Takeaways: Runnin’ Utes defeat Manhattan 96-62
The Manhattan Jaspers came into the Jon M. Huntsman Center with a 6-2 record, but the Runnin Utes did exactly what they were supposed to do. Utah defeated the Jaspers 96-62, as four Utes scored in double-figures and nobody had to play over 25 minutes.
Here are the takeaways to the game:
Thioune nets new career high
At 6-foot-10 and 228 pounds, Lahat Thioune has the measurables to be a problem in the paint. His problem has been, Utah has a talented Brandon Carlson ahead of him and he also didn’t see the floor much under the previous coaching staff.
Thioune has been seeing more time lately due to the injury to Dusan Mahorcic and the one game injury to Carlson, and he continues to be efficient. Against the Jaspers, Thioune went 4-5 from the field and 8-8 from the foul line, while also pulling in seven rebounds.
On the season, Thioune is shooting 81.3% from the field, although it’s a small sample size with him going 13-16. He’s also 10-10 from the free-throw, so while he’s efficient at the free-throw line, his high volume of attempts against the Jaspers was an outlier.
Jenkins off the bench could be beneficial
When David Jenkins gets hot, he gets scorching hot. That’s not something that was happening the two games before Manhattan, as he was a combined 4-20 from the field and 1-11 from three-point range.
With the return to the starting lineup with a healthy Marco Anthony, Both Gach got the other starting nod at guard after a hot stretch and his overall impact on both ends of the court. Additionally, Gach provides a lot of length on defense. Because of this, Jenkins was moved to the bench, and he contributed six points on 2-3 shooting in 14 minutes of action.
Of course, one game doesn’t do much to predict future trends. However, if the Utes want to surprise the Pac-12, an electrifying scorer in the sixth-man role is crucial.
Utes need to create more turnovers
If there’s one thing this team is likely to struggle with in Pac-12 it’s turnovers, both creating them and not committing them. The Utes lost the turnover battle against Manhattan, 10-6. It’s a bit of a surprise for how soundly Utah beat them, that the Jaspers only committed six turnovers.
For the game, the Utes out-rebound Manhattan 40-27 and Manhattan shot only 32.8% from the field and 25% from three-point range. When that happens, even despite losing the turnover battle, a blowout is inevitable.
The Utes have two more non-conference games against Missouri on 12/18 and Fresno State 12/21. They’ll then have a nine day break before starting Pac-12 play at Oregon State.