Ute fans got a taste of the Utah men’s and women’s basketball teams at the Huntsman Center on Tuesday night.
In the midst of an exciting football season, Ute fans got a taste of the Utah men’s and women’s basketball teams at the Huntsman Center on Tuesday night.
Before the basketball got underway, the crowd was shown the 2016-17 on-court pregame projection video. The women’s and men’s teams were then announced in a dark arena with swinging spotlights and loud rock music.
When the lights came back on, several men’s players competed in a short dunk contest, which Salt Lake Community College transfer Tyler Rawson won by a fan cheering vote over Kyle Kuzma and Lorenzo Bonam.
Utah lost a sizable portion of players from the 2015-16 season to the NBA Draft (Jakob Poeltl, selected by the Toronto Raptors in the first round), graduation, and transfers. Surrounding returning contributors Kuzma, Bonam and Gabe Bealer are ten new faces.
Among those that shined the brightest were guards Sedrick Barefield and Devon Daniels, who combined for 23 points in the two 15-minute periods, including Barefield’s 2-for-4 from three-point range. Yuba College transfer JoJo Zamora totaled only four points, but had a strong defensive performance on the guard line, showing quickness and ability to stay in front of driving guards. Utah State transfer David Collette scored 16 points in a fierce in-the-post battle with seven-footer Jayce Johnson. Johnson used his big frame to alter shots down low and collect four rebounds.
“We talk to each other, try to challenge each other, push each other,” said Collette. He, as well as Barefield, will not be eligible to play until mid-December per NCAA transfer rules.
Though Collette and Barefield won’t get live reps with the team, other players will have a chance to see the court. “That could help tremendously,” said Kuzma. “If we have guys that can step up now, and once we add Sed and Dave, the sky’s going to be the limit for us.”
6’10” Rawson showed willingness to shoot from the perimeter. Collette dominated in post scoring, and Johnson showed strong defensive ability with his wingspan.
The play of the night was a Barefield overhand throw to Devon Daniels, who alley-oop dunked over Bealer, prompting a strong response from the crowd of several hundred.
The Utes will open up the 2016 campaign against Northwest Nazarene on Saturday, November 12th at the Huntsman Center. Full roster and background information can be found here.
Larry Krystkowiak Postgame:
Kyle Kuzma Postgame:
David Collette Postgame:
Sedrick Barefield Postgame:
Johnnie Bryant In-Game:
Larry Krystkowiak In-Game:
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