Facilitate, get to the rack, knock down 3s, and play good defense. If Taylor and Wright can do that for 40 minutes on Friday night, they'll have a great shot to take down the Blue Devils.
Quinn Cook is a senior? I swear he just got on campus. The versatile guard can play either spot, averaging 15.9 points, 2.8 assists, and 3.3 rebounds. He's kind of the rock for this team. Freshman Tyus Jones is generally going to have the ball in his hands and has had a more than impressive year averaging 11.6 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.6 rebounds. These guys are good.
Utah may need Chris Reyes to play extended minutes against the Blue Devils to combat their size. He's arguably Utah's most physical player and will have his hands full with the likes of Justice Winslow. Jordan Loveridge has made his bones on D recently and will need to do that again against Duke. Throw in some timely 3s and he'll have done his job.
You're not going to find many freshman built like Justice Winslow. At 6-6, 225 pounds, he's a do everything type of forward averaging 12.1 points,6.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.3 steals. Also shoots 39% from deep. A nightmare of a matchup. Sophomore Matt Jones would be a star on most teams. Instead he's the afterthought in Duke's starting lineup. The 6-5 swing-man averages 6 points and 2 rebounds.
Poeltl has found his offensive game just in time for the tournament, averaging 15 per contest through 2 rounds. He'll need to be a monster on D against the Duke offense and will be facing his toughest inside test to date.
Jhalil Okafor is in line to win a bunch of awards at the end of the season. The highly touted freshman has lived up to the billing with 17.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. He might be the best player in the country and could end up the #1 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
The bench continues to stay short for Utah. Tucker will get his minutes and Utah may need all of Bachynski's and Olsen's five fouls apiece to slow down Okafor. Isaiah Wright continues to impress in limited minutes while Brekkott Chapman has been fazed out a bit recently.
Duke isn't exceptionally deep, but they do get production off of the bench from Amile Jefferson, Grayson Allen, and Marshall Plumlee, all of whom make a big impact.
You want to get to the Final 4? You're going to have to go through teams like Duke. They've got everything from size, speed, athleticism, and versatility. Oh, and that Okafor kid is pretty good. This isn't the worst match-up for the Utes and it's a winnable game. I want to do it. I really do..........but I can't. Duke doesn't have a hole at any position. They're not great defensively, but too much O sends the Utes home.
Duke 77 Utah 70
Sweet 16: Utah vs Duke
Ute Zone Top Stories
Carlson discusses Utah commitmentUtah commit Branden Carlson talks about the circumstances around his decision
Ute ZoneYesterday at 10:29 PM
Film Room: UCLAUteZone breaks down the biggest impact plays from Utah's win over UCLA
Ute ZoneYesterday at 8:41 PM
Analysis: Branden Carlson commits to UtahUtah basketball landed a key in-state recruit on Sunday. Here's what Carlson's commitment means to the class
Ute ZoneYesterday at 10:02 AM
Joe Williams Runs Wild In Crazy Utah WinThe Utes put up 52 points behind Joe Williams' record day in beating the Bruins
Ute ZoneSunday at 7:39 AM
Position grades: Utah vs. UCLAUteZone grades out each position group from Utah's big win over UCLA in Pasadena
Ute ZoneSaturday at 9:33 PM