Well, the Utes at least have a split in their back pocket, which is a major win in my book after they beat ASU on Thursday night, rallying from a 17 point deficit. Now the Utes have to go to Tucson to take on Arizona in a building that the Utes just can’t seem to get a win in. If the Utes can muster up a similar performance as they had in Tempe for Arizona, then I think they’ll have a fighting chance to get the W, but that’s one heck of a performance to duplicate. Scoring almost 100 points on the road in conference play is almost unheard of, and if the Utes can get to 80+ points, then they’d be in good shape... but that’s a tall task in the McHale Center.
The Utes do need to get balanced scoring from Sedrick Barefield, Timmy Allen and Donnie Tillman. That has to be the three headed monster on offense for the Utes. Parker Van Dyke also needs to be a factor to help keep the defense honest and open up the floor for those other three. Again, as always, the Utes need to take care of the ball. They did a solid job of that at ASU, outside of the opening burst in the beginning of the game, so they need to keep playing smart offensive basketball. Overall, the road trip is a success, in my book, because they got the split, now if they can find a way to get both of them they’d put themselves in a great position to open conference play.
Here’s more on the ‘Cats from UtahUtes.com :
Arizona is coming off back-to-back wins over Montana (61-42) and UC Davis (70-68), ending non-conference play with a 9-4 record overall, and topped CU to start the Pac-12 season 1-0. The Wildcats went 7-1 at home with its only loss coming to Baylor (58-49) back on Dec. 15.
Brandon Randolph leads a quartet of players averaging double digits, with a 16.6 points per game average. He is followed by Chase Jeter (12.9 ppg), Brandon Williams (11.0) and Justin Coleman (10.1). Jeter leads the team on the boards with 7.0 rebounds per game and he has also tallied a team-best 10 blocked shots on the year.
Arizona is giving up .423 shooting percentage to opposing teams on the year, but just .283 percent of that is made from three-point range, which ranks among the top-25 in the nation. The Wildcats, offensively, average .450 from the field, .326 from beyond the arc, and rank No. 66 in the nation with a .735 free throw shooting percentage.
UTAH VS. ARIZONA SERIES HISTORY
Arizona leads the all-time series 33-29, which includes a 12-1 record against the Utes since Utah joined the Pac-12. Utah’s lone defeat over Arizona as a member of the Pac-12 came back on Feb. 27, 2016, in Salt Lake City (70-64). Utah has dropped three straight since that win, but the last time the two teams met, Arizona escaped the McKale Center with just a one-point victory, 74-73.
Utah is 8-19 all-time when facing Arizona at the McKale Center, with the last win coming back on Dec. 6, 1986 (68-67).
GAME 14: Utah (6-6, 0-0) at Arizona (9-4, 0-0)
WHERE: Tucson, Ariz. (McKale Center)
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019
TIP-OFF: 12 p.m. MT
TELEVISION: Pac-12 Networks / Pac-12 LIVE