Anyone else think there might be 11 others teams in the conference that wished they wouldn't have passed on both of Utah's starting guards? Delon Wright is the best player in the conference and Brandon Taylor has turned into the Pac 12's best 3 point shooter, and a feisty defender. These guys are doing it all on both ends.
If Delon Wright doesn't take home the Pac 12 player of the year honor, there's a solid chance it will go to Stanford guard in Chasson Randle. The senior is averaging 20.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.5 steals, shoots 89% from the line and knocks down 2.6 3-pointers per game. Next to Randle is sophomore Marcus Allen who isn't much of an offensive threat averaging only 4.4 points and making less than 45% of his free throws. The 6-3 guard has made only 4 3-pointers this season.
Jordan Loveridge came out attacking against both USC and Colorado in the last two games and it makes everything so much easier for himself and the rest of the team. When he's on and knocking down 3s early, Utah tends to run away with games. Chris Reyes plays defense and picks up loose balls.
Even with Chasson Randle on the roster, you can make the case that Anthony Brown has been the most valuable Cardinal player this season. He's averaging 15.8 points and 7.3 rebounds. His 46% from deep can turn a game around quickly. Junior Rosco Allen is a true inside-out threat. The 6-9 forward ends up doing a lot of his damage from deep though making 41.6% of this 3s to get to his 8.8 points per game.
Jakob Poeltl hasn't been as aggressive offensively in Pac 12 play, posting only a single double-digit scoring effort in his last 14 games. He's still a monster on the glass though and on D, affecting shot after shot.
Stefan Nastic is a load inside at 6-11, 245 pounds, and plays a very physical game. The big man is putting up 13.8 points. 6.9 boards, and 1.2 blocks per game. He's scored in double figures in every game this season but one....when he posted 9 against Texas. Nastic does have a penchant for fouling a lot though, fouling out 5 times and picking up 4 fouls 11 times.
Dakari Tucker would start for close to half the teams in the Pac 12. He's been superb this season. Dallin Bachynski is hitting 3s now. Is there anything the bench mob can't do?
Freshman Reid Travis is the first man off of the bench and is averaging 6.7 points and 6 rebounds per game. Outside of Reid, Stanford has pretty much nothing. No depth.
The Cardinal have some solid road wins this season against Cal, Texas, and Washington (although the Horns and Huskies are currently in a free fall), so the Huntsman Center won't scare them as much as it does other teams. Randle and Wright will Duke it out to a draw, while Poeltl and Nastic will do the same, and Stanford will make some 3s, but Brandon Taylor again will bail the Utes out with some clutch shots in the 2nd half in a close one.
Utah 73 Stanford 67
Game Matchups and Preview: Utah vs Stanford
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