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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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Utes eager to get back on the court

Utah's basketball team took advantage of its long break in between games to rest up and get back to fundamentals. Now, with Tuesday's game against SMU looming, coach Larry Krystkowiak said his team has a fresh outlook to go with some fresh legs.

Krystkowiak said the team has had some strong practices in which they worked on rebounding, the transition game and other segments.

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"We got some guys healthy who had some bumps and bruises," he said.

The Utes haven't played since losing at BYU 61-58 on Dec. 8.

Since the Utes played SMU on Nov. 28, a 62-55 loss, they've spent most of their time working on adjustments and not as much in talking about personnel, Krystkowiak said.

In addition to the usual points of emphasis like rebounding and getting loose balls, Krystkowiak said his team has to take better care of the ball.

The Utes had 17 turnovers against SMU the last time the teams played and had 14 against Texas State, 17 against Boise State and 15 against BYU.

"We can't have the number of turnovers we've been dealing with lately," he said. "We hope to take care of those elements."

At 6-3, the Utes have equaled the number of wins they had a year ago, however, the Utes aren't into comparing last year's season to this, said senior Jason Washburn.

"Like coach said, we squeezed everything we could out of last year," Washburn said. "He is an incredible motivator and he took guys and made them believe we could win last year. Somehow we won six games last year and overachieved in a lot of ways, but talent-wise it's pretty clear this team is superior skill-wise and overall better in almost every category."


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