Runnin' Utes Headed to FWTX to Battle Horned Frogs Wednesday Night
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team hits the road once again for another midweek match-up, this time against TCU on Wednesday, Dec. 8, at 6 p.m. (MT) in a neutral site contest at Dickies Arena.
Brian Estridge will have the call on the ESPN+ live stream between the two former WAC foes while Colin Boddicker serves as the analyst.
INSIDE CONFERENCE ACTION
With the two early Pac-12 games wrapped up, here's how Utah players rank in conference action…
In the first release of the NET Rankings of on Dec. 6, Utah checks in at No. 57 – which was the fourth-highest amongst Pac-12 teams. Meanwhile, Wednesday's opponent (TCU) checks in at No. 115 – which is the lowest in the Big 12.
STEFANOVIC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Lazar Stefanovic was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week on Monday, Dec. 6, after helping the Utes to a split of its early Pac-12 games. The Belgrade, Serbia, native averaged 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists as Utah split its two early Pac-12 games last week. He nearly matched his season high in points this past Sunday against Cal, scoring 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting from deep – all in the second half – with six rebounds and three assists.
This is the first honor for the young guard and first freshman of the week honoree from Salt Lake City since Branden Carlson earned it back on Feb. 10, 2020. It is Utah's third freshman of the week honor since the award was establish at the start of the 2019-20 season.
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) December 6, 2021
Per STATS, LLC the 22 total turnovers in the last three games for Utah is the lowest total in any three-game span in program history dating back to the 1996-97 season. The six turnovers on the road against then-No. 20/18 USC is the lowest total in a single-game since March 9, 2019, when the Utes turned it over just five times against UCLA. Meanwhile, the last time Utah committed six turnovers or less on the road was against Oregon (3 turnovers) on Dec. 29, 2017 – its lone win in Eugene since joining the Pac-12
Nov. 27 vs. BYU – 9 turnovers
Dec. 1 at #20/18 USC – 6 turnovers
Dec. 5 vs. California – 7 turnovers
SCOUTING THE HORNED FROGS
TCU enters the midweek match-up with a 6-1 overall record and winners of its last three games. As a team, the Horned Frogs rank in the top-10 in offensive rebounds per game (3rd, 16.43), fewest fouls committed (7th, 87), rebounding margin (11th, 11.4) and rebounds per game (12th, 43.0). TCU's lone loss of the season came against Santa Clara, 85-66, in the opening game of the SoCal Challenge Tournament.
Preseason All-Big-12 guard Mike Miles leads the team in scoring with 15.6 points per game to go with a team-best 4.7 assists average. Emanuel Miller is the other Horned Frog averaging in double-figures, posting 10.7 points and a team-high 7.6 rebounds per game. Damion Baugh owns the team's highest shooting percentage (min. 50 FGA) with a .542 clip while averaging 8.3 points.
LAST TIME OUT
It wasn't a huge offensive game between the Utes and Golden Bears this past Sunday, but Utah was able to grind out the victory over Cal thanks to a trio of players in double-figures to grab its first Pac-12 win of the season. In addition, head coach Craig Smith also picked up his first win in the Pac-12 since taking the helm of the Runnin' Utes.
Both teams started the game slow, shooting a combined 2-of-16 from the floor heading into the first media break before Cal's Makale Foreman found his shot beyond the arc to give the Golden Bears a 35-29 lead at halftime with 13 points.
Utah opened the second half with a 10-0 run and never looked back despite Cal's best attempt at mounting the comeback. Utah's defense also picked it up down the stretch and held the Golden Bears without a field goal in the final 4:45 minutes of play.
Utah returns home to the friendly confines of the Jon M. Huntsman Center as it plays host to Manhattan on Saturday, Dec. 11, for a 3 p.m. (MT) game. Krista Blunk will have the call on the Pac-12 Network broadcast while former Utah assistant coach Joe Cravens serves as the analyst in the first meeting between the two programs.
After a hiatus with finals week, Utah returns to action the following weekend as it heads to Columbia, Mo., to take on the Tigers of Missouri on Saturday, Dec. 18, for a 2:30 p.m. (MT) tip on the SEC Network. The Utes then return home for a quick turnaround and welcomes Fresno State for a 5 p.m. (MT) tip-off on Tuesday, Dec. 21, to close out the non-conference slate.
For the latest news and information on the Runnin' Utes men's basketball program, fans can stay connected online at www.UtahUtes.com and on social media by following @UtahMBB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.