View Full Version : Utah Pre-Game stories

12-31-2007, 06:32 AM
GoZags.Com (http://gozags.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/123107aab.html)

Men's Basketball Game Facts
Game No. 14 - Utah
Monday, December 31 - 5 p.m.
McCarthey Athletic Center - Spokane, WA
Radio: News Talk 1510 KGA (Spokane)
Pre-game show 30 minutes prior to tipoff
TV: KHQ-TV (Spokane); FSN (check local listings)

There could be a couple of fans in attendance Monday who might be a little torn as who to root for when Gonzaga University and the University of Utah do battle. Phil and Tom McCarthey have their family name on the 4-year-old Gonzaga arena - the McCarthey Athletic Center - are alumni of the university, Phil is a member of the Board of Trustees and Tom is a member of the Board of Regents. But the duo also has ties to the Runnin' Utes. The McCarthey's owned Salt Lake Tribune Publishing - which included the Salt Lake Tribune - until 1997, are also avid followers of the University of Utah athletic fortunes and are residents of Salt Lake City.

Jeremy Pargo had seven assists against the University of Tennessee to move into a tie for ninth with Dan Dickau on the all-time Gonzaga University list with 299. Matt Santangelo is the all-time leader with 668.
Does that surprise anyone beside me? Here are the assist leaders before the start of the season, from the GU Media Guide:


The Salt Lake Tribune (http://www.sltrib.com/collegesports/ci_7847230)

Ute basketball: Utes meet the Bulldogs tonight
By Michael C. Lewis
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 12/31/2007 12:56:51 AM MST

SPOKANE, Wash. - Maybe next year, Phil and Tom McCarthey will root for the Utes.

But tonight?

"There won't be any question," Phil McCarthey said, "we'll be pulling for Gonzaga."

That the McCartheys have to choose sides when the Utah Utes meet the Bulldogs tonight - in a reunion with former coach Ray Giacoletti, now a Gonzaga assistant - is the result of an unusual twist on college boosterism. Although the brothers who formerly owned The Salt Lake Tribune are among the biggest supporters of the Utes, they also are proud Gonzaga graduates, parents (both sent daughters to the school) and board members who donated millions of dollars to finance the very arena in which the teams will play, the McCarthey Athletic Center.

"We wish Utah very well in everything else," Phil McCarthey said. "But this is our house. We won't be wishing for anybody to come in there and beat us."

Nobody usually does.

So, are the McCarthey brothers the reason for talk of an annual home and home series with the Utes? I don't know, I feel awkward about this game, because of the fact that the Utes fired Coach G. I just can't get up much enthusiasm about the game. Doesn't help to be coming off two losses, though, so maybe that's why I'm tepid.

What else is out there? Okay, this from the Deseret Morning News (http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695240195,00.html):

Utes and Zags will ring out 2007
By Mike Sorensen
Deseret Morning News
Published: Monday, Dec. 31, 2007 12:03 a.m. MST

SPOKANE A couple of short-handed teams square off tonight in what could become an annual New Year's Eve battle.

Utah meets Gonzaga today at 6 p.m. MST at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

Ute coach Jim Boylen said last week that he's trying to get the Utah-Gonzaga game to be an annual New Year's Eve affair. The Utes and Bulldogs are scheduled to play next year at the Huntsman Center on Dec. 31.

"I think it's great," he said. "It's great for basketball, it's great for families to have something to do on New Year's Eve. We're hoping to get this as a standing series where it's something we can do every year."

The fact that Gonzaga is a perennial Top 25 program doesn't scare off Boylen.

"It's a great game for us," he said. "They are a quality program, a top 20 program. It sets up as a good rivalry. We're not to where they are yet as a top 20 program, but we'd like to get there. It's a great opportunity for us."

The Bulldogs started the season ranked No. 14 and stayed in the top 25 until recent back-to-back losses to Oklahoma and Tennessee. They are 9-4 on the season and starting to get back to full strength after being without some of their top players.


"I have a lot or respect for (coach Few), and I think he's one of the best offensive coaches in the country," said Boylen. "It's very intimidating to watch them on film. They're going to put a lot of pressure on our defense. They've got length talent and versatile guys and now they've got depth, so look out. They're going to be tough."

The Utes will be without sophomore Kim Tillie, who is the first frontcourt reserve for the Utes. He suffered a stress fracture of his right leg last week and is expected to be out four to six weeks.

"This is a game where Kim Tillie would have been very valuable," said Boylen.

With Tillie out, the Utes will rely on 6-9 freshman Morgan Grim to be the backup to center Luke Nevill and forward Shaun Green. Players such as Stephen Weigh and Carlon Brown may be forced to play the big forward spot with Tillie out.
So for that reporter, it's "Giacoletti? Giacoletti who?"

12-31-2007, 08:03 AM
This is great for Gonzaga. After coming off a loss they have to quickly adjust to playing a solid team. We'll find out just how well your team responds. I probably already know the answer being it's a Mark Few coached team. We'll see if Heytfelt can continue to get into game shape and this will be another great test for your team before conference season starts.

12-31-2007, 08:28 AM
It's so nice to have a Vol around the house! Thanks for the moral support, TennesseeFan07! But listen to this:

From KUTV.com (http://www.kutv.com/sports/cbaskm/game.aspx?sched=35394):

The once-dominant Bulldogs made good on just 7-of-23 shots from behind the three-point line on Saturday and turned the ball over 18 times in their loss to nationally-ranked Tennessee at Key Arena. Matt Bouldin accounted for a team- high 21 points, leading four players in double figures, while David Pendergraft contributed 12 points and a team-best six rebounds before fouling out. Josh Heytvelt and Austin Daye chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively, for a team that shot just 39.3 percent from the floor. One of three players scoring in double figures at this point in the season for the Zags, Bouldin is credited with 13.3 ppg as a 40-percent shooter from three-point range. Jeremy Pargo, now playing more than 35 minutes per game, accounts for 12.5 ppg, 5.9 apg and 4.2 rpg as one of the most well-rounded performers in the West Coast Conference, although he's also been guilty of nearly four turnovers per game as well. The squad has limited opponents to 38.9 percent shooting from the field and 29.5 percent beyond the arc thus far, resulting in just 63.2 ppg.

For the past several years the Bulldogs have been the dominant force in the WCC, but a semi-rebuilding season has made the canines vulnerable, even at home where they once had the nation's longest-home win streak. As long as the Utes stick to their strengths and Nevill can remain active in the paint, the visitors should be in store for the victory.

So now we're "The once-dominant Bulldogs?" Argh!

12-31-2007, 09:25 AM
It's so nice to have a Vol around the house! Thanks for the moral support, TennesseeFan07! But listen to this:

From KUTV.com (http://www.kutv.com/sports/cbaskm/game.aspx?sched=35394):

So now we're "The once-dominant Bulldogs?" Argh!

That couldn't be further from the truth. By the end of the season you'll once again be ranked in the top 25 and you'll be gelling as a team. I love the depth of this team and the makeup. You'll be scary come March, believe me

12-31-2007, 10:14 AM
Well, TennesseeFan07, this one's for you:

From Jeff Goodman's Weekly Wrap:

SIGNATURE WIN: Tennessee's victory against Gonzaga. The Vols needed this one heading into the SEC slate. JaJuan Smith scored 18 points and also did a nice job defensively on 'Zags star point guard Jeremy Pargo, who made just one field goal. Bruce Pearl's club is 12-1 for the first time in seven years.

Runner-Up: Wisconsin's victory in Austin against Texas.

12-31-2007, 12:14 PM
Well, TennesseeFan07, this one's for you:

From Jeff Goodman's Weekly Wrap:

I'll be the first to say, that when we're on, we're as good as anyone from the nation, but when we're off, we're terrible. You just happened to have caught us when we showed some consistency. A team that consistent, won't do much past the first week in March. At least you guys have yet to peak yet. The better days are ahead, but for my Vols, I don't think we're going to be having any better days.

12-31-2007, 12:16 PM
From the Spokesman-Review, Blanchette's usual nice job....

Content Giacoletti facing former Utah team tonight (http://www.spokesmanreview.com/breaking/story.asp?ID=12984)
John Blanchette
December 31, 2007

It's not that Ray Giacoletti recommends being fired. Who would? It's humiliating, insulting, devastating.
But ...

"For 10 years I had to answer all the questions," said Giacoletti, who took EWU to its first and only NCAA tournament in 2004. "It's nice to step back and work behind the scenes, especially with someone who's not only a good friend but who I respect as much as anybody in college basketball and in a program this special."

It's easy enough to suggest that a man without a job takes what he can get, but this is not such a case.

In fact, a few weeks after his dismissal at Utah, Giacoletti and his wife, Kim, took a seven-day cruise to Mexico "to try to get away and figure it all out." On the last day of the cruise, longtime Gonzaga assistant Bill Grier accepted the head coaching job at San Diego and Few called Giacoletti to offer him Grier's old spot.

"I just wished I'd known the first day of the cruise," he laughed.

By then he'd already said no to two opportunities to return to the game as a head coach.

"I wasn't ready for that," he admitted. "I knew that. Deep down, you can be honest with yourself. I had just been through the most traumatic time in my personal life. I know myself I wasn't ready to go have to tackle that again. That doesn't mean this was any less of an opportunity. To me, this was the best possible situation I could hope for."

Those who witnessed how uncomfortable it was for Few and Giacoletti to coach against one another when Gonzaga played Eastern might have wondered if their friendship would fray a bit with one of them in a subordinate role, but neither of them did.

"I've always had close friends on my staff," said Few, "because the greatest thing you can have is loyalty for one another. You always know that your message or the assistant's message is being backed up, and everybody's in it together."

Giacoletti works with GU's big men, has assumed Grier's emphasis on defense and, of course, will be counted on as a recruiter. He must have some chops in that area the Utes who are 8-3 this season were all brought to Salt Lake City by Giacoletti and his staff.