Tonight, your Washington State Cougars and their three-game losing streak streak come home to welcome one of the better teams in the Pac-12 in the 12-5 Utah Runnin’ Utes. The game will tip off at Beasley Coliseum at 6 PM PDT. The game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks and also streamed at pac12.com.
The Cougs actually hold an all-time advantage against the Running Utes with a staggering 8-7 record, which could take as long as tonight for Utah to even the series up. The Utes have won the past five games, dating back to January 2014 in Ken Bone’s final season as head coach.
Utah is not ranked in either poll, but checks in at #51 on KenPom's laptop, 83rd in the RPI and hasn’t beaten our football team since 2012 (looking for a positive, here).
Can the Cougs pull off the upset? Probably not, but let's go over what this team does well anyway: Utah give 8 or 9 players serious minutes so individual stats do not depict how dangerous this team truly is. The Utes run about a third of its plays through Forward Kyle Kuzma, averaging 14.3 points and 9.6 rebounds, and another quarter of its offense through Senior Guard Lorenzo Bonam, also averaging 13 points. Bonam dropped 19 points in their heartbreaking one-point loss to UCLA last week.
Utah’s lineup rounds out with David Collette, Sedrick Barefield, Devon Daniels and JoJo Zamora, who all boast KenPom ORtg’s of over 110. Good luck, Cougar defense!.
Over the first week of the conference season, the surprising 2-0 Cougs were a fun story, but after three consecutive losses, I think we’ve seen this team come crashing back to reality. Fortunately, WSU draws this one at home, so hopefully the students brave the flooding and head out to Friel Court this evening.
Pomeroy projects Utah to win this game 77-69 with a 75% confidence. Vegas has the Runnin’ Utes as a 9.5 point favorite with a 144 O/U, which means the computers value the Cougs(!!!)
This page will also serve as your game thread for this evening so feel free to cheer for the upset along with the rest of us here. Also, please regale us with your favorite memory of the 1992 Copper Bowl.