Head coach Larry Krystkowiak and the Runnin' Utes officially began practice for the 2012-13 season on Friday, Oct. 12.
Oct. 12, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - Like many teams across the country, the Runnin' Utes held their first official practice of the 2012-13 season on Friday. Coaches and players alike were anxious to get underway and it was immediately apparent in the energy and enthusiasm throughout the gym.
"We're really excited to start the season," said Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak. "We have a great group of guys and a long way to go, but I think we are starting from a little different spot than we were a year ago at this time. We're excited about what lies ahead. The only thing I'm thinking about right now is getting better today. And when I wake up tomorrow, my goal will be to get better tomorrow at practice. We're really competitive, we have depth at every position and our guys are getting after it."
When asked about what the team hopes to improve on the most heading into the Nov. 2 exhibition game against Simon Fraser, Krystkowiak stressed the importance of defense but also spoke confidently about the team's offensive capabilities.
"If you look at our practice plan today, 80 percent or more is about defense," Krystkowiak said. "Everyone talks about how defense wins games and championships, but it's happening right before our eyes [in the baseball playoffs, in the NFL and in last year's NBA playoffs]. It's important that we don't just talk about it. We have to make it a big emphasis for our guys. If our guys are willing to play some defense, we're going to be pretty good. I think we've got some scoring punch on the team but it's not just about scoring points."
Senior Jason Washburn also spoke about the excitement of starting practice and his optimism about the this year's squad.
"I think we have some really solid guards this year, including a couple of transfers [Glen Dean and Aaron Dotson] who can finally get on the court with us," Washburn continued. "We have solid shooting around us, good decision makers and good ball-handlers. And we also have more than just one `big' this year, we have some guys who can come in and offer some help so it's not so much on one guy's shoulders. We have a lot of pieces. We have areas we need to improve on like any other team at this time of the year but we just have to put in the work."
Utah basketball fans will get their first look at the team in action on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., as the team hosts "Runnin' Utes Night" at the Jon M. Huntsman Center. Utah will host Simon Fraser at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, in an exhibition contest before getting the regular season underway at home on Friday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. against Willamette.