Bogut shines in debut as Utes win exhibition opener

By and

The U basketball team began its exhibition season Friday without two of its players against the L.A City All Stars, but still won the game, 77-66.

“I thought we played hard,” U basketball coach Rick Majerus said. “We’re a bunch of young guys.”

The Utes looked even younger Friday without senior Tim Frost, who was nursing a bad back. Not only was Frost missing, but sophomore Bryant Markson didn’t play due to a hip injury.

Starting point guard Drisdom also had a bad back, but did play eight minutes and scored three points and dished out three assists.

Instead of Drisdom, freshman Josh Olsen started the game and had 10 points and four assists in 30 minutes of play.

“He’s determined and he’s tough,” Majerus said “It’s tough to come in and play, but he is doing a nice job.”

It was only an exhibition game, but freshman Andrew Bogut showed why the coaches in the league picked him to be the top newcomer in the Mountain West Conference this season.

Bogut racked up 21 points and pulled down 14 boards in the game, and looked like the player that may finally give the Utes a big presence in the middle.

Utah did show some weaknesses, including the one problem they have had over the years, which is letting teams back in games.

Leading 41-26 early in the second half, L.A. went on a 17-2 run, but Bogut took control of the game and scored six-straight points.

The Utes controlled the game from that point and never gave up the lead.

Free-throw shooting was another problem for the Utes, as they shot just 46.2 percent from the stripe.

Nick Jacobson was the only returning starter who played significant minutes in the game. Jacobson scored 15 points in 33 minutes.

Richard Chaney matched Jacobson with 15 points, and also pulled down six boards.

The Utes finish the exhibition season next week against the Sydney Kings on Nov. 13, and then begin the season in the Preseason NIT tournament on Nov. 17 against Georgia State.

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