OGDEN -- In the 2013 CollegeInsider.com Tournament semifinals last spring, all four teams, including Weber State, featured the color purple.
Then the Wildcats played pickup ball against each other during the summer and practiced together in the fall, culminating in the annual Purple and White scrimmage.
It's been a long time since Weber State played a team not wearing purple.
Enter Adams State, a Division II school from Alamosa, Colo., that features green and white as its school colors.
The Grizzlies will be the opponents in tonight's 7 p.m. game at the Dee Events Center in Weber State's one and only exhibition contest before beginning the regular season on Nov. 8 against BYU in Provo.
By reaching the CIT championship game, WSU played into April for the first time in school history while also setting a new mark for most wins in a season. The Wildcats finished at 30-7, falling to East Carolina on a desperation 3 at the buzzer in front of 10,583 fans at the Dee Events Center.
There won't be that many on hand tonight, but Weber State coach Randy Rahe hopes those that come will see a team that's a step ahead of where it might have been without making its postseason run in the CIT last spring.
"We'll see it pay off probably this fall when we get to playing games and this winter," said Rahe, who is entering his eighth season. "It was terrific for us, especially the young kids that got more playing time, more game time. I think that's going to help their transition into this year, to become a little bit better sooner is what I'm hoping for."
No other team in Weber State history gained as much game-time experience in a single season as the 2012-13 Wildcats did.
"You just can't substitute that kind of game experience that they have," Rahe said. "It will pay off. What it does it is it accelerates the improvement of each kid. I guess you could see it a little bit this summer, guys like Joel Bolomboy, Royce Williams, all the guys that are coming back. We saw their games pick up a notch. We've got a lot of guys that made really good improvements this summer and I think that was part of it. Playing longer helped them."
The competitive nature, the environments, everything about the CIT run was better than the alternative.
"Playing those games is obviously better than doing spring workouts," Rahe said.
Tonight, Weber State will begin to see just how far along it is. Because an exhibition game against Adams State can't begin to replicate the environment of facing BYU in the Marriott Center on opening night, the Wildcats are going to have to rely on past experience.
WSU returns seven players from last season's team, including two of its top three scorers.
Senior guard/forward Davion Berry was a first-team all-Big Sky Conference performer and led Weber State with 15.2 points per game a year ago. Senior center Kyle Tresnak averaged 11.8 ppg, third-best on the team, and was named to the all-Big Sky second team.
* UTAH STATE 86, ADAMS STATE 55: At Logan, senior center Jarred Shaw had 16 points and 10 rebounds in leading Utah State over Adams State in an exhibition game at the Smith Spectrum Friday.
Shaw, who added two blocked shots in just 19 minutes, was 7 of 12 from the field and 2 for 2 at the free throw line. Junior forward Danny Berger added 15 points and four assists off the bench for Utah State, going 4 of 4 from 3-point range.
Freshman forward Jalen Moore also scored in double figures for the home team as he finished with 10 points, while junior center Jordan Stone just missed a double-double as he had nine points to go along with 10 rebounds.
Chuck Cole had 14 points for Adams State, as he was the only Grizzly to score in double figures.
Adams State scored the first points of the game on a layup, before Utah State scored seven straight points. The Aggies ended the half on a buzzer-beating jumper from sophomore guard Marcel Davis as it out-scored ASU by 13 points (20-7) during the final 11:07 to take a 45-27 lead into the locker room.
USU will begin the 2013-14 season by hosting Pac-12 opponent USC on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.
* UTAH 91, SAINT MARTIN'S 54: At Salt Lake City, Utah men's basketball dominated its exhibition contest against Saint Martin's Friday.
Jordan Loveridge paced four players in double figures with 21 points and added six rebounds along with three assists.
"I think we did OK tonight," coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "This was a good barometer of where we stand. Obviously it's always great to play in front of a nice crowd. This way we get the butterflies out."
Delon Wright also impressed for the Utes, scoring 13 points, grabbing eight rebounds and eight assists. Dakarai Tucker and freshman Parker Van Dyke each added 12 points and four rebounds as Utah shot 53 percent , was a +19 on the glass and went to the free-throw line 45 times.
Renan Lenz tied for the team lead with eight rebounds to go along with nine points. Sophomore Brandon Taylor chipped in with nine points and Ahmad Fields, another freshman, came off the bench to tally eight.
With the score 29-21, the Utes went on a 12-0 run and eventually went into the locker room at halftime with a 43-25 lead. Wright and Loveridge had already reached double figures by the break as Utah held SMU to 33 percent shooting. The Utes dominated the second half as well, shooting 59 percent and knocking down six three-pointers.
Utah has its regular-season opener next Friday at the Huntsman Center against Evergreen State College at 6 p.m.