Now that were past New Year’s Day, it’s officially college basketball season, specifically conference play around the Pac-12. The Utes return to the hardwood to take on the No. 4 ranked Oregon Ducks at the Huntsman Center on Saturday afternoon — an Oregon program that has owned the Utes since the league expanded.
Utah is coming off of a win over Oregon State this past Thursday, in a well balanced performance for the entire team. Utah’s going to have to replicate that performance today, especially in the turnover category. Oregon is going to bring a lot of length and athleticism along with their pressing attack against the Utes, who absolutely wilted against it a season ago. I’d expect Oregon to continue to do the same thing, especially against a true freshman point guard in Rylan Jones. This may be the Jones and Both Gach game, and if they can keep the offense on track, and not give up a bunch of live ball turnovers.
Oregon is coming off of a loss to Colorado in Boulder, so they’ll be coming in hungry not to be swept on this trip. Oregon was the runaway pick to win the conference, and they have some huge wins this season, especially the win on the road against Michigan. It’s an experienced team, and one that is a typical Dana Altman squad. Utah needs to bring this game to a grind and keep Oregon one and done on the offensive glass.
It should be a fun game, and another nice litmus test to see where this young squad is.
Here’s how to watch:
TV: Pac-12 Network
Stream: Pac-12.com/live and the Pac-12 Now app