Utes basketball notebook: Trio of Utah starters won't be 100 percent for Bay Area road trip
SALT LAKE CITY — Three Utah starters — Cedric Martin, Brandon Taylor and Jason Washburn — are a bit banged up. Each received numerous treatments on nagging injuries last Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and they’re expected to be ready to go when the Utes play at California and Stanford this week.
But Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak was told that Martin, Taylor and Washburn will not be 100 percent for the games.
“I don’t think any of us are 100 percent at this point,” Krystkowiak said. “I’m not feeling like I’m 100 percent, either, but you’re at that point of the season where you need to dig in.”
The most important things, he explained, are being physically rested and mentally sharp.
Krystkowiak added that not turning the ball over is part of the mental aspect, while the physical aspect includes being rested and having an energy level to focus on pursuing loose balls, rebounding and taking charges.
“You can talk about those things, but if you’re not fresh then I don’t know if you have much of a chance,” Krystkowiak said.
NEARING A MILESTONE: Washburn is just 16 points away from becoming the 35th player in program history to tally 1,000 in his career.
“I think it’s a tremendous accomplishment,” said Krystkowiak, who added that it speaks volumes for some of the consistency that Washburn has had over the course of his career.
HEADED OUT: Aside from next month’s Pac-12 tourney in Las Vegas, this week will be Utah’s final road trip of the season. The Utes plan to leave for the Bay Area after school Wednesday (face California the next day) and return Sunday, following the game at Stanford.
And there’s a bonus. Krystkowiak noted that it’s supposed to be 70 degrees with sunshine during Utah’s journeys to Berkeley and Palo Alto.
TUCKER TIME: True freshman Dakarai Tucker has come on strong over the past two games — making 5 of 7 shots from the field (including 4 of 5 from 3-point range).
“I really like the way Dakarai is playing,” Krystkowiak said.
Tucker, he continued, is doing more than just hitting shots. Krystkowiak noted that his defense has also come a long way.
Tucker had three steals and a block last week against Colorado.
“He’s been as coachable as anybody we’ve had here in terms of soaking everything up,” Krystkowiak said.
EXTRA STUFF: Utah leads the Pac-12 in shooting percentage defense (.390). ... Cal has won the past four meetings, including a 62-57 decision in the Huntsman Center on Jan. 24. ... The Utes are 0-10 in Pac-12 play this season when trailing at halftime.
Utes on the air
Utah (11-15, 3-11) at California (18-9, 10-5)
Thursday, 7 p.m.
Radio: ESPN 700AM
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