It will be a #Pac12AfterDark basketball edition for the Utes tonight as they take on UCLA at the Huntsman Center. The No. 9 ranked Bruins come in coming off of their Final Four run a season ago and are looking to repeat that with the same crew back this season. The Utes will have their hands full without Branden Carlson, who continues to miss time due to the appendectomy he had a few weeks ago. Craig Smith made it sound like he’s getting closer, but probably still a week away.
As for UCLA, they come in having won eight of its last ten games. This season, the Bruins’ two losses have come against then top-ranked Gonzaga and Oregon, who is now looking like a typical Oregon squad. UCLA has committed the second-fewest turnovers in the NCAA (9.9 per game), so Utah’s defense and rebounding will have to be honest, plus the offense will have to be clean because they’re not going to get a lot of transition looks.
The Bruins are led by All-American Johnny Juzang, who is averaging 17.2 points and 5.1 rebounds. Second on the team is Jaime Jaquez Jr. is, averaging 13.3 points and 5.7 rebounds. Jules Bernard is next averaging 13.2 points and 4.7 rebounds. The point guard Tyger Campbell averages 12.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. The Bruins have a lot of dudes that can cause issues for a defense.
It’s going to be a tough battle for the Utes to break this losing streak, but at this point, it’s all about progress. The Utes have played much better the last couple of games; they are just missing the bodies that can finish the deal. Here’s hoping they can battle again tonight and maybe shock the basketball world.
Here’s how to watch:
Location: Hunstman Center
Tip: 9 pm