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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Utah Basketball - Martin has a long night

It started with hot wings and a batch of french fries.

It continued with a stack of pancakes topped with syrup.

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Cedric Martin washed it all down with a huge strawberry shake.

Denny's turned out to be Martin's best friend on Thursday night. And his worst enemy in the wee hours of Friday morning.

The stomach sickness lasted until 6 am. Bleary eyed, fatigued and not feeling well, Martin went to class and was at practice by Friday afternoon, playing hard.

"You can't let anything stop you from playing basketball," Martin said with a laugh.

So, why the binge?

It all started in August. Martin, a senior guard for the Utes, weighed in at 208 pounds. The coaching staff wanted him to be a little lighter, so Martin went on a diet, watched what he ate and checked in at 198 last week.

It shows, as Martin seems quicker off the dribble than he was last season, and more able to drive to the basket.

With all of the hard work, Martin took the opportunity to get himself some good food.

"I thought I was entitiled to a me day," Martin said.

As practice progressed, Martin's stomach ailment became almost a running joke. Even Larry Krystkowiak got into the fray, at one point using Martin to spur on his teammates.

"Cedric was in a hospital bed all day," Krystkowiak said. "But he's here practicing and I appreciate that."

If nothing else, Martin's situation illustrates how light the mood has been with Utah at practice the last few weeks. Clearly this team gets along with each other better than last season. It's started with its seniors.

Tony Jones

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