Tonight, the UCLA Bruins are in Salt Lake City for a game against the Utah Runnin’ Utes at 8 pm PT. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.
The Bruins come into tonight’s game with a four-game winning streak against the Runnin’ Utes after the teams split to first twenty games in the series.
Utah AD Mark Harlan fired head coach Larry Krystkowiak after last season, but so far, the team has not played well under new head coach Craig Smith.
Smith comes to the Utes after leading the Utah State Aggies to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last three seasons including the cancelled 2020 tournament. At Utah State, Smith had a 74-24 mark. So far at Utah, Smith has not had the same success he had with the Aggies. In fact, after this weekend he may just end up with half as many losses this season as he had with Utah State over three seasons.
Smith will probably start two seniors, a junior, a sophomore and a freshman tonight. Interestingly, none of the probable starters is averaging more than ten points per game.
The Utes will be without their scoring leader Branden Carlson, who is out with appendicitis. For some reason, Utah’s second leading scorer Both Gach has not started since the Utes played Oregon on the first of January. Despite that, Gach continues to score in double figures.
The only other Ute averaging in double figures is David Jenkins, Jr. and he hasn’t started since December 8th, even though he has put up double figures in every game Utah has played including the Arizona State game when he was on the court for less than nine minutes.
So, who exactly will start for Utah?
Based on their last game, expect to see senior Marco Anthony at guard. Anthony leads the presumed starters with an average of 8.8 ppg. Riley Battin is the other starting senior. Battin is averaging just 5.6 ppg from the four spot. Junior center Lahat Thioune is putting up just 5 ppg, which is the lowest average among the probable starters.
Smith will also start a pair of underclassmen at the two remaining guard positions. Sophomore Rollie Worster averages just 7.7 ppg while freshman Lazar Stefanovic is putting up 6.9 ppg.
Overall, it seems slightly bizarre, but it is what it is.
Opponent: Utah Runnin’ Utes (8-10, 1-7)
Series Record: UCLA leads, 14-10
When: 8:00 pm PT, Thursday, January 20, 2022
Where: Huntsman Center, Los Angeles, CA
TV: FS1 with Tim Neverett and Dave Miller
Live Stream: FoxSports.com and the Fox Sports app
Radio:AM 570 in Los Angeles with Josh Lewin and Tracy MurraySatellite Radio: SiriusXM Ch. 83 (UCLA Call)
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
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Tipoff at 8:15 btw
Clark and singleton out.
C'mon, FS1, this UConn game is over-- let's start the UCLA game!
UCLA game starting FS2 FYI
LOL ugly tip-off!
Good defense on Ute's first possession
Johnny for the first bucket!
Jaime doesn't look like his ankle is bothering him at all :-)
Jaime! Good to see that mobility!
Game back on FS1 now
I want Riley to put those rebounds right back up instead of kicking the ball back outside
UCLA offense making everything to start
Johnny en fuego from outside!!
Riley and Miles!
I'd like to see some post play by our bigs
Lol for a team that’s supposed to be the best in conference at defending the 3, Utah is giving us a LOT of open shots
Juzang should be shooting the three… not the others
Jules is a tough kid!
The “thigh” lol
Wow, the ref didn't even try to catch that last pass-- lazy play!!
Let juzang shoot from outside… go inside with jaquez, Riley, and myles. UCLA have size down low
UCLA getting the rebounds as well… size
Riley sitting with 2 fouls
Why do the refs hate Riley? He gets the worst fouls called on him all the time
Myles with the stupid foul
Finally a pass to the post!
UCLA needs to play like they give a damn! Little to no energy out there right now
Looks like Wooster pulled a hammy?
Terrible ball handling. UCLA lost on offense without juzang
That was great D but a better shot
Let em keep fouling us-- we're in the bonus now
C'mon, Myles, you gotta make those bunnies!!
How did he miss that??
Our bigs don't have a coach!
Looks like another big defensive lapse by Juzang..
Of our 24 points, only 4 came in the paint. Not to beat a dead horse, but going forward, we need to have an inside presence to keep defenses honest
Once again we don't have a team shooting game.
That’s not a foul on Johnson! Wtf! Refs know that ucla has size.
Awful tyger showed up to this game
Julez ties it up.
Absolutely no help D on that last Ute layup
Ugly play by Jules
Awful Jules showed up tonight too
Tyger shooting zero percent and more turnovers than assists… Jules shooting zero percent with more turnovers than assists
We're shooting 35%, that's not going to cut it.