Utah Utes



Utah Utes


Utah Utes Stats

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Coach: Craig Smith

Utah Utes

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Utah Utes Summary

The Utah Utes have been playing Division I Men’s Basketball since their inception during the 1908 regular season. In the 114 seasons since, the Utes have been able to dominate as they have an 1855-1042 record (.640 winning percentage) while claiming 30 conference championships, five conference tournaments, 29 NCAA tournaments berths, four Final Four appearances, and one National Championship. 

There has also been a bevy of incredible coaches and players that have gone through the Utah Utes program throughout its history. Today, we are going to highlight some of the pinnacle moments throughout the history of the Utah Utes men’s basketball program and dissect the significant pieces.

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Utah Utes History

The Utah Utes began as an independent program in the 1908 regular season and remained without any conference designation until the 1923 season when they joined the Mountain States Athletic Conference (MSAC).

They remained with the conference until it folded after the 1961 season and joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) prior to the 1962 season. They remained with the conference until the 1999 season when they joined the brand-new Mountain West Conference and stayed for 12 seasons before they were able to join the Pac-12 Conference before the 2011 regular season tipped off. 

Key Stats

The Utah basketball program has been struggling to begin the regular season as they are 8-10 (1-7) and are last in the Pac-12 Conference as of this writing. The program has struggled on the offensive side of the floor as they are 233rd in the nation as they are scoring 70.7 points per game and struggling passing the ball as they are 168th with 13.9 assists per game. 

The rebounding has been their biggest strength as the Utes are 80th with 38.7 rebounds thus far and have to improve. Junior center Branden Carlson has been playing well as he is playing 24.2 minutes and is averaging 13.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 2.1 blocks per game. If the defense can step up, Utah can improve and bounce back in the second half of the regular season.

Championships Won by the Team

The Utes have managed to win a singular National Championship throughout their history. However, we are going to focus on the conference championships in this section. Utah won the Western Division of the 1926 MSAC, 1930, 1931, and 1932. They also were co-champs in 1937, won in 1944, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1959, co-champs in 1960, and won it in 1961 as well.

Utah also won the WAC in 1965, 1976, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1990, 1992, and 1994-1998 as well as winning the conference tournament for the automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament in 1994, 1996, and 1998. As members of the MWC, they won the conference in 1999, 2000, 20002, 2004, and 2008 as well as winning the conference title in 2003 and 2008. Since joining the Pac-12 Conference, they have not won a conference title or a conference tournament throughout their years as a member of the Pac-12. 

Important Team Events

The Utah program has won a singular National Championship way back on March 28, 1944, in the World’s Most Famous Arena: Madison Square Garden as the Utah Utes and the Dartmouth Big Green squared off. It was not a very offensive-driven game as the Big Green held an 18-17 halftime lead. However, coach Vadal Peterson must have said something right in the locker room as they were able to tie the game up at 36 at the end of regulation and brought it to overtime. 

The Utes were able to outscore the Big Green 6-4 during the overtime period to win their first-ever National Championship as Arnold Ferrin led the way for the program. He finished with a game-high 22 points on just 8-of-25 shooting and was the only Utah player to score more than seven points. Unfortunately, that is how far the record books go in terms of statistical output but the Utes were just 16-of-72 (.222) from the floor in the victory despite struggling with their shooting stroke. Let’s hope they make through this years March Madness.

Top Players

One of the top players in the Utes program was guard Andre Miller. He was a member of the program from the 1995-1998 seasons and has averaged 12.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.9 steals in 134 games (99 starts). Miller finished leading the program in total minutes (4,014), steals (254), tied for games played (134), turnovers (364), and assists per game (5.4).   

One of the best single-seasons was from seven-foot forward Andrew Bogut as in the 2004 season he played 35 minutes and averaged 20.4 points, 12.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, one steal, and 1.9 blocks per game on 62 percent from the floor. He leads the program with single-season program records in minutes (1224), offensive rebounds (130), defensive rebounds (297), total rebound percentage (24.2), offensive win shares (6.4), defensive win shares (4.5), total win shares (10.9), and win shares per 40 minutes (.358). 

Top Coaches

The top coach for the Utah Utes has been Vadal Peterson as he was the head coach from 1928-1953 and in those 26 years, he had a record of 385-230 (.626 winning percentage). He managed to win six conference championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances. They made the Final Four during the 1944 NCAA Tournament and won the National Championship as well as that was the program’s first and only championship victory. 

Rick Majerus coached the Utes for 15 years from 1990-2004 and went 323-95 (.773 winning percentage) throughout his tenure. They won 10 conference championships, four conference tournament victories, 11 NCAA Tournaments, and a Final Four appearance as well.

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Utah Utes Stats FAQs

Which program has the Utah Utes defeated the most?

The Utes defeated the New Mexico Lobos 80 times throughout the history of the program.

How many weeks have the Utes been ranked in the AP Poll?

Utah has been ranked 239 total weeks in the history of the program as well as nine times in the preseason and 21 times to conclude a season.

How many All-American players have been with the Utah Utes?

12 different players have won a total of 17 All-American awards as Dick Romney (1916), Bill Kinner (1936), Arnold Ferrin (1945), Billy McGill (1962), Keith Van Horn (1997), Andre Miller (1999), and Andrew Bogut (2005) all were members of the first team. Arnold Ferrin (1944, 1947, and 1948), Vern Gardner (1947 and 1949), Keith Van Horn (1996), Danny Vranes (1981), Delon Wright (2015), and Jakob Poeltl (2016) all were members of the All-American second team.

Who holds the record for most points for the Utah Utes in an NCAA Tournament game?

Jerry Chambers holds the record as he scored 40 points against the Pacific Tigers on March 11, 1966.

Who has made the most three-point shots in any game for the Utah Utes?

Alfonso Plummer made 11 three-point field goals on March 11, 2020, against the Oregon State Beavers in a 71-69 road loss.

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