Utah aims for bounce-back win vs. surging No. 20 TCU
The Utah Jazz are out of town, but their arena still will host a high-level basketball game when the Utah Utes play a nonconference game against No. 20 TCU on Wednesday night.
The Horned Frogs (9-1) enter the matchup on a seven-game winning streak, with only a one-point loss to Northwestern State marring their record.
The Utes (9-3) are looking to rebound after their five-game winning streak was snapped Saturday in their rivalry game against BYU.
Utah made an impressive rally to cut its deficit to three with 2:46 left after trailing by 15 with 6:06 remaining. The Cougars ended the game strong to win 75-66.
“I thought they out-toughed us in every aspect,” Utah coach Craig Smith said. “And I thought their crowd really impacted that game, and we just didn’t handle some things well.”
This will be the 22nd meeting between Utah and TCU, with the Utes leading the series 16-5, and the fourth time they have played on a neutral court, including last season’s Horned Frogs victory at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Mike Miles Jr., who leads TCU in scoring with an average of 17.7 points per game, had 28 points, eight rebounds and four assists against Utah in that 76-62 win last December.
Branden Carlson, who leads Utah with averages of 15.4 points and 7.3 rebounds, had 16 points, nine rebounds and six blocks in that loss to TCU.
Three other players are scoring double-digit points per game for Utah: Gabe Madsen (13.0), Marco Anthony (11.1) and Rollie Worster (10.0).
TCU’s expected starters are Miles, Damion Baugh, Chuck O’Bannon Jr., Emanuel Miller and Eddie Lampkin Jr., who were the first five in the Horned Frogs’ most recent outing, an 88-43 home win over Mississippi Valley State on Sunday.
Though TCU is off to a strong start, that was the ninth different starting lineup the team has used this season.
“Our depth is a positive, but we gotta get some good work in with these guys, conditioning wise,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon told TCU 360. “I do think that’s somewhere we’re not where we need to be with too many guys missing practices.”
Miles had a team-high 15 points for the Horned Frogs in that game and Baugh had 12. The Horned Frogs shot 9 of 18 (50 percent) from 3-point range.
Miles was back in the lineup after missing the previous game, an 83-75 win over SMU, due to injury.
“It felt good getting back into the flow of things, being out there with my team, helping in any way I can,” Miles said.
–Field Level Media