The Utah men’s basketball team is back on the court after the 94 point win a week ago, which is still shocking. This will be a nice test for this young Utah team, as the freshmen still try to figure out their roles on the team, and how the coaches figure out the rotation as the season goes along.
I’m really excited to see how Rylan Jones plays against a P5 program, and some bigger players. Jones isn’t the biggest guy, but his savvy on the floor is impressive, and he plays within the system and not too fast. I really want to see if he can keep this team on the rails when things go a bit sideways, and I also want to see him be aggressive and look for his shot when it’s there.
Minnesota has played a couple of nice programs this year, Oklahoma and Butler, so they’ll be familiar with the Utes size, and will be able to apply pressure to this young team.
This game will be a litmus test for how far this team has to go, while I don’t think Minnesota is going to be world beaters this year, this will let us know how well this team is developing, and how well they play together.
From the official press release, here’s the scouting report on Minnesota and what to expect Friday night.
Sitting at 1-2, Minnesota comes to Salt Lake City on a two-game skid in the early stages of the 2019-20 campaign after falling to Oklahoma (71-62) in a neutral site game and at Butler this past Tuesday, 64-56. As a team, Minnesota is 15th in the country in blocks, with 18 so far on the year.
Taking the season-opener out of the equation, Minnesota has struggled in the second-half against its last two opponents and has been outscored 80-60.
The Gophers are paced by sophomore Daniel Oturu, who is averaging 18.3 points and 9.7 rebounds through three games with a .697 shooting clip. The 6-10 big man is tied for fourth in the NCAA through games on Nov. 12, with two double-doubles while his 11 blocks checks in at No. 6 in the country.
Redshirt junior Payton Willis is second on the team in scoring with 15.0 points per game while redshirt sophomore Marcus Carr rounds out the double-digit scorers for Minnesota, averaging 14.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 7.0 assists. Willis’ 10 shots from downtown is tied for 24th in the NCAA so far. Carr, the team’s floor general standing at 6-2, is ninth in the country with 21 assists on the year
Tip off: 7pm at the Huntsman Center
TV: Pac-12 Networks