Bachynski bros to face off in ASU game

S-Moops-cropped Colby Patterson
Junior center Dallin Bachynski jumps for the basket at the UCLA game last week at the Huntsman Center. Photo by Brent Uberty.

Junior center Dallin Bachynski jumps for the basket at the UCLA game last week at the
Huntsman Center. Photo by Brent Uberty.

When the Utes travel to Arizona State tonight, one of their players will see a familiar face on the opposing bench. Utah big man Dallin Bachynski will get the chance to go up against his older brother Jordan when the Utes tip off against the Sun Devils.

This won’t be the first time the two brothers have gone head-to-head at the collegiate ranks, but this time their matchup could go a long way in factoring the outcome of the contest.

Last season in two games against Arizona State, Bachynski only garnered six minutes combined, with all of them coming in the first outing. If recent games are any indication, he’ll get a bigger opportunity this season.

“I am excited for this game because last year I really only got, like, five minutes against him,” Bachynski said. “This game should be 10 or more minutes playing against him.”

Bachynski’s playing time has fluctuated as the season has gone on. Some nights, the big man sees 25 minutes on the court, while others are less than 10. His usage has gone up in recent games, and he has made the most of it. Bachynski provides a big presence in the paint for the Utes, and with senior big man Renan Lenz likely still out from an ankle sprain, he looks to get extended playing time against Arizona State and his brother. Competing against each other will be nothing new for the brothers.

“We butted heads tons on and off the court,” Bachynski said. “Everything was a competition, whether that be eating, watching movies. Literally everything was a competition.”

Last season, a week before the Utes and Sun Devils played, the brothers refrained from communicating with each other. That is not the case this time around.

“We’re trying to make it a little different than last year,” Bachynski said. “We decided we’ll talk, but just not talk basketball. It’s nice, so I still have a brother.”

Jordan Bachynski has proven to be a tough opponent for many this season. The senior for Arizona State is playing 30 minutes per game, averaging 12.2 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.9 blocks.

Dallin expects the game to be physical, as most things with brothers are, but is hoping they will both be able to stay on the court.

“I’m hoping we don’t get into too much foul trouble, and he doesn’t get too much either,” Bachynski said. “It will be fun. It will be exciting to see how it goes with more of the game against us.”

The younger Bachynski feels there won’t be any additional nerves facing his brother but does think his brother might have more to lose.

“There’s a little more pressure on him,” Bachynski said. “There will be a little ‘I have to show my little brother that I am better than him’ going on.”

Bachynski will be looking to help Utah earn its first victory away from the Huntsman Center. In each of their three road games, the Utes have had chances to pull out victories in the closing moments but ended up on the losing end.

Last Saturday, Utah was able to halt a UCLA run in the final moments to upset the Bruins. After the game both guard Brandon Taylor and forward Jordan Loveridge mentioned they hoped the close win would be a turning point when it comes to close games.

Utah and Arizona State tip off at 7 p.m.

r.miller@chronicle.utah.edu