Utah returns to the hardwood tonight on the road at the Marriott Center to renew the series against BYU. Both Utah and BYU won last weekend in the first even Beehive Classic, Utah over USU and BYU over Weber. This is the first game between the two teams since Utah beat BYU at the Huntsman Center back in 2015, and when Nick Emery decided to throw some fists at Brandon Taylor, prompting Coach K to put the series on a bit of a break.
This will be a very tough game for the Utes, as they continue to work to get things sharpened up before conference play starts in just over a week and a half. They key for the Utes is to limit BYU, not only in transition, but also their “big three” with Bryant, Childs and Haws. As those three go, as goes BYU. Childs will likely be the main target for David Collette, and one that could potentially get Collette into foul trouble, which is something he needs to avoid. Childs will rebound too, with almost 9 rebounds a game, so the Utes really need to keep tabs on him, and body him up.
In a hostile environment, it will be key for Collette to be calm, and not pick up stupid fouls, and it will be huge for Justin Bibbins to take care of the ball and to keep Utah organized on offense. This will likely be a pretty high emotion game, so Utah has to keep the level head and play smart. This is also the kind of game where Gabe Bealer and Tyler Rawson can come up big from three, and Donnie Tillman can cause some havoc in the paint for a thin BYU front line.
Here’s how you can check it out:
Date/Tipoff: Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017 | 9 p.m. MT
Location: Provo, Utah (Marriott Center)
Television: ESPN2 (stream WatchESPN App or online)
Radio: ESPN700Sports.com - ESPN 700AM on the radio - ESPN700 Sports App