Conference play is finally here in college hoops and the Utes kick it off with the trip to Oregon, starting with the Ducks tonight. The Utes have plenty of question marks going into tonight’s game with Oregon, namely who is going to play, and how close are they to 100%? Gabe Bealer and David Collette are both game time decisions, and Chris Seeley and Donnie Tillman are both out. All four players missed the non-conference finale a week ago, so hopefully Collette and Bealer are both ready to roll tonight.
Oregon is coming into the game 10-3, with loses to Boise State, UConn, and Oklahoma. The Ducks have lost much of what they had on their Final Four team from a year ago, guys that just caused the Utes fits. The Ducks are led by Payton Pritchard's 16.3 points per game average and .453 three-point field goal shooting. He also leads the team with 60 assists and 17 steals on the season. Kenny Wooten leads the team with 41 blocked shots, while Troy Brown has tallied a team-high 7.8 rebounds per game. Pritchard is one of the few contributors remaining from a season ago, and will likely be the primary focus of the Utes on defense.
This will be a tough game, because it is in Eugene. I’m not sure how good Oregon is at this point, but up there it will be tough. And depending on how many bodies Utah is down, it can be a lot tougher. It’s time we start seeing the likes of Sedric Barefield and some of the other young guys step up, because now is the time Utah is going to need it.
Tipoff: 7 p.m. PT
Location: Eugene, Ore. (Matthew Knight Arena)
Television: FS1 (FoxSportsGo.com // Fox Sports Go mobile app)
Radio: ESPN700 // ESPN700sports.com // ESPN700 mobile app