Game Matchups and Preview: Utah vs Arizona St

The Utes return home looking to bounce back after a rare loss

Guards
Brandon Taylor gets to return to the friendly confines of the Huntsman Center instead of shooting in a gym that due to the color-schemes, throws off a lot of visiting players. He'll bounce back after a tough day in Eugene and knock down his typical 3+ 3s per game. Delon Wright is the best player in the Pac 12 and will have a monster game on Thursday.

Freshman Tra Holder has upped his game recently pushing his scoring average to 6.9 per contest with a string of 5 straight strong games where he averaged 12 per and 5.6 assists. Gerry Blakes leads the team in scoring at 11.3 points per game.
Advantage: Utah

Forwards
At what point does Chris Reyes' ineffectiveness on the offensive end reduce his role? He's not playing a ton of minutes, but he's a bit of a liability out there with only 4 points per game. Jordan Loverdide hasn't hit double digits in scoring in his last 3 games. He's down to 10 points and 3.7 rebounds per game this season.

Savon Goodman does a lot of the little things for ASU, and it's lead to 10.9 points and 7 rebounds per game. Not an outside threat at all though, having yet to attempt a 3 point all season, despite being only 6-6, 215 pounds. Shaquille McKissic is more of guard, but does play inside a bit. He's played well of late in averaging 13.3 points in his last 3 games.
Advantage: Arizona State


Center
Which Poeltl this time? He didn't do much against ASU last time and has had inconsistent performance against bigger defenders, which he'll face again on Thursday.

Eric Jacobsen is one of the more consistent centers in the conference averaging 9 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest. Like Poeltl, he has an issue with fouling, especially in the second half of games.
Advantage: Even


Bench
This is officially Dakari Tucker's unit. He's giving Utah a ton off of the bench, along with Brekkott Chapman. Dallin Bachynski has hit the skids and Kenneth Ogbe looks disinterested, but this is still the deepest bench crew in the conference.

ASU is one of the deeper teams in the conference, but has shortened up their bench significantly in recent games with only Bo Barnes, Jonathan Gilling, and Chance Murray getting run in their last game against UCA. Barnes and Gilling each average over 6 points per game.
Advantage: Utah


Breakdown
I'm not sure if I'm been more confident in picking a game all season than I am for this one. The Utes are better, deeper, playing at home, and pissed off. Arizona State is going to pay the price for Utah's loss on Sunday. The only way this stays within 15 is if the refs have money riding on ASU to cover the spread.

The Pick
Utah 77 Arizona State 55

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