Runnin' Utes Square Off Against Bruins on NYE
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team will ring in the new year in Los Angeles as it hits Pac-12 play in full-swing this Thursday, Dec. 31, when it battles preseason favorite UCLA on FS1 at 5 p.m. (MT).
Alex Faust will have the call between the Runnin' Utes and Bruins on New Year's Eve while Dave Miller serves as the analyst from Pauley Pavilion as Utah looks to notch its first road win in Pac-12 play since beating Washington State on Feb. 23, 2019.
MOVING ON UP
After scoring 22 points against Idaho, Timmy Allen now has 969 career points. He's now just 31 points shy of becoming the 40th player in Utah basketball history to record 1,000 career points and the 21st Ute to do so as a junior.
SCOUTING THE BRUINS
When the Utes and Bruins take the floor this Thursday it will be the just the 23rd meeting between the two programs with UCLA holding a slight 12-10 edge in the series. Mick Cronin has his team sitting at 5-2 on the year and 1-0 in Pac-12 play. The last time UCLA played was on Dec. 19 against #20 Ohio State (L, 77-70) while its last home game was back on Dec. 11 against Marquette (W, 69-60).
Jaime Jaquez Jr. is leading the way for UCLA, averaging 13.7 points and 6.0 rebounds through seven games with a .523 shooting clip in addition to a team-high .462 (12-of-26) clip from downtown. Chris Smith is second on the squad averaging 12.1 points and 6.7 rebounds while Tyger Campbell is averaging 11.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.8 assists. Kentucky transfer Johnny Juzang rounds out the list of players averaging in double-figures for UCLA with 10.7 points per game after starting in 2-of-3 games he has played in.
UCLA isn't short of any firepower on the offensive end with three additional players averaging nine-plus points in Cody Riley (9.7 ppg), Jules Bernard (9.6 ppg) and Jalen Hill (9.0 ppg). Riley, Bernard and Hill combined with the four averaging in double-figures account for 87.1-percent of UCLA's offense.
A preseason favorite to win the league this season, the Bruins opened the year with a loss to San Diego State (73-58) on the road but was able to rally and reel off five-straight wins before falling to then-No. 20 Ohio State.
LAST TIME OUT
The Utes took care of business in their last outing before the short Holiday break, defeating Idaho 79-41 inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Timmy Allen led with a game-high 22 points, six rebounds and two assists behind 2-of-3 shooting from deep and 8-of-8 from the line. Freshman Pelle Larsson added 15 points of his own for a new season-high.
Utah was very successful from the free-throw line that game, knocking down 21-of-23 from the stripe. In addition, the Utes converted 22 Idaho turnovers into 19 points while turning their 16 offensive boards into 15 second-chance points.
Utah remains in Los Angeles as it faces off against USC in an afternoon match-up inside the Galen Center on Saturday, Dec. 2. The 2 p.m. (MT) contest between the Utes and Trojans is scheduled to air on Pac-12 Networks.
The Runnin' Utes return home after their LA swing for a four-game homestand, starting with Oregon State on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. (MT) between the Utes and Beavers on ESPNU. Utah will then get an abnormal three days to prepare for Oregon on Sunday, Jan. 10, at noon on Pac-12 Networks.