I miss so many of these guys. I played with so many good basketball players, so many good teammates. —Utah center Jason Washburn
SALT LAKE CITY — Jason Washburn has seen a lot of changes in his basketball career at the University of Utah. Since joining the program in 2008, he's played for two head coaches (Jim Boylen, Larry Krystkowiak) and in a pair of conferences (Mountain West, Pac-12).
Big deal? Yes and no.
However, when it comes to the number of teammates Washburn has had, the numbers are staggering. According to research by Kyle Harris, associate director of communications for Utah athletics, Washburn has been joined by 55 others on Runnin' Ute rosters.
"This is astonishing. This is absolutely amazing," Washburn said while looking over the lengthy list. "This is a page-and-a-half worth of teammates that I've had, some for only a year and some for a couple of years."
Washburn reminisced about his redshirt year in 2008-09 and the seasons that followed.
"I miss so many of these guys. I played with so many good basketball players, so many good teammates. It's actually kind of sad in a way that I didn't get to spend more time with some of them," Washburn said. "That's just the way my career has played out, I suppose. But this is mind-blowing right here."
The list of Washburn's teammates includes walk-ons, redshirts, injured players and some who didn't earn a varsity letter. All, however, were on rosters concurrently with Washburn.
"This has to got to be some sort of NCAA record or something. This has to be something like that," Washburn said while examining the names. "I mean, I don't even know what to say. I'm struggling for words here because I'm just trying to remember all these guys."
Washburn, though, is confident he would recognize all of them if passing them on the street.
"You know I think I would. Some of them it might take a second or third glance at, just because it was only one year or something or other," he said. "But I don't think there's too many of these guys, if any, that I would see on the street and turn and walk away from."
After playing with so many different teammates and in various styles, Washburn has a variety of memories to reflect upon.
"I could probably give you a funny story about each one of these teammates, but judging by the list that might take a couple hours," he said.
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak acknowledged that Washburn's lengthy list of teammates is "amazing" and completely abnormal in the college ranks.
"It's not the perfect blueprint. I would like a guy to have far fewer than that. But I think it's exposed him to a lot of different people and hopefully gives him an appreciation for solid guys," Krystkowiak said. "I would like to think that he's enjoying the experience with these teammates right now. Being a senior, I'm pulling for him to finish this thing off right and head out on a good note."
Krystkowiak added that one of the things he's always enjoyed about sports is how teammates become an extended family and you learn a lot from different guys with different personalities.
"My teammates were like brothers to me. I came from a small family where I only had one brother and growing up wasn't the perfect environment," Krystkowiak said. "So for me, a basketball team in every sense of the word was like my extended family."
One of Krystkowiak's favorite seasons was 1995-96 when he played in France. It's a time the former University of Montana star and veteran of nine NBA campaigns probably cherishes the most.
"I've stayed in touch with a lot of those guys even to this day," Krystkowiak said before reflecting on the large number of teammates he had as a professional. "It's pretty neat to have been involved with that many guys and now it's fun because of the guys I played with are into coaching and it creates a lot of camaraderie, I think, within the business."
Washburn, who endured roster makeovers under both Boylen and Krystkowiak, is making plenty of associations as well. The 6-foot-10 center from Battle Creek, Mich., is the lone active player on the roster from the Boylen era. While others shied away from the challenge of playing in the Pac-12, Washburn stayed put.
"It's been a long road. My career has been a long and interesting story. But even through all these teammates, I'm glad I stuck around," Washburn said. "I don't think I'd change it for anything. The only thing I would probably change is the win column."
Although the Utes went 6-25 last season, this year's squad is off to a 4-1 start. Washburn is in the mix and contributing on yet another revamped roster.
"It's definitely good to see how he interacts with everybody. He definitely gets along with all the guys," said senior guard Jarred DuBois, a transfer from Loyola Marymount. "He's kind of the leader as far as getting everybody together. So I think his experience definitely helps us out a lot."
Krystkowiak agrees that Washburn is a pretty easy guy to get along with and has even called him a chameleon, of sorts.
"I've given him a hard time at times because, you know, I think if you're exposed to a lot of people, you still need to be yourself," Krystkowiak explained, while noting it's something he has talked to Washburn about. "It's important to define who you are, instead of maybe trying to fit in with this group of three guys and this group of three guys. Because you spend your whole life or your whole college experience trying to fit into something when, in the end, I think it's really important to kind of keep your own identity. I see him doing that a little bit more now."
Krystkowiak compared the situation to how a freshman needs to try to fit in, while a senior is a little more comfortable in his own skin. Washburn, he continued, seems like he's responding to a lot of different challenges kind of as his own guy now.
"He knows how he wants to do it and I sense that he is more comfortable." Krystkowiak said.
Washburn, though, has gotten used to a lot of things. Over the years, he has helped coach and/or mentor newcomers into the program — showing them the ropes and things like that.
Change has been constant and Washburn has weathered it well. It's defined him in a lot of ways.
After all ...
"I don't think there's too many other guys in college basketball that are going to play with 55 teammates," Washburn said.
Teammate definition — a player who was officially on a Utah roster concurrently with Washburn. This includes walk-ons, redshirts, injured players and those who did not necessarily earn a varsity letter.
Dallin Bachynski (2012-13)
Lawrence Borha (2008-09)
Carlon Brown (2008-10)
Will Clyburn (2010-11)
Jordan Cyphers (2008-10)
Javon Dawson (2011-12)
Glen Dean (2011-13)
Antonio DiMaria (2010-11)
Aaron Dotson (2011-13)
Jonathan Downie (2008-09)
Luka Drca (2008-10)
Jarred DuBois (2012-13)
Dijon Farr (2011-12)
David Foster (2009-13)
Josh Fuller (2010-11)
Shawn Glover (2009-11)
Corbin Green (2011-12)
Shaun Green (2008-09)
Morgan Grim (2008-09)
Preston Guiot (2010-11)
Marshall Henderson (2009-10)
Chris Hines (2008-12)
Michael Hodgman (2010-11)
Tyler Kepkay (2008-09)
Chris Kupets (2010-11)
Dominique Lee (2010-11)
Renan Lenz (2012-13)
Jordan Loveridge (2012-13)
George Matthews (2011-12)
Cedric Martin (2011-13)
Neal Monson (2010-11)
Alex Mortensen (2011-13)
Luke Nevill (2008-09)
J.J. O'Brien (2010-11)
Anthony Odunsi (2011-12)
Jeremy Olsen (2009-10, 2012-13)7 comments on this story
Ryan Osterloh (2011-13)
Kyle Perkins (2008-09, 2011-12)
Matt Read (2009-10)
Alexander (Xan) Ricketts (2011-13)
Austin Robison (2008-09)
Justin Seymour (2012-13)
Josh Sharp (2008-09)
Ricky Shoff (2009-10)
Tre Smith (2008-10)
Kareem Storey (2011-12)
Jace Tavita (2008-10)
Brandon Taylor (2012-13)
Seth Tippetts (2010-11)
Kim Tillie (2008-10)
Dakarai Tucker (2012-13)
Jay Watkins (2009-11)
Josh Watkins (2010-12)
Harry Whitt (2012-13)
Blake Wilkinson (2011-12)
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