Promising season ahead for men’s basketball after exhibition win

Utah Valley men’s basketball played their exhibition game against the College of Idaho on Nov. 1 —  after a slow start, the Wolverines put the Yotes away 59-42.

Exhibition games give coaches and players a feel for what is working and what will need to be changed before the season officially starts. The Wolverines found out early on that there would be plenty to work on, but also plenty to celebrate. 

WHAT WENT WRONG

For a team that should pride themselves in having a strong outside shooting game, the Wolverines shot a dismal 2-21 from deep. Sophomore guard Trey Woodbury contributed the two baskets from behind the arc. Their inside shooting wasn’t much better. Of the 57 shots attempted — 36.8 percent — or 21 of the shots actually cleared the net. 

Luckily for the Wolverines, the Yotes didn’t do much better. COI only made four more baskets from behind the arc, putting them at 6-26. Inside the perimeter, the Coyotes only managed to achieve a 26.7 field goal percentage. 

UVU had plenty of players that could and should have put more points on the board, including three of their starters. Granted, it’s the first time playing together against another team this season.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

The Wolverines seemed to take a while to find their rhythm, not reaching double-digit points until more than half-way through the first half. Three Wolverines took control of the game with 46 of the 59 points. Junior guard Isaiah White helped out with 14 points, Woodbury had himself 18 and senior center Brandon Morely added another 14. 

The stat that really stands out is points from the charity stripe. The Wolverines took 20 shots from the free throw line, knocking down 15 of them, hinting to future opponents that fouling the Wolverines might not be the best of ideas. 

The defensive effort by the Wolverines is another thing to look forward to this basketball season. UVU forced 18 turnovers and flipped nine points out of them. They held each of the Yotes to under 10 points a person, as the highest scorer was senior guard Nate Bruneel with seven.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Wolverines will have their official home opener on Nov. 5, at 7 p.m. MST. They will take on Westminster College, a team that UVU beat handily last season in an exhibition game, 96-71.

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