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Talkin’ Tall Firs: PAC-12 Play Has Begun

Oregon lost their first regular season game but the Ducks still have a lot of ball left to be played

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After receiving the #4 ranking in the AP Poll this past Monday, Oregon (11-3, 0-1) opened up conference play with a road loss to a talented Colorado team that is sure to be in the AP Top 25 very shortly. If you honestly thought this Ducks team was going undefeated in the loaded PAC-12, you must be absolutely crazy. Welcome to the conference that loves to beat up on each other. I mean, UCLA beat Washington on the road last night. That’s absurd.

Anyways, the Ducks gave up an early lead to the Buffaloes last night and pretty much trailed the entire game. Oregon couldn’t capitalize from beyond the arc (3-18 3PT). McKinley Wright IV (21 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds) played like he’s deserving of yet another All PAC-12 First Team nomination. This loss could play huge dividends when figuring out the PAC-12 Tournament seeding come March. Oregon looks to get back in the win column as they will be staying in the Rocky Mountains to take on the Utes.

Utah Utes (10-3, 1-0)

Wins - @ Nevada, @ Mississippi Valley State, Minnesota, Ohio, UC Davis, BYU, Central Arkansas, Weber State, #6 Kentucky, Oregon State

Losses - @ Coastal Carolina, Tulane, #20 San Diego State

KenPom Ranking - #100

Key Numbers:

  • 79.4 points per game (45th in the nation)
  • 39.3 rebounds per game
  • 15.1 assists per game
  • 2.7 blocks per game
  • 4.7 steals per game
  • 69.3 points allowed per game
  • 48.4 field goal percentage

Player to Watch For:

Timmy Allen, Sophomore - 21.3 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.0 SPG, 51.6 FG%

The 6’6” forward plays small for his position but isn’t afraid to go up with the big dogs. Allen leads the team in points and rebounds per game. He lives in the paint and loves to attack the rim. Timmy is aggressive down on the low block and is awarded for it. He was 13-15 from the free throw line in his last game against Oregon State.

Game Time:

#4 Oregon @ Utah - 5:00 PM ET, PAC-12 Network on Saturday, January 4th

Score Prediction:

84-79, Ducks over Utes

*Arden Cravalho is a Gonzaga University graduate from the Bay Area... Follow him on Twitter @a_cravalho