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Utah basketball: Utes seek help for Wright, Loveridge

Published January 29, 2014 7:51 pm

College basketball • Utes need third player to provide offense.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

On most nights, Utah knows it will get scoring from Jordan Loveridge and Delon Wright.

Unfortunately, that's about all the Utes know. At least offensively.

Loveridge and Wright comprise one of the best offensive duos in the Pac-12, each averaging over 16 points per game. But Utah desperately needs a third guy to provide offense, and that hasn't happened much this season. Yes, sophomores Dakarai Tucker and Brandon Taylor have had their moments, and freshman Kenneth Ogbe has been charging hard the last few weeks.

Generally speaking, though Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak still doesn't know where his scoring depth is going to come from on a nightly basis.

That's a problem in a league as good as the Pac-12.

"We need a third scorer, a fourth scorer and a fifth scorer," Krystkowiak said. "Everybody needs to make some improvement, for sure."

In league play, teams are throwing a bunch of attention at Loveridge and Wright. Help has come sporadically. In the win over Oregon State, Taylor scored 23 points and handed out eight assists. Ogbe stepped up big against UCLA, as did Tucker against USC.

For the season, Loveridge, Wright and Taylor all average in double-figures, but Taylor has been cold of late and didn't score in Sunday's loss to Arizona. Finding a guy who can be counted on to help the two best players could mean more wins in the second half of league play.

"The third person has been alternating throughout the year," Wright said. "We're looking for someone to do it every night. That would really help us."

A pledge of allegiance

Richard Sherman and Krystkowiak will probably never be close personal friends. That doesn't mean Utah's coach doesn't want the controversial Seattle Seahawks cornerback to come up empty on Sunday in the Super Bowl.

When asked, Krystkowiak said he's solidly in Seattle's corner, openly rooting for them to defeat Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Krystkowiak said he's been a Seahawks fan for most of his life, even bringing up the days of Jim Zorn being the quarterback.

"Seattle was close to Montana so it was natural for me and my family," Krystkowiak said. "At the end of the day it's fun to have two teams out west making the big game. I definitely want Seattle to win, and I think it's going to be a great game."

Making the turn

Saturday's game at Colorado marks the halfway point of Pac-12 play for the Utes. The Buffaloes are missing their best player in Spencer Dinwiddie, who is lost for the season to a knee injury. Utah enters the contest sitting in ninth place in the conference.

"It's an important game, and we have to go in there and play well," Wright said.

tjones@sltrib.com

Utah at Colorado

O Saturday, noon.

Pac-12 Network