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Utah basketball: Lenz out indefinitely with severely sprained ankle

Published January 14, 2014 11:17 pm

College basketball • Utes scramble to replace big man.
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Renan Lenz sat on a chair during Tuesday's practice at the Huntsman Center. He wore a walking boot, and a pair of crutches joined him on his left side.

It appears he'll be in that state indefinitely, as he sprained his ankle in Utah's loss at Washington State on Sunday night. Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak said there's no timetable for Lenz's return. The senior forward appeared to come down on the foot of an opposing player in the first half on Sunday.

He was helped back to the locker room and spent the second half watching from behind the bench.

"He sprained the ankle pretty good," Krystkowiak said. "Once you have a severely sprained ankle and you start to talk about torn ligaments, it gets pretty serious."

Lenz is out for Thursday's matchup against the Trojans. His absence creates a hole in Utah's depth chart. Lenz has started for most of the season at center.

He was one of the most improved players from last year, but has seen his minutes dwindle in the past few weeks. Krystkowiak started bringing him off the bench to be Jordan Loveridge's primary backup.

Now — without Lenz — the possibility exists that Princeton Onwas will play a lot more at power forward at 6-foot-5. There's a chance of junior center Marko Kovacevic seeing more minutes as well.

The awful truth

Utah spent its practice on Monday watching film and the blow-for-blow version of Sunday's awful offensive performance — which yielded 46 points in 40 minutes. The Utes then did some individual workouts, but the day was dedicated to looking at the damage of Sunday.

"It was good for us," Loveridge said. "It gave us a chance to see some of the mistakes that we made and to see what we need to do to correct them."

A homecoming

Former Ute Jarred DuBois attended Tuesday's practice. He's currently playing in Frankfurt, Germany, in the top division in the country. DuBois played one year at Utah after transferring from Loyola Marymount. He led the Utes in scoring last season and was the catalyst for Utah advancing to the Pac-12 tournament semifinals.

Familiar faces

Shooting guard Brandon Taylor, small forward Dakarai Tucker and point guard Delon Wright are all from Los Angeles and will all face the L.A. schools for the first time as starters.

"It will really hit me when we go back home and face them in Los Angeles," Taylor said. "Then the hometown crowd will be there and there will be the surroundings I grew up in."


Twitter: @tjonessltrib —

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