Underclassmen show talent in loss to Vandals

By By Bubba Brown , Staff Writer

By Bubba Brown , Staff Writer

Despite a loss to Idaho for Utah, two underclassmen gave the Utes a peek into the future.

Redshirt freshman center Jason Washburn had 20 points and seven rebounds, and true freshman Marshall Henderson had 18 points and two steals.

Head coach Jim Boylen said Washburn, who redshirted last season after an illustrious career at Battle Creek Central High School in Michigan.

“Washburn’s what we said he was going to be,” Boylen said. “I thought he changed the game with his running and athleticism.”

Boylen said that just how well Washburn performed after he missed time with a knee injury in the weeks leading up to Friday’s game was surprising.

“Anytime a guy goes eight for nine in a game, whoever it is, you’re a little shocked,” he said.

Washburn and sophomore David Foster combine to form Utah’s center duo, which Boylen described as “the future of our program.”

Washburn showed that his post presence will be something other teams will have to reckon with.

“I think that Washburn’s proven that he is a difficult matchup one-on-one as a freshman, and he’s only going to get better,” Boylen said. “He works, he cares and he’s a good player. Good things happen to guys that work and care, and good things are happening to him.”

Washburn acknowledged his solid play, but lamented the fact that it came in a losing effort.

“My individual performance was good,” Washburn said. “It felt good to get back out there. But you look at 20 points and seven rebounds, then you look over at the loss, and it kind of scratches it all out. It’s great to do that in front of your home crowd, but the main goal is winning. I really don’t care who scores 20.”

Henderson, the Texas Division-5A career leader, made 3-pointers and contributed 14 of his 18 points in the first half. He said despite his overall strong performance, he felt that he forced some bad shots in the second half while trying to do too much.

“I got frustrated there for a minute,” Henderson said. “I should have just let the game come to me.”

Boylen said the young guard took some bad shots in the second half, rather than passing the ball.

“Henderson is a very good player,” Boylen said. “He needs to understand time, score and possession, and we will work on that.”

The performances of both players comes on the heels of solid outings against Findlay in the team’s exhibition game. Washburn had eight points and four blocks in 17 minutes against the Oilers, and Henderson had nine points8212;all on 3s8212;in the game.

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Thien Sok/The Daily Utah Chronicle

Jason Washburn finishes a dunk in the Utes? loss to Idaho on Friday. In his first game, Washburn, a redshirt freshman, scored 20 points and pulled down seven rebounds.