Jan 23, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils cheerleader dances during a time out against the Utah Utes at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports
While most Ute fans were looking forward to the Arizona game, to me, the Arizona St. game was the one that has been waving red flags. In addition to the Utes simply playing better at home, the mountain road trip has been a real benefit to making the JMHC a tough place to play again. Salt Lake and Denver are the only cities at altitude in the Pac-12 not to mention one of two road trips in the Pac-12 that requires a plane flight between cities. And the other one involves Wazzu.
Arizona St. got to play at Colorado on Wednesday (where they lost 61-52). Then they don’t come to Salt Lake City until Sunday. It means they got to fly home, sleep in their own beds, have their normal routines and then head to play the Utes. And I think that is a red flag.
A couple of other concerns…
The ASU Brother Bachynski seems to give fits to our two headed big which is half Bachynski itself. Also McKissic and Marshall seem to give fits to the Utes. Utah also doesn’t want Barnes and Gilling to give the Sun Divas 22 points off the bench. None of that mentions, Jahii “I’m lucky as hell my showboating didn’t cost ASU the Arizona game” Carson. I don’t like him but he lit the Utes up last time.
As for the Utes, in Tempe, Jordan and Delon scored 43 of 75 points, but Delon was 6-15 shooting. But nobody else really offered a ton of support.
The biggest thing that has to worry the Utes right now is the funk that Jordan Loveridge is having. It seems Jordan is captured in some kind of mind prison causing him to both miss shots and make uncharacteristic mistakes. This must change today.
The other thing Utah must do is get Ahmad Fields on the court. He might make some freshman mistakes, but his toughness and energy is something that the Utes desperately need right now.
Arizona St. is another monster game for the Utah. The Scum Devils have everything to play for right now and Utah has to be reeling a bit after the end of the Arizona game.
The Utes must step up for this one.