#8/#8 Utah Utes @ #10/#9 Arizona Wildcats Game Preview


Game Information: #8/#8 Utah Utes (14-2, 4-0 in Pac-12) @ #10/#9 Arizona Wildcats (15-2, 3-1 in Pac-12)

Date/Time: Saturday January 17, 2015 @ 5:00 p.m (MST)

Arizona: 15-2, 3-1 in Pac-12 (10-0 at home)

Opponent: Utah Utes (2-2 away)

All-Time Series: Series tied 28-28

TV: Pac-12 Network (Ted Robinson, Bill Walton,

Radio: Arizona IMG Sports Network (Jefferies and Hansen)

Audio Stream: arizonawildcats.com

Satellite Radio: Sirius 91, XM 91

Live Stats: arizonalivestats.com

Tickets: Here

Twitter: @APlayersProgram

More from Wildcats Basketball

Arizona Probable Starters

G: T.J. McConnell

F: Stanley Johnson

F: Brandon Ashley

F: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

C: Kaleb Tarczewski

Utah Probable Starters

G: Delon Wright

G: Brandon Taylor

F: Jordan Loveridge

F: Chris Reyes

F: Jakob Poeltl

* Lineups based on last game and could change (especially with Sean Miller)

In the game of the year in the Pac-12, The Wildcats and the Utes square off at McKale Center. Both teams are coming off double-digit victories in their last games and will look to gain the upper hand in the Pac-12 by winning Saturday.

Last Time Out:

The Wildcats returned to the friendly confines of McKale Center and got back to their winning ways. Arizona was able to beat the short-handed Colorado Buffaloes 68-54 behind a career-high 22 points, and eight rebounds, from Stanley Johnson. Kaleb Tarczewski helped out with 14 points and Elliott Pitts chipped in with 12 points, on 4-6 shooting from beyond the arc. The Wildcats dominated the boards in this one, winning the rebound battle 41-26, and 13-4 on the offensive glass.

The Utes returned from their eight-day hiatus and showed no signs of rust at all. They jumped ahead of the Arizona State Sun Devils quickly and won easily, 76-59. Delon Wright led the Utes with 21 points and six assists, as he continues to cement himself as the best player in the Pac-12. Jordan Loveridge, 14 points and eight rebounds, and Bradon Taylor, 13 points, helped the Utes win in Tempe.

Scouting the Wildcats:

The Wildcats are 10-0 at McKale this season and have won 31 straight home games dating back to the 2012-2013 season when they lost to Cal. The 31 straight wins are currently second in the nation behind the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Freshman Stanley Johnson leads the Wildcats with 14.4 ppg and 6.7 rpg and is third on the team in assists, averaging 1.7. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is second on the team with 11.1 ppg and rebounds, averaging 6.6 per game. Brandon Ashley is third on the team with 11.0 ppg and he also chips in with 5.4 rpg. The Wildcats play a seven-man rotation with all seven players averaging at least 14 minutes per game.

The Wildcats average 74.6 ppg (third in the conference) and give up only 59.2 ppg (third in the conference) for a +15.4 scoring margin (second in the conference). The Wildcats are shooting 48.9% from the field (second in the conference) and hold opponents to 39.5% shooting (sixth in the conference).

Jan 15, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Utah Utes guard Delon Wright (55) puts up a layup over Arizona State Sun Devils guard/forward Roosevelt Scott (1) during the first half at Wells-Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting the Utes:

One of the best players in the Pac-12, Delon Wright, paces the Utes with 15.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 5.7 apg, and 2.4 spg. Wright is the engine that makes this team run, but he is not the only threat on this loaded Utes team. Jordan Loveridge, 11.1 ppg, Brandon Taylor, 9.9 ppg, and Jakob Poeltl, 9.3 ppg, are all huge keys to this Utah team. The freshman, Poeltl, is also third in the Pac-12 in rebounding, averaging 8.2 per game. The Utes have a ten-man rotation with all ten guys averaging at least 12 minutes per game, but they may be without the Pac-12’s seventh best three-point shooter, Kenneth Ogbe, who is questionable with an ankle injury.

Utah averages 75.8 ppg (second in the conference) and give up only 55.3 ppg (first in the conference) for a +20.5 scoring margin (first in the conference). The Utes shoot 50.3% (first in the conference) and hold opponents to 36.6% from the field (second in the conference).


McKale is going to be electric in this one and I think it will give this Wildcats enough of an edge to just barely beat Utah in this one. That, and until the Utes prove they can win one of these road games against a top ten team, are the reasons why I think the Wildcats have a slight edge in this one. This one could be a Pac-12 classic.

Arizona: 78

Utah: 71

A Look Ahead

The Wildcats hit the road for another two game road-trip, this time to the bay area. They will take on the Stanford Cardinal, on Thursday, and the Cal Bears on Saturday. We will have previews for both games up on the site, so be on the look out for that!