Men's Basketball Rings in New Year with Battle Against Ducks
EUGENE, Ore. – The Utah men's basketball team kicks off 2022 on the road with a match against the Oregon Ducks this Saturday, Jan. 1, at 8:30 p.m. (MT) / 7:30 p.m. (PT) local in what Ute fans hopes to be a day to remember as the football team makes their historic first appearance in the Rose Bowl earlier in the day.
Former UO track star and three-sport letterman Jordan Kent will have the call between the Runnin' Utes and Ducks inside Matthew Knight Arena while Eric Recasner serves as the analyst on the Pac-12 Networks broadcast.
SCOUTING THE DUCKS
Oregon will have had a few extra days to prepare for Utah after its game against Colorado was postponed until Monday, Jan. 3, due to COVID-19 within the Buffs' program. The Ducks struggled out of the gate this season and enters the match-up just 7-6 overall with a 0-2 mark in early Pac-12 play.
Despite its tough start, Oregon is a solid 6-2 when playing inside Matthew Knight Arena where it has outscored opponents by a margin of 13.8 point with a +7.0 rebounding margin. The Ducks are shooting a .499 clip at home with a .366 clip from down range.
Veteran guard Will Richardson is averaging 12.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists while shooting .440 from the field and .414 from 3-point land. However, the 6-5 senior is averaging 16.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists when playing at MKA. Oklahoma transfer De'Vion Harmon is the only other Duck averaging in double-figures, checking in with a 10.1 points average and a team-high tying 16 steals. Jacob Young is nearly averaging in double-figures, scoring 9.2 points per game while also averaging 3.1 assists. The duo of Eric Williams Jr. (8.9ppg) and Quincy Guerrier (8.4ppg) are the two top rebounders for UO with Guerrier averaging 5.4 boards and Williams Jr. averaging 5.2 boards.
RAINY DAYS IN EUGENE
As a program, Utah is just 3-10 all-time against Oregon on the road and just 1-7 since joining the Pac-12. Utah's lone win in the Pac-12 era came on Dec. 29, 2017, which happens to be the only time the Runnin' Utes have swept the Oregon schools. Prior to its 2017 victory in Eugene, the last time Utah won in the Emerald City was on Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 in 1951 back when the Ducks played on McArthur Court.
LAST TIME OUT
The Utes kept themselves within striking distance of Oregon State all night thanks to their 3-point shooting (12-for-27) but a season-high tying 20 turnovers undoubtedly doomed Utah at the end as it fell 88-76 to the Beavers. The 20 miscues led to a 23-8 advantage for OSU in points off turnovers while the Beavers also had a 40-24 edge in points in the paint.
David Jenkins Jr. led the way for Utah, scoring 22 points on 5-of-8 from 3-point range and 7-of-9 from the charity stripe. Marco Anthony added 10 points and six boards with five assists. Branden Carlson scored nine points and nine rebounds in his return after entering health & safety protocol while Both Gach chipped in with nine points and five assists in the loss.
Utah returns home to the friendly confines of the Jon M. Huntsman Center where it will host the Washington schools. The Runnin' Utes first welcome in the Washington Huskies for a 7:30 p.m. (MT) bout on Thursday, Dec. 6 before wrapping up the weekend entertaining Washington State on Saturday, Jan. 8, at 4 p.m. (MT). Both games air on Pac-12 Networks.
The Utes will hit the road and head to the Valley of the Sun the following week to take on Arizona State (Jan. 13) followed by a battle against #9/7 Arizona in the McKale Center. Both games are schedule to broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.
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.