GAME 20: Utah (11-8, 5-2) vs. Oregon (12-8, 3-4)
WHERE: Salt Lake Ctiy, Utah (Jon M. Huntsman Center)
WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019
TIP-OFF: 7 p.m. MT
TELEVISION: FS1 / FoxSportsGo (Joe Daivs and Matt Muehlebach)
The Utes are back home to take on the Ducks after a two game sweep on the road last week. The Utes have been playing really well, and fortunate too they’ve played some below average teams. Now they have the Ducks coming to town, have have a lot of talent, but since the loss of Bol Bol they’ve really gone into a bit of a tail spin sitting at only 3-4 in league play. The Ducks still are gong to be athletic, and that has always caused the Utes problems, especially against Dana Altman and Oregon. Kenny Wooten is still around for like his 15th year at Oregon, and he’s a pain, and Payton Pritchard is still driving the ship for UO. The Ducks will be tough to score on, so Utah has to be patient and have good guard play. Oregon isn’t good enough on offense to really run away from the Utes and hide, but if Utah turns the ball over in live play, then Oregon can get out and run for easy baskets, and Utah can’t afford that.
This is a home stand Utah can sweep, but getting off to a good start against an Oregon team trying to find themselves is what they need to do. This is the most vulnerable the Ducks have been in a few years, and the Utes need to capitalize on it, especially at home.
The Ducks are 12-8 overall and 3-4 in Pac-12 play ... Oregon is coming off a split from this past weekend, having fallen at home to Washington, 61-56, but then defeating Washington State, 78-58 ... the Ducks were picked to win the league in the preseason media poll, but Oregon has won just three conference games total, with all three victories coming in the previous five games ... Oregon is just 2-3 in true road games, with a 1-1 record coming on the road against conference opponents ... Oregon did win at Arizona, but then fell to Arizona State on the road ... Oregon opponents are shooting .411 from the field overall, but the Ducks limit the three-ball, as teams are shooting just .302 from beyond the arc - which ranks 36th in the nation ... Oregon’s scoring defense, giving up just 64.4 points per game, ranks first in the Pac-12 and 28th in the nation ... meanwhile, Oregon’s offense shoots .448 from the field - only ninth in the league - and averages 71.6 points per game ... Oregon is without leading scorer, Bol Bol (21.0 ppg), as he has been declared to miss the remainder of the season due to injury ... the Ducks still have three players scoring in double figures, with Louis King leading the way at 12.8 points per game ... Payton Pritchard (11.5) and Paul White (10.9) follow ... King (17.9) and White (14.4) are the only two players averaging double digit scoring efforts in league play ... King’s 5.5 rebounds per game leads the team, while Pritchard has tallied a team-best 93 assists ... Pritchard also leads the team, league and ranks 8th in the nation with a .915 free throw shooting percentage.