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WEST VIRGINIA (24-8) vs. UTAH (27-3)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT | SCOUTING REPORT

WEST REGIONAL, ARROWHEAD POND AT ANAHEIM, TODAY, 5 p.m., Ch. 2

March 19, 1998|CHRIS FOSTER

WEST VIRGINIA

THE STARTERS

5: Adrian Pledger

23: Jarrod West

24: Damian Owens

53: Brian Lewin

45: Brent Solheim

* About West Virginia: The only time the 10th-seeded Mountaineers have reached the Final Four, a guy named Jerry West was making clutch shots. Now Jarrod West is doing it. He banked in a three-pointer with one second left to beat second-seeded Cincinnati and lead West Virginia to a regional semifinal for the first time since 1963. West has scored 15 points in each tournament game. Washington and Valparaiso are the only lower-seeded teams remaining. West Virginia, with five seniors starting, presses full court from start to finish and has 394 steals in 32 games. Damian Owens was second in the nation in steals until he bruised his lower back against Seton Hall late in the season. He sat out only one game, but was not the same player during the Big East Conference tournament. His 14-point performance against Cincinnati could be a sign he has mended.

UTAH

THE STARTERS

34: Drew Hansen

24: Andre Miller

13: Hanno Mottola

51: Michael Doleac

50: Alex Jensen

About Utah: The Utes have reached the round of 16 for the third consecutive season, but the first time without All-American Keith Van Horn, now with the New Jersey Nets. And this time, Kentucky isn't standing in the way. The Utes lost to the Wildcats in the 1996 Midwest Regional semifinals and 1997 West Regional final. The Utes are big up front, with 6-foot-10 Hanno Mottola and 6-11 Michael Doleac. But what makes their offense work is the play of point guard Andre Miller, a Verbum Dei High graduate. Miller scored 28 points in a 75-69 victory over Arkansas in the second round. He had 14 points in the last 6:25.

* Keys to the Game: If the Mountaineers plan to stick with their full-court press, they might want to look at that Utah-Arkansas video again. Miller shredded the Razorbacks. He had only three turnovers and had one coast-to-coast play for a basket late in the game. If he handles the West Virginia press as well, Utah should reach the regional final. The Mountaineers will hardly be intimidated by Utah's mountains--Doleac and Mottola. They are more than happy to mix it up inside. If West Virginia's Brian Lewin, Brent Solheim and Marcus Goree can play Doleac and Mottola even, West Virginia stands a good chance of advancing. Free throws could be West Virginia's undoing in a close game. The Mountaineers shot 61.3% as a team.

MOUNTAINEER STATISTICS

*--*

No Player Pos. FG% FT% Reb. Ast. Pts. 24 Damian Owens F .505 .520 6.3 2.9 16.7 5 Adrian Pledger G .463 .779 4.0 1.4 12.1 10 Greg Jones G .409 .688 2.1 0.9 12.0 23 Jarrod West G .388 .712 2.3 4.1 10.6 45 Brent Solheim F .522 .583 4.8 1.1 8.7 00 Marcus Goree F .537 .608 5.3 0.9 8.1 53 Brian Lewin C .497 .559 7.8 1.3 7.6 33 Jarett Kearse G .373 .611 1.4 1.0 2.9 3 Carl Williams G .474 .750 0.9 0.2 1.7 32 Elton Scott G .000 .800 1.6 0.3 1.1 20 Jason D'Alesio G .273 .000 0.2 0.0 0.5 35 Tom Beynon F .500 .250 0.6 0.2 0.3 21 Duane Lewis F .200 .250 0.3 0.2 0.3 Totals .462 .613 40.4 15.9 80.8

*--*

*

UTE STATISTICS

*--*

No Player Pos. FG% FT% Reb. Ast. Pts. 51 Michael Doleac C .481 .804 6.9 0.4 15.9 24 Andre Miller G .569 .756 5.0 4.8 14.0 13 Hanno Mottola F .497 .752 5.6 0.9 12.7 50 Alex Jensen F .440 .753 5.8 2.4 6.6 34 Drew Hansen F/G .455 .643 2.8 2.2 5.8 21 Trace Canton F/G .473 .833 1.2 0.8 4.3 3 David Jackson G .417 .778 1.6 1.6 3.3 11 Jordie McTavish G .362 .724 0.8 1.0 3.0 31 Britton Johnsen F .436 .480 1.4 0.5 2.8 40 Jon Carlisle F .565 .618 2.1 0.3 2.4 52 Nate Althoff C .667 .462 1.9 0.1 1.9 45 Greg Barratt F .306 .500 1.9 0.1 1.3 Totals .483 .736 36.8 14.6 70.2

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