Utah a tough size, defensive matchup for the 'Jacks

Source: UtahUtes.com
Source: UtahUtes.com

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - When Utah popped up on the screen, the 'Jacks had a good feeling.

"I think we have a really good shot of getting past Utah," said junior Jared Johnson.

"We think it's a very winnable game and that's what we're going to go out and try to do," said junior Thomas Walkup.

Winnable it might be, but easy? Not so much.

"Defensively, they're extremely solid," said Coach Brad Underwood.

So solid, that Utah ranks in the Top 10 nationally in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense.

Besides a good defensive front, Utah is big and has a 6-foot-4 height average over SFA's 5-foot-8 average.

"They're a lot bigger than we are but there's no surprise," said senior Jacob Parker. "It's been that way all year."

"They have a unique ability to have great size and shoot the basketball from the 3 extremely well," Underwood said. "So they're very talented team and very worthy of their seeding and we'll have to play very well."

While Utah ranks above SFA and no doubt is a great team, the key to the NCAA Tournament is, you got to be good, at the right time. They've struggled lately losing four out of their last seven games.

The 'Jacks haven't lost since mid-February and have an offense who's efficiency ranks 19th in the country.

"We'll have to guard them, but on the other end they have to guard us and that's something that's not easy to do with the offense that we run and the talent that we have in it," Walkup said.

The 'Jacks this year are deep. They have several offensive weapons and rank No. 1 in the country with sharing the ball.

"The main thing is just continue to do what we have done all season, prepare and play can't get into the hype and all the other stuff and stay true to our values and continue to play the SFA way," Parker said.

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