It’s hard to really learn a lot from an exhibition game against an overmatched opponent, like the one Utah played on Wednesday night at the Huntsman Center, but I did make a couple observations that I’ll be tracking as the season gets going. Utah did win the game 88-47, and Both Gach’s 15 points, while Timmy Allen had 13, Riley Batten had 12, as did Mikael Jantunen, and Brandon Carlson had 10. All-in-all a solid effort for a team with 12 new players, and are lead pretty much by sophomores.
With that said, here are some basic observations I had from the game.
There is no go-to guy on offense
I don’t think there is a No. 1 guy on offense for this Utah team. I mean, when there’s a slump there is nobody I can see, as of now, that is that slump buster. Sedrick Barefield was that kind of guy. Parker Van Dyke could do that too. I think this team is loaded with a bunch of No. 2 and No. 3 guys, but not really a lot of dudes that can go get a bucket when you need it. Timmy Allen is a very solid player, but I think he feeds well off of a primary guy that can get buckets. We’ll see if I’m proven wrong as the season goes along, I hope I am. Both Gach may be able to give you some needed buckets, but I want to see him do it consistently.
Rylan Jones will be very good
The all-everything recruit will be very good in his time at Utah. He needs to get a bit more aggressive with the ball, namely his shot, but he looks to setup his teammates and get things running smoothly. He plays hard, as evidence by the multiple charges he picked up tonight, and he seems have a good feel for the game. He just needs to continue to develop and get experience, because he has the makings of being really good.
This team will play hard
With Jones putting his nose into every play, the size that Utah has inside, with a couple seven footers, and some length at the wings, I see Utah really being hard nosed. They don’t appear to be the most athletic team on the floor, but their length and size should help combat that. This season could be a rougher one for the Utes, since they are rolling in so many new faces, and it could be a disjointed season, but I don’t think they’ll have a lack of effort.
This team was picked 9th in the Pac-12 preseason poll by the media, so expectations aren’t high, so it will be intersting to see if they can exceed expectations again. We’ll get more of a feel for this team when they open against Nevada in about a week, and that will be a game-by-game thing. Also, I recommend getting your program out when you watch this team, because there are a lot of faces you won’t recognize.