September 21, 2009

Early look at the defending MWC champs

Utah Men's Basketball is kicking into gear, even through practices don't start until October. The team is getting together and playing pickup games, trying to get a feel for all the new players coming into the program in 2009, while also taking advantage of the two hours a week the coaches get to work with the team. UteZone has sat in on a few open gym sessions, and here are some thoughts on the 2009-10 Running Utes.

  • David Foster is hard to ignore. The 7-foot-3 center with a 7-foot-8 wingspan blocks and alters a lot of shots. He also has a nice touch on his shot and can hit from 15-18 feet out. The recently returned missionary could have a big year if he gets back in shape.

  • Carlon Brown is stepping up and into a leadership role on this team. Brown can get to the rim at will, but is still somewhat inconsistent on his jumpshot. Brown has had to overcome a few off-season injuries and that has hampered him a bit.

  • Jordan Cyphers has improved his on-ball defense and looks a serviceable defensive player. Cyphers has great range and can consistently hit from well beyond the 3-point arc.

  • Is this the year Kim Tille finally "gets it" and plays to his athleticism and potential? Tille is off to a great start, dunking on offensive rebounds, running the floor, and hitting threes with surprising consistency.

  • Tille and Luca Drca feed off each other and play extremely well together, be it running the court on the break, off pick-and-rolls or pick-and-pops, or running the baseline for lobs and alley-oops. Drca is also shooting the ball with confidence.

  • Matt Read is a competitor who is willing to do whatever it takes to win. He's a solid shooter, rebounder, and defender.

  • Marshall Henderson will shoot ... a lot. Defenses can't give him any space or he will get the shot off and hit more often than not. He has been running the point and is getting better and running the offense and distributing the ball, but make no mistake: he's a scorer.

  • Like what Chris Hines has shown. He plays very good defense, is good with the ball and without, can drive and kick and can hit the three. He's not afraid to attack a defense and either pass or shoot. Does get ahead of himself and a little out of control at times.

  • Love the Glove. Shawn Glover will be hard to keep off the court, there are times where he is the best player out there and the ball just seems to find a way into his hands off the glass. Glove can drive, dish, and shoot as well as being a solid defensive player on the perimeter but can be pushed around. He and the other new players are still learning what they can get away with at this level, but they are learning.

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