Game Matchups and Preview: Utah vs Wazzu

Utah returns home to face the surprising Cougars on Wednesday

Guards
I don't know who Brandon Taylor thinks he is, but the diminutive guard has really stepped up his game in Pac 12 play, scoring 11 or more points in 4 out of 5 contests while shooting 59% from deep over the same stretch. Delon Wright struggled over the last 35 minutes against Arizona, but he should be able to bounce back against the Cougs. Still the best player in the conference, I think.

DaVonte Lacy (not to be confused with Utah Utes fan Darren Lacy) is one of the top scoring threats in the conference. The senior averages 17.4 points per game and loves that 3 ball. If he gets hot, it could help keep the Cougs close. Freshman Ny Redding isn't much of a scorer at only 6 per contest, but is dishing it out at a decent rate with 3.9 dimes per game. Ike Iroegbu has a sweet name and an all-around game averaging 9.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per night. Lacy is the guy that makes it all go though, in the backcourt and on the entire team.
Advantage: Utah

Forwards
Which Jordan Loveridge will we see? First half against Arizona Loveridge or second half against Arizona Loveridge? It may not matter, but Utah is sooooo much better when Loveridge is shooting with confidence. Chris Reyes is coming off his worst game as a Ute. He'll have a tough defensive matchup on Wednesday if the coaches decide to put him on the man below, because....

Josh Hawkinson is a heck of a player. The 6-10 sophomore is averaging 15.4 points and 10.2 rebound per game, up from 1.2 points and 1.6 boards last season. He shoots over 50% from the field, over 80% from the line, and over 30% from deep. He good.
Advantage: Washington State

Center
Jakob Poeltl had his issues against Arizona with all of their size, speed, and athleticism. He'll be looking at a bunch of size again on Wednesday night against Washington State and their front line.

Jordan Reilly gets the start at center, but doesn't get a ton of minutes, averaging only 12 per game for his 4 point and 2 rebound average. You'll see Hawkinson playing a lot at the 5 for Wazzu.
Advantage: Utah

Bench
What will Brekkott Chapman do this time out? The local product has the makings of a star and continues to amaze. Dalling Bachynski may get more time (maybe even next to Poeltl) to help with the Washington State frontcourt size. Dakari Tucker is the perfect compliment to the team coming off the bench with his 7.4 points per game.

Wazzu isn't the deepest team in the land. Brett Boese and Que Johnson both get extended minutes. Boese loves to chuck it from deep (20 3 point attempts in last 3 games) and is making 43% of them. Outside of those two, not much.
Advantage: Utah

The Breakdown
Washington State has been a bit of a surprise this season with wins at Cal, at Washington, and over Oregon. They've got some star power, but depth and consistency are issues. Might make a few runs at Utah behind Lacy and Hawkinson, but at the Huntsman Center, Utah will bounce back with Delon Wright leading the charge for another comfortable victory.

The Pick
Utah 77 Washington State 59

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