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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 Hoops - Onwas making improvement

You can see the talent when Princeton Onwas drives to the basket and finishes over a defender. You can see it when he flies through the air, catches a lob and slams it through the hoop.

Utah's 6-foot-5 junior forward hasn't always been up to speed with Larry Krystkwoiak's system. But a subtle change last week has allowed Onwas to play much better, and much more agressive.

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Before last week, Onwas was playing the small forward position and learning the power forward spot as well, because the Utes have had a dearth of big men with Dallin Bachynski and Marko Kovacevic both out. Onwas struggled with the extra responsibility, and struggled some. That's when Krystkowiak made that subtle little move.

"We went into practice and just said, hey learn the small forward spot," Krystkowiak said. "That helped him. You could see him getting more comfortable."

Against Lamar last week, Onwas scored 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and put on a highlight act for the faithful at the Huntsman Center with several dunks. He scored 14 points in a win over Savannah State.

His minutes have steadily increased off the bench, and against the Tigers he was arguably Utah's best player in stretches.

Onwas gives the Utes a pure athlete the program hasn't had since Carlon Brown. He was recruited with the reputation of being a defender, but he's been better than that offensively.

It will be interesting to see how he plays in a tough stretch the Utes are about to embark on that begins tonight with Ball State.

Tony Jones



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