The Good: Barefield, Utes’ offense shows out in win over Washington State
The Utes offense played perhaps its best game of the season in Utah’s 92-79 victory in Pullman, Washington over the Cougars. The Utes, lead by Sedrick Barefield shot 46% from three-point range and a total of 53% from the field en route to their fifth highest scoring output this season. But the most impressive stat from the Utes’ victory was turnovers, giving the ball up just five times, their lowest total of the season.
The win over the Cougars was much needed for the Utes who had dropped two games in a row in conference play, hurting Utah in the Pac-12 Standings as the season winds down. Barefield tied a season-high with 33 points, while Parker Van Dyke continued his impressive play as of late, scoring 17+ points for the third time in a week, finishing 5-for-9 from deep.
The Bad: Barefield, Utes’ defense struggle’s in loss to Washington
Just three days before the Utes had one of their more impressive offensive outputs this season, the Utes had by far their worst offensive displays of 2019. The Utah offense was bad, and I mean really bad. Yes, Washington is a much tougher matchup for any team than Washington State, but the Utes didn’t do themselves any favors by shooting a season-low 28% from the field, as if turning the ball over 16 times wasn’t bad enough. No one expected the Utes to go to Seattle and dismantle the top team in the Pac-12, but most had hoped it would have been a competitive battle. It wasn’t.
I said in an article a couple weeks ago that as Sedrick Barefield goes, so do the Utes. And in the matchup with the Huskies, Barefield barely went anywhere. While the senior finished as the leading scorer, Barefield finished the game with just 12 points on 4-for-13 shooting and turned the ball over a team-high four times. The Utes came away with just 18 second-half points after trailing by just six at halftime and left Seattle with a 62-45 loss.
The Ugly: Utah’s inconsistency evident in trip to Washington
Is there a better example of the inconsistent play on the part of this Utah Men’s Basketball team than this past week? The Utes start the week by shooting a season-low 28% and scoring just 18 second-half points in a 62-45 loss to Washington. Then, just three days later the Utes put on what could be their most impressive offensive display, more than doubling their scoring output against the Huskies, by defeating the Cougars 92-79. Here are a couple other offensive stat comparisons and again, keep in mind these numbers were put up by the same team just days apart. FG%: 28%-53%, 3P%: 33%-46%, Turnovers: 16-5, Assists: 7-18.
It’s been a roller coaster season for the Utes and this week was just another example of how severe the ups and downs have been. Whether it’s defeating the Stanford Cardinal and Cal Bears on the road before turning around to lose to Oregon and Oregon State, or if it’s defeating the the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins on the road before beating Arizona for just the second time since joining the Pac-12 just to fall at home to Arizona State, the Utes have struggled to find consistency and it has probably cost them a chance at the NCAA Tournament come March. (Pac-12 Tournament Champs anyone?)
The Utes, who currently sit in fourth place in the Pac-12 Standings, will finish out the season by taking on the Colorado Buffaloes, USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins before beginning Pac-12 Tournament play.