Jan 23, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Utah Utes guard Brandon Taylor (11) dribbles the ball as Arizona State Sun Devils guard Jahii Carson (1) defends during the second half against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports
It’s getting hard to find new and unique ways to talk about Utah Basketball.
Last Night in Tempe the Utes let yet another winnable game slip right through their fingers. Although they did it in a unique fashion last night.
Instead of defense keeping us around and bad offense killing us, Utah made a ton of shots last night, especially in the first half. But then defensively decided to take the night off… Which is new.
I don’t have the exact stats in front of me, but I think Utah was 106% from the field in the first half. They had a lead as large as nine. And then that all too familiar sinking feeling started to kick in for Ute fans.
First there was some foul trouble, then we missed a couple of outside shots and suddenly what could have been an 8-10 point lead at the half was suddenly 4. And then our defense completely failed us, probably a first this year.
The sequence that killed the Utes was late in the game where they isolated Jahii Carson and Utah made the decision to guard him straight up with Brandon Taylor without help. The result ended up with a bunch of layups and a kick out three that would have essentially ended the game if ASU hadn’t been kind enough to miss free throws and give us a sliver of hope.
Utah allowed ASU to shoot 53% from the field and 43% from three.
At this point in the article you can simply recall all my other complaints about late game and pressure execution, I don’t feel like retyping them. As for a break through on the road, Utah would appear to have two realistic chances left. The first one in a week at a depleted Colorado. The other in a few weeks at USC.
Sunday, Utah plays at the Number One Ranked Arizona Wildcats who will be going for their 20th straight win. The last time they went for 20 straight was in the elite eight in 1998. I would hope most of you recall how that worked out.
I’ll be at the game on Sunday so I’ll have some extra thoughts on that one.
The same story keeps happening for this Utah team. Not sure it ever changes this year.