If the University of Utah men’s basketball team needs a little boost of confidence, it can get it from a familiar face on the other side of the continent.
Delon Wright hasn’t been around much this season — he’s got this little NBA gig with the Toronto Raptors that keeps him occupied — but the former Ute standout continues to cheer on his old teammates from afar.
“I kind of watch the highlights because of the time difference,” said Wright, who lives in the Eastern Time Zone. “I’ll be watching them from here on out, the tournaments and stuff like that.”
The Utes, of course, have one last game against Colorado before the Pac-12 Tournament and NCAA Tournament begin. As far as Wright is concerned, this is when his point guard predecessor, Brandon Taylor, should give Utah an advantage.
“I’m real happy for him,” Wright said of Taylor. “He was struggling a little bit earlier in the year. Now he’s starting to find his way. He’s a senior leader, so they’re going to depend on him, especially when it comes tournament time, Pac-12 Tournament time. I know he’s ready to step up.”
Wright added about the Utes: "Jakob (Poeltl) is playing really good. Jordan (Loveridge) and all of those guys are playing good."
Wright was happy for Taylor that he played so well in the thrilling home win over Arizona after making headlines for the unfortunate last-second foul at midcourt in the Oregon State loss.
It’s a nice bounce-back story.
“Definitely. I would trade that anytime,” Wright said. “They’re in first place now.”
Technically, the Utes (23-7, 12-5) are in second place behind Oregon (24-6, 13-4), but that could change Saturday depending on how things play out.
Just know this: Wright will still be cheering for his alma mater either way.