Grizzlies to face Runnin' Utes in first of two exhibitions
SALT LAKE CITY— The new look Adams State College men’s basketball team will play the NCAA Division I University of Utah Utes in their first of two exhibition games, Friday evening at 7 p.m. here in the Huntsman Center.
The game can be heard on KSPK-FM (104.1 in Alamosa) and via the internet at www.kspk.com immediately following the Grizzlies’ 7 p.m. home volleyball match against Mesa State. Live in-game statistics will also be available on the Runnin’ Utes website and can be accessed by clicking here.
The NCAA Division II Grizzlies will be playing for the first time under new head coach Louis Wilson, who is no stranger to the game at the NCAA Division I level. Named as the Grizzlies’ head coach in March, Wilson had spent the last four seasons at the Cal State-Northridge, where he served as the Matadors’ associate head coach in 2009-10, a role he had been promoted to after helping the squad to a Big West Conference crown and ensuing NCAA Tournament berth in 2008-09.
Wilson also had successful 8 and 6-year stints at Division I Idaho State and Southern Utah, respectively.
Wilson and his staff, which includes assistant coach Ryan Dodd, also on the bench at Cal State-Northridge and soon to be inducted Alaska Hall of Fame High School coach Chuck White, recruited nine junior college transfers to the team including Davin Anderson (Louisville, Ky.) and Shayar Lee (Phoenix, Ariz.), who have Division I experience at Chicago State and Northern Arizona, respectively.
The Grizzlies also return three starters and seven players from last year’s team including two redshirts.
Leading that bunch is junior guard Robby Hanzlik (Denver, Colo.) and senior forward Seth Heinbaugh (Prescott Valley, Ariz.). Hanzlik, who played at Division I Maine in 2007-08, averaged 14.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game in his first season as a Grizzly. He also led the squad with 92 assists, 51 steals and 51 3-pointers and was ranked amongst the RMAC’s top 20 players in several different categories.
Heinbaugh, now in his fifth year with the program including a redshirt campaign in 2006-07 when the Grizzlies advanced to the NCAA Division II National Tournament, averaged 8.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game last year after putting up 12.2 point and 8.2 rebound per game averages as a redshirt sophomore in 2007-08, when he ranked third in the RMAC for caroms. He also has 774 career points and 462 rebounds entering this campaign.
The Grizzlies, who went 8-19 overall and 5-14 in RMAC play last season to finish sixth in the West Division, were tabbed ninth amongst 14 teams in the RMAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
Utah, under the direction of fourth-year coach Jim Boylen, also has a largely new squad. The Utes return just one starter in center David Foster. However, Foster is large in both stature and presence as the 7-foot-3, 255-pounder averaged 4.0 blocked shots per game in 2009-10. That average, the fourth best in the nation, helped him earn Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors.
The Utes, heading to the Pac-10 conference in 2011-12, also return five other letterwinners from last year’s squad that went 14-17 overall and 7-9 in MWC play, good for sixth place.
Jay Watkins, a 6-foot-8 senior forward, is the team’s top returning scorer after averaging 9.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.
The Utes, like the Grizzlies, also have nine newcomers, including four junior college transfers and five products straight out of high school.
They were picked sixth amongst nine MWC schools in the Preseason Media Poll, announced during last month’s Media Day activities.
After playing at Utah on Friday, the Grizzlies will head northwest to face Boise State on Tuesday, Nov. 9.
Related Item: RMAC Preseason Coaches' Poll Release