Men's Basketball Battles #4 Arizona Thursday Night at 6:30 p.m.
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team will take a break from non-conference action this Thursday, Dec. 1, when it welcomes in the fourth-ranked Arizona Wildcats as part of the early Pac-12 Conference games.
Ted Robinson will have the call in the 69th all-time meeting between the Runnin' Utes and Wildcats while former All-American Don MacLean serves as the analyst on the Pac-12 Networks broadcast.
AGAINST THE RANKED
Heading into the game Thursday, here is how Utah has fared against ranked opponents.
All-Time vs. AP Ranked Opp: 68-155 (.305)
All-Time vs. AP Ranked Opp At Home: 38-43 (.469)
All-Time vs. vs. #4 AP Ranked Opp: 3-10 (.231)
All-Time vs. vs. #4 AP Ranked Opp at Home: 1-4 (.200)
Last Win vs. AP Ranked Opp: 12/18/19 vs. #6 Kentucky, 69-66 (neutral)
Last Win vs. AP Ranked Opponent at Home: 1/12/17 vs. #25 USC, 86-64
ALL-TIME VS. #4 RANKED TEAM AT HOME
|02/19/2014||Arizona||L, 67-63 (OT)|
|01/07/2018||Arizona State||L, 80-77|
WATCHING THE WILDCATS
Arizona, the defending Pac-12 Tournament Champion, arrives to Salt Lake City for Thursday's match-up 6-0 on the season and 1-of-18 programs still undefeated through games on Nov. 28 under the direction of second-year head coach Tommy Lloyd.
The Wildcats, who are fresh off of their Maui Invitational victory where they took down a pair of ranked opponents are ranked in the top-5 in several categories nationally. Arizona leads the country in effective field-goal percentage (.647), field-goal percentage (.603) and scoring offense (97.5). Additionally, the Wildcats are second in assists per game (21.8), second in defensive rebounds per game (33.83), fourth in fastbreak points (21.71), fourth in three-point field-goal percentage (.450) and sixth in rebounding margin (+12.5).
Arizona's high scoring offense is led by Azoulas Tubelis by a narrow margin averaging 19.3 points and 8.0 rebounds with a white-hot .721 shooting clip. Oumar Ballo is having quite a junior season, averaging a double-double with 19.0 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game heading into Thursday's game while also shooting a team-high .768 shooting clip – which is fifth-best in the country. Courtney Ramey, who missed the first three games of the year, returned to the line-up in Maui averaging 16.0 points and 4.7 rebounds with a 54.5-precent shooting clip. Point man Kerr Kriisa has been dealing for the Wildcats, averaging 15.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists – which ranks sixth in the NCAA. Last, but not least, is a familiar face for Utah fans – Pelle Larsson. The senior is averaging 11.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists
UTES IN THE PAC-12
With non-conference play on hold for the two early conference games, here is how Utah stacks up against the rest of the Pac-12.
|1st||FG Percentage Defense||.337|
|1st||Rebounds Per Game||42.29|
|2nd||DREB Per Game||31.29|
|3rd||OREB Per Game||11.00|
|T4th||Assists Per Game||14.29|
|5th||Blocked Shots Per Game||5.14|
|8th||Rebounds Per Game (Def)||35.43|
|12th||Steals Per Game||3.57|
LAST TIME OUT
The Utes overpowered St. Thomas last Saturday in dominating fashion with five Utes in double-figures while assisting on 25-of-36 made field-goals. Meanwhile, Utah converted 13 St. Thomas turnovers into 21 points and dominated the paint to the tune of a 44-28 advantage. The Runnin' Utes also shot 60-percent from the field as a team, knocking down 36-of-60 shots – including 10-of-16 from beyond the arc.
Gabe Madsen and Marco Anthony led the Utes with 15 points apiece while Branden Carlson added 14 points of his own with Lazar Stefanovic and Rollie Worster chipping in with 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the victory.
Utah returns home to wrap up the final two non-conference games inside the friendly confines of the Jon M. Huntsman Center against Jacksonville State (Dec. 8) and UTSA (Dec. 13). The battle between the Runnin' Utes and the Gamecocks will be the final first-time opponent Utah the rest of the year.
The Utes close out their non-conference season inside Vivint Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 21, against the Horned Frogs of TCU to close out the contract. TCU took last year's meeting in Ft. Worth at Dickies Arena 76-62.
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.