After dismantling the Washington State Cougars on Wednesday night 88-47, the Runnin’ Utes are taking on the Washington Huskies on Saturday night in Seattle.
The Utes could have let a disappointing loss to the UCLA Bruins nearly a week ago linger, and they could have let the loss distract them from getting back on track, but they did the exact opposite against the Cougars. Utah came away with a 41 point win on the road, despite missing one of its primary players.
David Collette remained in Salt Lake City, because he was experiencing concussion-like symptoms, and whether or not he will be able to make the trip out to Seattle is still up in the air.
Following Utah’s blowout win in Pullman, assistant coach DeMarlo Slocum commended his team’s efforts to remain focused throughout the entire game, when they instead could have gotten a bit too comfortable. He was also proud of Jayce Johnson’s efforts when he filled in for Collette, but it’s more or less something he would expect out of any player on this Utah roster.
“Obviously we’d love to have Dave from an experience standpoint, but it’s next man up,” Slocum said on ESPN 700.
As the Utes are readying themselves for some tougher competition against Washington, one player who Utah will be focusing a lot of its efforts on stopping is Markelle Fultz. So far this season, Fultz has been averaging 23.1 points per game.
“First thing that comes to mind with Washington is a guard like Fultz in transition,” Slocum said on ESPN 700. “In two days, we got to come up with a plan to contain him from going down hill. He’s the best in the country at it. We got to get five guys back and square it and make them play half-court offense. ”
But while Fultz has been doing his part to help the Huskies stay competitive games, Washington has amassed 9-9 overall record, and it is 2-4 in conference play after taking down the Colorado Buffaloes on Wednesday night in overtime, 85-83. Although they have more losses than wins, just one of those losses was by a large margin, and that came to the hands of Oregon in the early part of conference play, 83-61.
So like any other game the Utes take part in, they are going to remain focused on the opponent in front of them, no matter if they are at the bottom of the Pac-12 standings, or if they are the No. 4 team in the country.
Game time is set for 6 p.m. MT.