Utah was playing an overmatched opponent, which is the type of opponent that Utah needed after a rough trip to Kentucky just two days ago. The Utes topped Florida A&M Monday night by a score of 93-64, and had one of their better shooting nights of the season.
The Utes were led by Parker Van Dyke and his hot shooting from beyond the arc. PVD went 6 of 8 from downtown and totaled 20 points on the night. He was spotted up all night long, and did what Utah is going to need for the rest of the season, and that’s hitting open shots from beyond the arc. The Utes don’t need him to score 20 a night, but if he can flirt with double digits and be a threat from outside, that will go a long way for this Utah team. The same can be said for Sedrick Barefield, who had 16 points, including 4 of 4 from down town. Sed is so much better as a spot up guy that if you can take the ball out of his hands, with someone like a Both Gach, that helps. Timmy Allen also had a career right with 16 points, and was aggressive going to the basket. He just looked more comfortable and confident on the floor tonight. Jayce Johnson also had 12 points, and continues to contribute in the points column, which is a bonus. Riley Battin had 12 points as well.
Coach K shook up the starting lineup a bit tonight, which I liked, starting Allen, Battin, Gach, Johnson and PVD. I don’t think I love the lineup he put out there, but I liked that he mixed things up. In my perfect world it’d be Gach, Tillman, Allen, Battin and either Jones or Barefield.
Utah was much sharper tonight, again not a big surprise given the opponent, but they took care of business by almost score 100 points. They only had 11 turnovers, and shot 58.8% from the field. The Utes also had 15 assists, and was pushing tempo and moving the ball well all game long. Utah’s aggression really shows with the amount of free throws taken, 29 (with 22 makes) on the game. Utah was attacking and getting the ball in the paint before kicking it out, it was good basketball.
Coach K wasn’t letting guys turn the ball over and stay on the floor. He’d yank guys who had a bad TO, which is what we need to see as we get deeper into this season, the team can’t be reckless with the ball.
On defense, the Utes were pretty weak in the first half, giving up 56% shooting, but they pulled it in a bit in the second by giving up 49% on the game. They didn’t let FAMU get up and down the floor and really get in a rhythm from beyond the arc, and really ended this game early in the second half, after leading by just 10 at half.
It was a nice effort by the Utes, and hopefully something they can build upon going into the NAU game. I think guys seeing some success on offense will help the overall confidence, which is something they were sorely lacking after the Kentucky loss.