Giacoletti already making a difference

Even though U basketball coach Ray Giacoletti was hired just about two weeks ago, he is clearly already making a difference in the atmosphere of U basketball.

It all starts with the players.

Marc Jackson, who was a point guard for the team two years ago, did not play last season after he quit the team.

Although he said then that he wanted to move on and pursue a dental career, many believed it was because of a fallout with Majerus.

But now that Majerus is gone, Jackson decided to ask Giacoletti if he could rejoin the team and Giacoletti agreed.

“Marc came to us and we had a chance to sit down to talk and we also talked on the phone,” Giacoletti said. “The process has taken a week and he has done some things which showed how badly he wanted to be part of Utah basketball.”

Jackson was a integral part of the 2002-03 team, which lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament to Kentucky.

He had a team-high 19 points against Kentucky and averaged 9.3 points per game over the course of the season.

In terms of how the other players feel about Jackson’s return, Giacoletti doesn’t think it will be a problem.

“I talked with the team and they are happy to have him back,” Giacoletti said.

Jackson played the point when he was here and with backup point guard Josh Olsen leaving on a mission, the team will have Tim Drisdom and Jackson left.

But there shouldn’t be much of a controversy, since Giacoletti has decided to try something different.

“I think they can play together on the court and play well,” Giacoletti said. “They don’t both have to be playing point guard. They have the versatility to guard a number of different people.”

In his first two weeks, Giacoletti has already assembled his coaching staff, which will not include any of the coaches under Majerus’ tenure.

But that doesn’t mean he ignored the state of Utah.

Giacoletti has hired Randy Rahe from Utah State, Marty Wilson from UC-Santa Barbara and Mike Score from Eastern Washington.

Rahe’s hiring was very significant, considering he was from within the state.

“The fact that we was from the state had a lot to do with it, but I have known Randy for 10 years and I know what type of person he is,” Giacoletti said. “I know his work also and I know what type of family man he is.”

Giacoletti did not retain former coach Kerry Rupp as an assistant because in the difference of philosophies that they had.

“There are a lot of different philosophies in basketball,” Giacoletti said. “One of recruiting, trust and just basketball, and I hired guys that I trust and know they will each bring something different to the table.”

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