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Runnin' Utes Open 2022-23 Campaign Against Long Island Nov. 7

Nov 4, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY – Year two of the Craig Smith era begins on Monday, Nov. 7, as the Utah men's basketball team plays host to Long Island inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The men are scheduled to tip-off at 9 p.m. (MT) as part of a double-header with the women's basketball team – who opens their season with Idaho at 5:30 p.m.
 
Krista Blunk will have the call between the Runnin' Utes and Sharks while Mary Murphy serves as the analyst on the Pac-12 Mountain broadcast.
 
RUNNIN' UTES EXPRESS SHUTTLE
Starting Monday, Nov. 7, for the men's basketball season-opener fans can take the "Runnin' Ute Express" FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE from several parking lots on the University of Utah campus – which will deliver fans from each of the following parking lots, and return them to these lots after games:
 
• Guardsman Way Tailgate Lot
• Broadcast Center Lot on Wasatch Drive
• Parking Map & Runnin' Ute Express service routes
• Shuttle service at the designated lots 90 minutes before tipoff and will run continuously, as demand warrants, until 45 minutes after the game's conclusion
 
FUTURE PROMOTIONS
With four double-headers this season, the Utah marketing department will be giving away collectible cups between the men's and women's basketball games. Ute fans will have their first two opportunities during Tip-Off Week on Nov. 7 and Nov. 9.
Collector Cup Series
• Nov. 7 vs. Long Island
• Nov. 11 vs. CSU Bakersfield
• Feb. 23 vs. UCLA
• Feb. 25 vs. USC
 
MILITARY APPRECIATION GAME
Utah will once again wear its USS Salt Lake City themed jerseys this year against CSU Bakersfield on Friday, Nov. 11 – which will serve as its Military Appreciation Game. All active, reserve and retired members of the armed forces will receive FREE tickets with a military ID.
 
OPENING TREND
Heading into Monday's home and season-opener, Utah is 99-16 overall in its home-openers and 79-13 all-time when those home-openers have also served as the season-opener. In total, Utah is 87-26 all-time in season-opening games.
 
Craig Smith is 5-3 all-time as a Division I head coach in season-openers and 3-1 when those season-openers have been played at home.
 
MONDAY MADNESS
With all 12 teams in the Conference of Champions kicking off the season next Monday, Nov. 7, the Pac-12 will be opening access via the Pac-12 Now app, Pac-12 Insider and Pac-12.com for fans to catch 10-plus hours of FREE continuous basketball coverage starting at Noon (MT) as part of "Tip-Off Week."
 
A full line-up of games on opening night for Pac-12 teams can be found here.
 
SCOUTING THE SHARKS
Led by first-year head coach Rod Strickland, Long Island visits SLC for the season-opener on Monday, Nov. 7. The Sharks, who finished 16-14 overall and 12-6 (third) in NEC play last year was picked to finish eighth in the preseason polls.
 
After a successful NBA career, Strickland joined LIU after serving as the Director of Professional Path Program for the NBA G League. Not a complete stranger to the collegiate ranks, Strickland started his post-NBA career as the director of operations at the University of Memphis before moving on to an administrative role on John Calipari's staff at Kentucky followed by an assistant coaching job at South Florida.
 
Of the 15 players on LIU's roster, seven are returners from last year's squad while the other eight newcomers – six of which are transfers. Offensively, the Sharks only return 383 points (17.1-percent) from last year's team with Tre Wood leading all returners having averaged just 6.5 points last year. Additionally, only 26.4-percent of the team's rebounding returns for the 2022-23 season.
 
UP NEXT
Utah's four-game homestand to open the 2022-23 campaign continues as it welcomes in CSU Bakersfield for a 5 p.m. (MT) tip-off on Friday, Nov. 11, as part of its Military Appreciation Game. Krista Blunk will once again guide fans throughout the game on the Pac-12 Mountain broadcast.
 
Friday's game against the 'Runners is another chance for Ute fans to get their hands on a collectible cup with it being another double-header day as the women's basketball team take on in-state foe Utah Valley at 1:30 p.m.
 
LOOKING AHEAD
Utah will have a quick turnaround with just two days to prepare for Idaho State on Monday, Nov. 14, which will serve as the 32nd meeting ever between the Runnin' Utes and Bengals. Utah enters that match-up having won the last six times the two have squared off and 12 of the last 13 match-ups. The Utes came out on top the last time they faced off on Dec. 8, 2020, inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center, 75-59.
 
For the latest news and information on the Runnin' Utes men's basketball program, fans can stay connected online at www.UtahUtes.com and on social media by following @UtahMBB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
 
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