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It's not a departure. It's not a suspension. It's something in between.
Utah men's basketball coach Larry Krykowiak said Tuesday that center Dallin Bachynski will take a break from competition for an indefinite length of time.
The door is open for Bachynski to return. The 7-foot sophomore was at practice in street clothes on Tuesday. The Salt Lake Tribune has learned he will be on the bench in team sweats on Saturday when Utah faces Colorado at the Huntsman Center. He will participate in all team activities besides playing in games or practicing.
The goal is for Bachynski to return to the team, and sources say Krystkowiak will make that final decision.
"After meeting with Dallin, he and I agreed it was in the best interest of both parties for him to step away from basketball for the time being," Krystkowiak said. "He will remain a part of the program during this time as he takes a break from active competition."
Bachynski, originally from Canada, started the season well, earning a spot in the starting lineup over Jason Washburn and providing the Utes with an athletic big man in the post who can block shots. His best game of the year came against Idaho State, where he scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. He looked like a breakout player in the making for Krystkowiak.
But as the season progressed, Bachynski's minutes dwindled drastically. Washburn won his starting job back and has been a mainstay in the lineup. In the meantime, Bachynski struggled with turnovers and running some plays. Also, freshman center Jeremy Olsen improved and started to eat into Bachynski's time as a backup.
Last week, after losing to California, Krystkowiak questioned whether Bachynski was on the same page with the program.
He met with Bachynski the next day, and the big man didn't suit up in a blowout loss to Stanford. Still, Bachynski possesses athleticism and shot-blocking ability and the staff doesn't want to give up on him and his potential.
Bachynski averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this season. He transferred to Utah from Southern Utah.
Colorado at Utah
O Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
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