Breakdown: Arizona vs. Utah

Arizona will look to improve to 20-0 as it faces Utah on Sunday night. Read on for a complete positional breakdown, a score prediction, and more.



Utah at Arizona
Jan. 26 at 6 pm
TV: Fox Sports 1
McKale Center

ARIZONA

UTAH
Overall Record 19-0 (1.000) 14-5 (.737)
Location Record 13-0 (1.000) at home 0-4 (.000) on the road
Scoring/G: PF&PA(Rank) 75.9 (82) 56.7 (5) 80.7 (24) 62.1 (24)
Rebound Margin/G: RM(Rank) 10.6 (5) 6.7 (24)
Steals/G:
S(Rank)
5.8 (221) 7.0 (91)
Assists/G: A(Rank)
15.9 (24) 16.5 (15)
Field-Goal Percentage: FG%(Rank) 49.1 (12) 50.8 (3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 3FG%(Rank) 37.9 (79) 34.1 (179)
Field-Goal Percentage Against: FG%(Rank) 37 (5) 39.9 (46)
Ranking: Coaches' Poll #1 N/A
Ranking:
AP Poll
#1 N/A

RPI

2 (.6916) 118 (.5278)
Point Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
PG: T.J. McConnell (6-1, 195, Jr.) vs. Brandon Taylor (5-10, 165, So.)

Taylor isn't great by any means, but he does what Utah needs him to do and not much more than that. He tends to shoot himself out of bad shooting nights, which he really is not equipped to do. If Taylor takes smart shots, he can be efficient. However, he just is not consistent enough to do that yet and McConnell may be the best point guard in the conference. Usually players like McConnell bounce back from having an off game, so we have a feeling he will be just fine on Sunday.

Shooting Guard

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, Jr.) vs. Delon Wright (6-5, 178, Jr.)

Wright is really good and the people that are going to see him for the first time are in for a treat. Every bad or mediocre team has one good player that tends to dominate action, but Wright is shooting 61 percent from the field, which is unreal. He also averages seven rebounds and five assists to go along with 16 points per game. Basically, Johnson is going to have his work cut out for him and this is one of his toughest matchups of the season. We're not going to give Wright the advantage here, but he has only shot below 50 percent three times this season. As good as we think Wright is, he can be forced into turnovers, so that is certainly something to keep an eye on.

Small Forward

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
SF: Aaron Gordon (6-9, 225, Fr.) vs. Dakarai Tucker (6-5, 189, So.)

This has the potential to be a huge mismatch for Utah. Tucker definitely can't guard Gordon and it will be interesting to see what kind of defense Utah uses. Tucker is not a big enough offensive threat to really worry about much, but Gordon has the ability to get inside on Tucker and give him fits. Arizona would be smart to take advantage of this one as much as possible, even if Utah decides to go zone. We would expect Gordon to get a double-double in this one and would be slightly disappointed if he doesn't.

Power Forward

ADVANTAGE: Even
PF: Brandon Ashley (6-8, 230, So.) vs. Jordan Loveridge (6-6, 210, So.)

As good as Wright is, Loveridge is probably the key to this team, especially because of what he can do on the glass. Loveridge had a 17-point game in the first contest against Arizona last season, but was basically irrelevant in the second. He is a good rebounder, averaging eight per game. However, he sometimes has a tendency to drift on the perimeter and Arizona really would not have many worries about that. Our guess is that he is going to be more on the perimeter Sunday, because we don't know what he is going to be able to get inside with Arizona's size. Ashley should be just fine offensively, though you have to be slightly concerned as to whether or not he may struggle with fouls against a guy that likes to shoot like Loveridge does.

Center

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 235, So.) vs. Dallin Bachynski (7-0, 258, Jr.)

Bachynski does not do a lot, but he helps Utah with his size and can grab a handful of rebounds. Basically, he is a poor man's version of his brother and Tarczewski held Jordan without a field goal. The key here is that Bachynski really struggle with physical centers and has a tendency to pick up fouls in a hurry. He fouled out in 11 minutes against USC, had 4 in 24 minutes against ASU, and 4 in 16 minutes against Oregon State. There is no reason why he should be able to play decent minutes against Arizona and we assume Tarczewski will be aggressive early in order to get Bachynski out of the game.

Bench

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Bench: Jeremy Olsen is going to be one of the main players off the bench for the Utes and much of that has to do with Bachynski's foul trouble. He is actually a pretty decent player to bring off the bench, but has similar foul troubles and can't get extended minutes because of it. Kenneth Ogbe will get some minutes off the bench at the two or in a three guard lineup, but likely will not do much. He did go 4-4 against UCLA, so the potential to get hot is there. Princeton Onwas is the best player off the bench for the Utes, averaging about four points and three rebounds per game. He's not going to go off, but he fills his role nicely. Still, Arizona brings two players off the bench that are better than anything the Utes can bring.
Coaching

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Larry Krystkowiak

Krystkowiak has done a very good job with Utah, completely giving it a new identity and seemingly having it go in the right direction. The Utes are not there yet, but Krystkowiak deserves credit. We think he will prove he can win, but obviously Arizona is doing it at a different level.

Outcome

ADVANTAGE: Arizona
78 64
Prediction: Utah has lost five games this season and none of them are by more than four points. It's basically the difference between a team that can get over the hump and a team that can't. We're guessing the Utes lose by a little more than four in this one. Utah plays man to man, but we think it is going to have to play zone to have a chance. The problem is that the Utes just don't match up with Arizona and going small tends not to work against the Wildcats. Miller was not happy after the Colorado win because he felt Arizona was not rebounding well enough. Want to bet the Wildcats come out and rebound well?


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