Why Runnin’ Utes will be shorthanded for their Pac-12 opener against USC

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New Utah coach Craig Smith could have only eight scholarship players at his disposal at the Galen Center against undefeated USC

LOS ANGELES– Craig Smith’s Runnin’ Utes most likely couldn’t have chosen a worse time to open up Pac-12 play than today, yet that is the hand the new Utah basketball trainer as well as his group have been dealt, so they have no other choice than to forge ahead and also take advantage of it.

Due to injuries, Utah (5-1) could have simply 8 scholarship players offered on Wednesday night (9:30 p.m. MST, Pac-12 Network) when it takes on across the country ranked and also undefeated USC (6-0) at the Galen Center.

The Trojans are No. 18 in the Coaches Poll as well as No. 20 in the AP Top 25 survey.

” We went from what I believed was going to be an actually deep group to having (a breakout of injuries),” Smith claimed Monday mid-day after practice in Salt Lake City. “It is a good thing we have some deepness. We have 11 (healthy) individuals in the program.”

Most notably, the Utes could be without beginning guard Marco Anthony, backup wing Gabe Madsen and also backup huge man Dusan Mahorcic versus one of the Pac-12’s leading 3 teams. Fifth-ranked UCLA (6-1) and No. 11 Arizona (6-0) are the only Pac-12 groups getting in conference play ranked greater than the Trojans.

Madsen (non-COVID-19 ailment) and Anthony (ankle) missed out on Saturday’s 75-64 loss to after that No. 18 BYU at the Huntsman Center, while Mahorcic sustained a knee injury secs after he went into the game.

” Hoping for the most effective, but you recognize just how that goes,” Smith stated of Mahorcic’s injury.

On his radio show on ESPN 700 AM, Smith made it appear as if the Illinois State transfer’s injury is not season-ending.

” Whether it was making a chance at the buzzer, or getting a 50-50 round that (BYU) found a means to obtain, and also we didn’t. Which’s what championship teams do. They locate a means to make those type of plays.”– Utah basketball train Craig Smith on the loss to BYU last Saturday
“It is not delightful mentoring when you do not have the entire roster offered, but it becomes part of what is enjoyable concerning mentoring, is you need to transform who you are, place the guys in the very best placement to succeed, which will assist our group to be successful,” Smith stated.

Asked about Anthony and also Madsen on Monday, Smith stated they are “both proceeding” as well as Madsen had the ability to do a few points in method, while Anthony wasn’t.

“We are mosting likely to prepare with the men that we know we have and then it will certainly be an added reward if any of these (injured/ill) men obtain cleared– ideally quickly,” Smith said.

With Anthony not able to play after experiencing the ankle injury in the Sunlight Bang, which Utah won, Minnesota transfer Both Gach started in the USU transfer’s place and also struggled in the loss to BYU. Gach went 1 of 8 from the field as well as had simply two rebounds in 34 mins.

A favorable was that freshman guard Lazar Stefanovic had his third straight exceptional video game off the bench. Stefanovic was 4 of 5 against Boston College, 5 of 9 versus Tulsa and 5 of 9 against BYU, racking up 33 factors in his last 3 games.

The Utes were set up to fly to Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon.

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