Utah is coming off a road upset of Arizona State, and currently sits at 7-6 overall. To get a feeling on what to expect in Saturday’s matchup, we talked to Shane Roberts of our sister site Block U.
Here’s our Q&A.
Utah enters conference play at .500. Will they have a winning or losing record in conference play this year?
Wow, that’s a hard question. I’d say winning for two reasons. One, Coach K usually gets these guys clicking come February and March. Two, the Pac-12 is bad this year, and I think you combine that with Utah traditionally plays well as the season goes along, they get to above .500. With that said, I wouldn’t pick them much more than a game or two over.
Who’s the most important impact player for the Utes?
As of now, I’d say Sedrick Barefield. The senior guard has found a nice groove, and is the primary offensive punch for the Utes. The problem is he’s more comfortable off the bench, and can get as cold as he is hot. I’m wanting it to be Donnie Tillman, because he’s got so much talent, but he’s been very up and down so far for the Utes.
What’s the general feeling around Larry Krystkowiak’s program?
This needs to be a rebuilding year, with next year the team contending for the conference title. He’s a great coach, but he’s old school, and I think that rubs some modern players the wrong way. The number of players that have transferred out of the program is alarming, and something that needs fixed. He’s done so well that I’m giving him plenty of rope, but for the first time I’m starting to get concerned.
What scares you about facing Arizona in Tucson?
It’s freaking Arizona in Tucson. I don’t know how many times Utah has went there and lost by a bucket, or lost a lead, it’s just not the place that Utah wins, period.
What’s your prediction for the game?
I could see Utah really coming out and giving Arizona all they can handle, because they’ve put together three really good performances in a row. With that said, Utah’s turnover problems are too big of a deal right now, and I have a feeling that they are going to go cold this game. I’d take Arizona +15 right now… but now watch, this will be the one Utah gets, because, Pac-12.