The Larry Krystkowiak era got under way to a pleasant surprise up on the hill Thursday as the Utes held their annual Red and White scrimmage. Although it was difficult to really focus on all of the newcomers, several stood out, looking like they can make an impact for the 2011-12 squad.
For the scrimmage, the White team defeated the Red team 72 to 48 but the exact stats were difficult to keep track of due to the format of each period and each player switching teams.
Newcomer Cedric Martin led the way in total points split between his time on both teams, as he came away with 16. Martin showed a well-rounded game as well as great confidence in his outside shot.
Each of the newcomers on the Ute roster are expected to make an impact this season. Jason Washburn, one of the fe returners from last season, is excited for what all the new guys brings to the table, especially JUCO transfer Dijon Farr.
"Dijon plays real hard. He is a slasher, just kind of does everything. He provides everything we need to really lift up our team. He is one of those guys that you do not have to put the ball in his hands for him to go make a play," said Washburn.
Farr's skills were evident throughout the scrimmage as he finished with 15 points, while also pulling down eight boards, and netting three steals.
Senior leader David Foster came away from the night with an encouraging outlook on what lies ahead. "We came together. We were coachable. There's a lot of things that we need to work on, but I think our intensity was there and we were just making shots," said Foster.
Based on their play in the scrimmage, look for the Utes to be running a lot of three out (on the perimeter) and 2 in (on the paint) sets throughout the season to create better spacing and greater mismatches. According to Foster, last year they were running primarily "four out and one in" sets which would explain why the Utes had the tendency to live and die by the three-point shot.
While highly anticipated freshman George Matthews had a relatively quiet night, freshman Anthony Odunsi looks like he could be a great last-second find by Coach Krystkowiak and his staff. Odunsi poured in 15 points during his time split between both teams. Despite his positives, Odunsi will need to cut down on his turnovers in order to make a lasting impact on the floor.
Washburn led the way for the returners with 14 points and seven rebounds on the night. Known as an emotional player, Washburn expressed great excitement over the future of the Utes program under Coach Krystkowiak's watch.
"I've always been a passionate guy. I've always played for where I am. I love this place. Utah definitely means a lot to me," said Washburn. "When you play for a school, when you play for the people that come watch you, when you play for the other guys that are wearing the same jersey, you want to play hard you want to give your heart. You play hard, you give your team a chance to win. All I hear is the story of the 90's and it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it, that's what I want to bring back to the Huntsman."