Los Angeles • Of late, Jordan Loveridge has been less aggressive offensively. And that approach has led him to be more efficient on the floor.
The trend continued Thursday night as Utah’s star sophomore forward never looked to force anything in the first half against USC, never looked to hunt for his shot.
As a result, the first 20 minutes produced one of his best stat lines of the season, nine points, five rebounds and three assists. When the Trojans went to a zone defense, Utah ran its offense through him in the high post. When he had open looks from the perimeter, he calmly knocked down a trio of 3-pointers.
This has been the new Jordan Loveridge. In the past, he’s tended to shoot early and often. Now, he’s let the game come to him much more and has played much better in tandem with Delon Wright.
He’s also gone a long way towards filling up the stat sheet. Last week in a win over Washington, Loveridge had 13 rebounds to go along with 16 points. Against the Trojans - with the opposition controlling the backboards - Loveridge stuck himself into the fray and pulled down tough caroms in traffic.
Larry Krystkowiak continues to go deep into his bench for guys who haven’t played meaningful minutes in awhile. Against USC, it was Marko Kovacevic, who hadn’t been in the rotation. But in order to keep up with USC’s tremendous size, Kovacevic played and provided a few good minutes, laying a body on Omar Oraby. He also went to the basket, got fouled and made a free-throw.
Utah had eight turnovers and just eight assists in the first half against the Trojans, three of those coming from Brandon Taylor. Many of those came in the first 10 minutes, when USC built a lead.
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