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Go Utes!
Utah Basketball Notes - Game #4

Tim Drisdom led the Utes with seven rebounds and six assists against Weber State last Saturday.

Tim Drisdom led the Utes with seven rebounds and six assists against Weber State last Saturday.

Nov. 29, 2005

Game #4

Utah Runnin' Utes (3-0) vs. Utah State Aggies (2-1)
Nov. 30 • 7:07 p.m. (MST)
Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) • Salt Lake City, Utah

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Game Data

Television: KJZZ-TV 14 in Salt Lake City. ESPN Full Court (pay-per-view). Steve Brown (play-by-play) and Thurl Bailey (analyst).

Radio: Utah Sports Network (Hot Ticket 700/KALL-AM in Salt Lake City and affiliate stations). On the Internet at www.UtahUtes.com. Get Utah All-Access Here Matt Thomas (play-by-play), Mark Rydalch (analyst) and Bill Riley (host).

Utah Head Coach: Ray Giacoletti Utah State Head Coach: Stew Morrill Alma Mater: Minot State, 1985 Alma Mater: Gonzaga, 1974 Record at Utah: 32-6 (2nd Season) Record at USU: 169-55 (8th Season) Overall Record: 149-89 (9th Season) Overall Record: 387-193 (20th Season)

Series Record: Utah leads 127-90 Utah's Record Home/Away/Neutral: 77-33/50-57/0-0 Current Streak: Utah State has won 1. Last Meeting: Utah State won 71-45 on Dec. 4, 2004 in Logan, Utah.

Utah Probable Starters No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Statistics 20 F Bryant Markson 6-7 198 Sr. 18.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg 21 F Shaun Green 6-8 208 Fr. 8.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg 30 C Chris Jackson 6-11 245 Sr. 7.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg 1 G Johnnie Bryant 6-0 190 So. 13.5 ppg, 2.0 apg 11 G Tim Drisdom 6-3 215 Sr. 4.0 ppg, 2.5 apg

Utah State Probable Starters No. Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. Statistics 4 F Nate Harris 6-7 225 Sr. 16.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg 24 F Durrall Peterson 6-3 200 Jr. 7.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg 3 C Cass Matheus 6-10 235 Sr. 13.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg 2 G David Pak 6-2 200 Sr. 2.7 ppg, 3.7 apg 20 G Jaycee Carroll 6-2 175 So. 18.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg

After This
The Runnin' Utes play their first game out of the state, taking on Rice on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. (CST) in Houston, Texas. CSTV will televise the game nationally.

Quickly On Utah
The Runnin' Utes (3-0) play their second consecutive game against an in-state rival, hosting Utah State (2-1) on Wednesday at 7:07 p.m. (MST) in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The game will be televised by KJZZ-TV 14 and broadcast on Hot Ticket 700 (KALL-AM) and the Utah Sports Network.

Utah has won its first three games of the season, defeating Texas State (74-59) on Nov. 18 and Rhode Island (66-50) on Nov. 22 at home before getting a 67-62 overtime win at Weber State last Saturday night.

Last year, the Runnin' Utes went 29-6 overall, won the Mountain West Conference regular season championship with a 13-1 record, and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Two starters and four other lettermen return from the 2004-05 season. The Utes' returning starters are senior guard Tim Drisdom (6-3, 215) and senior forward Bryant Markson (6-7, 198). Markson, a preseason all-Mountain West Conference pick, is averaging a team-best 16.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He is also shooting 70.0 percent at the free throw line. Drisdom is averaging 4.3 points and a team-best 3.7 assists per game.

Sophomore guard Johnnie Bryant (6-0, 190), a junior college transfer, is averaging 16.0 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in his first season. Bryant is also shooting 60 percent (9-of-15) from three-point range and 81.8 percent from the free throw line. Freshman center Luke Nevill (7-1, 250) leads the Utes on the boards (5.0 rpg) and is third in scoring (9.0 ppg).

Scouting The Aggies
Utah State is 2-1 overall on the season and 1-1 on the road. The Aggies won 72-67 in overtime at Oral Roberts on Nov. 19 and lost at Middle Tennessee 60-59 on Nov. 21 to open the season. Utah State then won its home opener over Lewis & Clark College 102-65 last Saturday night.

Sophomore guard Jaycee Carroll (6-2, 175) leads Utah State in scoring (18.3 ppg). He is shooting 57.1 percent from the field, 43.8 percent (7-for-16) from three-point range and 80 percent at the free throw line. Senior forward Nate Harris (6-7, 225), a native of Smithfield, Utah, is second on the team in scoring (16.0 ppg) and leads the way in rebounding (7.7 rpg). Senior center Cass Matheus (6-10, 235) is the third Aggie averaging double figures in scoring (13.3 ppg) and is second in rebounding (7.0 rpg). Senior guard David Pak leads USU in assists (3.7 apg).

Comparing The Numbers

Utah Utah St. Record 3-0 2-1 Streak Won 3 Won 1 Scoring 69.0 77.7 Scoring Defense 57.0 64.0 FG% .479 .554 FG% Defense .409 .382 3-Pt. FG% .404 .340 3-Pt. FG% Def. .320 .318 FT% .686 .633 Rebound Margin +3.3 +9.3 Assists 14.7 18.7 Turnovers 15.7 14.7 Opp. Turnovers 15.3 14.0 Steals 8.3 5.3 Blocked Shots 2.3 1.3

Head Coach Stew Morrill
Stew Morrill is in his eighth season at the helm of the Utah State basketball program with a 169-55 record. Morrill is 387-193 in 20 years as a head coach.

Morrill directed the Aggies to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in six years in 2005. He led the Aggies to their first NCAA Tournament win in 31 years in 2001 as USU defeated Ohio State 77-68 in the first round.

Morrill was the head coach at Colorado State for seven seasons before taking over at Utah State, recording a 121-86 record (1991-98). Prior to his stint at CSU, Morrill spent five seasons as the head coach at Montana (1987-91), where he went 97-52. He has been involved in postseason action eight times.

Second year Ute assistant coach Randy Rahe was an assistant coach for 13 years under Morrill at Colorado State (1991-98) and Utah State (1998-2004).

Utah vs. Utah State Series Notes
• Utah and Utah State meet for the 218th time on Wednesday night. The Aggies are the Utes' second-oldest rival behind BYU (239 meetings). Utah leads the all-time series 127-90.

• The Aggies won 71-45 last season on Dec. 4 in Logan, Utah. It was Utah State's fourth home win in a row over the Utes

• Utah State has won four of the last five and five of the last seven games against the Utes. Before then, the Utes had won five in a row dating back to 1993-94.

• The Utes have a 77-33 advantage in games played in Salt Lake City. In their last meeting in the Huntsman Center, the U. won 56-45 on Dec. 3, 2003. Utah State's last win in Salt Lake City was 78-65 on Nov. 23, 2001.

Ray Giacoletti is 0-1 against Utah State.

• Stew Morrill is 10-11 against Utah all-time, including a 5-2 record while at Utah State.

• Utah has a 171-95 (.643) all-time record against the Big West Conference, including a 110-35 (.759) mark in home games.

Last Meeting
Spencer Nelson scored 21 points as Utah State beat Utah 71-45 in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum last season on Dec. 4.

Andrew Bogut and Marc Jackson both led Utah in scoring with 15 points. Jackson, who made 3-of-4 shots from behind the three-point arc in the first half, was held to only two points in the second half.

Nate Harris added 20 points on 9-for-12 shooting and Jaycee Carroll had 18 points for USU.

The game was tight until Carroll scored seven straight points on three shots to give USU a 15-point edge at the 12:08 mark of the second half. Carroll shot one basket from well outside the three-point arc as the clock expired, giving USU the first double-digit lead of the game.

USU's offense was able to draw the 7-foot Bogut away from the basket in the second half, giving Nelson and Harris seven layups.

Utah State shot 82 percent from the field in the second half and 65 percent for the game, a season-high by a Ute opponent. while Utah shot 41 percent in the game for a season-low 45 points.

USU scored first in a defense-dominated first half, but the Utes led most of the way until an 8-2 run late in the half by the Aggies pushed them to a 32-28 halftime edge.

Harris dropped in a two-foot jump shot at the 6:30 mark to give the lead to USU for good at 22-21. A steal by Nelson gave teammate David Pak a breakaway layup, and a lob to Harris then stretched USU's lead to 26-21.

The Old Oquirrh Bucket
Wednesday night's game continues Utah's campaign for the Old Oquirrh Bucket in 2005-06. Named after the Oquirrh Mountains to the west of Salt Lake City, the Old Oquirrh Bucket is the symbol of in-state basketball supremacy in Utah. The trophy is awarded every year to the in-state college team (Utah, BYU, Southern Utah, Utah State, UVSC and Weber State) which has the best win-loss record against in-state competition.

Utah has won the Old Oquirrh Bucket 13 times since its inception in 1974-75. Utah State earned the trophy for the 2005-06 season.

So far this season, Utah is 1-0, BYU is 1-0, Southern Utah is 0-1 and Weber State is 0-1.

Markson Makes His Mark
Senior forward Bryant Markson (6-7, 198) is a pre-season all-Mountain West Conference pick. Markson leads the Utes in scoring (16.7 ppg) and is second in rebounds (4.7 rpg). Markson has reached double figures in scoring in nine of the last 10 games dating back to last season, including all three games this year.

• Against Weber State, Markson had his 29th career double-figure scoring game. Markson bounced back after going scoreless in the first 31 minutes to score 14 points the rest of the way, including five of Utah's seven points in overtime. He also had a game-high seven rebounds and two assists in 41 minutes against Weber State.

• Markson had a season-high 19 points (8-14 FG, 3-5 FT) against Texas State in the opener.

Noting The Newcomers
Utah's roster includes one redshirt freshman and five first-year players. Through three games, 52.7 percent of the Utes' points and 43.0 percent of their rebounds have come from first-year players. Here's a look at how some of the newcomers have performed so far this season and their credentials coming in.

• Sophomore guard Johnnie Bryant (6-0, 190) had a game-high 21 points against both Texas State in the season opener and Weber State last Saturday night. Against Weber State, Bryant shot 7-for-12 from the field, 4-for-6 from three-point range and 3-for-5 at the line in 35 minutes. Bryant joined the Utes last December after earning his associate's degree. As a first team all-conference pick at San Francisco City College in 2003-04, the Oakland native averaged 15 points and four assists per game.

• Redshirt freshman center Luke Nevill (7-1, 250) is averaging 9.0 points and a team-best 5.0 rebounds after three games. He had his first double-figure scoring game with 12 points (5-8 FG, 2-4 FT), four rebounds and two blocked shots against Weber State last Saturday. The native of Perth, Australia, lived in Marietta, Ga., and attended Kell High School as an exchange student in 2003-04. Nevill averaged 17.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocked shots and 2.5 assists per game at Kell. He earned honorable mention all-state and second team all-region honors.

Getting Defensive
One of the trademarks of Utah basketball has been a stifling half-court defense. Since the 1989-90 season, Utah has finished in the top 30 in the nation 13 times in scoring defense, 11 times in rebound margin, eight times in field goal percentage defense and nine times in scoring margin.

• In the final 2004-05 NCAA statistical rankings, Utah ranked third in rebound margin (+10.5 rpg), seventh in scoring defense (57.3 ppg), 17th in scoring margin (+10.7 ppg) and second in fewest personal fouls per game (14.5).

• Through three games this season, Ute opponents have averaged 57.0 points per game while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 32.0 percent from three-point range.

• The Runnin' Utes have not allowed an opponent to score 80 points in 165 consecutive games that have ended in regulation. The last team to score 80 points on the Utes in a 40-minute game was Wyoming (88) on Feb. 28, 2000 in Laramie, Wyo.

• Including this season, the U. held 22 of its last 27 opponents to 60 points or less. The only team to tally over 60 points against Utah this season was Weber State, which scored 62 in an overtime game on Saturday. The Utes held the Wildcats to 55 points in regulation.

• None of Utah's three opponents this season has shot over 42 percent from the field. Utah allowed just five opponents to shoot at least 50 percent from the field in 2004-05: Washington (53.4 in a loss), Utah State (65.0 in a loss), Cal Poly (54.5 in a win), BYU on Feb. 26 (50.0 in a win), and Kentucky (61.5 in a loss).

• Utah was outrebounded by Texas State 33-32 in the season opener. Since then the Utes have posted advantages of 33-27 over Rhode Island and 35-30 over Weber State. The Utes outrebounded the opposition in 31 of the 35 games during the 2004-05 season--including 25 in a row before being equalled by Kentucky in the final game. The Utes are 31-4 in games they have matched or surpassed the effort of their opponents on the glass in two seasons under Ray Giacoletti.

Tough At Home In The Huntsman Center
Utah is 228-19 (.923) in the Huntsman Center over the past 17 seasons and has never lost back-to-back home games. The Utes were 16-0 at home in 2004-05 to record one of seven undefeated seasons in the 36-year history of the Huntsman Center.

• The Runnin' Utes are riding a 19-game home winning streak that ranks as the sixth-longest in NCAA Division I.

• Utah has captured 50 of its last 52 games at home. Its two losses during that stretch were to Colorado State on March 6, 2003, ending a 16-game home winning streak, and a 59-57 loss to Air Force on Feb. 21, terminating a string of 15 consecutive home wins.

• Dating back to the 1993-94 season, the Utes have won 167 of their last 178 games in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

• Utah has won 35 consecutive nonconference games in the Huntsman Center, last falling to Utah State (78-65) on Nov. 23, 2001.

• In conference home games over the last 11 years, Utah is 78-4 (.951). That winning percentage ranks first in the nation over that period, just ahead of Kansas which is 81-5 (.941).



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