It was a rough start to the Oregon swing when the Utes got beat down by Oregon State on Thursday. The Utes are winless on the road in conference play, and playing the Ducks doesn’t bode well to break that steak.
Utah has got a lot of work to do on offense, and going against the long, pressure defense of Oregon on the road isn’t going to help. Utah has to find a way to keep the game in the half court, and they have to find a way to avoid the long droughts. Utah had a good game plan against the Beavers, but they just couldn’t consistently put the ball in the basket. In a game like this Timmy Allen will likely be neutralized by the Ducks length in the front court. Rylan Jones is going to have to play sharp, especially against Pritchard. Jones is going to need to keep things on the rails, and he’s going to have to be aggressive on offense. Being aggressive will keep Pritchard honest on defense, and could cause foul trouble.
It will be fun to watch Brandon Carlson and see if he continue to play well against the Oregon front. He’s been developing really well over the course of the season. His size should help keep Oregon out of the paint.
It’s going to be an uphill battle for the Utes, and who knows, maybe this is the game that it clicks on the road.
Here’s an update on Oregon since the Utes last played them, courtesy of UtahUtes.com:
UO recently got back in the win column after dropping two-straight with a 68-60 win at home to No. 16/15 Colorado – a game it trailed by as much as 14 in the first half. With the win last night, the Ducks move to 19-6 overall on the year and 8-4 in Pac-12 play.
National player of the year candidate Payton Pritchard leads Oregon offensively, averaging 19.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists with 40 steals to go along with a team-high 61 triples. Chris Duarte is second on the team, posting 14.0 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game with a team-high 42 steals. Will Richardson wraps up the list of double-digit scorers for UO with 10.4 points per game and 3.4 rebounds per game with a .474 shooting clip.
Shakur Juiston paces the team on the glass, averaging 6.6 boards while registering 7.6 points per game. Meanwhile, sharpshooting transfer Anthony Mathis is averaging 7.9 points with a .417 shooting clip from 3-point range (50-of-120).
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