Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
November 15, 2011The official start to the Larry Krystkowiak Era got underway on Monday night as the Utes hung on in the closing seconds to defeat San Diego Christian College 58 to 55.
The night belonged to Josh Watkins as he bruised his way through the lane all night on his way to a game high 23 points on 8-14 shooting. More impressive than Watkins' point total was the fact that his points came within the flow of the offense.
Unfortunately for the Utes there were not many notable performances to go along with their senior leader.
"The old saying, you're never as good as you think you are, you're never as bad as you think you are," said Coach Krystkowiak. "You can't get too excited about a win like this but there were some bright spots in it."
One bright spot according to Krystkowiak was junior center Jason Washburn. Washburn finished the night with a double-double going for 12 points and 10 rebounds. However, despite Washburn's first career double-double, the team failed to take enough advantage of his size and athleticism in the paint.
"[Washburn] was efficient. I know for a fact that there was a number of opportunities that we ran plays for him and he was wide open and we couldn't deliver the ball to him," said Krystkowiak.
One area of improvement that the coaching staff wanted to see from Washburn since the start of practice was his rebounds per minute. Tonight was a big step in the right direction. "He's up to the rebounds per minute pace that we need him, where he's getting a rebound every three or four minutes," continued Krystkowiak.
Another notable performance came from promising freshman Kareem Storey as he finished with 10 points while going 10-12 from the free throw line in 23 minutes of play. Storey's free throws in the closing minutes proved to be surprisingly clutch for a true freshman, and Coach Krystkowiak praised his playing by calling him the team's "spark plug."
The emergence of Storey has been a bright spot in the early going as Coach Krystkowiak feels that one of his better lineups is when Watkins and Storey are both on the court.
"I think if we were playing the biggest team in America you'd see that lineup from us as well," said Krystkowiak. "The good thing about those guys is they'll battle. They might be a little smaller but they're not afraid to battle. So that line up I think has been pretty effective for us in some stretches."
The star of the night was without question, Josh Watkins. Watkins exploited the weaknesses in the SDCC defense all night as he took what they gave him.
"I just took those little opportunities that they gave me on the floor," said Watkins. "They weren't covering the pick and rolls that well, and I had an opportunity and I took it."
Krystkowiak agreed with Watkins. "Jiggy, I thought did a good job with the pick and roll and scoring and making decisions," he said.
Overall Watkins was happy with his team's effort in the first game of a new era "Everybody played hard collectively, its just little mistakes that we gotta work on tomorrow," he said.
One area of improvement that both Watkins and Storey agreed that they would like to see improve was the talking on defense and defending deep into the shot clock. While there are areas to improve Coach Krystkowiak was happy to get the first win out of the way.
"It's a win for us and we're happy about it but we got a lot of work to do," he said.