SALT LAKE CITY — For the Utah Utes, the sting of last week’s 68-66 loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 quarterfinals has subsided. They’re moving on to Wednesday’s National Invitation Tournament game against UC Davis in the Huntsman Center.

“Obviously we’re disappointed with how the season ended and (we) wanted to make it into the NCAA Tournament. But that didn’t happen,” said Utah senior David Collette. “So we’ll take the opportunity that we have here. We think we have a good chance to make a good run and go win this thing.”

Collette plans on playing despite being hobbled with an injured ankle. He scored 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting in the setback to the Ducks.

“I’ve been having some struggles after playing on it on Thursday,” Collette said. “But there’s nothing that is holding me back.”

Even so, Collette acknowledged it’s kind of a day-to-day situation. Utah’s motivation, though, is a constant.

“I think we’re all on board. We’ve all been talking and we don’t like how the season ended and we want to make up for that,” Collette added. “We are where we are. That’s the reality and why not take every opportunity you have. So we’re going to take this seriously and we’re going to play hard”

Collette made it clear he would like a trip to New York and Madison Square Garden where the NIT semifinals and championship are played.

“We’re trying to win it. That’s our goal,” said senior guard Justin Bibbins. “But we’ve just got to take it one game at a time, worry about Davis.”

The Aggies (22-10) went to the NCAA Tournament last year and claimed the Big West Conference regular-season title this season. They’re led by 5-foot-9, 160-pound junior T.J. Shorts II. The Big West Player of the Year averages 15 points per game and has racked up 141 …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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