The Utes finally return home to the Huntsman Center in the midst of a four game losing steak, and they’ve been beat up pretty good the last three. Losing to three ranked teams, and another talented team on the road is nothing to be disappointed about, but losing in the fashion they have been has been disheartening.
The Utes got a couple tough games at home now against the Washington schools. These are winnable games, but Utah needs to find themselves again, and fast, and hopefully the home court will help.
Utah has to get more out of guys like Both Gach, Rylan Jones, and some other front court guys to help out Timmy Allen. Allen is the top of every scouting report when someone plays the Utes, so guys have to step up. He also has to be patient and let the game come to him. He’s been forcing things, which have led to some really poor shots. He needs to get the ball in the hands of Jones and let the offense organically find him. Against UW, they’re going to have to be patient against the zone that the Huskies will roll out, but they should get some really good shots, they just have to knock them down. The Utes also can’t be careless against this zone and have live ball turnovers. That got away from them against ASU.
On defense, it’s the same thing, they need to be engaged and don’t allow multiple looks due to offensive rebounds. Coach K has said he is hoping to get guys engaged again after the losses, and talked about showing them some film from the wins over Kentucky, Minnesota and BYU to see if that would help.
Scouting Washington from UtahUtes.com :
Washington enters this week’s game 12-7 overall and 2-4 in Pac-12 play after falling to then No. 8/8 Oregon 64-61 on a late 3-pointer in overtime, its second overtime loss in two-straight weeks. The 2-4 start in league play is due in part to the absence of key guard Quade Green, who was ruled ineligible a week into conference action after averaging 11.6 points, 5.3 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists.
UW as a team has held teams to just 62.5 points per game, which is third amongst Pac-12 teams, while 37.1 defensive field-goal percentage is ninth in the NCAA. The Huskies are also ranked fourth nationally with 6.7 blocks per game and second in total blocks with 127.
Freshman standout Isaiah Stewart is pacing Washington with 18.3 points per game to go with his 9.0 rebounding average and 42 total blocks. The four-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Week has cooled off a little bit, averaging 14.8 points and 8.0 rebounds with 12 blocks in conference play. Jaden McDaniels is second on the squad, averaging 13.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Nahziah Carter, who is one of two Huskies (Stewart) to start all 19 games, is third in the scoring column with 12.6 points per game to go with a 5.5 rebounding average. The 6-6 guard is also second on the team with 26 steals behind turned starter Jamal Bey (28).
Washington started the year with a bang, beating out then-No. 16 Baylor in the Armed Forces Classic 67-64 and had near losses to then No. 9 Gonzaga and Houston on neutral floors. Oddly enough, UW didn’t play its first true road game until losing to Stanford and Cal on the road in the second week of league action.
How to watch:
TV: Pac-12 Network