Utah men's basketball: Bachynski emerges as a surprise
On one play, Dallin Bachynski rose over Jason Washburn's back, secured a rebound and put the ball into the basket with force.
Two possessions later, Utah's sophomore center flew in from the weak side to block a shot when a layup seemed imminent.
If there has been a surprise for the Utes so far, Bachynski is it. When David Foster was healthy, Bachynski seemed headed for a redshirt season. With Foster out, however, Bachynski has needed to step up, and he has, becoming a preseason standout for coach Larry Krystkowiak.
"He's certainly played well and added some depth to what we're trying to do inside," Krystkowiak said. "He's getting things done down low."
Bachynski has taken a winding road to this season. Originally from Canada, the 6-foot-11 big man played one year at Southern Utah before leaving on an LDS Church mission. Now back, he has proven to be Utah's strongest and most athletic post player.
That helps the Utes. Washburn is skilled, but can be overpowered in the paint at times. Bachynski is strong and unlikely to be pushed around. But he's not nearly as offensively skilled or savvy as Washburn.
The hope is that the two will provide an effective contrast to one another. Bachynski played well in last week's intrasquad scrimmage, scoring 14 points, grabbing nine rebounds and blocking three shots. He figures to see significant time Friday when Utah takes on Simon Fraser in an exhibition at the Huntsman Center.
"I try to go in and make hustle plays every time down the floor," Bachynski said. "I think we have the chance to be a good team this season if everything goes right for us. I want to help us get there as a team in any way I can."
Change of heart?
Utah recruit Parker Van Dyke may delay his mission plans a year and play for the Utes next season. The 6-foot-3 guard out of East High had previously said he would serve his mission before enrolling in school. But the Utes' need for a guard may dictate otherwise.
"We're thinking about it as a family," Van Dyke said. "There are several options on the table. At the end of the day, we are going to do what's best for the program and what's best for the family."
Simon Fraser at Utah (exh.)
P Friday, 7 p.m.