Ute Briefs (3/11)

Women’s Hoops

This time of year, Leilani Mitchell and the rest of the U women’s basketball team should start seeing their names etched and hearing their names announced in conjunction with awards more often.

The Mountain West Conference named Mitchell its women’s basketball Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year on Monday.

Mitchell joins fellow teammate Morgan Warburton as a member of the All-MWC First Team. Kalee Whipple finished behind her teammates and wound up on the All-MWC Second Team. After leading a team picked in the preseason to finish No. 5 in the conference, U head coach Elaine Elliott was named MWC Coach of the Year.

The Utah women will face the winner of tonight’s matchup between Colorado State and UNLV in the first round of the MWC Tournament at 5 p.m. MT on Wednesday.

Tony Pizza

Men’s Hoops

Luke Nevill and Johnnie Bryant were named to the All-MWC Second Team on Monday for their efforts this season.

Nevill averaged 15.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.63 blocks per game. Nevill led the conference in blocks, and his other two statistic compilations were among the top 10 in the MWC. Nevill’s .573 field goal percentage also led the league.

Bryant was No. 6 in the conference in scoring at 15.8 points per game. Bryant led the league in 3-pointers made per game with three and also led the country in scoring by a non-starter.

Lawrence Bohra, who was a candidate for MWC Defensive Player of the Year, was beat out by Air Force’s Tim Anderson.

Nevill moved up from his third-team selection last year, while this was Bryant’s first nomination on an MWC all-conference team.

Tony Pizza


Open registration for the U football team’s Mighty Utah Student Section began at 9 p.m. Friday. Registration for the MUSS costs $25, and up to four guests can be added for $85 apiece. Along with tickets to see the U football team take on Oregon State, Weber State, UNLV, Colorado State, TCU and BYU, MUSS members will receive a T-shirt, the opportunity to ride the MUSS bus and a chance to attend Utah’s season opener at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Seating priority is chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis, and members adding a guest to their registration will be required to sit in the upper bowl of the MUSS.

Registration can be submitted online by visiting www.alumni.utah.edu/muss.

Tony Pizza

Gridiron Bash

Students at the U will have the chance to earn their school a share of $1.75 million in general scholarship funds through The Ultimate Fan Competition.

The U will compete against 15 other schools in a contest that tests each school’s participation surrounding spring football.

Voting through text messaging will count for 30 percent of each school’s total score. Attendance at a concert that precedes each team’s spring football game will account for the other 70 percent.

Two-time Grammy award winner Maroon 5 will be headlining the U’s Gridiron Bash concert April 18. Other events will include a pep rally, an introduction to the 2008 U football team and other fan-oriented events. The annual Red-White game will take place at Rice-Eccles Stadium on April 19 at 1 p.m.

The top three schools will share a part of the cash prize. U fans and students interested in participating in the text messaging portion of the contest can submit their votes by texting the word “UTES” to 23909. Daily standings are listed at www.gridironbash.com. The idea behind the Gridiron Bash is to promote the same kind of excitement for spring college football as there is for college basketball each March with the NCAA tournament.

“Thousands of spectators come out each spring to watch our football scrimmages, but that’s typically where the ‘fan experience’ ends,” U associate athletics director Chris Ritrievi said in a press release. “Gridiron Bash extends the experience and enables fans to support their team, give back to their university and have a great time doing so.”

Utah is in 12th place of the 16 schools participating.

Those interested in purchasing tickets can visit www.utahtickets.com.

Tony Pizza


The U baseball team notched its fourth-consecutive victory on Monday as it blasted a highly-touted Portland team, 18-1, in its first game at the Pepsi/Johnny Quick Tournament in Fresno, Calif.

The Utes seemingly couldn’t do anything wrong, pounding out hit after hit on offense and shutting down the Pilots on defense. Bill Kinneberg’s group finished the day with a whopping 18 hits to the Pilots’ seven and committed only one defensive error.

Dennis Hennis led Utah on the offensive side, going 5-for-5 at the plate with seven RBIs. The senior stroked two doubles and connected on a grand-slam home run in the eighth inning. Reigning MWC Player of the Week Cody Guymon and Corey Shimada also had a solid day, blasting three hits a piece.

Andrew Wilding got credit for the win, allowing five hits and one run in five innings on the mound. He got relief help from Stephen Streich and Geoff Wolfgramm. The two combined to allow only two hits in three innings.

Utah continues action today against Gonzaga at 11 a.m.

Cody Brunner


The Puttin’ Utes finished Monday 34-over-par at the Farms Collegiate tournament in San Diego. Utah shot a 25-over-par first round and a 9-over-par second round. Utah is in the bottom three of the tournament.

“We are not playing good golf,” said Utah head coach Randall McCracken.

Senior Dustin Pimm shot a 75 and 72 to lead the Utes. Senior Nic Larson posted back-to-back scores of 76.

Wichita State was 8-under after the first round and leads the tournament.

Utah will hope they can play better on Tuesday to make up strokes.

Tim Haslam