TEMPE, Ariz. — Dallin Bachynski has been evicted, at least temporarily, from his older brother Jordan's apartment.
A year ago, while residing in limbo after signing with Utah but having to wait for the season to end to officially join the team, the 7-footer would drive nearly 700 miles to watch his 7-foot-2 sibling play for Arizona State. Dallin slept on the sofa.
"He'd come down and visit me whenever he could," Jordan said. "I loved having him."
This week, though, there's no vacancy at Jordan's place. For the first time in their lives, the Bachynski brothers will compete against one another in a real game. They'll be on opposite sides when Utah (8-4) and Arizona State (11-2) square off Wednesday at Wells Fargo Arena.
"I'm definitely close to him," Jordan said. "But he's the opponent this week so the couch isn't open for him."
The brothers do plan, however, to join their parents, John and Yolanda, for a bite to eat when the head-to-head battle is over.
"My mom says it's a lose-lose situation. Because when we go to dinner after the game, one of the kids is going to be rather angry. So it's not going to be fun," Dallin said. "But my dad is kind of the opposite, where he's like 'one of my kids wins, I win, it's awesome.' So it's just kind of funny."
The situation, Jordan noted, has their mother "absolutely stressed out because she knows its going to be an all-out war." On the flip side, Jordan confirmed that their father thinks its going to be great because a Bachysnki is going to win.
"It's really unique," acknowledged Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak. "It doesn't happen in college basketball very often that you've got brothers playing against each other at the same position."
Jordan, a junior, enters the game averaging 9.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game. Dallin, a sophomore, averages 7.6 points and 6.3 rebounds.
"I'm really excited. We've never faced each other in an organized sport. We've always played each other playing pick up," said Jordan, who predicts Dallin will be a force to be reckoned with in the Pac-12. "It's just a whole other animal when you finally are on two different organized teams."
Dallin has similar thoughts.
"We've competed in absolutely everything and now its kind of crazy because its Pac-12 basketball," he said. "It's going to be on TV. It's such a bigger deal than just in the driveway or just like between us."
Although they're conference rivals, the Bachynski brothers take a team approach into the challenges. As the veteran, Jordan shares his experience with Dallin — offering tips when his younger brother faces someone he has gone up against.
"(Dallin) eats up anything that he can. He's a really humble guy. He is really coachable and he respects guys that are older than him," Jordan said. "He is the hardest-working guy I know. He spends hours and hours and hours outside of practice honing his game and just working hard."
Playing in the same conference, Jordan continued, pushes both players towards excellence.
"I see him do well, and that makes me want to do better," he said. "It's almost trying to one-up each other."
The towering Bachynskis, however, aren't your typical major college basketball players. Besides the uniqueness of being brothers at competing schools, they're Canadians — developing their skills in hockey-loving Calgary.
"(Jordan's) nickname was 'Freak' just because he was so tall and he was honestly at that point a little gangly," Dallin said. "Then all his friends called me 'Junior Freak.' "
The brothers went on to share something else in common. Both served LDS Church missions. Jordan served in Florida, while Dallin labored in Croatia.
"Faith is a big part of our lives. Growing up in Canada where there's not quite as many LDS people as there is in Utah or even in Arizona, you learn that it's really important to you," Dallin said. "It's not just because your parents did it. It's not just because you know it should be right. But you truly believe its right."
Dallin said the two-year breaks from basketball really helped Jordan physically. He was able to heal from some injuries and add 50 or so pounds to his frame. Dallin, meanwhile, thinks his growth was more mentally advantageous.
Although Jordan nearly wound up at BYU, Dallin believes both players ended up elsewhere for a reason. Jordan met his wife at ASU and Dallin firmly believes that Utah is where he is supposed to be.
Now, as those two paths prepare to cross, the Bachynskis are looking forward to it. The talk, however, began long ago.
"It hasn't just been this week," Jordan said with a laugh. "(Dallin) started trash talking the minute he signed with Utah."1 comment on this story
EXTRA STUFF: Jessica Bachynski, the younger sister of Jordan and Dallin, is a 6-foot-1 sophomore at Utah Valley University. … Krystkowiak confirmed that senior Cedric Martin will play against ASU. Martin has been sidelined with a groin injury since the BYU game on Dec. 8. … ASU and Utah had two common opponents during non-conference play — Sacramento State and Cal State Northridge. The Sun Devils beat both teams, while the Utes lost to both.
Utah (8-4, 0-0) at Arizona State (11-2, 0-0)
Wells Fargo Arena
TV: Pac-12 Network
Radio: 700 AM