SALT LAKE CITY -- Former Weber State star Damian Lillard said he isn't at all surprised to see the success of Randy Rahe's Wildcats this season.
The leading candidate for the NBA's Rookie of the Year award, Lillard - now Portland's top point guard - said he knew Weber State something special before he left for the NBA last season.
"They're having a great season," Lillard said following Monday's shootaround at EnergySolutions Arena. "I'm not surprised by it at all that they've been able to break the Big Sky (Conference) record for wins in a single season. I'm not surprised by their success at all. I was there with those guys."
Lillard, 22, said he is happy to see the 'Cats (30-6) still playing in April. They'll play host to East Carolina tonight at the Dee Events Center for the finals of the Collegeinsider.com tourney.
"When they recruited the news guys, I was there. I knew what they were capable of," Lillard said. "I'm happy for them."
Lillard finished Monday's game with 17 points, five assists and five rebounds.
He also went 3-for-7 behind the 3-point line, giving him 169 3s on the season. That gives him NBA's record for 3-pointers by a rookie.
"It's an honor to be able to do that in my first season," he said. "But I wish I'd done it in a win. It's bittersweet."
Trail Blazers 102
* BEST PLAY: On the fastbreak, Mo Williams gets to the free throw line before flipping the ball behind his back to Al Jefferson, who is trailing the play. Big Al isn't an acrobat on the court but with a free path to the basket he skies high and throws down a one-handed dunk to give the Jazz a 27-13 lead late in the first quarter.
* BEST LINE: Big Al went 12-for-21 from the field for 24 points plus 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots.
* KEY STAT: The Jazz's turnover-to-assist ratio was 26:6. Meanwhile, the Blazers turned the ball over 16 times.
* OPENING DAY: Jazzman Randy Foye couldn't wait to get out of the arena following Monday morning's shootaround. He wanted to get home to watch a little opening day baseball.
Foye, who grew up in Newark, N.J., not far away from New York, said the Yankees are his favorite baseball team.
"I'm definitely excited about opening day," he said.
"I played baseball growing up," he added. "The Yankees are huge back home."
Foye said he watched the start of Monday's Yankees-Red Sox game in the Jazz locker room but was heading home to watch the rest.
"The Yankees are gonna win," he said.
* INJURY REPORT: Enes Kanter (shoulder) remains out of action for the Jazz. There is no specific timetable for his return from the separated left shoulder he suffered March 27 vs. Phoenix. ... The Blazers went without All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle), who did not even make the trip to Utah. He now has missed three in a row since spraining his right ankle March 27 vs. Brooklyn.
* ETC.: Former Jazzman Wesley Matthews scored 23 points for the Blazers, giving him 17 games with 20 or more points this season. ... With the win, Utah finishes the season 3-1 vs. Portland. ... Weber State coach Randy Rahe was in attendance at Monday's game. ... Jefferson had 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots in the first half. ... Paul Millsap had just four points, no rebounds and no assists at the break. ... Matthews led the Blazers with 12 points at the half. ... Lillard had eight points and two assists in the first half, going 3-for-8 from the field.
* UP NEXT: The Jazz have two more games this week, each on their home floor. They'll play host to Denver on Wednesday and New Orleans on Friday.