22 July 2008

Jazz beat Iranian national team; Carroll cold from the field

(This article originally ran in the July 22 edition of the Post Register.)

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah -- The Utah Jazz summer league team may have played basketball against the Iranian national team Monday night at the Rocky Mountain Revue, but the crowd that arrived at the Lifetime Activities Center at Sale Lake Community College was there for a soccer game.

The Jazz beat the Iranians 82-57, amid frequent chanting and flag-waving from the Iranian half of the crowd. One fan even brought a giant kazoo to coordinate the cheering.

"I thought he was going to give out at halftime, but he didn't," Jazz guard Morris Almond said. "That's a credit to their enthusiasm."

Almond scored 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting in Utah's first win of the Revue. Almond has struggled in three games so far, averaging 14.6 points per game after averaging 25.6 points in 34 games in the D-League last season.

Utah's other key prospect, Kyrylo Fesenko, also had a subpar outing, scoring six points and pulling down only three rebounds in 12 minutes of action.

Responding to concerns about Utah's seemingly better performance with Fesenko and Almond on the bench, coach Tyrone Corbin said he wasn't worried.

"The guys that came in just pushed the ball and attacked the basket a little more than earlier," Corbin said.

Iran was led by starting guard Mohammad Nikkhah, who scored 23 points.The Iranian national team started out well, outscoring the Jazz 22-14 in the first quarter and generally looking like the quicker, more aggressive team.

Iranian center Hamed Ehadadi was a major part of their early success, recording seven points and seven rebounds in only eight minutes before going down with an apparent leg injury in the second quarter. He did not return.

Ehadadi's injury allowed Utah's big men to go to work, and Utah outscored Iran 54-28 the rest of the way.

Most of the individuals cheering for the Iranian national team were local to Salt Lake City. Sam Behjani moved to Utah ten years ago.

"This was the first time (the Iranian national team) came to Utah," he said. "I don't know the next time they'll be here, so this was a big deal."

Behjani was quick to profess his support for the Jazz, as well.

"We love the Utah Jazz, too; we just came to have fun tonight, no matter who wins," he said.

Former Utah State star Jaycee Carroll played for the New Jersey Nets in an earlier game Monday. The Nets fell to the Golden State Warriors 108-84 in a game that featured several high-profile rookies.

Carroll was held to two points on 1-of-7 shooting for New Jersey, as the Warriors' athleticism and speed were enough to blow past New Jersey's Brook Lopez, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Julius Hodge.

Carroll wasn't overly discouraged by his poor performance.

"As a player I've always been confident," Carroll said. "I'm going to keep coming out and doing what I can to control the situation."

New Jersey coach Brian Hill was complimentary of Carroll.

"He's an intriguing player," Hill said. "It's definitely a possibility he could end up in Trenton, but whether or not he makes the team remains to be seen."

1 comment:

Josh said...

ha! You were too lazy to write out the breakdown of the game.