Tonight the Utes kick off the San Juan Shootout with a game against the University of Central Florida. Utah, coming off a win against Cal Poly, can reach .500 for the first time since earlier this month. The winner of tonight's game will play the winner of Virginia and Appalachian State. The game kicks off at noon and won't be broadcast on television. If the Utes lose, they'll play the loser of the Virginia, Appalachian State game.
UCF is 6-1 on the season, with their lone loss coming against Minnesota a week ago. However while they have a solid record, in their only test this season they failed badly. Minnesota was their first road game and their first opponent that actually comes from a conference bigger than that of the Atlantic Sun. Even though Minnesota is struggling this year (5-7 on the season), they handily beat the Knights 74-63. With UCF's weak opponents and their wilting against their only test, Utah should win with ease. But, as we've seen this season, that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to happen.
Since they've played weak opponents, UCF's stats are skewed just a bit. They lead the C-USA in shooting at 49.5% and average 81 points per game. Yet against the Golden Gophers last week, they scored only 63 and shot 34%.
UCF is led by sophomore guard Jermaine Taylor, who averages 18 points per game. Other teams taking part in the tournament include Northwestern and Vanderbilt. This will be Utah's first ever meeting with UCF, who won the Top of the World Classic against Utah State in 2004.