Utah Utes notebook: David Foster plans on returning for his senior season
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah center David Foster, who suffered a season-ending foot injury in the Utes' 61-60 exhibition loss to Adams State on Nov. 4, plans to apply for a medical redshirt and return to the team in 2012-13.
The 7-foot-3 senior, who is Utah's career blocked shots leader, announced his intentions to the media after Monday's practice in the Huntsman Center.
"At first it was a struggle, but over time I have been able to really figure things out — between me and God — and it's given me a lot of comfort," Foster said. "I'm at peace with what the plan is right now."
Foster thought about calling it quits shortly after the injury. He had plenty of reasons to do so. Besides earning his degree, Foster and his wife Britta are expecting their first son in May. With all that was happening, Foster figured "he'd just make some money."
However, his mindset changed after trips home to California for Thanksgiving and Christmas. A supportive family helped convince him to play basketball again.
And there were other factors, Foster acknowledged, such as the coaching staff and signees joining the program.
"Just the opportunity for greatness," he said. "I want to have a solid senior year and that also played into it. And the coaches, I have trust in them to help me get to that spot."
Foster was the 2009-10 Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year and a second-team defender in 2010-11.
"I'm excited to hear he wants to give it another shot," said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak.
Foster, meanwhile, is eager to get back on the court. He's currently wearing a walking boot and is hopeful things progress over the next couple of weeks.
Sitting out this season hasn't been easy, although the coaches and his teammates have been very supportive.
"It's awful. Absolutely. I can't stand it," Foster said of watching practices and games from the sidelines. "You're so used to doing something for so long and then it's just taken away. It's tough, but adversity makes you stronger."
Despite the team's current struggles, Foster is optimistic about the road ahead. He's impressed with the work ethic of the coaching staff and the prospects coming in.
"There's a bright future for this program," Foster said.
GO FIGURE: Utah junior Cedric Martin didn't affix any blame for Saturday's 62-45 loss at previously winless USC on the coaching staff.
"We didn't come out with any effort, any intensity. It's not the coaches' fault at all," Martin said. "Coaches told us how to prepare for the game and told us what to do. We just came out lacksidasical and just didn't put forth the effort."
The Utes, he added, made lazy passes and put up bad shots.
"We didn't do what we needed to do," Martin explained.
MOVING ON: Krystkowiak was asked if the Utes were still adjusting to the loss of former team scoring, assists and steals leader "Jiggy" Watkins. It's been four games since the senior guard was dismissed from the squad for violating team rules.
"I think we're probably past it at this point. We've kind of condensed what we need to do. We still need to make some plays and have guys that step up and are aggressive," Krystkowiak said that a lot of the current shortcomings can be attributed to confidence — especially in making good decisions when the shot clock gets inside of 10 seconds. "So, it's a work in progress, but I think in the last couple of weeks we've made significant strides," he said.
FAST BREAKS: True freshman Blake Wilkinson has been awarded a scholarship for spring semester. ... Utah is 8-7 against Oregon, including a 4-1 mark against the Ducks in Salt Lake City. ... The Runnin' Utes are 5-5 in the Huntsman Center this season and 0-11 elsewhere.
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Oregon (15-6, 6-3 Pac-12) at Utah (5-16, 2-7)
Thursday, 7 p.m. MT
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