Nov. 26, 2011
Date: Saturday, Nov. 26
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.
UNC Asheville vs. Utah - Quick Hits
The Utes and Bulldogs meet in the final game of the Battle 4 Atlantis. Both teams are looking for their first win of the tournament.
Saturday's game will mark the first-ever meeting between Utah and UNC Asheville on the hardwood.
Josh "Jiggy" Watkins has led Utah in scoring in all five games, averaging 18.4 points per contest. He also leads the Utes in assists at 4.8 per game. Jason Washburn is Utah's top rebounder at 7.0 boards per contest.
UNC Asheville has four players averaging double figures, led by Matt Dickey at 16.8 points per game. J.P. Primm leads the Bulldogs in assists with 5.7 per contest and Jeremy Atkinson is their top rebounder at 6.5 boards per game.
Utah is trying to end a four-game losing skid, while UNC Asheville is trying to end a two-game slide. Both teams are looking for their first win against an NCAA Divivion I opponent this season.
Team and Individual Notes
Utes Post Season Highs vs. UMass
In the loss to Massachusetts in its second game at the Battle 4 Atlantis, Utah posted several season highs, including points (75), shooting percentage (60.0), field goals made (27), 3-point FG percentage (50.0), and steals (7). The Utes also tied their season high of 19 turnovers with UMass playing a full-court press off of every made basket.
"Jiggy" Leading Utes in Scoring, Second in Pac-12
Watkins has led or tied for the team lead in scoring in each of the Utes' first five games and is averaging 18.4 points per contest, good for second in the Pac-12 Conference. He has racked up 20-plus points in two of the five games and missed that mark by only one at Boise State, scoring 19.
Watkins is also leading the Utes in assists at 4.8 per game, good for third in the Pac-12.
Watkins has been efficient in his scoring this year, shooting better than 50% from the floor through five games, hitting 32-of-63 overall. He is at 50% from 3-point range (5-of-10) and better than 85% (23-of-27) at the free throw line.
Watkins has scored 20-plus points seven times in 35 career games as a Ute. He has scored double figures 29 times, including the last 11 consecutive games dating back to last year.
Wilkinson Has Breakout Performance vs. Harvard
Freshman forward Blake Wilkinson posted career highs of 12 points, six field goals, eight rebounds, three steals and 30 minutes played against Harvard on Thursday. Wilkinson tied Watkins for the team-high scoring total, while his eight rebounds and three steals were both game highs.
Washburn Posting Improved Numbers Through Five Games
Despite an off night against Harvard, Washburn is averaging career numbers through the first four games of this season. He leads the Utes in rebounding at 7.0 boards per contest, sixth-best in the Pac-12 and well above his career average of 3.7 per game. He is scoring at an 8.4 points-per-game clip, second 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. He has scored in double figures two other times this year, including his 11 points against Massachusetts in the Utes' second game of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
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 35 boards in 142 minutes this season, Washburn is right on that pace.
Washburn is shooting a very efficient 63% from the floor (17-of-27) 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.
Hines Keeps Scoring Numbers Up
Fighting off sore ribs and a sore elbow on his shooting arm, junior guard Chris Hines has scored in double figures in two of the last three games, including a season-high 11 points against Harvard on Thursday, and missed that mark by just one point against UMass on Friday.
Hines came into the season as the Utes' top returning 3-point shooter, coming off a 36.8% mark last season (31-84). He is currently knocking down 3-pointers at a 34.8% clip (8-of-23).
Storey Scores Career-High 12 Points vs. UMass
Freshman guard Kareem Storey posted a career-high 12 points against UMass on Friday, going 4-of-5 from the field, including his first two 3-pointers of the year.
Storey was also 2-of-4 at the free throw line.He has been solid at the charity stripe this season, shooting 75% (15-of-20), including 10-of-12 in the season opener against San Diego Christian.
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).
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.
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).
Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak
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 43-24 overall record (.642).
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.