Jan 12, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils guard Jahii Carson (1) fouls UCLA Bruins guard Norman Powell (4) in the second half at Pauley Pavilion. UCLA defeated Arizona State 87-72. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports
I’ve repeated often that the theme of Utah basketball this year seems to be what is this team. Because having the worst OOC in the nation didn’t tell us much. And now here we are six games into the Pac-12 and we don’t really know much more other than the following.
If the pressure is on late in a game, this team really struggles to execute.
Delon Wright does everything right but shoot the ball.
The rest of this team, you don’t really know what’s going to happen. Are we the team that killed BYU and was working UCLA for much of the game? Are we the team that battled Boise close and made a run at UW. Are we the team that lost at Wazzu and nearly choked away a 17 point lead against the Bruins looking like we’d never seen a press before.
Is this team something unique now or are we the product of a horrid OOC and we’re waiting until the big guns arrive next year.
And the next two weeks will show that. The road is a tough place in the Pac-12. Even Wazzu and USC now have home wins. But Arizona St. and the badly injured Colorado are both suddenly beatable teams. The question becomes. Can Utah be anything close to the team they’ve been at home or will we continue to see the team that we’ve seen on the road.
My personal answer is I don’t know with a lean towards road team. If you ask a lapdog, they have no recollection of the Wazzu loss or the near collapse vs UCLA and think we’ll win by a hunnerd or so. Neither of us have a real idea which will happen.
There is some good news in that Kenneth Ogbe will apparently get minutes tonight. He nearly saved us in Boise after Larry was forced to play him. And he did probably save us against UCLA. It seems that Ogbe has been riding the bench so that we could give minutes out of obligation to Parker Van Dyke, because the staff begged him to play before a mission.
FWIW, I’m not sure Van Dyke looks like a Pac-12 player, certainly not one on a good Pac-12 team and I’m not sure we’ll see him back post mission. In fact I thought the whole idea of having him play was a bit of a desperation move made last year when we had not shooting and hoped Van Dyke could create it this year. He clearly hasn’t.
So tonight Utah faces Jahii Carson, the other brother Bachynski and possibly dead coach walking Herb Sendek in a game they could steal.
Question becomes, can they?