Larry Krystkowiak sat stone-faced in Utah's locker room before summing up the performance of his team Friday night at the Huntsman Center.
"It's a good start for us, but we aren't doing cartwheels or anything."
Indeed. Before a half-filled Huntsman Center, the Utes turned their only exhibition matchup into a 71-36 rout of Simon Fraser.
Utah's opponent was small in the paint, slow on the perimeter and overmatched defensively. So in essence, the Utes did what they were supposed to do.
Still, one had to be impressed. Many still remember last year's exhibition loss to Adams State, a defeat that touched off an embarrassing 6-25 season. So even if Utah accomplished the expected, it was a step forward for Krystkowiak's program.
Because now, the Utes have the talent to overwhelm an undermanned opponent. That's a quantum leap from last season.
"I would've been worried if we didn't play well," senior center Jason Washburn said. "I thought we had a size advantage inside, and I thought we did a good job of punching it into the paint. We have some weapons this season, and it feels good to know that the offense isn't going to go stagnant if I leave the game."
Sophomore center Dallin Bachynski scored a game-high 16 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Jarred DuBois, the senior guard, scored 14 and secured eight rebounds, and Washburn and freshman forward Jordan Loveridge scored 13 points each.
Anto Olah scored 15 points to lead Simon Fraser.
Every available player received minutes for Utah, which starts its season next Friday against Williamette.
Utah 71, Simon Fraser 36
R Dallin Bachynski leads with 16 points as the Utes rout their only exhibition opponent.