The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
Print Issues

Positional breakdown: Utah vs. Stanford


— Cole Tan

The No. 17 Runnin’ Utes were in attendance when Washington and Stanford squared off in the MGM Grand Arena on Wednesday night to see who they would be playing in their first-round tilt. However, Utah left early, although the contest between the Huskies and the Cardinal was close, and maybe the team wished they stayed.

With 2.4 seconds left on the clock and down by one, Stanford’s star player Chasson Randle dribbled the ball the length of the court after a Washington missed free throw, rose up and drained the three-point shot to send the Cardinal to a second-round date with the Utes.

In anticipation of the quarterfinal matchup between the two, here is a positional breakdown of Utah-Stanford.

PG – Brandon Taylor vs. Marcus Allen

You will undoubtedly find Taylor guarding Stanford’s star guard Chasson Randle at times throughout this game, but let’s assume Delon Wright handles those responsibilities for the most part. If Taylor guards Allen for a majority of the contest, there won’t be much for him to worry about. Allen averages just over five points per game and is not seen as much of a playmaker. However, standing five inches shorter than his counterpart, Taylor might struggle to create space on the offensive end if Allen is defending him. That said, Taylor always has to deal with that issue and finds a way to contribute most of the time.

SG – Delon Wright vs. Chasson Randle

This could be one of the best star vs. star matchups in the tournament thus far. Randle averages 18.8 points per game and was the Pac-12’s leading scorer for a better part of the season. Randle’s offensive production has taken a dip lately, as he hasn’t eclipsed the 18-point mark since Feb. 21, but that shows how good of a scorer he can be if his average is still that high. Wright will have to use his defensive prowess in order to counter Randle’s scoring ability, and he has the skill to do so. Wright is one of the best defensive players in the conference, and he shut Randle down in their last meeting, forcing him to shoot an ugly 2-for-11 effort from the field in Salt Lake City. As for Randle defending Wright, forget about it. Not sure there’s a player in the conference who can completely lock down the first team All-American, and Randle has a hard time locking down anyone as it is.

SF – Jordan Loveridge vs. Anthony Brown

Loveridge has been key to Utah’s success this season, evident by his conference-leading three-point field goal percentage, but Brown has the upper hand in this one. Brown, a former AAU teammate of Wright, is having his best season for the Cardinal, averaging 15.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. While Loveridge has improved his game every season as a Ute, he still underwhelms athletically and that shows sometimes when he is asked to defend Pac-12 wings. Brown’s offensive game isn’t good enough for him to blow up, but expect him to score at least a dozen points against Loveridge and Utah.

PF – Chris Reyes vs. Rosco Allen

Reyes and Allen serve similar purposes for their respective squads – crash the boards and play solid defense. Neither player cracks double digits in any meaningful statistic, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important for their teams. Reyes has shown this season that he can be the physical bruiser the Utes desperately need down low, but there have also been times where he shrinks under pressure. While Allen has two inches on Reyes, the latter has a 10-pound advantage, and Reyes will have to play the part as enforcer in this game, and the rest of the tournament, if Utah wants to see success.

C – Jakob Poeltl vs. Stefan Nastic

Nastic is coming off one of his best games of the season in the Cardinal’s first-round victory over Washington, scoring 21 points on a 10-for-16 shooting effort. On the flipside, Poeltl also had a great game against the Huskies last weekend, despite Utah dropping the game, and the two will be battling down low all night. Don’t be surprised, though, if head coach Larry Krystkowiak opts to use backup Dallin Bachynski against Nastic for much of the game, as Bachynski saw a lot of success against the Stanford center when the Cardinal came to the Huntsman. In the end, Utah will not win this game or make it far in the tournament if Poeltl doesn’t produce, and he will need to find a rhythm against Nastic and the Cardinal.

Tip-off is tentatively scheduled for 8:30 p.m. PT.

[email protected]


Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

We welcome feedback and dialogue from our community. However, when necessary, The Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to remove user comments. Posts may be removed for any of the following reasons: • Comments on a post that do not relate to the subject matter of the story • The use of obscene, threatening, defamatory, or harassing language • Comments advocating illegal activity • Posts violating copyrights or trademarks • Advertisement or promotion of commercial products, services, entities, or individuals • Duplicative comments by the same user. In the case of identical comments only the first submission will be posted. Users who habitually post comments or content that must be removed can be blocked from the comment section.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *