Remembering Will Hancock
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• Season Statistics
CSU has defeated Utah in consecutive games, and can win three straight for the first time in the series since winning twice in the 2005-06 season, and the first meeting in 2006-07.
The CSU men’s basketball team (14-6, 4-2 MWC) will travel to Salt Lake City to play the Utah Runnin’ Utes (10-10, 3-3 MWC) for the final time at the Huntsman Center as conference opponents. Utah will move to the Pac-10 next season in all sports.
Tip is set for 4 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast live on The Mtn.
The Utes enter Saturday’s matchup riding a three-game winning streak after dropping seven consecutive games to close out non-conference play and open up MWC action. Overall, Utah is 10-10 on the season (3-3 MWC), and plays its best at home, where the Utes are 7-3 on the year.
Junior Will Clyburn leads the Utes’ attack, scoring 18.9 points a game (2nd in MWC), and shooting 43.5 percent from three-point range. He is also the team rebounding leader, and second in the conference, with an average of 8.2 boards per game. Junior guard Josh Watkins also averages double figures (15.3 points; 7th in MWC), and 7-0 sophomore Jason Washburn is the team’s hottest shooter, connecting on 59.0 percent of his shots.
As a team, the Utes rank second in the conference with 37.3 rebound per game, and first in blocked shots (5.2 per game). Center David Foster, a 7-3 junior, leads the conference with 3.0 blocks per game.
The Utes, led by Head Coach Jim Boylen, have just one senior (forward Jay Watkins), but have five juniors on their roster, including Clyburn, an MWC newcomer as a transfer from Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College.
Series vs. the Utes
The rivalry between the Utes and Rams extends back to the 1930s, when the two teams met for the first time in the 1936-37 season. In all, the Rams have played the Utes 144 times, second most among conference foes only to Wyoming. The Utes have a commanding edge in the series (100-44), including on their home court (54-16), but the Rams have the momentum. CSU holds a two-game winning streak over Utah after sweeping the season series last year. Last February, the Rams earned a 15-point road win over the Utes. They followed that up on their home court with a win to secure the No. 5 seed in the conference tournament in the regular-season finale. Since 2005-06 the series is tied 5-5. Since the formation of the MWC in 1999-2000, Utah leads the series 16-8.
Andy Ogide has had great success against the Utes, averaging 14.5 points and seven rebounds in four career games. In each of those contests he has scored in double figures. As a freshman, Dorian Green put up a combined 18 points and eight rebounds in two games, led by 13 in his first meeting against the Utes in Salt Lake City. Also with impressive performances have been Travis Franklin, who scored 16 points in his most recent meeting against Utah, Greg Smith, who has scored 17 points in two career games, and Jesse Carr, who scored 11 points and pulled down three rebounds in his only meeting against the Utes as a true freshman in 2009.
CSU will return home for a Wednesday matchup (7:15 p.m. MT) against NO. 4/4 San Diego State. Despite falling to No. 9 BYU on Wednesday, SDSU is still expected to be the second top 10 opponent to play at Moby Arena in 12 days. The Rams have not defeated the Aztecs since the 2006-07 season.