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Oregon State Basketball: Opponent Preview - Utah Utes (Game 21)

Oregon State took the first leg of the mountain region trip. Now, can they handle the Utes on Saturday?

NCAA Basketball: Utah at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Utes (11-9)

  • Head Coach: Larry Krystkowiak (8th Season)
  • Top Performer: Sedrick Barefield (16.1 PPG, 3.8 APG)
  • Points For: 75.1 PPG (00th)
  • Points Against: 73.1 PPG (228th)
  • Last Game/Streak: 78-72 Loss v. Oregon (1L)

The Skinny

With a victory on Thursday night over Colorado, Oregon State still sits in the fight for second place in the Pac-12, just a half-game (and a head-to-head tiebreaker) behind Arizona State. And yet, with a defeat at the hands of Oregon yesterday, so does too Utah, who quietly has still found themselves in the midst of the conference picture as well.

So throw out all the records when it comes down to the game between the lines on Saturday in Salt Lake City. This game has a whole lot more than some random conference play drama on the line.

For the Utes, the 2018-2019 season has been one of highs-and-lows and mostly trying to understand who exactly this team is. Utah has mostly quality losses, stemming back to their earliest non-conference slip-ups, but they also lack any sort of quality victory outside a road win at Arizona State.

In their nine defeats on the campaign, Utah has lost by an average margin of 13.8 points per game, mostly attributed to poor defensive showings against solid competition. But in their eleven wins, the Utes have yet to score under 69 points, leaving most to wonder just which version of the “Jekyll and Hyde” team will show up on Saturday.

As far as on the personnel front, most Pac-12 fans will known the name of Sedrick Barefield (16.1 PPG), the one-time SMU transfer who has gradually grown into the lead role for Utah. However, some pieces that most may not know stretch from the likes of Donnie Tillman (11.1 PPG), one of the league’s quieter consistent contributors, to a duo of freshmen in Timmy Allen (10.8 PPG) and Both Gach (8.2 PPG), who have both been instant-impact talents for Larry Krystkowiak.

Overall, Utah won’t surprise anyone with their style of play or their overall focus level, which has grown fairly consistent over the years since “Big Coach K” took over. However, it’s important to note that this is by far not the best Utes line-up they’ve put out in the past few seasons and Oregon State will have to match their intensity to pull off a coveted road victory.

Player To Watch

Timmy Allen (Freshman) - Not a usual recruiting hotbed for top-tier prospects, it was no surprise that the fanfare around Timmy Allen when he committed to Utah was rather subdued compared to that of the usual Pac-12 freshmen phenoms. However, Allen is not a name to forget, as he could propel this Utes program upward over the next few seasons. A consistent scorer whose adjusted quickly to the college game, Allen is one of those do-it-all pieces who rebounds well for his size and has serious play-making abilities for his teammates.

NCAA Basketball: Utah at Minnesota
If Sedrick Barefield is Utah’s known commodity, consider Timmy Allen the Utes’ secret weapon.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

  • Date: Saturday, February 2nd
  • Time: 2:00 PM PT
  • Location: Jon M. Huntsman Center (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • Coverage: Pac-12 Network