Utah MBALL Pulls Away Late Behind Solid Defense Against Fresno State

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      • #162381

        Ute Fan

        SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men’s basketball team faced a formidable Fresno State squad Tuesday evening and came out victorious 55-50 behind a balanced offense inside the Jon M. Huntsman Center to wrap up non-conference play.

        Marco Anthony led the Utes with 11 points and six rebounds while Lahat Thioune added 10 points and six rebounds in his first start of the season.

        Utah will have a few days to rest before hitting the Pac-12 slate in full swing, starting with Oregon State on Thursday, Dec. 30, before closing out the road trip at Oregon on Saturday, Dec. 1. Both games are set to air on Pac-12 Networks.

        utahutes.com article

      • #162394

        Ute Fan

        I was at the game along with dozens of other people (thank you, 5 pm tipoff during a pre-holiday week with school out). Here are some thoughts:
        – Defense was outstanding. I was especially impressed with how they contained the center Robinson, and that was with Carlson out with the rona. Thioune deserves a lot of credit, along with Battin and Jenkins.
        – This team still desperately needs another rebounder and a consistent shooter. We gave up so many boards and missed so many good looks.
        – Anyone know if Jenkins is in the doghouse? He’s lost his starting spot and played pretty limited minutes. He did make some key plays on both ends of the floor at the end. I noticed after the game that Craig had a long talk with him. Anybody know what’s up? I really like the way DJJ plays.

        • #162405

          Ute Fan

          I appreciate the insights.

        • #162454

          Ute Fan

          Coach Smith gets more out of less than any coach in memory. Also a good sign, players that stayed seem to have improved much more than previous years. Our defense is the best in recent memory. Smith’s strategy seems to be let the players have freedom to be themselves but hold them accountable for results, especially effort. We really don’t have a point guard but get by. Last night, we really did not have a center but got by. I watched one third string center, one power forward and a collection of combo guards and wing players beat a pretty good Fresno State team. When Smith gets a chance to recruit a team (without a rich guy paying legal pay to play to go elsewhere) he will be a force in the Pac.

          Nice to see Whitt and the FB captains come in at half time. In years past, the FB team used BB games very effectively to whip up fan interest. I would have been happy to see more players.

          After the game the players left town to go home for Christmas. Hopefully we will have cleared players to begin the league after the holiday…

      • #162408

        Ute Fan

        Both didn’t play the first 8-10 minutes (but started the second half). I wondered perhaps maybe something like being late to practice or other minor infraction may have inspired coach to send a message to Gach and Jenkins.

        Gutty effort by our players. Both teams played hard on defense leading to a low scoring affair. We do need to get more rebounds. Frustrating when we play a solid 28 seconds of defense and force a bad shot only to give up a second easy chance when we can’t control the boards.

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