SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Ray Giacoletti's overall impression of his
team's season opener was positive.
But the new Utah coach sees plenty that can get better.
Utah opened the Giacoletti era with a 72-63 win over Stony Brook
on Friday night, showing some signs of being explosive and other
times a looking a little confused.
"When you have a chance to get to double figures, then to stay
disciplined and extend it at that point. And it's early yet and
we're still learning that," said Giacoletti, who was hired from
Eastern Washington last spring.
Giacoletti was hired to replace Rick Majerus, who resigned
midway through last season because of health concerns. One thing he
already has in common with his predecessor, Giacoletti isn't afraid
to be critical after a win.
Andrew Bogut scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds and
Marc Jackson returned after a year off and finished with 20 points.
The Utes led nearly the entire game, but let it stay closer than it
had to as they ran Giacoletti's system for the first time in an
"That's going to happen all the time. It's early in the season.
There's going to be a lot of times where we're not comfortable with
the new system," Jackson said. "We're excited about this offense.
It's going to be great. It gives everybody the opportunity to score
and to produce."
Justin Hawkins scored 16 for the Utes, who were 23-for-49 from
Although Utah struggled through a few stretches, the Utes opened
the season with a win for the ninth year in a row. Utah had to
rally to beat Stony Brook 51-48 a year ago, but never trailed after
Richard Chaney's 3-pointer put the Utes up 3-2.
"We got the win -- 1-0. We've just got to look to the next one
now. Get another one," Hawkins said. "We can't have little mental
lapses throughout the game because when we play better teams,
better teams are going to capitalize more than they did tonight."
Stony Brook managed to cut a 10-point lead down to three, but
couldn't quite complete the comeback. JonPaul Kobryn made a layup,
then added two free throws to get the Seawolves within 48-45 midway
through the second half, but Utah responded with a 10-0 run.
"We had a few letdowns, a few lapses on defense. It happens,
but they capitalized and that's what good teams are supposed to
do," Stony Brook's Jairius McCollum said. "We felt like the
entire game that we were in it -- that we had a chance to win."
Bogut started Utah's run with a two-handed dunk and Bryant
Markson scored five during the spurt, getting a dunk and hitting a
3-pointer that put the Utes up 58-45. After Stony Brook added a
field goal, Jackson extended the lead with a 3-pointer, then Bogut
spun in for another dunk that put Utah up 63-47.
Stony Brook didn't get closer than 10 until the final minute.
Utah went more than 3 minutes without a point near the end of
the first half and a nine-point lead had fallen to 32-29 in the
final minute, but Jackson hit a 3-pointer with 8 seconds left and
after a turnover Bogut hit a jumper just before the buzzer to give
the Utes a 37-29 lead.
The Utes hit the road next week for the Great Alaskan Shootout,
opening against No. 22 Washington on Thursday.
"I think we're ready. There's a lot that we need to work on,
but for the most part I think it went pretty good," Jackson said.