No. 25 Utah’s Jordan Loveridge was reportedly questionable entering last night’s thrilling, 69-68 overtime, but in all reality, that was just a cover to try and throw No. 8 Wichita State off.
Loveridge was never going to play, as he had undergone minor surgery on his knee. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Loveridge has been experiencing pain in the joint for a while, and the procedure was done to clean up some debris that was under his kneecap.
“Cleaned up some loose bodies floating around in that knee,” head coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “He’s going to get that thing strong. It wasn’t really invasive.”
This is a big loss for the Utes. Loveridge was averaging 11.5 points and shooting 50 percent from three on the season. He was the team’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer a year ago. Krystkowiak has depth along his front line — Brekkot Chapman, Dallin Bachynski and Jakob Poeltl all played well last night — and Dakarai Tucker came off the bench to score 13 big points, but it’s Loveridge’s presence as much as anything that will be missed.
Utah entered into a vital stretch in their season with this game against the Shockers. They’re at BYU, get No. 11 Kansas at a neutral site and then host UNLV. That’s a tough stretch to play without Loveridge, making last night’s win that much more important.