Saturday, December 15, 2012

Up next: SMU and revenge.

Here's an unexpected bit of news from this afternoon: Utah's next opponent, Southern Methodist, fell on the road against Rhode Island. The Mustangs were off to their best start in years and looked quite impressive against the Utes a few weeks ago. But they got creamed by the 2-7 Rams of the A-10 today, 72-50.

So what happened there? Did the Mustangs' two-week layoff catch up with them? Are they a different team when on the road? A few stats jump out -- first, SMU turned the ball over 22 times (they averaged 13.8 going into the game). Second, they allowed the Rams to shoot 49% overall and 43.5% from three (compared to their own 43.2% and 27.3%). Interestingly, SMU had more turnovers (22) than field goals made (19).

Meanwhile, Jalen Jones was up to his typical self. He had 14 points and 9 rebounds (he led SMU against Utah with 20-16, and now averages 15.8-8.3 on the year). On the other hand, Nick Russell, who averaged 15.1 points, had just 7 against the Rams.

Utah has had just three games since playing at SMU, and SMU has had just two. It will be interesting to see how these teams compare against each other when they meet again next Tuesday. And possibly more interesting to gauge how well Utah has developed in the last 20 days.

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