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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Utah basketball - Defending Colorado without Dinwiddie

On the surface, Utah's job seems so much easier.

Spencer Dinwiddie is done for the season. Colorado seems lost without him, and the Buffaloes can no longer score with the ease or efficiency they did when their best player was healthy.

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But those facts should only worry Utah fans.

Heading into Saturday's matchup with Colorado - the third straight road game for the Utes - the Buffaloes will probably play their best offensive game without Dinwiddie. Here are some of the reasons why.

1) Prepration - Like the Utes, Colorado's been idle for a week. When Dinwiddie was hurt, the Buffaloes didn't have as much practice time to adjust to life without him. Give Tad Boyle a week to get ready for any opponent and he's going to be ready. You can bet the Buffaloes will have an offensive scheme in place.

2) Size and length - Much like Arizona, Colorado boasts plenty of bigs who can do damage on both ends. Josh Scott is one of the best centers in the league. Wesley Gordon is a great rebounder at power forward, and Xavier Johnson is long and athletic as a wing slasher. This is precisely where Arizona caused problems for the Utes last Sunday.

3) Home floor - The Coors Event Center is one of the best home venues in the conference. Yes, Colorado played horribly on the road last week. Does anyone really think the Buffaloes will duplicate those performances?

As such, in order to get that elusive road win, Utah will need to play 40 minutes of very good to great basketball. The Utes will have to shoot well, score well, defend well, rebound well, weather storms and bad officiating....all of which they haven't quite put together yet.

Should be interesting to see if they can do that and move to 4-5 in league play.

Tony Jones



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