Takeaways: Runnin’ Utes Miss Carlson in 83-75 Loss
The Runnin’ Utes, down star Branden Carlson, lost to the Missouri Tigers 83-75 on Saturday. The Utes shot well from the field, but struggled in most other crucial statistical areas.
Here are the takeaways from the road loss:
Carlson’s absence hurt
The Utes lost the rebounding advantage, 41-33. Marco Anthony led the Utes with eight boards. Both Gach had five, as did Lahat Thioune, who tallied his in just under 13 minutes of play. Carlson isn’t known as a great rebounder as the 7-footer is averaging six per game, but his size, defensive presence, and his ability to stretch the floor on offense provides Utah with a unique look. It’s a look they couldn’t duplicate without him, as he remained in Salt Lake City due to Health and Safety Protocol.
Along with the struggles rebounding, the Utes also were dominated in the paint by a 38-16 margin.
Of course, rebounding and points in the paint weren’t the only thing that led to the loss, but combined with the next takeaway, they were a big culprit in the loss.
Utes need to clean up their turnovers
The Utes committed 12 turnovers to only six for Missouri. Only two Utes played without committing a turnover, Gabe Madsen and Jaxon Brenchley. Riley Battin, who played 19 minutes and played the game in foul trouble, had three. Three other Utes had two.
Craig Smith has shown he knows how to put together a team and the vital roles that need to be filled. However, a true-point guard that can be quick on his feet and the primary ball-handler might be the missing piece. That’s in no slam to anyone on the team, as this group is a refreshing bunch of players to watch.
Missouri’s hot second half was too much
The two takeaways above helped contribute to this takeaway. Missouri struggled shooting in the first half, going 26.8% from the field, 12.5% from three-point land, and 33.3% from the foul line. Because of the two previously mentioned takeaways, the only went into the half with a one point lead, despite shooting 41.4% from the field and 46.2% on threes.
The second half was a different story for Missouri as they shot 53.6% from the field, 40% from three, and 19-23 for 82.6% from the free-throw line.
The Runnin’ Utes are back home on Tuesday to take on the Fresno State Bulldogs for their last preseason non-conference matchup.