Utah basketball - A spot appears to be claimed
Sophomore forward Dakarai Tucker appears to have won the starting small forward spot over Princeton Onwas. The reasoning appears to be simple. Both guys have their strengths. And while Onwas is a talent and is the best pure athlete on the team, Tucker's ability to shoot the ball and improved athleticism has given him a leg up.
Delon Wright is good off the dribble and can get into the lane a good amount of the time. Because of this, it makes sense to surround the junior guard with shooters. Tucker is rapidly turning into a good spot up shooter, especially from the corners. It remains to be seen whether or not he can make them once the season starts on Friday at the Huntsman Center against Evergreen State. But he's shot it well in the preseason.
* When Marko Kovacevic comes back the presence of the junior center will give the Utes a measure of flexibility. Right now, Jordan Loveridge has no back-up at power forward. When Kovacevic heals from his fractured wrist, the plan is to play Renan Lenz at the four in spot minutes. It will also allow Utah to go big in situations when warranted. That's a good thing. Utah has a ton of flexibility in the backcourt and on the wings, but not so much up front. That could change, depending on what Kovacevic is able to provide.