Utah Men’s Basketball Takes Final Road Trip to Take on Stanford, Cal


University of Utah freshman center Branden Carlson (35) during an NCAA Basketball game vs. the USC Trojans at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. (Photo by Jalen Pace | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Brayden Ramsay, Sports Writer


The University of Utah men’s basketball team will take their final regular season road trip this weekend as they take on the Stanford Cardinal and California Golden Bears.

The Runnin’ Utes will head into the weekend with a 15-12, 6-9 Pac-12 record after going 1-1 at home last week against the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans.

The Cal Bears (11-16, 5-9 Pac-12) are also coming off of a 1-1 weekend after taking on the Washington State Cougars and Washington Huskies. Stanford (18-9, 7-7 Pac-12) fared a bit better against the Huskies and Cougars, notching two wins last week.


Projected Utah Starters

Rylan Jones went down with an apparent knee injury during Sunday’s game against the Trojans. He is considered questionable for the matchups this weekend, but if he’s ready he has a good chance to play. Jones has been a spark plug for the team this season and will look to end the season strong if he’s able to perform. If not, look for Jaxon Brenchley or Alfonso Plummer to get added playing time.

Both Gach hasn’t quite been himself since playing a lights-out game against Oregon back in early January. Although he has been plagued by injury through the last month, Gach will look to notch double digit points for the first time since the game against the Ducks. Last week he totaled 10 points, six assists and 11 rebounds against the Bruins and Trojans.

Timmy Allen has been consistently solid for the Utes throughout the season, scoring in double digit points and notching multiple Pac-12 Player of the Week honors throughout the year. Allen had two great performances against UCLA and USC, chalking up a total of 32 points, five assists and 17 rebounds against the two squads.

Riley Battin’s play may not blow you away on paper, but he provides a determination and grit that has been a huge benefit to the Utes this season. His minutes have dwindled through the last three games as he’s shared minutes with a surging Mikael Jantunen. Jantunen should get the majority of the minutes for the Utes this weekend, but look for Battin to get the nod to be in the starting lineup once again.

Branden Carlson has been a different animal down low for the Runnin’ Utes after finding a groove against Washington State in late January. After that game, Carlson has scored in double digits in six of the eight games Utah has played in. He has also been dominant on the boards, averaging almost six rebounds during that span.


Noteworthy News

Utah is 11-2 at home and 1-7 on the road during the 2019-2020 season. The Runnin’ Utes are currently in eighth place in the Pac-12, just ahead of the ninth place Cal Bears and just behind the seventh place Stanford Cardinal.


How to Consume This Week’s Games

The Utes will take on the Stanford Cardinal first on Wednesday Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. The game will take place at Stanford’s Maples Pavilion and can be heard on Serious XM Channel 388 radio.

Utah will then take a quick trip to Berkeley to take on the Cal Bears on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 4 p.m. The game will be played at California’s Haas Pavilion and can be listened to on Serious XM Channel 380.

Both games will be televised on Pac-12 Networks and radio broadcast on ESPN 700 by Bill Riley and Jimmy Soto.


Next Week

The final regular season game before the 2019-2020 season will take place on Saturday, March 7 against the Colorado Buffaloes. The game will be Senior Day and will take place at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.


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