Basketball memories

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    • #166779

      Ute Fan

      On the eve of the greatest college basketball time of the year, I am reminiscent of some great Utah Basketball memories. Here are a few of my favorites from my 50 years of Utedom (although I don’t really remember the first 10 or so):
      As a kid, I loved the Jerry Pimm teams. I remember:
      1. Utah playing USU and Weber State home and away every year. Those were some of the best games of the year with a full house and a lot of fans from Ogden and Logan making for a super fun environment. Most games were competitive and entertaining. Two memorable games stand out:
      a. A Utah vs Weber State game in the Special Events Center where Kelvin Upshaw put on a show scoring in a variety of ways scoring 41 points, but in the end cost Utah the game with a Technical foul.
      b. A USU game, also at home where the game was back and forth all night. Utah had a 1 point lead with just a few seconds left only to have Jon Judkins bank in a shot from just inside the half court line.
      2. The best run in the NCAA tournament under Pimm was in 1983 when 10 seed Utah beat Illinois and UCLA to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
      Then came the Lynn Archibald years. My favorite players of this era included Jerry Stroman, Manny Hendrix, Albert Springs, Tommy Connors, Mitch Smith and Bobby Adair.
      Mitch Smith was an undersized rebounding machine who couldn’t shoot a lick.
      I’ll never forget the comeback against WYO with Manny Hendrix completing it on the crazy turnaround in mid-air jumper over Fennis Dembo.
      I also recall a double OT winner in Provo where Albert Springs made the game winning shot at the buzzer.
      Then the Majerus years…the golden era of the modern Utah Basketball era.
      I remember big Rick‘s first year playing a top 10 ranked Purdue team when a young freshman named Phil Dixon made 6 3-pointers on route to nearly upsetting them in the Huntsman Center. Then later that night, in a freak accident Dixon put his leg through a plate glass window severely damaging his leg and he was never the same ever again. While he still had a decent career I still think he could’ve been one of the greatest all-time Utes if that accident ever happened. Not only did he have an amazing shot, but had a variety of moves around the basket to score nearly at will. One of the most gifted players in a Ute uniform.
      The 1990-91 season was magical. 28-3 going into the NCAA tournament, the double OT win versus Michigan State only to lose to the powerhouse UNLV team lead by Larry Johnson and Stacey Augmon.
      So many favorite players from this era: Walter Watts, Jimmy Soto, Byron Wilson, Josh Grant, Phil Dixon, Jimmy Carroll, Larry Cain, KVH, Darroll Wright, Brandon Jessie, Mike Doleac, Alex Jensen, Andre Miller, Hanno Mottolla, Drew Hansen, Ben Melmeth, Ben Caton, Mark and Craig “Rydash”, Will Carlton, Doug Chapman, David Jackson, Jeff and Britton Johnson,,Nate Althoff, Phil Cullen, Tony Harvey, Nick Jacobson, Chris Burgess, Trace Caton, Mark Jackson, Lance Allred, Tim Drisdom, Bryant Markson, Richard Chaney, Andrew Bogut, Justin Hawkins.
      The 3 year run leading up to the Final Four in 1998 was incredible. I still think if Andre Miller doesn’t hurt his thumb against THEM in the Elite Eight matchup in 1997 we may have won the Natty that year.
      Hoping for a return to great basketball soon.
      Go Utes!!!

    • #166781

      Ute Fan

      My top players who signed but never played at Utah (or no significant time):

      Silas Mills – McDonald’s AA was the MVP of that years game. Didn’t play any significant time and never reached his potential as a player.

      Deon Mims – A big, athletic center from Chicago. Bad knees ended his career before he ever played a game. Big Rick said he would have been a star.

      Kelly Walker – A great wing player, also from Chicago who never played significant minutes for Big Rick. Was supposed to be fantastic.

      Lance Allred – Could have been great were it not for the well documented issues playing for Big Rick.

    • #166783

      Ute Fan

      Great memories.  Thanks for sharing.

      My memories go back a bit further than yours because I am old. 🙂

      The 1966 team was amazing with Jerry Chamber leading the way.  We went to the final four and lost.  Back then – they played a consolation game.  We lost that game too.  However, Jerry Chambers averaged 42 points per game and was named the MVP.

      Mike Newlin from the late 60s and early 70s was a favorite of mine.  He went on to have a very good NBA career.

      In 1972 Utah got two top-ten recruits in Ticky Birden and Mike Sojourner.  Had the coach and both players stayed – we certainly would have been a top-ten team.  Sojourner and coach Foster left after Sojourner’s sophomore year and Burden after his junior year.  Burden led the nation in scoring his junior season.

      Then came Jonas, Judkins, Vranes, Chambers, et al.  Great teams and lots of fun.

      I miss the days when Utah was a force in college basketball.


      • #166788

        Ute Fan

        Josh Grant dunking over Shawn Bradley.
        Seared in my memory.

        • #166789

          Ute Fan

          I think Dunking ON Shawn Bradley is more accurate!!

          I also remember a game, I think it was against New Mexico, where Walter Watts stole the ball at mid-court and rumbled down the court to jam it home. Quite the site for a guy his size. He was really quite agile for his size.

          Another, also against UNM was Andre Miller throwing a perfect ally pop pass from 3/4 court to KVH. Those guys were so fun to watch!!

    • #166795

      Ute Fan

      Your post brought back memories of when I actually used to go to games as a student. Josh Grant and I were a year apart at East.

      I think he served a mission though, and came into the program after I had been a student for a year.

      • #166799

        Ute Fan

        I was in school at the U with KVH, Andre, Doleac, et al.  Had a class with Dre and one with Doleac…did NOT have a class with Drew Hansen…I was too smart for him to be in my classes!  (TIC)

    • #166812

      Ute Fan

      I was friends with Juddy and would play pickup games with he and some of the other players. Karl Bankowski was one tough guy. Even in pickup games you could not go across the lane without catching an elbow in the chest. He is the kind of player the Utes need.

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