Another day. Another dominating Jakob Poeltl performance. And like we've seen over the last two weeks, things are a lot easier when he's getting help from Utah's senior starters in Jordan Loveridge and Brandon Taylor, both of whom turned in tremendous games in the Utes 80-69 win.
Poeltl was unstoppable on Sunday, posting 29 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block, 4 and steals. He's entrenched himself in the Pac 12 player of the year race with a constantly evolving arsenal of moves that is making him a force whether he decides to shoot the ball or not.
Brandon Taylor had arguably his best overall game of the season. The 8 points were nice, going 2 of 3 from deep, but it was his command of the team, and the slicing and dicin passes he made inside that led to a career high 10 assists that made Taylor so dangerous on Sunday. When he's distributing the ball like that, Utah gets a lof of open layups, which was the case against USC. Taylor's play over the past two weeks has been more than stellar, and a calmin influence for a team that was fighting through diversity and questioning just how good they were not too long ago.
Jordan Loveridge continued his tremendous month of February with a 13 point performance, including 3 3-pointers. Loveridge has really turned around his shooting slump that affected the first 3 months of the season and now looks like the dangerous scorer that Utah expected when the year started.
Defensively, Utah turned in another solid performance in keeping a high scoring USC team to 13 points below their season average and under 43% shooting for the game. USC had won all 16 of their home contests, but looked thoroughly outclassed by a team really hitting their stride at the right time.
With 3 home games remaining to finish off the regular season, inlcuding a monster battle on Saturday against Arizona, Utah has to like how things are shaping up as they head towards the tournament looking like one of the more dangerous teams in the country.