Thursday, October 25, 2012

Night with the Runnin' Utes

It has begun!  Year two of the Krystkowiak era (or year one, depending on how you like to look at it).  The 2012-13 edition of the Night with the Runnin' Utes was held last night.  Always a good way to brush off the offseason cobwebs; and in this case, get to know the guys we'll be cheering for over the next five months.

Obviously, we have two veterans and a bunch of new faces.   The vets are Jason Washburn (beaming with confidence, as always) and Cedric Martin (who, over the last 12 months has developed himself into a legit Pac-12 talent).  Both are likely starters, although either would make a very nice punch off the bench, especially once our new guys develop a bit.

Speaking of the new guys:  the discussion starts with Jordan Loveridge. He has a nice shot and can score a few different ways.  He had 17 last night.  I was also impressed with a couple of our new bigs: Dallin Bachynski and Renan Lenz.  Glen Dean appears to be our starting PG.  He and Jarred Dubois are our quasi-vets, each having DI experience albeight at other schools.  Aaron Dotson (DNP) falls into that category too.  I'm expecting less of a learning curve with these guys.  We'll see.

The plan last night was to play a 20-minute scrimmage, then mix up the teams and play another 20-minutes. Instead, we were treated to a single 20-minute game with four overtimes.  This was good because with each period, the close score compelled the teams to go a bit harder.  By the end you could sense none of the players wanted to end the saga on the losing side.  Cedric Martin's team ultimately came out on top.  If memory serves, he took control in the end and led the white to victory.  Then afterward it was posters and player cards and autographs for everyone!

What I came away with (besides a sweet set of signed team cards) was this:  there is a lot of talent on this team.  They also play well together.  This is due to them already having gone through the Brazillian tour and fall camp together.  They looked comfortable and evenly matched.  Ultimately, there will not be a big drop off between our 1s and our 2s.  Thus, the only question will be how our 1s compare with opposing teams' 1s.

But I think we have more talent on this team than we did with any of Jim Boylen's teams.  I also think, considering the non-conf schedule, we should certainly pick up at least 15-wins.  Whether or not we get to a post-season tourney may depend on whether Jason Washburn can pick up where he left off last year.  He didn't necessarily show it last night, but we all know it's there somewhere.

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