Sophomore center Jakob Poeltl is considered one of the Pac-12's top NBA prospects. He leads the Utes with 16.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.
Scouting report: Utah.
Game info: 5:30 p.m. (PT) Sunday at Alaska Airlines Arena (10,000).
TV: ESPNU (Roxy Bernstein and Corey Williams).
Radio: KOMO 1000 AM and FM 97.7 (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton).
Coach: Larry Krystkowiak is 82-69 (.540 in his fifth season with the Utes and 124-89 (.580) in seven years as a head coach. Prior to joining Utah in 2011, he spent two years at Montana where he amassed a 42-20 (.677) record. Krystowiak played at Montana (1982-86). Taken in the second round of the 1986 draft, he had a nine-year NBA career.
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Prediction: Picked to finish third in the Pac-12 preseason media poll.
Series: The series is tied 9-9. It began Nov. 30, 1951. Since joining the Pac-12, Utah is 4-3 against Washington. The Utes are 2-1 at Alaska Airlines Arena as conference rivals. Lorenzo Romar is 5-5 against Colorado. Krystkowiak is 4-4 against UW.
Last meeting: Washington upset then-No. 13 Utah 77-68 on March 8, 2015 at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies shot a season-best 57.1 percent on three-pointers (8 of 14) and had four players score in double figures including Nigel Williams-Goss, who finished with 28 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Andrew Andrews tallied 16 points. Washington trailed 36-31 at intermission and despite playing just seven players, the Huskies ran away from the Utes after the break.
Previous game: Utah clobbered Washington State 92-71 on Thursday at Beasley Coliseum.
Point spread: The Utes are favored by 4.0 points.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Jakob Poeltl, a 7-foot center, saved Utah’s season when he decided against entering the NBA draft and returned for his sophomore season. But this will likely be his last season with the Utes because he’s a projected lottery pick. Poeltl leads Utah in scoring (16.2 points per game) and rebounding (8.9). He’s shooting 64.2 percent from the field, which ranks second in the Pac-12. Poeltl is decent shot blocker, who rejects 1.8 shots per game, and anchors a defense that allows opponents to shoot just 41.1 percent from the field – fifth best in Pac-12. Poeltl is a two-time Pac-12 player of the week winner this season. He’s also been named to the watch lists for the Naismith, Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar awards.
— Jordan Loveridge, a 6-6 senior, feels as if he’s been at Utah for 10 years. He was the first big recruit for Krystkowiak. Loveridge may not have developed into a star, but he’s been very good for the Utes. He’s been a four-year starter who has averaged at least 10 points every season. This season he’s averaging 11.9 points oon 43.0 percent shooting.
— During Thursday’s win at Washington State, Utah scored the more points it ever had in a Pac-12 game. The Utes also converted 11 of 12 free throws against the Cougars.
— Utah has impressive nonconferece wins over then-No. 7 Duke (a 77-75 overtime victory) and San Diego State (an 81-76 victory).
— Senior Brandon Taylor teammed with Washington’s Andrew Andrews on an all-star Pac-12 team that played exhibition games in China in 2014. Taylor is a streaky shooter (38.5 field goal and 29.0 three-point percentage) who has struggled at times being a playmaker. He leads Utah with 3.4 assists per game. Taylor is a three-year starter.
— Junior guard Lorenzo Bonam and sophomore forward Kyle Kuzma are first-year starters who are averaging 10.3 and 11.0 points respectively.
— The Utes have used three different starting lineps this season. The lineup (below) has started the past four games and is 11-4 this season.