No. 6 Arizona tries to avoid complacency vs. Utah

The early leader in the Pac-12 Conference will face the last-place team Saturday night when No. 6 Arizona takes on Utah in Tucson, Ariz.The Wildcats (13-1, 3-0 Pac-12) are coming off a 76-55 home victory against Colorado on Thursday night, when they outscored the Buffaloes 44-27 after halftime. Utah (8-8, 1-5) has lost four consecutive games, all in conference.”I told the guys, ‘Hey, the seasons are long. These games are tough. They’re up and down,'” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said after the Colorado game. “I was really proud of the way they responded in the second half. And any time you win a conference game by this margin, you’re going to take it.”Lloyd is using a tight eight-man rotation since Kim Aiken Jr. has missed the past seven games for personal reasons. One of those rotational bench players, Pelle Larsson, is coming off arguably his best game at Arizona, and now he’ll be playing his former team. Larsson averaged 8.2 points and shot 46.3 percent from 3-point range as a freshman for the Utes last season.Larsson, who missed the bulk of preseason workouts due to a broken foot, might now be rounding into form. He had 12 points, five rebounds and made 2 of 3 shots from beyond the arc against the Buffaloes.”Pelle is really coming on,” Lloyd said. “I really feel that and see that. I just want him to tighten up some of his decision-making and his passes just a little bit. I think he’s really about to turn the corner and is going to be a significant contributor the second half of the season.”Utah’s most recent game was a 77-61 home loss to Washington State last Saturday. The Utes were scheduled to play Thursday night at Arizona State, but the game was postponed due to COVID-19 issues in the Sun Devils’ program.”We always have to look at the positive in everything, and I think the positive is we are going to be able to have four days of practice here where we can add some new things and just hone in on some things,” said Utah coach Craig Smith.”Because clearly we don’t have some things down to a T, and I am not sure everybody is executing the way that we need to do to be successful in the Pac-12.”