When we last saw the Utah Utes Basketball team they were running out of gas at the Pac 12 tournament. The Utes hope to pick up where they left off last season after a deep run into the Pac-12 conference tournament. Hopes are high up on the hill this year as the Utes put together a very nice recruiting class to compliment the solid performers already on the 2013-14 roster.
The Utes kick off the season tonight Vs. Saint Martin’s Saints. Who are the Saint Martin Saints you might ask. The Saint Martin Saints can be found in Lacey, Washington. As you might guess “Saint” Martin’s is a Catholic Liberal Arts University, and was founded in 1895. Unfortunately for the Saints, the closest thing they have to notable basketball alumni include Mike Thibault, who coaches in the WNBA. The Saints compete in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in Division II.
In 2008, the Men’s Basketball team defeated Division 1-A Colorado State. None of the
players on the 2008 team are still around this year. The head coach Michael Ostlund has been coaching for over 16 years. He has ties to the state of Utah coaching at both Snow college, and Salt Lake Community College over the past 10 years.
Ostlund coached at Snow College from 2007-12 spending five seasons at the helm of the Badgers program. He put together his most successful season in 2011-12 as he led the squad to a record of 23-9 and a record of 44-19 (.698) in his final two seasons.
The Badgers posted nine wins over nationally ranked National Junior College Association of America teams (NJCAA) during the 2011-12 season as the team finished second in the Scenic West Athletic Conference (SWAC) advancing to the semifinals of the Region 18 Tournament. His team was ranked as high as 17th in the national poll and spent several weeks in the top 25 or receiving votes in his final two seasons.
He was an assistant coach for five years with the Saints from 1997-2002. Ostlund was also an assistant at Bonneville High School in Ogden, Utah, for three seasons, preceded by his first coaching position as an assistant at Weber State University.
The Saints will need to bring their A game when they come to take on the Utes in Salt Lake City as the Utes are posed for a great preseason. The Utes return many of the key players from last years team, along with 7 new faces to add to the depth that the Ute basketball team has. Your starting 5 should consist of Jordan Loveridge, Brandon Taylor, Dakarai Tucker, Renan Lenz and Delon Wright. You probably recognize most of those names with the only starter not on last years roster being Wright. He may be the key to this years Ute team. Wright is a bigger (6-5) Point guard and should give the Utes a much needed upgrade at that position.