Defense was a focal point of Utah's first official practice of the 2008-09 season.
Oct. 17, 2008
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah men's basketball team officially opened practice for the 2008-09 season Friday as the Runnin' Utes prepare for one of the best non-conference schedules in team history. The focus of the team's first official practice was on defense, rebounding and the running game.
Following practice, second-year head coach Jim Boylen was satisfied with his team's first performance and cited the squad's early-season practice time as a key contributor.
"I think our fall practice allotment (two hours per week) really helped us come together as a team before our full practice schedule started today," said Boylen. "With five freshmen and four seniors, it was very productive and I feel that we are farther ahead now than we were at this same time last year. I am excited about our veteran guys feeling more comfortable in our system as well as the talent and athleticism of our new guys. I was happy with our first practice and with what we did defensively today.
The Utes practiced with 14 healthy players, missing only freshman Chris Hines (Houston, Texas), held out with a nagging ankle injury.
Utah gets back to the practice court twice Saturday, with sessions at 8:15 a.m. and 3 p.m.