Utah freshman Jordan Loveridge knew the rivalry growing up. Now, the starting power forward is about to take his place in it.
Loveridge is from West Jordan. His recruitment came down to the Utes or BYU. He regularly played pick-up games as a high schooler with the Cougar players. He was close to the coaching staff and gave BYU serious thought.
Now, he will be seeing it all firsthand at the Marriott Center on Saturday night.
"It's going to be weird a little bit, because I almost went there," Loveridge said. "But we've got to go in there and play well. BYU is a very good team. I have nothing but respect for the coaching staff there. All of those are good guys and great coaches."
Loveridge became a hotly contested instate recruit, and Larry Krystkowiak's first major victory on the recruiting trail.He's lived up to billing, averaging 12 points and 8 rebounds per game as a starter. He's on track to contend for all-Pac 12 freshman honors.
Against BYU, Loveridge will have to keep Josh Sharp off the boards, no small task seeing that the former Lone Peak star is athletic and quick. Loveridge will have to spread the floor with his jumper and make plays within the offense.
Is he ready?
"it's going to be a challenge," Loveridge said. "But it's going to fun. A great atmoshpere. I'm looking forward to it."