Runnin' Utes roll past Saint Martin's 91-54
Utah opened their 2013-2014 season by hosting the Saint Martin's Saints in an exhibition game. Things went as expected as the Runnin' Utes rolled to an easy 91-54 win. The improved roster was obvious and the team made it through the game without any injuries. Here are my thoughts from the game.
The one area that Utah was poor in was free-throw shooting. The Utes missed 11 in the first half alone, but still held an 18-point lead. The free throw shooting woes continued in the second half and they ended the game going 53.3% from the line. That is completely unacceptable and if that trend continues the Utes will lose many games. Coach Krystkowiak said that everyone will be shooting 100 ft's during the next practice.
Now for the positive stuff:
Delon Wright is a very special player. Whether it's passing, shooting or getting to the basket, he's a highlight waiting to happen. Delon finished the game with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists, not bad.
Jordan Loveridge had a great game and really had that "team leader" mentality. Not much to add here, played good like everyone expected. He finished with 21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block. All around great game from Jordan.
Brandon Taylor had a great game as well. He made great decisions with the ball and seems to be a better passer. His passing ability combined with Delon's will be fun to watch. In just 21 minutes of action, Taylor finished with 9 points, 2 assists and 2 rebounds. He also had 3 turnovers in that short amount of time.
Dakari Tucker really asserted himself to begin the game. He looks much more comfortable shooting the 3. He is most definitely a starter for this team and will play a very important role for the Utes. Dakari had 12 points, 2 assists, 4 rebounds and a steal. He played efficiently, doing all of this in just 20 minutes of play.
After Kenneth Ogbe's stellar performance in the scrimmage, Coach Krystkowiak said that Kenneth goes through peaks and valleys in practice and hit a peak in the scrimmage. I'm not saying he played bad against Saint Martin's, but didn't quite have the game we saw in the scrimmage. He had 4 rebounds and a point in just 13 minutes of play. He really struggled at the line by going 1-8. He has a nice release to his shot and has showed that he can hit the jumper. It may have been the crowd that threw him off or maybe it was just one of those days.
Ahmad Fields came into the game in the second half and immediately contributed. Very surprised by this, based off of the scrimmage and what I've seen in practice. He is a freak athlete and has all kinds of potential. He's probably a year away from getting serious playing time, but he can really get things going. I like his game a lot. In just 9 minutes, he had 8 points, 1 block, 1 assist and 2 rebounds.
All in all, the game went as expected and more importantly, no one was injured. Both Loveridge and Tucker were upbeat after the game and you can sense the hunger this team has to improve and get better. The Utes will now get ready to take on the Evergreen State Geoducks (yes....Geoducks) next Friday at the Huntsman Center.
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