Why Hasn’t Brice Sensabaugh Played For Jazz In Preseason?

Oct 12, 2023, 3:58 PM

Brice Sensabaugh #8 of the Utah Jazz speaks during the preseason at Zions Bank Basketball Campus on...

Brice Sensabaugh #8 of the Utah Jazz speaks during the preseason at Zions Bank Basketball Campus on October 02, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz returned to practice at home on Thursday after spending the first eight days of the preseason in Hawaii and Seattle.

The Jazz will face the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday in their preseason home opener, before wrapping up exhibition play against the New Zealand Breakers and Sacramento Kings next week.

Coach Will Hardy spoke at Thursday’s practice, here’s what he had to say about Jazz preseason so far.

Hardy Working On Deep Roster Rotation

After opening the season on the road Hardy welcomed a return home to hammer out some of the finer details before the regular season begins.

“Now is a really good opportunity for us to really go to that next layer of detail and dig in, in some ways, having two weeks between now and when opening night is,” Hardy said. “We’re not having to travel at all, we’re sort of viewing this as kind of a relaunch of training camp in some ways.”

The Jazz split their first two games of the preseason against the Los Angeles Clippers, but more importantly, the coaching staff has two full games of footage to see what is and isn’t working for the team early in preseason.

“We’re getting to play a real opponent, especially one as good as the Clippers and as dynamic defensively as they are — it can be a reality check in a lot of ways, which is good, you want that,” Hardy said. “I’d rather have that reality check now than two weeks from now.”

Limited Playing Time For Brice Sensabaugh

Through two preseason games, 14 of the 15 players expected to be on the Jazz opening night roster have seen the floor, with only rookie Brice Sensabaugh yet to take the court.

Sensabaugh did not play during the summer league after undergoing knee surgery in March, but that isn’t the reason he’s yet to record a minute in preseason.

“That’s kind of the way it goes,” Hardy said. “He’s done great, he’s playing well, he’s playing hard — but it’s a team. We have 20 players in camp, so it’s hard to get everybody [playing time].”

The Jazz surprised many by making all three first-round picks in June’s NBA Draft, knowing it would be difficult to give any rookie meaningful playing time on a team expected to compete for a playoff spot in the West.

Of the 22 rookies to play at least 800 minutes last season, only Keegan Murray (Sacramento), AJ Griffin (Atlanta), David Roddy (Memphis), and Christian Braun (Denver) were on teams that qualified for the postseason.

Finding full rotation minutes for even one rookie on this Jazz roster might be difficult this season, much less three.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Why Hasn’t Brice Sensabaugh Played For Jazz In Preseason?