Game Matchups and Preview: Utah vs Colorado

The Buffs come to town in a battle of conference unbeatens

Guards
Delon Wright has elevated his game this season and looks like the best player in the Pac 12. His numbers may be down across the board, but so are his minutes, and there is a lot more depth that he can rely on this season. His impact though, is rising. Brandon Taylor is in a similar boat in that he isn't being asked to do as much, and he's responded with more consistency averaging 9.4 points and shooting over 40% from 3.

Askia Booker is a pain in the ass. The point guard for Colorado is one of those guys you hate to go against with his quick hands and versatile skill-set. He's averaging 16 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game and has above average athleticism. Watching him and Wright go head to head should be fun. Sophomore Jaron Hopkins is 6-6, but isn't much of a scoring threat, especially from outside. He chips in 6 points per game.
Advantage: Utah

Forwards
Xavier Johnson is one of the top forwards in the conference and does a lot of the little things. He's an energy guy that does work on the offensive glass with 13.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. The junior also shoots over 40% from deep. Power forward Wesley Gordon averages 7.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots per game.

Welcome back Jordan Loveridge. With the return of the junior forward, Utah has taken their game to new heights, thanks to his outside shooting threat and overall offensive prowess. Loveridge is Utah's best pure scorer and gives them an inside-outside threat that makes him one of the more dangerous players in the conference. Chris Reyes had a solid game on Sunday against UCLA, hitting the glass hard. His toughness and rebounding have been highly valuable.
Advantage: Utah

Center
Josh Scott is arguably the best center in the conference. He'll be a power forward at the next level, but the big man is very active and does a lot on both ends averaging 14.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2 blocks. He's missed the last two contests though with a back injury, but is listed as a day to day and the thought is that he'll play Wednesday.

Jakob Poeltl had a great game against UCLA and will look to build on that against Colorado. He's still averaging close to a double-double. The Austrian will be tested by Scott though, who might be his toughest matchup all season. If Poeltl can stay out of foul trouble, he should be able to hang with Scott, but that's a big if against the talented junior.
Advantage: Colorado (if Scott plays)

Bench
If Scott can't go, that hurts Colorado's bench quite a bit. They don't have a single non-starter averaging more than 4 points per game. Guard Xavier Talton gets a lot of run, but doesn't do much statistically with only 3.2 points per game in 23 minutes.

Utah has had 7 different bench players get on the scoreboard in 2 Pac 12 games. I doubt anyone else in the country can make that same claim through two conference games.
Advantage: Utah

Breakdown
The Buffs should be better than their record indicates. They're got a lot of talent and a very good coach. When healthy, their front court is arguably the best in the conference. That said, Utah has more overall talent, an even better coach, more depth, and home-court advantage. If Scott plays, this one won't be as easy as the first two, but the Utes should be able to win this one comfortably enough either way.

The Pick
Utah 71 Colorado 63 (assuming Scott plays)

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