Game Matchups and Preview: Utah at Colorado

The Utes head to Boulder looking for a tough road win

The dynamic Utah duo of Delon Wright and Brandon Taylor come in averaging 25.2 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, and 3.7 steals per game. Best back-court in the conference?

Colorado point guard Askia Booker has been on fire of late, having to put the team on his back after injuries decimated the Buffs' starting lineup. He's averaging 26+ points per game in his last 3 contests, including a 43 point outburst against USC. Jaron Hopkins is slowly returning from injury. He didn't play against USC last week and then came off of the bench against UCLA. The 6-6 sophomore who averages 7.5 points per game should slide back into the starting lineup today.
Advantage: Utah

Jordan Loveridge has evolved into somewhat of a 3 point specialist for Utah. He's knocking down 46% of his attempts and making 2+ per game, but the other parts of his game this year are down (rebounds, assists, blocks, steals). Chris Reyes has another tough front-court matchup going against Wesley Johnson. Reyes averages 4.8 points and 4.2 rebounds.

Xavier Johnson returned to the lineup last week after sitting out a few games with an ankle injury. He's been a bit rusty, but the week off has the versatile forward back to 100%. He's averaging 11.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game on the year. Wesley Gordon is his front-court mate and averages 7.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per contest.
Advantage: Colorado

Jakob Poeltl has responded well in his return from injury, highlighted by a 14 point, 9 rebound effort last time out against USC. He's averaging 9.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.

When healthy, Josh Scott, is probably the most complete center in the conference. He's missed six straight games, but is expected to play. How effective will he be though? The big man is averaging 13.8 points and 7 rebounds per game this season.
Advantage: Even

Dallin Bachynski, Brekkott Chapman and the bench mob just keep rolling along. The group averages an astounding 31.7 points per game. That'll get it done.

The Colorado bench was dangerously thin, but should be at its deepest it's been since the start of conference play as they get some guys back, allowing players that were starting to go back to their bench roles. Tre'Shaun Fletcher leads all bench scorers with 4.6 points per game.
Advantage: Utah

The Breakdown
This isn't an easy matchup for the Utes despite manhandling Colorado last month in Salt Lake City. Colorado is healthy for the first time in Pac 12 play, which gives them one of the most talented rosters in the conference. The question is, will guys like Johnson, Scott, and Hopkins be fresh, or will they be rusty? We'll hedge and say that it's a combination of both, which should allow the Utes, and the best player on the floor in Delon Wright, to do just enough to get a solid road win.

The Pick
Utah 68 Colorado 62

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