Oh, so Sweet: Utes reach round of 16 with upset of Sooners

first_imgTUCSON, Ariz. — Andrew Bogut had just finished his interview with CBS-TV and came running up the tunnel beneath the McKale Center. As he approached a phalanx of media types camped outside the Ute locker room, the big Aussie exclaimed, “Sweet 16, put that in the paper,” before disappearing to join his teammates in celebration.Don’t worry, Andrew. We will.The Utes are indeed headed to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998, thanks to a 67-58 victory over Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon. They’ll face old nemesis Kentucky on Friday in Austin, Texas.Utah accomplished the challenging task in most unlikely fashion.They committed 20 turnovers compared to just seven for the Sooners and only got 10 points, the lowest output total of the season, from Bogut, their all-American center. But thanks to a long list of excellent things the Utes did Saturday, they’ve advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time since 1990 and 17th time in school history. Sophomore forward Justin Hawkins had a career game, scoring 20 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Marc Jackson had another stellar defensive performance as well as a hot shooting night with 4-of-5 3-pointers for 17 points. Bryant Markson scored 16 points, mostly on an array of rousing dunks. Bogut dished out a season-high seven assists as he consistently found teammates open for easy shots. Utah shot 59.5 percent from the field and held Oklahoma to 31.8 percent. “It’s the happiest day I’ve had in coaching,” said Utah first-year coach Ray Giacoletti. “I’m so proud of these guys. Probably only 20 people believed, but it was the right 20.””You can’t really explain the feeling you have,” said Jackson. “It’s one of those things that doesn’t come along very often. I’m excited to be playing for another week.”The Utes came into the game as underdogs — the No. 6 seed in the regional compared to No. 3 for Oklahoma. The day before, Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson had said seedings didn’t matter at this point of the tournament. He also said whichever team shot best would win.Sampson proved to be a prophet.Right from the start, the Utes were hitting their shots and the Sooners were clanking theirs.Utah hit its first five shots, while Oklahoma missed seven straight after making its first shot. Before the crowd even settled into their seats, it was 13-2 Utah, reminiscent of the Utah-North Carolina semifinal game in 1998 when the Utes jumped out to a 15-2 lead en route to a 65-59 victory.”I think how you start is what kind of day you’re going to have,” said Giacoletti. “A poor start would not have shown well for us tonight.”The Utes came out of the chute as fast as they have all season. They had jumped ahead of Wyoming 16-0, but that took nearly 10 minutes of the game.On the first possession of the game, Tim Drisdom hit Markson on a backdoor play that had been drawn up in the locker room. Then Jackson sank 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, as many 3s in a minute as he’d hit in the previous three games combined.Jackson’s first 3 came under pressure with the shot clock running down, and it actually banked in.”I gave them a shot fake and got it off,” Jackson said. “The bank was open, I guess.”Hawkins then scored off a pass from Jackson, and Markson sank a 3-pointer from the right corner. Just like that it was 13-2.At that point, you’d think the Utes might try to bury the opponent with the loose play they exhibited, but they got into their careful mode and turned the ball over on six of eight possessions, allowing the Sooners back in the game.It was still 20-12 when the slippery-fingered Utes made four more turnovers to let Oklahoma pull within four at 20-16.But Hawkins scored six points, Markson tipped in a miss and Jackson sank a pair of free throws and the Utes took a 30-21 lead into halftime.Amazingly, Bogut scored only two first-half points — in fact, he only took three shots, including a 3-pointer in the final seconds. On the way to the locker room, Giacoletti promised his center more touches in the second half, to which Bogut replied, “I don’t care, we’re up by nine.”The Utes failed on their first three possessions of the second half, but Jackson scored eight quick points, a pair of 3-pointers and a pair of free throws to stake the Utes to a 40-27 lead.”All week long my shot has been feeling pretty good, even when they weren’t dropping,” Jackson said. “But today it started going in.”The Ute lead got as high as 15 at 44-29, but after a five-minute delay for the false fire alarm, the Utes fell back in their turnover mode with four straight without a shot, while the Sooners scored eight straight points.Then Mr. Bogut went to work.He hit a pair of free throws to put the Utes back up by nine, then fed Hawkins for a dunk. Then he hit Markson for back-to-back dunks and followed with a left-handed hook of his own to push the lead to 55-42 with 5:12 left.After an Oklahoma timeout, Bogut hit Richard Chaney for still another dunk, giving Bogut four points and four assists on six straight Utah baskets.The Utes missed four free throws (they were only 18 of 28 on the day) in the final two minutes to allow the Sooners to cut the final margin to nine.As Drisdom held the ball near midcourt, the Ute coaches did a group hug and the celebration started.Oklahoma was led by Taj Gray, who scored 19 points, and Terrell Everett with 16. Drew Lavender, who had led the team in its first-round win over Niagara with 17 points, was held to three points by Jackson, who covered him most of the game. “It was one of those days,” Sampson said. “I thought we were good enough to win this game, but Utah played better. The problem is that in the NCAA tournament you don’t get any do-overs.” Game at a glance: Utah 67, Oklahoma 5 E-mail: sor@desnews.com Related Bogut shows value without scoringlast_img read more

Owen wins Utah Pro Championship

first_imgWENDOVER — Old Mill assistant pro Mark Owen captured the 2007 Utah PGA Professional Championship Wednesday at Toana Vista Golf Course, winning a sudden-death playoff with Kim Thompson.Owen and Thompson both finished with scores of 69-67—138 in the 36-hole event, but Owen birdied the first extra hole to claim the $3,500 first prize. Thompson won the Senior title by seven shots over Mike Borich, while Reid Goodliffe won the Super Seniors by one shot over Wayne Volk.Willow Creek head pro Eric Nielsen finished third overall at 140, followed by first-round leader Jeff Green and Ryan Rhees at 141.In all, 82 golfers competed in the tournament formerly called the Utah PGA Section Championship.Owen, Thompson, Green, Rhees and Nielsen will represent Utah at the PNC Championship at Reynolds Plantation Golf Course in Greensboro, Ga., in June.last_img read more

Utah Utes football: Win at Oregon helped Utah finish with top-10 ranking

first_img Running up the score is a necessity Related Fifteen years ago tomorrow, an unheralded, underdog Utah football team went into Eugene, Ore., and emerged with a shocking 34-16 victory. It was a defining win for the Utes in what turned out to be a watershed season of sorts for both programs.The Utes went on to finish with a 10-2 record, their first 10-win season in history, including a victory in the Freedom Bowl.The Ducks overcame that loss and went on to win their first Pac-10 title in 37 years with a resulting appearance in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1958. In the final AP rankings, Utah was ranked No. 10 and Oregon No. 11.Since then, both programs have probably enjoyed more success than they achieved in the entire previous century of football.Before 1994, losing seasons were almost as common as winning seasons for both programs, as Oregon compiled an overall winning percentage of just 51.4, while Utah won only 56.5 percent of its games. In the 30 years leading up to 1994, the Utes had just 12 winning seasons, while the Ducks had only nine.Since 1994, however, it’s been a different story. Oregon has had just one losing season since ’94, while Utah has just two. Oregon has gone to 13 bowl games, winning six, while Utah has gone to 10 bowl games and won nine of them. Amazingly, the two programs have nearly identical records over the last 15 years, with Utah going 125-55 and Oregon 125-59.When the two schools tangle on Saturday afternoon (1:30 p.m. MDT) on the third weekend of September, just as they did in 1994, Utah goes in with a 2-0 record and Oregon is 1-1, just as they were in 1994.However, there also are a lot of differences.Besides the fact that neither was thought of as a national program back then, there wasn’t much interest in the game. A crowd of just 25,358 showed up on a perfect afternoon. Back then, Aut?zen Stadium held 42,000 — 12,000 fewer than today’s capacity, which was increased with a $90 million renovation in 2002. This game will be the 61st straight sellout with a crowd in excess of 55,000.This year’s game will be televised nationally on ESPN. Back then, it was not televised live, with a replay shown on something called Prime Sports Network two nights later.The ’94 Utes had a senior-laden team led by quarterback Mike McCoy and defensive tackle Luther Elliss. They came into that Sept. 17 game having beaten Utah State in Logan and Idaho State 66-0 the week before. Oregon, meanwhile, was coming off a loss in Hawaii after an opening win over Portland State.Utah got off to a fast start, taking the opening kickoff and going 80 yards in 11 plays, with Juan Johnson going the final two yards for a touchdown. However, two Ute turnovers led to a pair of Duck scores, a field goal and a touchdown, to give Oregon the momentum at 10-7.The game turned late in the first half on a gutsy call by the Utes. They set up for a 26-yard field goal, but holder Jason Jones stood up and bulled his way up the middle for a 9-yard touchdown run. Then, just before the half, Kareem Leary intercepted a Duck pass and went 38 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-10 at halftime.Oregon cut the lead to 21-16 early in the third quarter and held the Utes to just five yards on three possessions. But the Ducks missed a pair of long field goals and Utah scored late in the third quarter on a pass from McCoy to Deron Claiborne and added a fourth-quarter TD on a pass from McCoy to Robert Hamilton.Ute coach Kyle Whittingham was in his first year as a Utah assistant and, of course, his memory of the game centers on the defense, particularly the defensive line, which he coached.”We played well that game, particularly on defense,” Whittingham said. “We had a great front with Luther Elliss, Henry Kaufusi and Bronzell Miller. It was a day the defense played very well and we came out with a win.”Since that pivotal game in 1994, the Utes and Ducks have met four times, with Oregon winning three times, including both games in Eugene. In 1997, the Ducks had little trouble in a 31-13 victory, and in 2001, Oregon won 24-10. The Utes came back to win in 2003, 17-13 at home, with Alex Smith leading the way.This Saturday, the Utes will be trying to duplicate their stunning 1994 win and perhaps catapult them to another outstanding season.Utes on the airNo. 16 Utah (2-0)at Oregon (1-1)Saturday, 1:30 p.m., MTTV: ESPNRadio: 700AMe-mail: sor@desnews.comcenter_img Oregon’s offense a puzzlelast_img read more

Nationwide Tour: Michael Putnam earns first pro win at Utah Championship

first_imgSANDY — When Michael Putnam played in his first professional tournament fresh out of Pepperdine University in 2005, he almost won the PGA Tour’s Hartford Open before finishing fourth.How hard can this be, he thought at the time.However, it took more than five years for Putnam to win his first professional event and it happened Sunday at Willow Creek Country Club, where he took a three-shot victory in the Nationwide Tour’s Utah Championship.”I thought it would come quicker than this, but I’m just glad it came,” said the 27-year-old Putnam, whose final-round 67 gave him a four-day total of 18-under-par 266. “This is special for a lot of reasons.”One of the biggest reasons is that his wife, Christina, is expecting the couple’s first child in just six weeks. And by winning Sunday, Putnam virtually assured himself a spot on next year’s PGA Tour and earned a little financial stability.”This helps out a lot,” he said of the $99,000 first prize, which helped him jump from No. 47 on the Nationwide money list to No. 15 with $191,747. “It’s huge. It takes a load off.”Putnam had gone into Sunday’s round a shot behind New Zealander Bradley Iles, but took control on the front nine with four birdies in a five-hole stretch, then got an inadvertent assist from a photographer on the 11th hole to save at least one shot.Neither Iles nor Argentine Jhonattan Vegas could make enough birdies on the back nine and both finished three strokes back at 269. Jeff Gove and Brandt Jobe tied for fourth at 270.Now for the photographer’s assist.Putnam was leading by two shots at the time when he bladed his sand shot over the green to where freelance photographer Doug Pizac was sitting on a hill to the side of the green. The ball bounced once and hit Pizac right in the chest, then bounced back toward the green.”I kind of bladed it,” said Putnam, who estimated it would have landed 25 feet off the green. “Instead I was only six feet off the green. It was a lot easier to get that up and down.””He came up and thanked me and I said, ‘I’m glad it wasn’t a wood,”‘ said Pizac.Asked if Pizac deserved some of his large paycheck, Putnam smiled and said, “I might owe him something.”Putnam’s bogey left him one up on Iles and Vegas, but he extended his lead back to two with a birdie at No. 12. After Iles bogeyed No. 13 and Vegas bogeyed No. 16, Putnam had a three-shot lead and just needed to par out.So when did he know he had his first professional victory in hand?”Not until I hit my tee shot in the middle of the green at 18,” he said.Isles received $48,400 for his tie for second, his best finish ever on the Nationwide Tour, and moved within striking distance of the Top 25 at No. 33.”I didn’t hit it very well today and Michael played great,” he said. “My short game couldn’t quite save how bad my long game was today.”Sandy’s Steve Schneiter, who started the day in a tie for seventh place, double bogeyed the second hole, but hung on to post a 73, which left him in a tie for 24th place at 278. By finishing among the top 25, he gets an exemption into this week’s Nationwide event in Boise.Nationwide regular Daniel Summerhays of Farmington, birdied the final two holes for a final-round 68 and finished in a tie for 34th place at 279. He earned $2,970 and fell slightly on the money list to No. 17 with $182,692. With six tournaments left, Summerhays is getting closer to making the approximate $200,000 needed to finish in the top 25 and assure himself of a spot on the PGA Tour next year.Chris Kirk, the Nationwide Tour’s leading money-winner, who led the tournament after the first day, shot a 69 and finished in a tie for 17th at 277.As for Putnam, as much as he loved winning his first tournament in Utah, hopes he doesn’t come back soon. That would mean he’s doing well enough on the PGA Tour, not to return to the Nationwide Tour.”I’ve had some pretty rough times in the last year and a half,” he said. “I’ve been beaten down a little bit since then, but now I’m on my way back up.”e-mail: sor@desnews.comlast_img read more

Utah Jazz notebook: Jamaal Tinsley assists Jazz win in a big way, starts for Mo Williams

first_imgSALT LAKE CITY — Jamaal Tinsley usually has a pre-game exercise routine, but he was told “not to do a lot” before Saturday night’s game with Phoenix. It turned out that starting point guard Mo Williams was a late scratch because of a strained muscle in his thigh, putting Tinsley in the starting point guard spot.As it turned out, Tinsley did a lot in the 94-81 victory as he dished out 14 assists — his best total in five seasons — and directed a Jazz offense that got the ball into the big men better than in any previous game.“I thought he was great,’’ said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. “It’s difficult and people don’t understand how when somebody goes down and you actually start and play the minutes… he got us into the stuff we needed to get into.’’Tinsley, a nine-year NBA veteran, said it wasn’t a big deal to suddenly be on the floor 41 minutes instead of the 10 or 15 that he’s usually plays with the Jazz.“I’m used to it,’’ he said. “Whatever they need from me I try to go out and do my best and play hard. I try to stay ready and control what you can control.’’Tinsely didn’t score a point on the night, but had six assists in the first quarter when the Jazz ran out to a 10-point lead and had 10 assists by half. That’s more than Williams has had in an entire game this year. Tinsley picked up two more assists in the third quarter and then had two down the stretch to Al Jefferson to help put the game away.“I had the opportunity to play more minutes,’’ Tinsley said. “It always feels good to win a game, whether I have two or three assists.’’Tinsley will likely go back to the bench when Williams returns to the lineup, but Corbin is glad he can count on his veteran point guard.“I just respect his professionalism,’’ Corbin said. “Of all the time he’s been here, he has always been ready when we have called on him and he has done everything we have asked him to do and I really appreciate that.’’ROAD TRIP: The Jazz are 0-4 on the road this year and now they embark on a week-long road trip with four games in six days, beginning Monday in Toronto. From there, the Jazz go to Boston Wednesday, Philadelphia Friday and Washington Saturday.Corbin gets tired of talking about the Jazz road woes, but he says they need to start playing like they do at home.“This is what we need,’’ said. “We have to transfer our effort at home on the road and do it for 48 minutes. We’ve talked about it and talked about it and now we have to go out and do it. We’ve talked about it enough.’’Beisides this week, the Jazz have two other four-games-in-six days road trips — one the week before Christmas and the other in the second week of March.HONORING VETS: With Veterans Day on Sunday, the Jazz celebrated Saturday night with Military Appreciation Night. The Jazz had donated numerous tickets to active military and veterans and honored several service members during timeouts. Before the game, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Myers sang the national anthem with the Hill Air Force Base Honor Guard presenting the colors. At halftime, the BYU Air Force ROTC drill team performed. Between the third and fourth quarters, anyone who had served in the military was asked to stand and be recognized.JAZZ NOTES: Mo Williams sat on the bench near the coaches nattily dressed in a gray suit with a light purple shirt and purple tie. He also was wearing some of those black-rimmed glasses that are so popular with NBA players off the court, although it looked like they had actual glass in them . . . At the end of the first half, Goran Dragic was whistled for a technical foul for apparently saying something to an official. So the second half started with, Gordon Hayward shooting a free throw for the Jazz. Alas, he missed . . . Randy Foye, who played so well in the home win earlier in the week when he made five 3-pointers against the Lakers, couldn’t hit a thing Saturday. Foye finished 0 for 7 from the field, including 0 for 4 from 3-point range . . . The Jazz made just two of 14 3-pointers on the night for 14.3 percent.last_img read more

No. 25 Utes face tough task against No. 16 Aztecs Tuesday afternoon

first_imgThey’re ranked in the top 20 for a reason. They’ve got an incredible athletic team. They’ve got one of the best basketball environments in college basketball in the country. – Utah coach Larry KrystkowiakSALT LAKE CITY — After tipping off the season with a 90-72 home win over Ball State over the weekend, things get tough in a hurry for the Utah basketball team, which faces No. 16 San Diego State Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. MST in San DiegoThe game at Viejas Arena is part of ESPN’s Tip-off Marathon, which features continuous games on the TV channel over a 24-hour period, ending Tuesday night.The No. 25-ranked Utes did a lot of good things in Friday’s opener, which saw 12 players seeing action, 11 in the first half alone and eight players scoring. Junior Brandon Taylor led the way with 19 points, while junior Jordan Loveridge and freshman big man Jakob Poeltl each scored 18 and senior Delon Wright had 13 points and eight assists.However, the Utes couldn’t put the Cardinals away until the final five minutes, and they’ll face a much tougher task against the Aztecs.“They’re a really good team,’’ said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak. “They’re ranked in the top 20 for a reason. They’ve got an incredible athletic team. They’ve got one of the best basketball environments in college basketball in the country.”Specifically, Krystkowiak said the Utes will need to improve their ball-handling (14 turnovers against Ball State Friday) and rebounding (nine offensive boards for Ball State).“They’re without a doubt the best rebounding team I will have seen in college basketball,’’ Krystkowiak said of SDSU. “They send a lot of guys and get a lot of easy second shots. Their defense is really solid. They have a number of different three-quarter court, full court, half-court trapping looks that make it hard.“The focus for us is going to be taking care of the basketball in a hostile environment, and we really have to limit the number of second shots that they get and then we’ll have a chance.’’Wright echoed his coach, saying, “We have to rebound, make free throws and just take care of the ball. I know their crowd will be crazy, and it will be a tough game.San Diego State opened with a 79-59 win over Cal State Northridge Friday night. Former Ute player J.J. O’Brien has been a three-year starter for SDSU and had 13 points and seven rebounds in the opener. Other starters for the Aztecs include junior forward Winston Shepard, senior forward Dwayne Polee, junior center Skylar Spencer and freshman guard Trey Kell. Ageel Quinn, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, came off the bench to lead the Aztecs in scoring Friday with 15 points.After Tuesday’s game, the Utes will return home to play UC Riverside Friday night at the Huntsman Center.GAME NOTES: The Utes are 53-18 all-time against the Aztecs. The last game between the two schools was a 64-50 loss in the MWC tournament in 2011. The last game in San Diego was an 85-53 Ute loss, also in 2011. … The Aztecs have won five straight against the Utes and the last five in San Diego dating back to 2006. … Delon Wright has been named to the John Wooden Award watch list after previously being named to the Cousy Award watch list. Utes hold steady at No. 25 in AP men’s basketball poll Utes determined to send seniors off the right waycenter_img Relatedlast_img read more

Utah’s Tony Finau caps off season with tie for seventh at Tour Championship

first_imgUtah’s Tony Finau capped off an outstanding golf season on the PGA Tour with a tie for seventh place at the Tour Championship in Atlanta Sunday.The Salt Lake native shot a final-round 66 at East Lake CC, the second-best score of the day in the 30-golfer field, and moved up eight spots into a tie with Jorday Spieth and Jon Rahm at 7-under-par 273, five shots behind winner Xander Schaufele.His $280,000 paycheck increased his earnings to $2,838,629 for the year, and he moved from 24th to 19th in the FedEx Cup standings. By finishing in the top 30 this season, Finau will be eligible for virtually all PGA Tour events next year, including all four majors.The 28-year-old Finau has just completed his third full season on the PGA Tour and has career earnings of $6,756,565. This season he ranked No. 10 on the Tour in driving distance at 309.2 yards.last_img read more

Utah Jazz get a second chance at T-Wolves in Minnesota Wednesday

first_imgMINNEAPOLIS — After losing to Minnesota Monday night for their first home loss of the season, several Utah Jazz players as well as their coach were asked if it is good they are playing the T-Wolves again Wednesday night (6 p.m. Target Center).Most said it didn’t matter who they were playing. They said they just have to right their own ship after suffering their second straight loss, a 10-point setback following a one-point loss in Memphis three days earlier.“We need to continue to get better and the goal is if there’s games like tonight we have to learn from them and be better,” said coach Quin Snyder. “This team has done that, but we obviously have to play better individually and collectively. If our focus goes there, we’ll have an opportunity to win that one (Wednesday).” “We need to continue to get better and the goal is if there’s games like tonight we have to learn from them and be better.” – Utah Jazz coach Quin SnyderNot that it matters much at this point of the season, but the T-Wolves moved within a half game of the 8-5 Jazz at 8-6 in the Northwest Division standings and can pass the Jazz with a victory Wednesday. Denver leads the division at 9-3.What made the 112-102 loss even more disappointing is that Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota’s second-leading scorer at 25.9 points per game and already a frontrunner for the NBA’s Most Improved Player, missed the game with an undisclosed illness. He didn’t travel with the team and his availability for Wednesday is uncertain. But if he plays, it will be even more difficult to pick up a victory at the Target Center.Of the Jazz starters, Rudy Gobert had the best outing Monday night. The big center had 16 points and 14 rebounds as he made 5 of 8 field goals and 6 of 7 free throws.“We need to watch film and see what we can do better,” he said afterward. “There’s a lot we can do better. We have to play for each other and do those things that make us very hard to guard. We have so much talent on this team and we don’t want to waste that. We have to keep working.”One of Utah’s problems Monday night was poor shot selection as the Jazz finished at just 36.5%, their second-worst outing of the season.Donovan Mitchell, who is having a terrific season, had an abysmal shooting night, making only 5 of 24 field goals, while Bojan Bogdanovic was 7 of 17, Joe Ingles was 4 of 12, Jeff Green was 2 of 8 and Mike Conley was 6 of 14. “We started to do it individually instead of moving the ball,” Mitchell said. “I took some terrible shots. Offense is what hurt us today.”The Jazz are also being hurt by a lack of production off the bench.They were happy to get Dante Exum back Monday and his presence should help going forward, but he looked a bit rusty in getting rejected at the rim a couple of times Monday. Green and Ingles didn’t shoot well and Emmanuel Mudiay had just four points and two turnovers. The Jazz are especially hurting in the middle, where they had Derrick Favors and Ekpe Udoh last season. Ed Davis is out with an injury and Tony Bradley didn’t leave the bench Monday after a couple of rough outings.Snyder understands his team won’t always play well, but he’s been happy with the effort.“Tonight we didn’t play well,” he said. “You’d like to be able to learn while you’re winning. We have to get better as a team and connect better. One thing we’ve done every night is we’ve competed. We competed tonight, but we’ve got to play better.” JAZZ NOTES: Karl-Anthony Towns was the biggest problem for Utah Monday as he scored 29 points, including 7 of 14 from 3-point range and pulled down 13 rebounds. … The other starters were Jeff Teague (21 points, 11 assists), Robert Covington (15 points), Jake Layman (6) and Treveon Graham (0). Kelan Martin scored 14 points off the bench and Josh Okogie added 11. … Utah is tied for fifth in the Western Conference standings, just ahead of Minnesota. … After Wednesday’s game, the Jazz return home to play back-to-back home games against Golden State Friday and New Orleans Saturday. … The Jazz will play the T-Wolves again in Minneapolis on Dec. 11 and in Salt Lake on March 20.last_img read more

Utes’ only senior, Marc Reininger, finally gets some extended minutes during Colorado loss

first_img Colorado head coach Tad Boyle directs his team against Utah in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. David Zalubowski, AP Colorado guard Tyler Bey, top, hangs from the rim after dunking over Utah forward Timmy Allen in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado guard Tyler Bey, center, pulls in a rebound between Utah center Lahat Thioune, left, and forward Timmy Allen in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. “He’ll screen, the first time he had an opportunity to screen, we got a bucket,” said Krystkowiak, “He’s bigger and stronger but he’s not exactly game-ready. He’s been out for a long time but I give Mark a lot of credit for banging and bringing that physicality.” With the Utes young and thin inside, Reininger may be called on for more duty as the season rolls along. Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak calls for a timeout in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Colorado, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado forward Evan Battey, left, passes the ball as Utah forward Mikael Jantunen defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. David Zalubowski, AP David Zalubowski, AP Colorado guard Daylen Kountz, right, drives to the basket as Utah guard Alfonso Plummer, left, and forward Riley Battin defend in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado forward Evan Battey, front, drives to the basket as Utah center Branden Carlson defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. David Zalubowski, AP David Zalubowski, AP Colorado head coach Tad Boyle directs his team against Utah in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado guard McKinley Wright IV reacts after hitting a three-point basket against Utah in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Utah center Lahat Thioune, back, wrestles away a rebound from Colorado forward Evan Battey, front right, as Colorado guard McKinley Wright IV, left, looks on in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Utah forward Timmy Allen, left, passes the ball under defensive pressure from Colorado guard Tyler Bey, back, and guard McKinley Wright IV in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. David Zalubowski, AP Utah center Lahat Thioune, center, fights for control of a rebound with Colorado guard McKinley Wright IV, left, and forward Evan Battey in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Utah forward Timmy Allen, left, passes the ball under defensive pressure from Colorado guard Tyler Bey, back, and guard McKinley Wright IV in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado guard D’Shawn Schwartz, front, looks to pass the ball as Utah forward Timmy Allen defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Utah forward Mikael Jantunen, left, looks to pass the ball as Colorado guard D’Shawn Schwartz defends in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Utah forward Riley Battin, left, prepares to go for a basket as Colorado forward Lucas Siewert and guard Maddox Daniels defend in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak, left, confers with center Lahat Thioune who returns to the bench in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Colorado, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak calls for a timeout in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Colorado, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Utah guard Rylan Jones, left, passes the ball under defensive pressure from Colorado guard D’Shawn Schwartz in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. David Zalubowski, AP Utah center Lahat Thioune, back, wrestles away a rebound from Colorado forward Evan Battey, front right, as Colorado guard McKinley Wright IV, left, looks on in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. David Zalubowski, AP Utah forward Timmy Allen, center, goes up for a basket between Colorado guards D’Shawn Schwartz, back, and Tyler Bey in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo.center_img Utah forward Riley Battin, left, prepares to go for a basket as Colorado forward Lucas Siewert and guard Maddox Daniels defend in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Utah guard Rylan Jones, left, passes the ball under defensive pressure from Colorado guard D’Shawn Schwartz in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Grid View Colorado forward Evan Battey, left, passes the ball as Utah forward Mikael Jantunen defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado guard Eli Parquet, right, drives to the basket past Utah forward Mikael Jantunen in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado guard Tyler Bey, top, hangs from the rim after dunking over Utah forward Timmy Allen in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. David Zalubowski, AP Colorado guard Eli Parquet, right, drives to the basket past Utah forward Mikael Jantunen in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Despite the loss, it was satisfying for Reininger because he’s from Monument, Colorado and he had family and friends on hand. “It’s always a hard gym to play in, because it’s so intense, but it’s fun to play in front of family and friends,” he said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to play.” Reininger ended up playing 11 minutes on the night with a 3-point basket and 1-of-3 from the free throw line and four rebounds. He also made a nice screen when he first entered the game, something his coach took notice of. Colorado guard Tyler Bey, center, pulls in a rebound between Utah center Lahat Thioune, left, and forward Timmy Allen in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. David Zalubowski, AP David Zalubowski, AP David Zalubowski, AP David Zalubowski, AP Utah forward Mikael Jantunen, left, looks to pass the ball as Colorado guard D’Shawn Schwartz defends in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. David Zalubowski, AP BOULDER — During his first three years on the Utah basketball team, Marc Reininger only got into games at the end of blowouts for a couple of minutes at a time. He has been a valuable practice player for the Utes, but this year, as the only senior on the team, he had not played all season because of a serious ankle injury he suffered in July.However, midway through the first half of Sunday’s game against Colorado, Reininger was inserted into the game at the center position and he played his longest stretch of his career, getting four points and four rebounds in eight first-half minutes. He’s only been practicing for two weeks, but he said coach Larry Krystkowiak told him to be ready to play Sunday.“It’s good to be back,” said the 6-foot-9, 230-pounder. “I’m glad the coach put me in and believed in me. I’ve kind of accepted my role in making my team better. Coach puts me in to be physical and rebound, we need that as much as we can get it.” David Zalubowski, AP David Zalubowski, AP Colorado guard D’Shawn Schwartz, front, looks to pass the ball as Utah forward Timmy Allen defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Utah center Lahat Thioune, center, fights for control of a rebound with Colorado guard McKinley Wright IV, left, and forward Evan Battey in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. David Zalubowski, AP David Zalubowski, AP Colorado guard Daylen Kountz, right, drives to the basket as Utah guard Alfonso Plummer, left, and forward Riley Battin defend in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak, left, confers with center Lahat Thioune who returns to the bench in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Colorado, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado guard McKinley Wright IV reacts after hitting a three-point basket against Utah in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Colorado forward Evan Battey, front, drives to the basket as Utah center Branden Carlson defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo. Utah forward Timmy Allen, center, goes up for a basket between Colorado guards D’Shawn Schwartz, back, and Tyler Bey in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Boulder, Colo.last_img read more

Who is Julian Blackmon? Former basketball star made smooth transition from cornerback to safety

first_imgBlackmon tied for the league lead with four interceptions last season, including a 39-yard return for a touchdown against BYU.He was known more for his basketball ability in high school, where he was a first-team all-state player as a senior. He was injured much of his senior season and wasn’t highly recruited, but the Utes saw something special.“He’s a smart kid who does everything we ask, who sets the tempo in the room as an example,” said Scalley. “He has very good range, very good ball skills, and in terms of coaching the kid, he’s everything you want, ‘yes sir, no sir,’ and gets everything done the way you want it done. He’s a leader, no question.” Blackmon didn’t get to participate in drills at the NFL combine because of a noncontact knee injury in the Utes’ Pac-12 championship game against Oregon. But he still showed enough during his Ute career that most draft experts see him going in the fourth or fifth round of the draft. As Utah’s Julian Blackmon transitions from corner to safety, Marcus Williams has some advice for him Julian Blackmon, Terrell Burgess anchoring Utes’ stingy pass defense SALT LAKE CITY — Back when he was a basketball star for Layton High School and winning a state championship, Julian Blackmon probably never dreamed he’d be playing in the NFL some day.But Blackmon may find himself on an NFL roster by the end of the weekend it all goes as expected in this weekend’s NFL draft.The 6-foot-1, 204-pounder was a first-team all-Pac-12 safety this past season, a year after getting all-conference recognition the previous two years as a cornerback.After losing two safeties the previous year, Blackmon was asked to move back to the safety position and he made the transition nicely and now has a chance to take those skills to the NFL. “He’s got the complete package for a safety and he only played it one year,” Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley told the Deseret News. “He’s got range. He’s got ball skills. He’s probably the best tackler that I’ve ever coached, the most efficient tackler that I’ve ever coached. That’s saying something, having come from corner to safety and having to put on 15 pounds.”center_img Related Utah’s Julian Blackmon made smooth transition to safety, next stop is the NFLlast_img read more