Game Matchups and Preview: Utah at Arizona St

Utah heads to the desert for the first of two against the Arizona schools

Guards
Delon Wright. He just keeps getting better and better and is moving up list for many national player of the year awards. 14.9 points per game on 57% shooting, 4.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 2.9 steals are beyond impressive. Not much more to say about the guy other than, 'He good.' Brandon Taylor might be the perfect compliment to Wright and has excelled this year with a steady 9.7 points per game and 3.1 assists. Taylor does a lot of things (especially on D) that don't end up in the box score.

Shaquielle McKissic leads the Sun Devils in scoring at 11 points per game and is second with 2 assists per game. He's a combo guard/forward at 6-5, but doesn't have much of an outside game and struggles at the ling shooting under 60%. He is coming off of an 18 point performance against Oregon though. Roosevelt Scott isn't much of an offensive threat averaging only 4.5 points per game. Neither is Kodi Justice who also averages 4. Both started the last game for against Oregon, but neither gets what most would call starter minutes.
Advantage: Utah

Forwards
After 2 really good games coming off of an injury, Jordan Loveridge came back to Earth against UCLA and Colorado averaging only 6 points in those two contests when he was a combined 3 for 14 from 3 point land. If the deep ball isn't working, Loveridge can disappear. Which one will we see Thursday may not matter though. Despite limited minutes, Chris Reyes has actually upped his game in Pac 12 play averaging just under 6 points and 6 boards per game, both above his overall season average.

Savon Goodman may be ASU's best player with averages of 10.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. His game is an inside game and you won't see him stepping outside the arc as he's yet to attempt a 3 this season.
Advantage: Utah

Center
Ever heard of this Poeltl kid? He can play. Offensively things have dropped off in Pac 12 play, but the freshman center from Austria continues to be a force on defense. Against an undersized ASU team that doesn't shoot a lot of 3s, he could have 5+ blocks.

Poeltl will matchup with Eric Jacobsen. Jacobsen is a 6-10, 255 pounder who averages 10.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He's very efficient on the offensive end shooting 66% from the field. Should be a fun matchup between the two bigs.
Advantage: Utah

Bench
Brekkott Chapman looks like an early candidate for the all Pac 12 freshmen team. The local kid continues to get better with each game. Dakari Tucker has looked more confident this season with his slashing and outside game while Dallin Bachynksi is providing plenty of support in the middle. Utah has a ton of depth and that is helping keep the starters fresh.

ASU actually has a pretty deep bench that can help them go as many as 11 deep and a lot of the guys play close to starter's minutes. Guard Gerry Blakes averages over 10 points and 4 rebounds per game. Jonathan Gilling is the Devils' best oustide threat, knocking down 50% of his 3s. Tra Holder and Bo Barnes also are heavy contributors off the bench.
Advantage: Even

Breakdown
You could make the case that the Sun Devils are the worst team in the Pac 12. They're dreadful on the road, but this one is at home, which could make it more interesteing. Trap game? Nah. A Larry Krystkowiak team doesn't have trap games. As long as the Utes aren't caught looking ahead, and ASU doesn't shoot lights-out for a change, this should be an easy W.

The Pick
Utah 79 Arizona State 63

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