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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

March 11, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Scouting report: Utah

Utah's Delon Wright (55) and teammate Jordan Loveridge (21) defend against Washington's C.J. Wilcox (23) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Salt Lake City. Utah won 78-69. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Utah’s Delon Wright (55) and teammate Jordan Loveridge (21) defend against Washington’s C.J. Wilcox (23) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Salt Lake City. Utah won 78-69. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Scouting report: Utah
Game info: noon Wednesday at MGM Grand Arena (13,151 capacity).

TV: Pac-12 Networks (Kevin Calabro and Ernie Kent).
Radio: KJR 950 AM (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton).

Record: 20-10, 9-9 Pac-12 (tied eighth).
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Game notes: Utah and Washington.

Coach: Larry Krystkowiak is 41-53 (.436) in his third season with the Utes and 83-73 (.531) in five years as a head coach. Prior to joining Utah in 2011, he spent two years at Montana where he amassed a 42-20 (.677) record. Krystowiak played at Montana (1982-86). Taken in the second round of the 1986 draft, he had a nine-year NBA career.

Prediction: Picked to finish ninth in a preseason poll in the Pac-12 by media who cover the conference.

Series: Washington leads 8-7 in a series that began Nov. 30, 1951.

Last meeting: Tied 51-51 midway in the second half, Utah used an 11-0 run to take control of the game and pull ahead 62-51 with 5:52 left. The Utes won 78-69 on Feb. 6 at Huntsmen Center. C.J. Wilcox scored 20 points, Nigel Williams-Goss 19 and Desmond Simmons 14 while Andrew Andrews was 1 for 12 from the field for two points.

Previous game: Lost 61-60 at Stanford on Saturday in the regular-season finale.

Utah's Delon Wright (55) defends against Washington's Desmond Simmons (30). (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Utah’s Delon Wright (55) defends against Washington’s Desmond Simmons (30). (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Delon Wright, a junior-college transfer who starred at City College of San Francisco, has made a big impact in his first year with Utah. He was voted first team all-conference and all-defensive team by the Pac-12 coaches.

The 6-5 junior guard has started all 30 games and averages 16.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.6 steals and 1.3 blocks in 36.4 minutes. And he’s shooting 58.4 percent from the field. He won the Pac-12 player of the week Jan. 20.

Wright is arguably the most versatile player in the Pac-12 other than UCLA’s Kyle Anderson. Still, Wright has struggled behind the arc where he shoots 24.5 on three-pointers.

In Utah’s first meeting with Washington, a 59-57 UW win, he scored a career a career high 27 points. He converted 10 of 17 field goals, 1 of 4 three pointers and 6 of 8 free throws. He also had 11 rebounds and three steals in 40 minutes. Wright had a chance to win the game, but his off-balance 19-foot, fadeaway three-pointer over Andrews sailed over the rim.

In the second game versus the Huskies, he had 19 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals in 38 minutes.

Wright considered Washington, Gonzaga, Washington State before picking Utah shortly after the Huskies signed Mike Anderson, a junior-college transfer from Mobley Area CC.

Wright is the younger brother of Philadelphia 76ers guard Dorrell Wright, who has played in the NBA for nine years. Wright is noncommittal on if he’s going to return to Utah next season.

C.J. Wilcox on Wright: “He’s really good on the offensive end using the ball screen. He doesn’t shoot the ball well so we kind of try to play off of him. But as soon as he gets the ball screen, he’s really good at splitting and doing Euro-steps to get the basket. That’s what he does best. Just trying to contain him is the biggest thing. On the defensive end, he’s really long and gets a lot of steals and a lot of blocks. Just a good athlete. So that always helps.”

Jordan Loveridge, Utah’s second-leading scorer who tallied 16 points and 13 rebounds in the last meeting with Washington, is capable of another big performance. However, he had a poor outing (seven points and two rebounds) in his last outing.

The 6-6 sophomore forward averages 15.1 points and 7.2 rebounds. He had a quiet game against the Huskies in their first encounter and finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes. In their only meeting during the 2012-13 season, Loveridge had 17 points, five rebounds and four assists in a 74-65 win at Washington.

Loveridge is a very active offensively. He averages 12.6 shots and 34.8 minutes. He does a good job drawing fouls. He averages 4.6 free throws and shoots 79.6 percent at the line. Not sure why he shoots so many three-pointers – nearly five per game – when his average is 29.7 percent behind the arc.

Utah's Brandon Taylor drives to the basket (AP-Rick Bowmer)

Utah’s Brandon Taylor drives to the basket (AP-Rick Bowmer)

Brandon Taylor, a streaky-shooting guard, is often the X-factor for Utah. Last year, he burned Washington with his quickness and dribble drive layups en route to 19 points. In January, he was virtually non-existent against UW and finished with four points, two rebounds and was 0 for 5 on three-pointers in 35 minutes. In February, he came alive and tallied 20 points on 5-for-11 shooting from the field and 8-for-10 FT shooting.

The 5-10 sophomore combo guard averages 10.9 points, 3.7 assists and 2.2 rebounds. He shoots 40 percent on three-pointers and 81% on free throws.

OVERVIEW:

— Utah was the No. 10 seed last year and beat No. 7 USC (69-66) and No. 2 California (79-69 OT) before losing to eventual champion Oregon 64-45 in the semifinals.

— Utah has not played a neutral-site game this season.

— Utah would have finished the season with a four-game winning streak if not for the 61-60 loss at Stanford in the regular-season finale.

— Either Loveridge (12), Wright (11) and Taylor (nine) have led Utah in scoring in every game. They’ve also led the Utes in assists in every game.

— Krystowiak is relying on a three-man rotation in the post that includes: 6-10 sophomore Jeremy Olsen, 6-9 senior Renan Lenz and 7-foot junior Dallin Bachynski who is the younger brother of Arizona State senior Jordan Bachynski. No one averages more than 18 minutes and collectively they average 17.0 points and 10.1 rebounds.

— When evaluating Utah, it’s important to remember Krystkowiak is in the third year of a major rebuilding project. The Utes were 6-25 his first season. They had six transfers that first season and brought in seven new players this season.

— Utah has used five lineups this season. The lineup (below) is 2-1.

STARTING LINEUP:

C – Dallin Bachynski, 7-0, 258, Jr., 6.7 ppg., 4.8 rpg., 1.0 bpg., 17.7 mpg., 62.67 FG%
F – Jordan Loveridge, 6-6, 218, So., 15.1, 7.2, 2.4 apg.
G/F – Princeton Onwas, 6-5, 202, Jr., 4.6, 2.6, 17.3 mpg., 53.8 FG%,
G – Delon Wright, 6-5, 180, Jr., 16.1, 6.9, 5.3 apg., 2.6 spg., 1.3 bpg., 58.4 FG%
G – Brandon Taylor, 5-10, 162, So., 10.9, 2.2, 3.7 apg., 2.0 tpg., 81.1 FT%, 40.o 3FG%

Comments | More in Scouting reports | Topics: Brandon Taylor, Delon Wright, Jordan Loveridge


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