Utah Flash bring back familiar faces for upcoming season
Utah Flash head coach Kevin Young, right, briefs players trying out for the team at the XSI Factory in Lehi Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010. MARK JOHNSTON/Daily Herald

One by one they emerged from a room in the Zion's Bank Basketball Center.

There's Kevin Kruger.

A few minutes later. Out comes Jordan Brady and Brian Hamilton. Andre Ingram, Orien Greene and Dontell Jefferson are not far behind.

What is this, a Utah Flash reunion?

Nope, it's the 2010--11 season media day and practice.

This is your 2010-11 team.

In a league that has about as much continuity as a game of musical chairs, it's hard to believe that the Flash could have six players back -- again. It should help Utah improve on last year's 28-22 record. The Flash made the playoffs but lost in the first round.

This year, Utah is hoping the experience it returns will help the team play for a D-League title.

"It's very unusual (so many players returning). We understand each other and our tendencies. We know what we do well and what we don't do well. It's very rare," Kruger said. "I think when you add the pieces of the new guys, we have a chance to be clicking early instead of taking 10 to 15 games. I think we can reach our top level earlier than most teams can."

The strength of the team will be in the guard line, where Kruger returns at point guard. His time spent with the Flash should help the offense run smoothly.

"I feel great to be back. This was a choice I made. I think my mental state is better than it's ever been. I'm looking at this opportunity complete different than I have the last three years. Looking back in my rookie year I felt like I was bitter knowing I was the last one cut in Orlando and knowing I should have been in the NBA that year," Kruger said. "I let it carry over and affect me in too many aspects. This year I have a 12 month plan in order. I'm really just truing to get a call-up. I'm just coming in more prepared. Not only is it going to help me but the Flash. It's a win-win, that's what I'm going for."

Utah has the luxury of having two of the better point guards in the league with Jefferson, who will also play the two guard. Ingram has also been a with the Flash for three years. He is one of the better 3-point shooters in the league and gives the team depth at guard.

"It's exciting to be here. Obviously it's my forth year so I'm liking something about it," Ingram said. "I like having Kevin (Young) as head coach. I'm looking forward to the season. I'm expecting big things. Even being a good shooter there's ways to get better. I can get better catching and shooting off screens and working on that a lot."

Brady, a former Utah Valley University player, returns to give the team some rebounding and defense at forward. The Flash used the draft and some trades to bolster the front line. The Flash used their first round pick on Brandon Costner, a 6-9, forward from North Carolina State. The Flash also traded a third-round pick to Bakersfield for Longar Longar, a 6-11, center from Oklahoma.

Utah selected Nkem Ojougboh, a 6-9, center from Northeastern, with it second round pick. He has yet to join the team, but is expect to soon.

Ryan Thompson, a 6-9, forward from Rider, who was in the Utah Jazz camp, is nursing a bone bruise three weeks but is expected to join the team in three weeks.

One of the changes that did happen was on the coaching staff. Kevin Young takes over as head coach for former coach Brad Jones.

Young was a former Utah Valley University assistant. He's been involved in the Flash Organization for the last three years in different capacities including assistant coach, scout, and director of basketball operations. He has participated in on-court coaching, player development, and has been an important aspect of player personnel decisions for the Utah Flash in its first three seasons.

"It's a safety net for sure having a veteran group. They've exceeded my expectations in training camp," Young said. "They've looked good especially in terms of effort. That's one of the things we've tried to preach early on is how hard we have to play and they've been great."

Utah opens the season with a five-game road trip that begins on Saturday in Reno. Utah will play Austin on Dec. 3 in its home opener.

Utah Flash Roster

Player Height Weight College

F Jordan Brady 6-6 220 Utah Valley University

F Brandon Costner 6-9 235 North Carolina State

G Orien Greene 6-4 210 Louisiana-Lafayette

F Brian Hamilton 6-6 210 Louisiana-Lafayette

G Andre Ingram 6-3 195 American University

G Dontell Jefferson 6-5 195 Arkansas

C Darren Kent 6-10 240 Kansas State

G Kevin Kruger 6-2 185 UNLV

C Longar Longar 6-11 230 Oklahoma

C Amadou Mbodji 6-10 230 Jacksonville State

G Carlos Medlock 6-0 170 Eastern Michigan

F Nkem Ojougboh 6-9 225 Northeastern

G Ricky Shields 6-4 195 Rutgers '05

G Ryan Thompson 6-6 220 Rider University

UTAH FLASH SCHEDULE

DATE OPPONENT TIME

Sat 20 at Reno 8:00 p.m.

Sun 21 at Reno 4:00 p.m.

Fri 26 at New Mexico 7:30 p.m.

Sat 27 at New Mexico 7:30 p.m.

Tue 30 at Bakersfield 8:00 p.m.

December

Fri 03 vs Austin 7:00 p.m.

Sun 05 at Austin 4:00 p.m.

Tue 07 vs Erie 7:00 p.m.

Fri 10 at Idaho 7:00 p.m.

Sat 11 at Idaho 7:00 p.m.

Fri 17 at Sioux Falls 6:00 p.m

Sat 18 at Sioux Falls 6:00 p.m

January

Sat 01 vs Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.

Mon 03 vs Bakersfield 7:00 p.m.

Fri 07 vs Reno 7:00 p.m.

Sat 08 vs Reno 7:00 p.m.

Mon 10 at Iowa South Padre Island, TX 12:45pm

Tue 11 vs Springfield South Padre Island, TX 12:45 p.m.

Fri 14 vs Idaho 7:00 p.m.

Tue 18 vs Austin 7:00 p.m.

Fri 21 vs Idaho 7:00 p.m.

Sat 22 vs Austin 7:00 p.m.

Wed 26 at Texas 6:00 p.m.

Fri 28 at Texas 6:00 p.m.

Sun 30 at Austin 4:00 p.m.

Mon 31 vs Fort Wayne 7:00 p.m.

February

Fri 04 at Tulsa 6:00 p.m.

Sat 05 at Iowa 6:00 p.m.

Mon 07 vs Rio Grande Valley 7:00 p.m.

Fri 11 at Tulsa 6:00 p.m.

Sat 12 at Tulsa 6:00 p.m.

Mon 14 vs Austin 7:00 p.m.

Wed 16 vs Dakota 7:00 p.m.

Mon 21 vs Idaho 7:00 p.m.

Fri 25 vs Reno 7:00 p.m.

Sun 27 at Reno 3:00 p.m.

March

Fri 04 vs New Mexico 7:00 p.m.

Sat 05 vs New Mexico 7:00 p.m.

Fri 11 at Reno 8:00 p.m.

Sat 12 at Reno 8:00 p.m.

Mon 14 vs Tulsa 7:00 p.m.

Fri 18 vs Reno 7:00 p.m.

Sat 19 vs Reno 7:00 p.m.

Tue 22 vs Maine 7:00 p.m.

Thu 24 vs Maine 7:00 p.m.

Sun 27 at Dakota 2:00 p.m.

Mon 28 at Dakota 6:00 pm

Wed 30 vs Bakersfield 7:00 pm

April

Fri 01 at Idaho 7:00 pm

Sat 02 at Idaho 7:00 pm

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