Runnin’ Utes miss opportunity at Wooden Legacy Tournament, fall to Northwestern

Utah goes 1-2 in preseason tournament.

Sunday’s 79-57 loss to Northwestern capped a poor showing in Utah’s preseason tournament in Fullerton. The Runnin’ Utes went 1-2 in their first test against quality competition.

The club’s lone win came against a WAC opponent – Grand Canyon. It’s a major miss in a tournament that offered opportunities against resume-building opponents.

Utah experimented with two different starting lineups. Donnie Tillman-Sedrick Barefield-Timmy Allen-Novak Topalovic-Charles Jones started against Hawaii, while Jayce Johnson and Both Gach replaced Topalovic and Jones in the first five against Grand Canyon and Northwestern.

This team has work to do as they find the right floor combinations. As the calendar turns to December, Larry Krystkowiak and company will face three top 100 KenPom teams – BYU (63), Kentucky (19), and Nevada (5). Those will be the last chances for Utah before the league schedule to score March wins.

The Pac-12 owns a .67 winning percentage in the non-conference slate. Michigan State and North Carolina handed UCLA losses in Las Vegas. Arizona State is the only undefeated left at 5-0. The Sun Devils’ best win is against #15 Mississippi State.

The young Utes are back at the Huntsman Center Saturday against Tulsa at 3pm.

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