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Utah Basketball - Defending Burton will be a load for the Utes

Published February 4, 2013 4:36 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah is in for a huge challenge on Wednesday night against Oregon State - literally.

Utah fans, meet Joe Burton, 6-foot-8 and 295 pounds of power forward. Yes, he's big. Yes, he's a beast in the paint.

But here's where it gets interesting: Burton is one of the most gifted passers in the Pac-12. He's also a good shooter, fast and nimble and a matchup problem.

Utah has length inside, but nowhere near the girth Burton presents. He's impressive in person and on film.

"If there's a better passer in the league, I want to see him," Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "I remember one play he had his arms down and his teammate was cutting through the paint. The defender knew what was coming and he still hits the guy for an easy basket. He's a talented player and a challenge for us."

The Utes figure to have Jordan Loveridge available for Wednesday. The freshman practiced Monday and doesn't look to have any ill-effects with the knee injury that kept him out of Saturday's game against Colorado. They will need him. He's the only guy who looks able to matchup with the player from Oregon State that plays like Big Baby Davis from the Orlando Magic.

Tony Jones