The 22 NBA scouts who came to watch a couple of future players in their league weren't disappointed with the play of Utah's Andrew Bogut and LSU's Brandon Bass. Neither were the fans who came out to see Monday's game a day after most of them came back from the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona.
The difference in Utah's 69-55 victory at the Huntsman Center was that Bogut received a lot more help than Bass did.
While Bogut scored 24 points and grabbed 17 rebounds and Bass had 17 points and nine rebounds, several Utes stepped up to help the Utes (11-3) to their sixth straight victory.
Marc Jackson broke out of a mini-shooting slump by scoring 15 points, including 4-of-4 from 3-point range, while Bryant Marskon had 12 points and eight rebounds and Jonas Langvad scored nine points off the bench.
The Utes were missing two starters — Justin Hawkins and Richard Chaney — out with injuries, so they couldn't just rely on Bogut to do his usual thing in the middle.
"We're starting to find some roles with everybody," said Ute coach Ray Giacoletti. "Bryant has been a burst of energy and Jonas had a huge game for us. We're starting to get a groove of what we have to do."
Langvad, the 6-9 sophomore from Denmark, didn't see much action early in the season, but he scored 11 points against Colorado and contributed nine Monday.
"Every night I come in and try to provide some energy off the bench," he said. "We knew we were short-handed tonight and we all had to pick it up."
Bogut, who had his nation-leading 11th double-double of the season, scored 11 of Utah's first 12 points of the second half as the Utes opened up a 47-42 lead in the first six minutes. The lead reached 12 at 59-47 after Tim Drisdom tipped in his own miss and Langvad hit another 3-pointer.
Then Bogut went back to work, scoring six straight points as the lead reached 15 at 65-50 with 3:50 left and the Utes coasted from there.
The Tigers were content to sit outside and try 3-pointers all night.
Of their 50 shots, 31 were from beyond the arc. That gave the Utes a hige edge in rebounds, 39 to 21, and in free throws, 22 to 7.
Marc Jackson scored 12 first-half points and Bogut grabbed 12 rebounds as the Utes took a 35-34 halftime lead.
Bass hit a 3-pointer just eight seconds into the game, but the Utes came back to take a 10-9 lead on a pair of Jackson free throws. The Utes led for most of the rest of the half and led 27-21 lead on a follow rebound by Jonas Langvad with 7:35 left.
However the Tigers went on a 9-0 run to grab a 32-29 lead before Tim Drisdom scored his first points of the game on a 3-pointer with two seconds left in the half to put the Utes ahead by one.
Jackson had missed all six of his 3-pointers in the two previous games and went 2 for 12 overall, but he got back in the groove Monday night.
"I missed a couple of open shots the other night, but today I was just letting it come to me," Jackson said. "They were doubling Andrew and that opens up things outside."
GAME NOTES: The Utes should have a breather of a game Wednesday night against Whitworth (7 p.m.) before preparing for the start of Mountain West Conference play Monday night against preseason favorite UNLV. That game will start at 10 p.m. . . . Hawkins sat out because of back spasms that have plagued him for the past couple of weeks. Chaney missed his third straight game after sustaining a broken hand in practice.