Will Clyburn and the Utes host Grand Canyon in the regular-season opener Friday.
Nov. 9, 2010
SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah basketball team opens the regular season Friday, Nov. 12, as the Runnin' Utes host NCAA Div.-II Grand Canyon at 7 p.m. MT at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The game will mark the first-ever regular-season meeting between Utah and GCU.
Utah enters the game having played just one exhibition contest, defeating NCAA Div. II Adams State College, 84-74. Junior wing Will Clyburn was the game's top scorer and rebounder, logging a double-double with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Junior guard Josh Watkins also poured in 22 points, while sophomore center Jason Washburn added 15 points and seven boards.
The Utes were dominant on the glass as they collected 47 rebounds, including 19 offensive boards. Had it been a regular-season contest, it would have marked the third-highest rebound total under fourth-year head coach Jim Boylen and the best offensive rebounding effort as well.
Grand Canyon fell in both of its exhibition games this year as the Antelopes took on NCAA Div.-I competition in each. After dropping a 90-66 decision at UNLV, GCU headed to Logan, Utah, losing to Utah State by a score of 76-46. Sophomore guard Steve Morin came off the bench to lead the `Lopes in both games, scoring 11 and 13, respectively. Chris Johnson was the team's top rebounder in each contest, grabbing six boards against UNLV and tying for team-high honors against Utah State with Barret Robbins, as each collected four.
Utah is hoping to get the 2010-11 season off to a fortuitous start by snapping its two-year streak of season-opening losses. In 2008-09, before going on to finish 24-10 and capture both the Mountain West Conference regular-season and tournament titles, the Utes fell to Southwest Baptist, 80-79, in the season debut. In last year's opener, Utah lost to Idaho, 94-87.
Boylen, who enters his fourth year at the helm for the Utes, owns a 56-42 record. GCU is coached by second-year man Russ Pennell, who led the Antelopes to a 16-16 record in his inaugural season last year.