Utah basketball: Jeremy Olsen starting to earn minutes in Utes' rotation
To this point of the season, Jeremy Olsen has not made an impact for Utah. At least not during games.
From this point forward, it appears that the Utah freshman will receive a big chance to be much more of a factor.
He's earned it with his play. Earlier in the week, Larry Krystkowiak praised the 6-foot-11 center for his improvement in practice, and hinted that he would get the opportunity to prove himself when it counts.
His time came on Thursday, during Utah's 57-53 loss to UCLA at the Huntsman Center.
Olsen came off the bench in the second half and scored four points while grabbing two rebounds in six minutes. More importantly, he was a factor on both ends of the floor.
"Jeremy is going to be a good player," Krystkowiak said. "He's in shape and his health is pretty good. He's a redshirt freshman and he's worked his butt off every day in practice and he hasn't complained. He is biding his time and we are going to throw him in a little bit."
Olsen didn't play much earlier in the year because he was working off the rust from a two-year LDS Church mission. Then a hip injury caused him to miss most of Utah's summer trip to Brazil.
But he's played well when given the chance. On Thursday, he showed a soft touch, the ability to finish plays in traffic and soft hands. His emergence has coincided with the regression of Dallin Bachynski, who played a season-low two minutes.
When asked, Krystkowiak said it was a coaching decision to go with Olsen over Bachynski.
"There were a couple of breakdowns early on where we were trying to run some things and Dallin wasn't in the right spot offensively," Krystkowiak said. "We've had a tough enough time scoring as it is, so we need everyone in the right spots."