Utah basketball: After weeks of preparation, Runnin' Utes ready for season opener
Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — On the eve of his third season opener as Utah’s head coach, Larry Krystkowiak acknowledged that the Utes were ready for Friday’s tip-off against Evergreen State.
“The time is upon us,” Krystkowiak said. “It’s exciting.”
After six weeks of preparation, he said they’re eager to play a game that counts.
“I think everybody here has got their own story and is excited for different reasons,” said Krystkowiak, who added that it’s fun to see the excitement on the face of the players — knowing where they’ve come from and how much it means to them to play in a game that isn’t an exhibition or scrimmage.
One of those making their debuts Friday is highly touted junior college transfer Delon Wright.
“I’m real excited. It’s been a long three years waiting to finally get here,” he said. “So I’m just going to have fun with it.”
In last week’s 91-54 exhibition win over Saint Martin’s, the 6-foot-5 guard scored 13 points, dished out eight assists and grabbed eight rebounds.
Wright, who is expected to be in the starting line-up with Brandon Taylor, Dakarai Tucker, Jordan Loveridge and Renan Lenz, is also enthusiastic about how things have progressed in camp.
“I think we’re all coming together and going to make a good team,” he said.
After going 15-18 and reaching the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals last season, the Utes are eager to get going again. And it matters little that they’re opening up the new campaign against an Evergreen squad that dropped an 89-69 decision to Saint Martin’s on Tuesday.
“We’ve had a good week — again — of practice and I think our guys will be ready and focused and not reading too much about what previous results were,” Krystkowiak said.
Loveridge agreed, adding that it doesn’t matter who they play. As long as there’s refs, fans and they’re keeping score, he said, it’s a big deal.
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