It wasn't the prettiest game, and the loss of Jakob Poeltl was noticeable, but Utah still took down a feisty Washington State team that had it's fair of runs in an up and down game. Utah was led by the backcourt tandem of Brandon Taylor and Delon Wright who dominated both ends of the floor, while getting a good game from Jordan Loveridge and big help off the bench from Jeremy Olsen. The Utes did what they should do, and that's handily beat a lesser opponent at him.
What We Liked
- The Backcourt...again. Taylor and Wright combined for 35 points on only 16 field goal attempts. 15 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 block, 5 steals, 50% from deep, 8 for 8 from the line, and a partridge in a pear tree. What a performance as Taylor looks like he might end up pushing for an all conference honorable mention nod.
- Loveridge Gets Aggressive. Only ended up going 1 for 5 inside the arc, but his aggressiveness in attacking the basket led to multiple trips to the free throw line where he was 6 of 7. Two 3 points helped stretch the floor and keep the defense honest. More games like this would be nice.
-Jeremy Olsen is Legit. Olsen got a chance with Poeltl out an Bachynski then suffering a injury. 8 points, 5 rebounds, and a block in 14 minutes will do the job.
-Free throws. 19 for 22 for the game. Remember when this was a weakness?
-Turnover margin. +13 is going to win you pretty much every single game. The Utes only turned it over 4 times and forced 17 on the other end with 10 team steals.
What We Didn't Like
-That early second half defensive lapse has returned. In 4 of 6 Pac 12 games, the Utes have had issues coming out of the break on the defensive end. Fortunately they've righted that ship in 3 of those 4 instances, but it's something that is a concern after Wazzu scored 15 points in the first 4:23 of the second frame.
-Zone Issues. The Utes hit a dry spell in the first half when they couldn't figure out the Wazzu zone and ended up throwing up some bad shots late in the shot-clock. We've seen this before. Not sure why more teams don't go zone against the Utes more often.
-Rebounding Battle. Without Poeltl in there and then with Bachynski going out, Utah lost the rebounding battle 35 to 30. Need their big men healthy.
The Utes will take on Washington on Sunday night. The Huskies play Thursday at Colorado so they'll have one less day to prepare while Utah gets three whole days off. Washington came out of the gate strong this season and made it into the top 20, but lost their first three conference game. They've righted the ship a bit with back to back wins over the Oregon schools.
Utes Bounce Back
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