Nov. 21, 2011
Date: Thursday, Nov. 25
Tipoff: 7:30 p.m. MT
Location: Paradise Island, Bahamas
Arena: Imperial Arena (4,000)
Utah Sports Radio Network
ESPN 700 AM
Play-by-Play: Steve Klauke
Analyst: Jimmy Soto
For up-to-date information including live stats, game notes, media guides, ticketing and more, visit www.UtahUtes.com.
Harvard vs. Utah - Quick Hits
The Utes and the Crimson face off in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament at the Atlantis Resort at Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Thursday's game will mark just the second meeting between Utah and Harvard. The Utes won the only other contest, 89-78, at the Kodak Classic in Rochester, N.Y., on Dec. 29, 1975.
Utah is on a two-game losing skid, while Harvard has won all three of its games to start the year.
Josh "Jiggy" Watkins has led Utah in scoring in all three games, averaging 21.3 points per contest, which ranks second in the Pac-12. He also leads the Utes in assists at 4.7 per game. Jason Washburn is Utah's top rebounder at 8.3 boards per contest, ranking third in the Pac-12.
Harvard has four players averaging double-digit points, led by Keith Wright at 14.3 points per game. Wright is also the team's top rebounder at 6.7 boards per contest. Oliver McNally and Brandyn Curry lead the team with 4.0 assists per game.
All 12 games (four games per day) at the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament will be televised live. The first two games of each day will be featured live on VERSUS, while the last two each day will be carried live on HDNet. In Salt Lake City, HDNet is available on DirecTV (Ch. 306) and DISH Network (Ch. 362). VERSUS is available on Comcast (Ch. 34), DirecTV (Ch. 603) and DISH Network (Ch. 151).
Individual and Team Notes
"Jiggy" Leading Utes in Scoring, Second in Pac-12
Watkins has led the Utes in scoring in each of their first three games and is averaging 21.3 points per contest, good for second in the Pac-12 Conference. He has racked up 20-plus points in two of the three games, and missed by only one at Boise State, scoring 19.
Watkins has been efficient in his scoring this year, shooting better than 52% from the floor through three games, going 21-of-40 overall. He is at 50% from 3-point range (4-of-8) and better than 85% (18-of-21) at the free throw line.
Watkins has scored 20-plus points seven times and hit double figures 27 times in 33 career games. He has hit double digits in nine consecutive games dating back to last year, besting his previous streak of seven straight, accomplished twice last year.
Washburn Posting Improved Numbers Through Three Games
Washburn is averaging a team-leading 8.3 rebounds per game through three contests, good for third in the Pac-12 and well above his career average of 3.7 per game. He is scoring at a 9.0 points-per-game clip, second best on the team and also significantly better than his career mark of 5.7 points per contest.
In the season opener against San Diego Christian, Washburn posted 12 points and a career-high 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Against Montana State, he was just one rebound shy of his second double-double in three games, as he finished with 10 points and nine boards.
Head coach Larry Krystkowiak has stated that he would like Utah's big men to maintain a rebounding pace around one every four minutes. With 25 boards in 94 minutes this season, Washburn is slightly ahead of that schedule, at one rebound every 3.8 minutes.
Washburn is shooting an efficient 60.0% from the floor (12-of-20) on the season, second-best on the squad. He came into the season as Utah's most efficient shooter for two year's running, including a 61.8% mark on 76-of-123 last season.
Martin Breaks Out Against Bobcats
Junior wing Cedric Martin shook off his slow start to the season with 11 points against Montana State on Saturday. After scoring just four points through the first two games and going 0-3 from 3-point range, Martin found his rhythm with a 4-of-9 performance from the field, including a 3-of-4 mark from beyond the arc. He also added four assists, tying for the game high, while also blocking a shot on a terrific hustle play that snuffed out a Bobcat fast break.
Hines on the Mend
Junior guard Chris Hines returned from a rib injury to play his first action of the 2011-12 season at Boise State, scoring three points. He then posted a 10-point effort against Montana State on Saturday that included a pair of 3-pointers. He also chipped in four rebounds, while nursing a sore elbow in addition to the previous rib injury.
Hines came into the season as the Utes' top returning 3-point shooter, coming off a 36.8% mark last season (31-84). He holds a career mark of 38.1% (75-197) over two seasons.
Two True Freshmen Find Starting Lineup
Forward Blake Wilkinson, a freshman walk-on, has earned a spot in the starting lineup in each of Utah's first three games. Freshman guard Anthony Odunsi has joined Wilkinson int he starting five for the last two games. Wilkinson is averaging 1.0 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.0 minutes per game, while Odunsi is averaging 7.3 points and 1.7 rebounds in 20.7 minutes.
In his first collegiate start, Odunsi posted 14 points at Boise State on 4-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. He also went 3-of-4 at the free throw line. Against Montana State on Saturday, he finished with five points, two assists, two steals and one rebound.
Farr Finding Offense
Junior forward Dijon Farr posted 12 points on a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor against Boise State, registering a 10-point improvement over his output against SDCC. He also added five rebounds, improving on his four-board effort against SDCC.
When getting his shots, Farr is knocking down a team-best 80% from the floor (8-of-10). Aside from his 5-of-5 effort at BSU however, Farr is only a combined 3-of-5 in Utah's other two games.
Storey Posts Seven Assists at Boise State
Freshman guard Kareem Storey posted a game-high seven assists at Boise State last week, currently the highest single-game assist output by any Ute this season.
Storey has been terrific at the free throw line, tying for a a team-best 85.7% (12-of-14) at the charity stripe, including 10-of-12 against SDCC.
The Utes at the Huntsman Center
Utah owns an all-time record of 527-126 (.807) all-time in its current home, the Jon M. Huntsman Center, including a 1-1 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 17 years, Utah is 104-22 (.825).
With 15,000 seats, the Huntsman Center is the largest arena in the Pac-12 (excluding temporary and tournament sites).
Utes Ink Five for 2012
Utah opened the early signing period by inking five players who will join the Utes for the 2012-13 season. The signing class includes high school seniors Josh Hearlihy (North Hollywood, Calif., Harvard-Westlake HS), Jordan Loveridge (West Jordan, Utah, West Jordan HS) and Justin Seymour (Marietta, Ga., Wheeler HS), along with Southern Utah transfer Dallin Bachynski (Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Sir Winston Churchill HS) and returning LDS missionary Jeremy Olsen (Lawrenceville, Ga., Collins Hill HS).
Krystkowiak Gets First Utah Victory
With the win against San Diego Christian, Krystkowiak grabbed his first victory as the Utes' head coach. For his NCAA coaching career, Krystkowiak is in his third year and owns a 43-21 overall record (.672).
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.
Utah's Blocks Leader Out Indefinitely
Senior center David Foster underwent foot surgery earlier this month and is out indefinitely.
Foster is Utah's career record holder in blocked shots with 219. He also holds the top two single-season marks with 115 in 2009-10 and 99 last season. Foster led the Mountain West Conference in blocks the last two years and finished among the top five in NCAA Div. I both years as well.
After returning from his LDS mission for the 2009-10 season, he shattered Utah's single-season record with 115 rejections, surpassing Luke Nevill's previous mark of 92 in 2008-09, en route to earning MWC Defensive Player of the Year honors. He was also named to the MWC All-Defensive team last season.
Foster also holds Utah's single-game record of 10 blocks, set at Weber State in 2009-10. That mark tied the previous school record for blocks in a game by the entire team.