The Runnin' Utes are in name only.
Entering today's game against the No. 3 Arizona Wildcats, Utah's offense falls somewhere between molasses and a turtle.
Stats guru Ken Pomeroy's "adjusted tempo" formula - which calculates the possessions a team would log against an average-paced opponent - ranks Utah (8-5, 0-1 Pac-12) as one of the slowest in the country.
Only 12 of the nation's 347 teams are slower than Utah, per Pomeroy.
"You kinda have to pick your style," Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak said Friday. "Based on our team right now, it's a little more deliberate."
The Utes would have 62.1 offensive possessions per game, according to Pomeroy's formula. Unbeaten Arizona, as a reference, is ranked No. 120, with 68.1.
That makes every possession that much more important today at McKale Center.
"When you play against a team that's more patient and deliberate, you need to make sure you don't commit silly fouls, or get over-anxious," UA coach Sean Miller said. "Especially if that's not who you are."
Here's a look at Utah's slow pace:
• It's preferred, for now. Krystkowiak said his team's tempo is a result of his roster, but also of opponents using zone defense and making it harder to get fast buckets.
"I'd love to score points - I'm like any fan that wants to see points on the board," he said. "Some of that starts with your personnel, certainly."
If the Utes were hesitant to get in a shootout in Wednesday's 55-54 overtime loss at Arizona State, they certainly won't want to try to outscore the Wildcats (13-0, 1-0).
"On the road, especially at places like Arizona, missed opportunities are going to be magnified," said Utes center Jason Washburn, who had 19 points and 18 rebounds in Tempe. "And mean more at the end of the game."
• It's hard to guard. Utah hasn't topped 76 points all year, save for a season-opening 104-47 win against Division III Willamette.
The Utes are No. 167 in the nation with 68.2 points per game. Take away the Willamette game, though, and they'd be No. 228, with 65.3.
Paradoxically, Miller said the Wildcats need depth to have the mental stamina to defend slow-down teams, the same way they need a bench to have the physical stamina to run with fast clubs.
"Ironically, Colorado did that a lot to us in the second half" Thursday, Miller said. "It makes for a lot of concentration.
"That's why it's so important to play more than five players. Because you need fresh bodies, especially on your second game in three days."
• Utah tries to be different - but only at home.
"It's safe to say we're going to try to push the ball more at home, when we're playing at elevation," Krystkowiak said. "When we're sleeping in our own beds and in front of our crowd."
Krystkowiak has his team practice both styles.
"On the road," Utah big man Washburn said, "he likes to slow it down and execute."
Utah is the slowest team in the Pac-12, according to stats guru Ken Pomeroy. Here's where Pac-12 teams rank nationally, according to Pomeroy's "adjusted tempo" formula:
Oregon State 31
Arizona State 184
Washington State 317