huntsman Center. Utah put four players in double figures led by HANNO MOTTOLA'S 18 points. MICHAEL DOLEAC added 15 while ANDRE MILLER scored 14 points. ALEX JENSEN put together his second double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Utes shot .500 from the field for the game and held UNM to just .404 shooting from the floor. Utah out rebounded the Lobos 32-24.

UTAH IN THE WAC TOURNAMENT: The Utes are 17-12 in WAC Tournament action since the tournament began in 1984 ... they have been to the finals of the tournament four times (including the last three in a row), winning the tournament twice ... Utah is the defending tournament champion after last year's 89-68 victory over TCU in the final game.

UTES IN THE WAC TOURNAMENT FINALS 1991-BYU 51, Utah 49 (OT)-Laramie 1995-Utah 67, Hawaii 54-Albuquerque 1996-New Mexico 64, Utah 60-Albuquerque 1997-Utah 89, TCU 68-Las Vegas

UTES GOING AFTER FOURTH STRAIGHT WAC TITLE: The Utes will be going after their fourth straight Western Athletic Conference championship. Last year the Utes won the WAC Tournament which also gave them the conference crown. Prior to last season the WAC determined a champion from regular season play. Utah won the championship in 1995-96 and 1994-95. They also won the regular season crown in 1992-93 and 1990-91. In the decade of the 1990's Utah has won five WAC Championships and two Mountain Division titles.

PROBABLE UTE STARTERS
F-50 Alex Jensen (6-7, 225, So.) 6.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg
F-13 Hanno Mottola (6-10, 230, So.) 12.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg
C-51 Michael Doleac (6-11, 265, Sr.) 15.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg
G-34 Drew Hansen (6-5, 195, Sr.) 5.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg
G-24 Andre Miller (6-2, 200, Jr.) 13.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.9 apg
OFF THE BENCH
G-3 David Jackson (6-3, 205, So.) 3.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg
G-11 Jordie McTavish (6-0, 169, So.) 3.1 ppg, 1.0 apg
G-21 Trace Caton (6-4, 215, Fr.) 4.4 ppg, 1.3 rpg
F-31 Britton Johnsen (6-9, 200, Fr.) 2.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg
F-40 Jon Carlisle (6-9, 223, Fr.) 2.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg
F-45 Greg Barratt (6-8, 223, Fr.) 1.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg
C-52 Nate Althoff (6-11, 245, Fr.) 1.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg

1998 QWEST WAC TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
TUESDAY (MARCH 3) First Round
1. 12:00 p.m. Tulsa (P3) vs BYU (M6)
2. 2:30 p.m. Colorado St. (M4) vs. SMU (P5)
3. 6:00 p.m. Wyoming (M3) vs. San Diego St. (P6)
4. 8:30 p.m. Hawai'i (P4) vs. UNLV (M5)
THURSDAY (MARCH 5) Quarterfinals
5. 12:00 p.m. New Mexico (M2) vs winner game 1
6. 2:30 p.m. TCU (P1) vs. winner game 2
7. 6:00 p.m. Fresno St. (P2) vs. winner game 3
8. 9:00 P.M. UTAH (M1) VS. WINNER GAME 4 (ESPN)
FRIDAY (MARCH 6) Semifinals
9. 6:00 p.m. winner game 5 vs. winner game 6
10. 9:00 p.m. winner game 7 vs. winner game 8 (ESPN)
SATURDAY (MARCH 7) Championship
7:00 p.m. winner game 9 vs.winner game 10 (ESPN)

DOLEAC, MILLER, MOTTOLA GRAB ALL-WAC HONORS: MICHAEL DOLEAC, ANDRE MILLER and HANNO MOTTOLA gained all-WAC honors on the 1998 all-WAC team. Doleac and Miller were named first-team all-WAC as well as members of the all-WAC Defensive team. Mottola was named second team all-WAC. Last year Doleac was also named first team all-WAC and all-Defensive team. This is the second year in a row for Miller to make the all-Defensive squad.

RADIO: All the WAC Tournament games will be broadcast live on KALL RADIO (910) AM. BILL MARCROFT will call the play-by-play with JEFF JONAS doing color. BRAD STONE handles pre and post-game show duties. Stations on the network are KOAL (Price), KSGI AM (St. George), KZEZ FM (St. George) and KVEL (Vernal). Pre-game show starts 90 minutes before tipoff.

TV: All the Ute games in the WAC Tournament will be televised live on ESPN. BOB CARPENTER and JIMMY DYKES will call the action.

DOLEAC, HANSEN NAMED TO ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT SQUAD: Ute seniors MICHAEL DOLEAC and DREW HANSEN have been named to the GTE Academic All-District VIII Team. This is the second year that the two players have been selected for this honor. Doleac carries a 3.41 GPA in Biology while Hansen has a 3.99 GPA in Political Science/Economics. The two players now become eligible for Academic All-American honors. Utah is the only school in the district to place two players on the five-man team.

11 UTES MAKE HONOR ROLL: Not only are the Utes having an outstanding year on the basketball court, they are also having an excellent year in the classroom. 11 Ute players were named to the honor roll for their performance in the classroom fall quarter. Five of those players also made the Dean's List. A GPA of 3.0 or better is required to make the honor roll while a 3.5 GPA or better is required for Dean's List honors. Named to the Dean's List were GREG BARRATT, DREW HANSEN and walk-ons BRETT ALLEN, DOUG GOOCH and BRANDON SLUGA. Joining them on the honor roll were TRACE CATON, JON CARLISLE, MICHAEL DOLEAC, ALEX JENSEN, JORDIE MCTAVISH and ADAM SHARP. Eight of the 13 scholarship players made the coveted list. During RICK MAJERUS' tenure as head coach at Utah 68 players have made the honor roll. As a team the Utes posted a combined GPA of 3.04 for fall quarter.

UTES IN TOP 25: Utah continues to be ranked in the top 25 this week as they have all season. They are ranked fifth this week. Third hasbeen their highest ranking of the season. Their highest ranking of all time is second where, they finished in last seasons final Associated Press poll.

AP Poll
1. Duke (27-2)
2. Arizona (26-3)
3. Kansas (31-3)
4. North Carolina (27-3)
5. UTAH (25-2)
6. Connecticut (26-4)
7. Kentucky (26-4)
8. Princeton (25-1)
9. Purdue (24-6)
10. Mississippi (21-5)
11. Stanford (24-4)
12. Michigan St. (20-6)
13. TCU (26-4)
14. Cincinnati (23-5)
15. South Carolina (21-6)
16. Arkansas (22-7)
17. Michigan (21-8)
18. Illinois (21-8)
19. UCLA (21-7)
20. New Mexico (21-6)
21. Maryland (18-9)
22. Syracuse (22-7)
23. West Virginia (22-7)
24. Temple (20-6)
25. Oklahoma State (21-4)

USA TODAY/ESPN TOP 25 (week of 3-2)
1. Duke (27-2)
2. Arizona (26-3)
3. Kansas (31-3)
4. North Carolina (27-3)
5. UTAH (25-2)
6. Connecticut (26-4)
7. Kentucky (26-4)
8. Princeton (25-1)
9. Purdue (24-6)
10. Mississippi (21-5)
11. Stanford (24-4)
12. Michigan State (20-6)
13. Cincinnati (23-5)
14. TCU (26-4)
15. South Carolina (21-6)
16. Arkansas (22-7)
17. UCLA (21-7)
18. Michigan (21-8)
19. New Mexico (21-6)
20. Illinois (21-8)
21. Syracuse (22-7)
22. West Virginia (22-7)
23. Massachusetts (20-9)
24. Maryland (18-9)
25. Temple (20-7)

MAJERUS' MARK: Ute coach RICK MAJERUS went into the season as the 13th winningest active coach in the country and the 27th all-time winningest coach ever ... has posted a 205-57 (.782) record in his ninth season at Utah ... is in his 14th year as a major college head coach and has a career record of 304-109 (.736) ... is the winningest Utah basketball coach in modern times. (For a complete Majerus bio see later in the release).

UTES 25-2 MARK, BEST RECORD SINCE `90-'91: Utah's 25-2 mark is the best regular season record since the 1990-91 squad ended the regular season with a 26-2 mark. That team won the first three games of the season, then lost 81-65 at Michigan before going on to win 17 games in a row. They then fell 68-62 at New Mexico before closing out the regular season with six straight wins. They finished the year at 30-4 and won the conference championship with a 15-1 mark. Their other two losses were a 51-49 overtime loss to BYU in the finals of the WAC Tournament and a 83-66 defeat at the hands of UNLV in the West Regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament.

MICHAEL DOLEAC is currently in 14th place on the Ute career scoring list with 1,387 points. He needs 14 points to pass JERRY CHAMBERS (1964-66, 1400 points ) to move into the 13th spot on the list.

UTES AMONG TOP TEAMS IN THE 90s: Going into the season the Utes were ranked 10th in the country for most victories and highest winning percentage in the decade of the 1990s. Utah has posted a 217-69 record during that time for a .759 winning percentage.

UTES IN 1,000 VICTORY CLUB: The Utes are one of the teams in the country with over 1,000 basketball wins in their history. In the 89 years of Utah basketball, Utah hoop teams have won 1,371 games and have lost just 730. That works out to a .652 winning percentage. Utah first started playing basketball in 1908.

UTAH'S RANKINGS IN THIS WEEK'S WAC TEAM STATS:

SCORING: 7TH (70.2)
SCORING DEFENSE: 1ST (56.2)
F. G. PERCENTAGE: 3RD (.481)
F. G. PERCENTAGE DEF. 2ND (.383)
3PT. F. G. PER. DEFENSE: 2ND (.315)
3PT. F. G. PERCENTAGE 2ND (.392)
FREE THROW PER. 2ND (.735)
STEALS 12TH (5.9)
TURNOVER MARGIN: 12TH (1.1)
REBOUND MARGIN: 1ST (11.5)
SCORING MARGIN: 2ND (14.0)
3PT F.G. PER GAME: 11TH (5. 5)

UTES ON A ROLL: The Utes have been on a roll the last couple of years.

They are off to a 25-2 start in the current season but dating back to last year Utah has won 39 of it's last 42 games. The three setbacks were the Feb. 12 loss at Wyoming (62-56), the Feb. 1 loss at New Mexico (77-74) and the 72-59 loss to Kentucky in last years NCAA Regional Finals in San Jose.

UTES ARE IN 26TH 20 WIN SEASON: This is the 26th season a Utah Basketball team has won at least 20 games in a season. Under RICK MAJERUS Utah has seven seasons of at least 20 wins including the last four in a row.

RICK MAJERUS' 20 WIN SEASONS:
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: 25-2

DOLEAC DOIN' IT: MICHAEL DOLEAC is having an excellent season. For the second year in a row he was named first team all-WAC and a member of the all-WAC Defensive team. He was also named to the GTE Academic All-District team. The 6-11 senior is leading the Utes in scoring and rebounding for the season averaging 15.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He leads the team in blocks with 29. Doleac is in 14th place on the Ute career scoring chart with 1,387 career points. He needs 14 points to pass JERRY CHAMBERS (1964-66, 1400 points) to move into 13th place on the list. Doleac is also in 8th place on the career rebound chart with 830 rebounds. He needs 47 boards to pass TOM CHAMBERS (1978-81, 876 rebounds) to move into 7th place on the list.

MILLER TIME: ANDRE MILLER continues to play well from the point guard position. He was named first team all-WAC and a member of the all-WAC Defensive team for the second year in a row. He is second on the team in scoring averaging 13.8 points per game. He also leads the team in assists averaging 4.9 per game and steals with 59 on the year. He is averaging 2.2 steals per game. His assist to turnover ratio for the season is 4.9 assists to 2.1 turnovers per game. In WAC games he has a 5.4 assist to 1.9 turnover ratio per game. He is also shooting .579 percent from the floor for the season. He is shooting .618 in WAC play. Andre is in 4th place on the Ute career assist list with 490 assists. He needs 46 more to pass PACE MANNION (1980-83, 535 assists) and move into 3rd place on the list. Andre is among 10 finalists for USBWA Player of the Year honors.

A LOOK AT THE UTES FIRST GAME: The Utes will play the winner of Tuesday nights first round game between UNLV and Hawai'i ... Hawai'i is 19-6 going into the game while UNLV is 16-12 ... the Utes and Hawai'i have not played have not played since the 1996 season when they met three times. Utah won all three games, beating the `Bows in Honolulu 82-46, in Salt Lake 69-59 and in the first round of the WAC Tournament 76-63 ... the Utes have won the last seven games between the two schools ... last Hawai'i win was a 72-56 victory in Honolulu during the 1994 season ... UNLV and the Utes have met twice this season with the Utes winning 67-54 on Jan. 24 in Las Vegas and 79-68 on Feb. 23 in Salt Lake ... last UNLV victory was an 83-66 win in the 1991 NCAA Regional Semifinals in Seattle.

UTES IN THE HUNTSMAN CENTER: Utah basketball teams have compiled a 354-83 (.810) record in the JON M. HUNTSMAN CENTER since the building opened for the 1969-70 season. RICK MAJERUS has posted a 114-10 (.919) record in the building since he has been the Ute coach ... the Utes have won 21 games in a row in the JMHC dating back to last season's Dec. 31 loss to Wake Forest. That is currently the 10th best home win streak in the nation. Utah finished the 1997-98 home season with a perfect 13-0 record.

RICKS' REMARKS:
ON WINNING THE MOUNTAIN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP: "It's a tremendous accomplishment for our team. It's four times in a row we are WAC Champs of some significance. I applaud our defensive effort and our bench. We are looking forward to going down to Las Vegas and competing there. I think as we reflect back, we are 25-2, we are playing good ball and we have a nice substitution pattern going and that's important."

ON UNLV: "UNLV is very athletic. They've got good size and potent scoring both inside and outside. I think they play very hard and it was a hard fought game here. When you look at guys like Simmons and Keefe you are looking at all-league players from another conference. They also have high school All-Americans and junior college All-Americans in Nesby, Greedy and Daniels. They have good quickness, good size and excellent strength."

ON HAWAII: "Hawaii has an outstanding backcourt. Kroeger is a kid we looked at and recruited. Carter is a guy who can take you off the dribble and is a very prolific scorer. Smith is a tremendous point guard. He is a very heady player and runs their offense well, in addition to being a terrific shooter. Ambrozich and Galloway give them a strong rebounding presence."

UTE NOTES: For their 13 home games this season the Utes averaged 13,818 fans per game in the Huntsman Center ... the Utes are 6-0 on ESPN this season going into the WAC Tournament where every game Utah plays will be shown on ESPN.

RICK MAJERUS
HEAD COACH
9TH YEAR

Nine years under Head Coach Rick Majerus has entrenched the University of Utah in the nation's basketball power structure. Majerus, the winningest Utah basketball coach in modern times (205-57) (.782), has led the Utes to unprecedented success.

In the 89-year history of Utah basketball, the Utes have never enjoyed an eight-year stretch like the Majerus tenure. Despite the fact Majerus coached just six games in his first season, due to heart surgery his clubs have averaged 22 wins per year during that time.

His six postseason appearances (five NCAA) is a school coaching benchmark. Never before has a Ute team advanced to the Sweet 16 three times in a six-year span. Majerus' teams own five Western Athletic Conference championships in the decade of the 1990s, including the last three--a feat never before achieved at Utah. His Utes captured both the Mountain Division crown last year, with a near-perfect 15-1 record, and the WAC Tournament title.

He also led the 1997-98 Utes to their second straight Mountain Division title. Majerus' success goes beyond the conference level. The team advanced to the West Regional championship game (the Elite Eight), becoming the first Ute team to make it that far since the 1966 squad played in the "Final Four."

Last Season was Utah's fifth NCAA Tournament appearance under Majerus, and its third trip to the Sweet 16. The 1990-91 Utes produced a school-record 30-4 record and made it to the Sweet 16, where they lost to defending NCAA champion UNLV. The 1995-96 Utes also made the regional tourney--running into eventual NCAA champion Kentucky in the first game.

All five of Majerus' Utah NCAA teams have won at least a first-round game, with the 1993 and 1995 teams falling in the second round. Majerus also has one NIT "Final Four" to his credit while at Utah. His 1991-92 club made the trip to the Big Apple and the NIT finals, where the Utes took third. Majerus' feats have earned him national recognition and respect.

The three-time WAC Coach of the Year (1991, '93, '95), was tapped for national honors in 1991 (Basketball Times' and UPI Coach of the Year) and 1992 (Playboy Coach of the Year). He is also a four-time District Coach of the Year. In a previous two-year stint with Ball State, Majerus received The Hoop Scoop Coach of the Year honors in 1988-89.

Most recently, the WAC media voted him Mountain Division Coach of the Year in 1996-97. Success has followed Majerus at all of his stops. His head coaching career began at Marquette, where he compiled a 56-35 record from 1983-86 and took his teams to three NIT Tournaments. He preceded his Utah tenure with a successful two-year stint at Ball State, where he logged a 43-17 mark, including a 29-3 record and an NCAA second round berth in 1988-89.

He was an accomplished assistant coach before making the jump to the top seat. In 12 years as an assistant at Marquette (1972-83), Majerus was part of 11 NCAA Tournament teams. Marquette won the NCAA Championship in 1976-77. The veteran coach also spent a year in the National Basketball Association as an assistant to Don Nelson.

The Milwaukee Bucks posted a 50-32 record and made the NBA playoffs during Majerus' year on the bench (1986-87). Majerus has an international resume, as well. He served last summer as the head coach of the USA Basketball Men's 22 and under team that competed in the World Championships in Melbourne, Australia.

He spent the summer of 1994 as an assistant coach to Don Nelson for the USA "Dream Team 2," which featured the top NBA players in the Men's World Basketball Championships in Toronto. Majerus' reach extends into the classroom. In his time at Utah, 68 players have made the honor roll, including 11 this past fall quarter.

Michael Doleac and Drew Hansen were named to the 1998 GTE Academic All-America District Team for the second year in a row. Hansen was also chosen as the winner of the 1997 Playboy Magazine Anson Mount Scholar/Athlete Award for basketball. The 1996-97 team put together a team GPA of 3.08 while the 1997-98 bunch has a 3.04 team GPA. Born on Feb. 17, 1948, the 50-year-old Majerus is a Sheboygan, Wis., native.

He graduated from Marquette in 1970 with a bachelor's degree in history. He received a master's, also from Marquette, in 1979 in guidance and counseling.

RICK'S RECORD
YEAR   TEAM   RECORD    FINISH POST SEASON
1997-98   Utah         25-2         WAC Tourn.
1996-97   Utah         29-4   1st   NCAA "Elite 8"
1995-96   Utah         27-7   1st   NCAA "Sweet 16"
1994-95   Utah         28-6   1st   NCAA 2nd Round
1993-94   Utah        14-14   5th (tie)
1992-93   Utah         24-7   1st   NCAA 2nd Round
1991-92   Utah        24-11   4th   NIT "Final Four"
1990-91   Utah         30-4   1st   NCAA "Sweet 16"
1989-90   Utah          4-2   6th (tie)
1988-89   Ball State   29-3   --    NCAA 2nd Round
1987-88   Ball State  14-14   --
1985-86   Marquette   19-11   --    NIT
1984-85   Marquette   20-11   --    NIT
1983-84   Marquette   17-13   --    NIT
______________________________________________________________________

Utah Total: 205-57 (.782), 9th year Career Total: 304-109 (.735), 14th year-13th among active NCAA coaches in winning percentage going into the season.

 

 

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