Utah basketball: Utes try bigger lineup to bolster rebounding
Unhappy with the rebounding or lack of in recent practices and scrimmages, Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak auditioned a big lineup in Monday's practice at the Huntsman Center.
The big changes? Freshman Jordan Loveridge moves from power forward to small forward, and senior center Jason Washburn moves down a spot to power forward.
With four days until the season-opening exhibition against Simon Fraser, Krystkowiak is still undecided on his starters, especially with forward Aaron Dotson out until December with a stress fracture.
Krystkowiak previously said Loveridge, the freshman from West Jordan High, would play exclusively at power forward in order to learn the system at one position. But Loveridge has proven to be advanced in that area. So, Krystkowiak is tinkering like a scientist.
"We want to see how it shakes out," Krystkowiak said. "Jordan has done well at power forward, and he does some things that we like our wings to do. We have a lot of options in the paint and we have a lot of options at guard. So it makes sense to see what we have."
Loveridge played power forward and center throughout his high school career. At 6-foot-6 though, he is undersized at the Pac-12 level in the paint. Still, he shoots it like a guard and he handles it decently for a perimeter player.
His speed and quickness are another issue. Krystkowiak said the lineup he employed on Monday could be repeated in the exhibition. He also said that Dallin Bachynski's progress in the paint helped him make the decision as well.
"I think my biggest adjustment at that position will come from the defensive end," Loveridge said. "In AAU ball, we all played on the perimeter, so I'm used to playing facing the basket. I just have to get comfortable with the plays."
With one more scholarship to hand out for next season, Krystkowiak formally offered A.J. Lapray, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard out of Oregon, on Sunday morning.
Lapray, according to ESPN.com, is listed as a three-star recruit. He was on campus this past weekend for an official visit.
Utah currently has four commitments. East guard Parker Van Dyke, Brighton guard Brandon Miller and junior college import DeLon Wright are all thought highly of.
Comings and goings
Point guard Glen Dean suffered a strained groin and missed the end of practice on Monday. â¦ Krystkowiak said he would name team captains sometime this week.
Simon Fraser vs. Utah
P Friday, 7 p.m.