Joel Davidson, UteZone

Preview: Utah vs. ASU

UteZone breaks down today's matchup against the Sun Devils

The Runnin Utes look to bounce back versus the Arizona State Wildcats after a tough loss Thursday. The Wildcats and Sun Devils play very contrasting styles, it’ll be interesting to see how Coach Krystkowiak and his guys will adjust.

Here’s a look at a per game statistical comparison between the two teams:

Utah 79.5 65 49.9 39.8 15.1 4.2 5.9 31.9
ASU 82 82.1 35.1 35.1 14 3.8 6.2 36.7

Where the Wildcats beat Utah, was on the boards and scoring inside, Utah couldn’t compete with their size. The Sun Devils however, are much smaller, playing more small-ball and getting up & down the floor and shooting from behind the 3pt line. The Utes have struggled against teams that shoot the ball well from outside thus far in the season.

The Utes will have the size advantage and are much better defensively, which is saying something because the Utes have not been great either. Will they be able to take advantage of their strengths against the Sun Devils, which is their size and offensive play inside? The Utes will need to be strong defensively on the perimeter, which is where they’ve struggled. If the Runnin Utes can defend the perimeter, they should have a good chance at a victory.

The Sun Devils are not a big team, but they have some playmakers on the perimeter. Torian Graham is the leading scorer, he’s a 6 foot 5 inch guard averaging 18 points and shooting 39% from 3pt range. Tra Holder and Shannon Evans II, are both 6 foot guards that are both averaging about 15 points a piece. Tra looks to attack the rim and get to the free throw line, whereas Evans II is more of a shooter.

KEY MATCHUP: Utah’s backcourt vs ASU’s backcourt

Arizona State’s backcourt is clearly the driving force behind their attack. The Utes backcourt has struggled somewhat early on, Devon Daniels has been the most consistent contributor, which is a good sign but also disappointing considering this is Bonam’s senior season and second in the program. Barefield has been brilliant offensively at times, but has also struggled some too. If the Runnin Utes can play strong defensively, they should be able to get what they want against the Sun Devils porous defense. 

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