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Utah basketball: Vital Oregons are on their way

Published February 3, 2012 12:24 am

Utah basketball • Utes are .500 at home, but Oregon and Oregon St. are Pac-12's top teams.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The first time through the Pac-12 slate has been mostly unkind to the Utes. The last teams to get their shot at Utah — Oregon and Oregon State — come to the Huntsman Center this week.

The basketball team is coming off a pair of losses in Los Angeles to UCLA and USC, the latter of the two a 17-point loss at the Galen Center to a Trojan team that was previously winless in the Pac-12.

"Obviously, the way we played out in L.A. was a setback," junior center Jason Washburn said. "But it seems to be a trend. A lot of times we'll go play like that and we'll come back to the Huntsman and get an amazing display, either win or lose."

So, Ducks, Beavers, come have a turn.

Washburn is correct, however. The limited success the Utes (5-16, 2-7 Pac-12) have had has come at the Huntsman Center. Each win was at home, and the Utes have a .500 record (both overall and in conference) in Salt Lake City.

This week, though, provides no Washington States or Arizona States. Oregon (15-6, 6-3) entered last weekend tied for first place in the conference, and lost its hold on the top spot only after a narrow rivalry loss to, yes, the Beavers.

"Oregon's defense, everyone talks about how aggressive it is and how they're just all around flying," Washburn said. "How we've got to be able to handle the pressure."

boram@sltrib.com

Twitter: @oramb —

Oregon at Utah

P At Huntsman Center

Tipoff • Thursday, 7 p.m.

Radio • 700 AM

Records • Utah 5-16, 2-7; Oregon 16-5, 6-3

Series record • Utah leads 8-7

Last meeting • Utah, 95-81 (Dec. 3, 2008)

About the Utes • Utah is coming off losses of 26 and 17 points in Los Angeles against UCLA and USC. … Jason Washburn leads the Utes in points (10.6 per game) and rebounds (6.1), but has not had a double-double since Dec. 3 at Fresno State. … Starting forward Dijon Farr has scored 10 or more points in just four of the last 10 games.

About the Ducks • Oregon had a short week of practice after losing 76-71 at home to Oregon State on Sunday. … Minnesota transfer Devoe Joseph leads the Ducks with 15.4 points per game. … Oregon forward E.J. Singler is the younger brother of former Duke star Kyle Singler, the MVP of the 2010 Final Four.