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Running Utes ready to get started with season

Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak answers questions during the Pac-12 NCAA college basketball media day Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Running Utes of the University of Utah men’s basketball team is ready to get the season started after what is being called a “secret scrimmage” in California.

That means the only exhibition match fans will get to see is Thursday night at the Huntsman Center against the College of Idaho.

“We’re ready to go,” said Ute coach Larry Krystkowiak. “I’m excited about it — it’s been a long five to six weeks of beating each other up, so it’s an opportunity to play somebody else and we’re thrilled to do it. I know we’ve got a really deep bench and we can keep them fresh.”

Coach K could not give a lot of details to the scrimmage in California. However, he says they did play Saint Mary’s from the West Coast Conference. It was three 20-minute halves and he says the Utes lost by 15 in the first, won by 15 in the second, and then the third he described as “a slugfest”.

Krystkowiak says he does not have a starting lineup pinned down yet as of Thursday morning, but did say his seniors will start in the exhibition game. That is Sedrick Barefield, Parker Van Dyke and Novak Topalovic, a graduate transfer from Idaho State.

Junior Jayce Johnson has been gone the last month as well with a broken foot. Krystkowiak says Johnson saw a doctor Monday and received some good news and said he is hopeful he should be practicing soon.

The game against College of Idaho is at 6 P.M. MDT. The regular season opens at home next Thursday at 7 P.M. MST.