Utah Men’s Basketball Takes on Big 10 Foe Friday Night


University of Utah freshman guard Rylan Jones (15) signaling to teammates in an NCAA Men’s Basketball game vs. Mississippi Valley State University at Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday November 08, 2019.(Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Brayden Ramsay, Sports Writer


The University of Utah men’s basketball team (2-0, 0-0 Pac-12) will take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers (1-2, 0-0 Big 10) on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. The two squads will face off at the Jon M. Huntsman Center at 7 p.m. in a matchup between the Pac-12 and the Big 10 conferences.


Utah’s Previous Matchup

Utah will be playing off the back of a record-breaking game, scoring 143 points in a 94-point victory over Mississippi Valley State. The Runnin’ Utes were also able to hold off the Nevada Wolfpack for their first away victory of the season last Tuesday.


Utah’s Projected Starters

Timmy Allen is coming off the back of two massive performances against Nevada and Mississippi Valley State. Against the Wolfpack, Allen scored 23 points, helping the Utes to hold off Nevada in the final minutes of the game. Against the Delta Devils, Allen dropped 26 points to lead the Utes in their 94-point victory.

Rylan Jones will command the backcourt once again against the Golden Gophers after his first collegiate triple double against Mississippi Valley State. Jones scorched the Delta Devils with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 11-assists. Jones has led the Utes in assists in both games they’ve played in so far this season.

Both Gach will also be starting for the first time since his first collegiate triple double. Gach dropped 22 points in Reno against Nevada last Monday, scoring important points down the stretch. He also had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against MVSU.

Riley Battin has been instrumental in Utah’s first two victories with a 15-point, 8-rebound performance against Mississippi Valley State and a 9-point, 6-rebound showing against Nevada. Although Battin’s stats haven’t jumped off the page through the first two games this year, his presence on the floor has helped create multiple scoring opportunities to lead the Utes in both victories.

Branden Carlson looked like a man on fire against the Delta Devils last Friday night. The freshman started the game with 12 quick points to help the Utes get the ball rolling on a record-breaking night. Carlson had a 10-rebound performance against the Wolfpack, clearing the boards and starting the ball in transition.


Minnesota Players to Watch Out For

Marcus Carr is a redshirt sophomore after transferring from the University of Pittsburgh in 2018. So far in 2019, Carr is averaging 14.3 points, partnered with 7 assists and 7 rebounds per game. Carr will most likely start at the guard position for the Golden Gophers on Friday.

Payton Willis is a redshirt junior for the Golden Gophers. Willis transferred in 2018 after spending two seasons as a Vanderbilt Commodore. This season, Willis is averaging 15 points alongside 3.3 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Willis will most likely start at the other guard position for Minnesota.



Utah lost to the Golden Gophers last season in a 69-78 effort in Minneapolis. The Utes and Gophers are tied 2-2 all time with two neutral site matchups (1959 in Raleigh, NC and 1955 in Lexington, KY), one meeting in Salt Lake City (2003) and one game in Minneapolis (2018).


What’s Next for Both Teams

Utah will match up with Coastal Carolina in the Myrtle Beach Invitational on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019 on either ESPNU or ESPN News. If the Utes win this game, they will play again on Friday Nov. 22 against the winner of Baylor and Ohio. If they lose against the Chanticleers, the Utes will play the loser of Baylor and Ohio on November 22. The Championship game of the Myrtle Beach Invitational will be played on Nov. 24.

Minnesota will head back to Minneapolis to take on Central Michigan and North Dakota next week. The Central Michigan game will be played on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m., while the Gophers matchup versus North Dakota will take place on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 6 p.m.


Where to Watch the Game

The game Friday will be played at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. You can also watch the game on Pac-12 Networks and listen to the game on ESPN 700.


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