The Utes are nearly unbeatable at home where they're 11-1. Utah averages 12,899 fans at Huntsman Center, which is the second largest in the Pac-12. The Huskies are 3-2 in road games.
Scouting report: Utah.
Game info: 6 p.m. (PT) Wednesday at Huntsman Center (15,000).
TV: ESPN2 (Roxy Bernstein and Corey Williams).
Radio: KOMO 1000 AM and FM 97.7 (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton).
Coach: Larry Krystkowiak is 85-72 (.541) in his fifth season with the Utes and 127-92 (.582) 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: Utah leads 10-9 in a series that began Nov. 30, 1951. The Utes have won four of the past five games. Since joining the Pac-12, Utah is 5-3 against Washington. The Huskies are 1-2 at Huntsman Center as conference rivals. Lorenzo Romar is 5-6 against Colorado. Krystkowiak is 5-4 against UW.
Last meeting: Utah won 80-75 in overtime on Jan. 24 at Alaska Airlines Arena. Neither team led by more than five points, the lead changed 15 times and score was tied 11 times. The Utes led for 22:30 minutes, UW was ahead for 12:36 minutes and the game was tied for nearly 10 minutes. Freshman guard David Crisp drained a step-back, three-pointer with 17 seconds left to force overtime. However, Utah ran away with it in the extra period and outscored Washington 14-9. Andrew Andrews had 17 points, Marquese Chriss 15 and Noah Dickerson 14.
Previous game: Utah lost 76-66 at Oregon on Sunday.
Point spread: The Utes are favored by 8.0 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 (17.3 points per game) and rebounding (8.8). He’s shooting 65.0 percent from the field, which ranks second in the Pac-12. Poeltl is decent shot blocker, who rejects 1.5 shots per game, and anchors a defense that allows opponents to shoot just 41.4 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.
— Kyle Kuzma, a 6-9 sophomore forward, has notched double-digit scoring efforts in five straight games, including 18 points on Sunday at Oregon to pace Utah. He’s averaging 11.9 points per game for the season and 11.8 points per game against Pac-12 Conference foes. Kuzma has led Utah in scoring in five games.
— Jordan Loveridge, a 6-6 senior forward, 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 the star many projected, but he’s been a four-year starter who has averaged at least 10 points every season. This season he’s averaging 11.3 points on 41.5 percent shooting. He averaged 7.0 rebounds during his first two seasons, but collected 3.9 boards per game as a junior and 3.8 this season largely because of Poeltl’s dominating presence inside.
— Utah, which is 11-1 at home this season, has won three straight games at Huntsman Center.
— The Utes average 12,899 fans for home games, which is the second most in the Pac-12. Utah also treats fans to an awesome pregame player introduction that’s one of the best in college basketball.
— Only two players left (Delon Wright and Dalin Bachynski) from the team that advanced to the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 last year and Utah is looking for another trip to the Big Dance. The Utes play five of their remaining regular-season games at home. If they win those games, they’d be in good position of securing an at-large berth to the NCAA tourney.
— Senior Brandon Taylor teamed 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 (36.8 field goal and 28.6 three-point percentage) who has struggled at times being a playmaker. He leads Utah with 3.5 assists per game. Taylor is a three-year starter.
— Utah’s starters haven’t been very good on three-pointers. Only Loveridge (41.6 percent) and junior guard Lorenzo Bonam (38.6) shoot better than 30 percent.
— The Utes are also lost in the Pac-12 at defending the three-pointer. Opponents are shooting 37 percent behind the arc.
— Utah has impressive nonconference wins over then-No. 7 Duke (a 77-75 overtime victory) and San Diego State (an 81-76 victory).
— The Utes have used four different starting lineups this season. The lineup (below) has started the past nine games and is 14-7 this season.