It was a rough night for the Utes down in Vegas against UNLV. The Utes hung tight in the 1st half, on the shoulders of Tyler Rawson and Donnie Tillman. Those two did all they could to keep the game within reach, but it was a barrage early in the 2nd half that did the Utes in, when UNLV upped the lead to 26.
Utah’s problems all started in the paint, when UNLV’s big man Brandon McCoy caused issues for the Utes on both sides of the floor. McCoy, a likely one and done player, made things very uncomfortable for the Utes on offense. David Collette stuggled with the 7-footers length, and forced a bunch of awkward shots. The guards would penetrate and would force either a strange shot or pass, and the offense was just disjointed. That helped lead to a terrible shooting percentage from beyond the arc, where they went 2-for-20... yeah 2 for freaking 20 from three point land, where almost nothing would go down for the Utes. After a great game against Ole Miss, Justin Bibbins couldn’t get going either, largely because his ability to create was negated because of UNLV’s length.
Offensively, McCoy was a monster in the paint, and even when he would miss, the Utes couldn’t finish the possession, and McCoy would get his own board and lay it in. That opened everything up for Vegas, who had guys knocking down circus shots, and open three point attempts.
To put it lightly, it just wasn’t Utah’s night, and they need to find a better way to counter teams with length in the paint, because teams like Arizona will be able to do the same thing, but with waaaaay better players than UNLV.