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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

June 15, 2010 at 6:31 AM

Utah Would Bring a Storied Basketball Program to Pac-10

Nothing is official, but it appears as if Pac-10 plans to expand to 16 teams for the start of the 2012-13 season are dead and the league will likely invite Utah to form a 12-team conference that includes newcomer Colorado.
Last week, we took a look at the Buffaloes basketball program, which has a lackluster hoops history and doesn’t bring a lot to the hardcourt.
This time we examine Utah.
The Utes have a rich basketball tradition. They began play in 1908 and they’re the 12th winningest program (1,651-875) in NCAA history. Utah has made 27 NCAA tournament appearances, which ranks 16th in NCAA history and third among schools on the West Coast trailing UCLA and Arizona.
The Utes have made four trips to the the Final Four (1944, ’61, ’66 and ’98), five to the Elite Eight and 15 to the Sweet 16.
Utah won the NCAA tournament in 1944 and the NIT in 1947.
The Utes have five conference tournament championships and 29 regular season titles. They’ve finished 21 seasons ranked in the top 25.
In the modern era, the Utes enjoyed a sustained period of success under coach Rick Majerus (1989-04) who posted a 323-95 record and guided Utah to the tournament 11 times during his 15-year tenure.
Majerus led the Utes to the 1998 national title game where they lost 78-69 to Kentucky.
After Majerus retired, Utah turned to Ray Giacoletti, who was the head coach at Eastern Washington and a former Washington assistant under Bob Bender. Giacoletti (54-40) remained just three seasons.
In 2007, Utah hired Jim Boylen (56-42) and the Utes have made one NCAA tournament in three years. Last season, they were 14-17 and did not qualify for the postseason.
Utah’s most notable alumni: Tom Chambers (1977-81), Andre Miller (1995-99), Keith Van Horn (1993-97), Andrew Bogut (2003-05) (above, right), Danny Vranes (1977-81), Billy McGill (1959-62), Arnie Ferrin (1943-48), Vern Gardner (1945-49) and Michael Doleac (1994-98).
Utah plays at Jon M. Huntsman Center (above), a 15,000-seat multi-purpose arena on the Salt Lake City campus.
Washington has a 6-5 record against the Utes, including an 83-77 win on Nov. 14, 2007.
Isaiah Thomas shed some light on the bizarre recruitment of Terrence Jones, who spurned the Huskies and chose Kentucky. Thomas told “I wouldn’t have anything to do with a school if I wasn’t going there, but [Jones], on the day before he signed with Kentucky, came up to campus for the whole day. He surprised us and the coaches by showing up with his teammate who might walk on at Washington. [Jones] was chilling with us, he worked out, he hooped, he stayed the night … and I didn’t really ask him about the situation, because I know how recruiting is — everybody asks you questions about it — but then he picked the Wildcats, and we were like, damn.”
— UCLA basketball coach Ben Howland had surgery last Friday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center to repair a ruptured right Achilles’ tendon.
— ESPN’s Andy Katz (below) explains why Texas declined a Pac-10 invitation and how the Big 12 managed to stay together when it appeared as if the conference was doomed.

Comments | Topics: top 25, UCLA


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