Runnin' Utes Return Home, Hosts No. 9/9 UCLA
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team have a tough week ahead as it returns home to entertain #9/9 UCLA this Thursday, Jan. 20, with a late 9 p.m. (MT) tip-off inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
Dodgers play-by-play man Tim Neverett will have the call alongside long NBA veteran coach Dave Miller in the 25th meeting between the Runnin' Utes and Bruins on FS1.
TIDBITS AGAINST UCLA
Since the start of the AP Poll in the 1948-49 season, Utah is 2-2 all-time against a ranked UCLA team and just 1-1 when playing a ranked Bruins squad at home. In the 24 meetings between the two teams, there hasn't been an overtime game.
Utah vs. ranked UCLA
12-30-64 - at #4 UCLA - L, 102-74
03-19-83 - vs. #7 UCLA - W, 67-61
01-18-14 - #25 UCLA - W, 74-69
01-14-17 - #4 UCLA - L, 83-82
LAST TIME OUT
The Utes played well to keep pace with Arizona State throughout the game, including holding a lead over the Sun Devils for 17:51 minutes of the afternoon to their 16:29 minutes but ultimately lost on a last second shot, 64-62. ASU closed out the remaining three-plus minutes hitting 5-of-6 from the floor to Utah's 2-of-5 shooting. The turnover bug continued to ravage the Utes as Arizona State converted 14 Utah miscues into 21 points.
David Jenkins Jr. led a trio of Utes in double-figures with 14 points while Rollie Worster added 13 points with six assists on top of 12 points and eight rebounds from Dusan Marhorcic. Marco Anthony and Both Gach each had eight points to account for 88.7-percent of the team's scoring.
SCOUTING THE BRUINS
A veteran UCLA team comes to Salt Lake City having won eight of its last 10 games with an 11-2 record and 3-1 mark in Pac-12 play. The Bruins' two losses this season have come against then top-ranked Gonzaga on Nov. 23, 83-63, and recently against a surging Oregon team 84-81 in overtime.
As a team, the Bruins have committed the second fewest turnovers in the NCAA (9.9 per game) while its 1.55 A/TO ratio is ninth-best in the country. UCLA's 80.6 points per game ranks 20th in the nation while its +13.8 scoring margin is 23rd in the NCAA.
Preseason All-American pick Johnny Juzang leads UCLA on the offensive front averaging 17.2 points and 5.1 rebounds with a .447 shooting clip and .362 clip from beyond the arc. Jaime Jaquez Jr. is second on the team averaging 13.3 points and 5.7 boards while shooting .477 from the floor. Jules Bernard is nearly on pace with Jaquez Jr., averaging 13.2 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting .438 from the field. Point man Tyger Campbell averages 12.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists while shooting a team-best .473 from 3-point range. Cody Riley recently returned to the line-up and currently averaging 9.3 points with a .600 (15-of-25) shooting clips in his last four games.
The Utes will have another tough test ahead as they welcome in #16/15 USC on Saturday, Jan. 22, for a 4:30 p.m. tip-off as the Utah program honors Wat Misaka with a jersey ceremony at halftime. Todd Harris and Don MacLean will once again have the call on the Pac-12 Networks broadcast as the Runnin' Utes look to avenge their loss to the Trojans back in December.
Utah will once again hit the road as they travel to the PNW beginning with Washington State on Wednesday, Jan. 26, at 8 p.m. (MT) on Pac-12 Networks inside Beasley Coliseum. The Runnin' Utes will then go westward and battle the Washington Huskies on Saturday, Jan. 29, at 3 p.m. (MT) 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.