State Of Utah Had Sub-Par Week Of College Hoops
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah has a big week ahead of them if they want to stay in the top four of the Pac-12 standings. They are coming off of a split against the Arizona schools.
Utah State is still in second place in the Mountain West Conference after they dominated their two games this past week.
BYU stays in second place in the West Coast Conference after a weekend sweep on the road.
Utah Valley shook off the rust of not playing for 14 days. They split their two road games and are in third place in the WAC standings.
It was a subpar week for the state of Utah in college hoops with the local teams going 7-5.
Weber State remains in third place in the Big Sky Conference.
Southern Utah moved up from sixth place after their two road losses.
ESPN puts out a Basketball Power Index, also known as BPI, which measures a team’s strength going forward. The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee has a metric called “Strength of Record” that reflects the chance a typical 25th ranked team would have team’s record or better, given the schedule on a 0 to 100 scale, where 100 is the best.
Five of the six in-state schools improved their BPI rating from the previous week, while three of the six teams improved their strength of record or stayed the same.
Here’s the sixth edition of the KSL Sports in-state college basketball power rankings from games played Monday, February 11 to Sunday, February 17:
1. Utah State Aggies (20-6, 10-3 MWC)
ESPN BPI Rating: 7.9, No. 53 (Up 1 Spot)
Wins: vs. Wyoming (-10.3 BPI, No. 330), at Air Force (-6.6 BPI, No. 291)
Strength of Record: 56
Recap: It took the Aggies until the second half to pull away from Wyoming as they outscored the Cowboys 39-22 in the second half to pick up the 76-59 victory. Sam Merrill led the way with 19 points and 6 assists, Neemias Queta chipped in 14 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks.
In their 76-62 win at Air Force, Utah State trailed by 7 points early in the game but erased the deficit and never looked back. Merrill poured in 20 points and 6 assists, Queta added 17 points and 6 rebounds.
— USU Men’s Hoops (@USUBasketball) February 16, 2019
Previous Ranking: 1
Next Up: vs. New Mexico (11-14, 5-8 MWC), Wednesday at 9 p.m. on ESPNU. They will travel to Boise State (11-15, 6-7 MWC) on Saturday at 2 p.m. on the Mountain West Network.
2. BYU Cougars (18-10, 10-3 WCC)
ESPN BPI Rating: 5.6, No. 78 (Up 7 Spots)
Wins: at San Diego (In OT) (5.1 BPI, No. 87), at Loyola Marymount (1.9 BPI, No. 139)
Strength of Record: 75 (Up 24 Spots)
Recap: BYU had to comeback in the second half in both of their wins on the road in the past week. They trailed by 14 twice against San Diego but managed to send the game into overtime and picked up the 88-82 win. T.J. Haws scored a career-high 35 points to go with his 7 assists. He was named WCC Player of the Week. Yoeli Childs added 27 points and 12 rebounds.
The Cougars trailed by 12 points late in the first half but outscored the Lions 40-26 in the second half to pull out the 70-62 win. Childs led BYU with 18 points and 5 assists, Gavin Baxter and T.J. Haws each scored 13 points.
— BYU Basketball (@BYUbasketball) February 16, 2019
Previous Ranking: 2
Next Up: vs. San Francisco (20-6, 8-4 WCC), Thursday at 7 p.m. on BYUtv. They will travel to No. 2 Gonzaga (25-2, 12-0 WCC) on Saturday at 8 p.m. on either ESPN or ESPN2. Both games will be broadcast on KSL Newsradio.
3. Utah Utes (14-11, 8-5 Pac-12)
ESPN BPI Rating: 2.4, No. 130 (Up 2 Spots)
Wins: vs. Arizona (4.9 BPI, No. 91)
Losses: vs. Arizona State (7.2 BPI, No. 64)
Strength of Record: 103
Recap: Parker Van Dyke led Utah to their 83-76 win over the Arizona Wildcats. He had a career-high 23 points on 7-for-10 from downtown. The Utes outscored the Wildcats 52-44 in the second half. Jayce Johnson had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Sedrick Barefield chipped in 15 points and Timmy Allen added 14.
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) February 15, 2019
In their 98-87 loss to Arizona State, Utah hit just 34 percent of their three-pointers while the Sun Devils connected on 45 percent of their triples. Van Dyke still had the hot hand with 17 points on 3-of-7 from deep to tie a team high alongside Barefield’s 17.
Previous Ranking: 3
Next Up: at Washington (20-5, 11-1 Pac-12), Wednesday at 9 p.m. on FS1. They travel to Washington State (10-15, 3-9 Pac-12), Saturday at 6 p.m. on Pac-12 Network.
4. Utah Valley Wolverines (17-8, 6-4 WAC)
ESPN BPI Rating: 2.3, No. 133 (Up 6 Spots)
Wins: at UT Rio Grande Valley (-2.8 BPI, No. 218)
Losses: at New Mexico State (6.3 BPI, No. 71)
Strength of Record: 96 (Down 1 Spot)
Recap: Against New Mexico State, Utah Valley trailed by just two points at halftime in their 84-77 loss. They stayed within arm’s reach but could never get over the hump. Ben Nakwaasah led the team in scoring with 18 points, Wyatt Lowell had 12 points off the bench. Baylee Steele notched a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The Wolverines bounced back with a big road win against UT Rio Grande Valley, 76-64. They pulled away in the second half by putting up 48 points in the second half, while limiting UT Rio Grande Valley to 33 points. Jake Toolson poured in 17 points and T.J. Washington recorded 14 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
— UVU Athletics (@GoUVU) February 17, 2019
Previous Ranking: 4
Next Up: vs. Chicago State (3-23, 0-11 WAC), Thursday at 7 p.m. They will UMKC (10-16, 5-6 WAC), Saturday at 7 p.m. on the KSL TV app.
5. Weber State Wildcats (16-10, 10-5 Big Sky)
ESPN BPI Rating: 0.1, No. 165 (Up 4 Spots)
Wins: vs. Montana State (-4.8 BPI, No. 259)
Losses: vs. Montana (3.4 BPI, No. 114)
Strength of Record: 177 (Down 6 Spots)
Recap: The Wildcats got off to a poor start against Montana as they trailed 40-24 at the end of the first half. They bounced back by outscoring the Grizzlies 56-43 in the second half but just came up short, falling to Montana 83-80. Jerrick Harding had 30 points to lead the Wildcats, Brekkott Chapman added 20 points and 9 rebounds, while Cody John chipped in 16 points.
Weber State bounced back with a 94-82 win over Montana State. The Wildcats put up 55 points in the second half to pull away from the Bobcats. Harding exploded for 28 points, Caleb Nero scored 19 points off the bench and John chipped in 18 points.
— WeberStateMBB 🏀 (@WeberStateMBB) February 18, 2019
Previous Ranking: 5
Next Up: at Sacramento State (11-12, 5-9 Big Sky), Thursday at 8 p.m. on Pluto TV channel 233.
6. Southern Utah Thunderbirds (12-12, 7-8 Big Sky)
ESPN BPI Ranking: -5.7, No. 272 (Down 7 Spots)
Losses: at Sacramento State (-4.1 BPI, No. 246), at Portland State (-4.4 BPI, No. 251)
Strength of Record: 232 (Down 21 Spots)
Recap: The Thunderbirds had a rough week with two losses on the road. They collapsed in the second half against Sacramento State, falling to the Hornets 84-73. Brandon Better had 19 points, while Andre Adams added 14.
In their 78-69 loss to Portland State, SUU couldn’t get over the hump as they stayed close but could never gain the advantage. Harrison Butler led the team with 16 points and 10 rebounds, Adams put up 12 points and 8 rebounds.
Previous Ranking: 6
Next Up: vs. Eastern Washington (9-15, 7-6 Big Sky), Thursday at 6:30 p.m. They will host Idaho (4-20, 1-12 Big Sky), Saturday at 2 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on Pluto TV channel 236.