Men's Basketball Takes on Arizona State Thursday in Tempe
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team looks to snap its four-game skid this Thursday, Jan. 13, as it travels to Tempe to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils at 7 p.m. (MT) inside Desert Financial Arena.
J.B. Long will have the call between the Runnin' Utes and Sun Devils while Don MacLean serves as the analyst on the Pac-12 Networks broadcast.
ANTHONY STEPS UP
Marco Anthony has been valuable on both end of the floor for Utah, averaging 11.8 points and 8.0 rebounds in last six games and have reached double-digits in scoring all six games. During that stretch, he's seen 193:16 minutes of action with the next closest Ute checking in at 166:25 minutes (Rollie Worster). Meanwhile, his .417 (25-for-60) shooting clip is second only to David Jenkins Jr. (.441) among those with a minimum of 30 FGA.
His 16 points at Missouri for a short-handed Utah team was a season-high for the 6-5 guard while his 13 rebounds versus Washington at home was his second-highest rebounding total this season. The San Antonio, Texas, native recorded his first double-double as a Ute and second of his career against the Huskies recently scoring 10 points to go with his 13 boards that night.
Heading into this week's games, Both Gach (882) is just 118 points away from recording 1,000 career points while David Jenkins Jr. (1,768) is approaching the 2,000 career points mark.
Of Gach's 882 career points, 685 have occurred while he has been in a Runnin' Utes jersey. The 6-6 guard record 197 points in 2020-21 while he was at Minnesota before returning to SLC to play for Craig Smith.
SCOUTING THE SUN DEVILS
Like many teams around the Pac-12 and country alike, Arizona State has had to deal with COVID-19 and have had three games postponed (at USC, at UCLA, Arizona) on top of a canceled game (Florida A&M). The Sun Devils are coming off a recent pause where they had to push back their game vs. in-state rival Arizona last week. Since Dec. 19, ASU has only played two games – a 66-65 loss to San Francisco at home and a 74-50 loss on the road to California.
Arizona State enters the week 5-8 overall and 1-2 in Pac-12 play but have lost its last two contests. The Sun Devils are just 3-3 this season on their home floor, picking up wins over Portland, North Florida and Grand Canyon with losses to UC Riverside (buzzer beater), Washington State and San Francisco. In those six games, opponents have shot .340 from beyond the arc (9.2 3FGM per game).
DJ Horne leads the team with 13.7 points per game to go with his 2.8 rebounding average and .410 shooting clip from 3-point range. Kimani Lawrence is next on the team averaging 11.1 points with team-highs in rebounds (7.8rpg) and shooting-percentage (.526). Jay Heath is nearly in the double-digits category averaging 9.5 points and 3.7 assists. Marreon Jackson leads the team with 52 assists to go with his 7.6 points average while his 14 steals on the year is tied for second-most with Jamiya Neal.
LAST TIME OUT
Consistency has been with personnel availability due to injuries has plague the Utes and continued to do so as they dropped their fourth-straight game last Saturday vs. Washington State, 77-61. The game of runs between Utah and Wazzu saw the Cougars take a 40-30 lead into halftime and never looked back despite the Utes bringing the deficit back down to single-digits a handful of times.
Both Gach led the team with 15 points while Marco Anthony and David Jenkins Jr. each added 10 points for Utah. Anthony also finished with seven rebounds while Dusan Mahorcic chipped in with eight points to go with his team-high eight rebounds in just his second game back.
The Utes continue their swing through the Grand Canyon State and heads to Tucson, Ariz., to duke it out with #6/6 Arizona on Saturday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m. (MT). Daron Sutton will have the call between the Utes and Wildcats while Don MacLean serves as the analyst on Pac-12 Networks.
Utah returns home the following week to entertain a pair of top-10 ranked opponents in #3/3 UCLA and #5/7 USC next week. The Runnin' Utes will face the Bruins on Thursday, Jan. 20, with 9 p.m. (MT) tip on FS1 before hosting the Trojans on Saturday, Jan. 22, at 4:30 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks. The Utah men's basketball program will also be honoring the late Wat Misaka that day with a jersey ceremony.
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.