SALT LAKE CITY — Although he didn’t play in the game because of a concussion, Utah guard Jarred DuBois was on a team that prevailed in BYU’s Marriott Center last season — the Loyola Marymount Lions.
DuBois, who has since transferred to Utah as a graduate student, knows what the Utes (6-2) will face Saturday night in Provo against BYU (5-3).
“It’s a tough place to play,” DuBois acknwowledged. “But at the end of the day it's still a basketball game and if we come out and execute, defend and rebound, we’ll have a chance to win.”
Utah had all of that and then some in Wednesday night’s 76-55 win over Boise State in the Huntsman Center. The Utes shot 67.5 percent from the field, had 20 assists on 27 baskets, held the Broncos to 40.4 percent shooting and outrebounded them by a 31-18 margin.
DuBois said the Utes plan to come at the Cougars the same way.
“We’re going to try to do whatever we can to win,” added DuBois, who is the team leader in scoring (16 ppg) and assists (3.7 apg).
DuBois, who had 13 points and four rebounds in a loss to BYU last season in Los Angeles, doesn’t think it’ll be weird to face the Cougars in a different uniform this time around.
“I think it’s going to be fun. This is why you play college basketball — to go in a place like (the Marriott Center) and play,” DuBois said. “If you’re not ready for a game like that, then you should probably stop playing college basketball.”
DuBois is providing the Utes with experience and leadership, valuable commodities for a rebuilding program. They’ve already equaled last season’s win total.
“You want to have a senior go out on a good note and he’s doing everything to set himself up for doing that,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “He’s on a run and he’s got to keep it going.”
DuBois, he added, is a savvy ball-handler who is difficult to defend in the pick-and-roll.
“He’s running the club a lot of times for us and he’s making some good plays,” said Krystkowiak, who praised DuBois’ focus. “He’s an easy guy to cheer for when he’s in the gym all the time shooting and taking care of business that way. I think he’s providing some leadership for a lot of our younger guys.”
Krystkowiak said DuBois and others who have logged minutes in hostile environments in the past will be relied upon heavily when Utah plays in places like the Marriott Center.
“Obviously we’re going to have our hands full going in there,” Krystkowiak said. “We’ve just got to keep it rolling.”