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Utah Utes basketball: New era set to begin

Published: Thursday, Nov. 3 2011 8:04 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's long-awaited debut with new head coach Larry Krystkowiak opens Friday night with an exhibition game against Adams State in the Huntsman Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

This will be the Utes' first public action against an opponent since Krystkowiak was hired to replace the fired Jim Boylen.

In preparation for the debut, Utah participated in a couple of scrimmages — an intrasquad gathering for fans and a closed contest against Portland State.

And that's not all.

"We've had a great two months in the weight room, and conditioning and just getting acclimated — trying to get this thing started and rolling in the right direction," Krystkowiak said at Pac-12 Media Day in Los Angeles.

Utah and Adams State played an exhibition game here last year with the Utes claiming an 84-74 win. Returnees Josh Watkins and Jason Washburn led the way with 22 and 15 points, respectively.

Center David Foster and guard Chris Hines are Utah's other returning players. The Utes have added 13 new guys (seven transfers, five freshmen and a returned LDS Church missionary) to the program. Because of NCAA transfer rules, however, only 10 are immediately eligible to play.

Glen Dean (Eastern Washington), Aaron Dotson (Louisiana State) and Alexander Ricketts (Simon Fraser) can practice, but not play in games until the 2012-13 season.

The rest of the roster, though, is able to join the four returning players in the Utes' inaugural campaign in the Pac-12. The cast includes junior college transfers Javon Dawson (Gulf Coast Community College), Dijon Farr (Indian Hills Community College), Corbin Green (Snow College) and Cedric Martin (Lee College).

Junior Kyle Perkins is back after serving a LDS mission in Ventura, Calif. He redshirted in 2008-09 following a transfer to Utah from Colorado-Colorado Springs.

The balance of Utah's active roster is comprised of freshmen. The group includes out-of-staters George Matthews (Phoenix, Ariz.), Anthony Odunsi (Fort Bend, Texas) and Kareem Storey (Baltimore, Md.), as well as Utah products Alex Mortensen (Springville HS) and Blake Wilkinson (Viewmont HS)

Adams State is a Div. II school from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

Utah's first game that counts on its record is Nov. 14 at home against San Diego Christian College. The Utes open Pac-12 play Dec. 31 at Colorado.

Email: dirk@desnews.com Twitter: @DirkFacer

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