Utah Utes basketball: In shadow of football, team debuts

Published: Friday, Nov. 5 2010 1:19 a.m. MDT

Utah men's head basketball coach, Jim Boylen, laughs as he looks at a baseball cap.

Keith Johnson, Deseret News archives

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SALT LAKE CITY — It certainly isn't the best time to be playing your first exhibition game, what with your No. 6-ranked football team playing perhaps the biggest home game in school history on the same weekend.

Nevertheless, the Utah men's basketball team will tip off its 2010-11 season with an exhibition game tonight against Adams State at 7 p.m. in the Huntsman Center.

It will be the first opportunity for Ute fans to see this year's team, which has nine new players to go along with six returnees.

"They're a pressure man-to-man team and they'll get into us," said Ute coach Jim Boylen. "They have quickness and speed. I think we'll be challenged."

With last year's starting center David Foster sitting out most of the fall with tendinitis in his left knee, the Utes will start sophomore Jason Washburn in the middle. Other starters are expected to be freshman J.J. O'Brien and sophomore Shawn Glover at forwards and JC transfers Josh Watkins and Will Clyburn at guards.

Jay Watkins, the only senior on the team, has been practicing this week and will come off the bench along with Jace Tavita, Chris Hines and Chris Kupets.

The Utes' first official game will be a week from tonight against another Division II team, Grand Canyon.

e-mail: sor@desnews.com

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