SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah men's basketball team is seeking more than just its third consecutive victory Saturday afternoon at TCU. The Utes are also eyeing the .500 mark.
A win over the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth will even the Utes' record at 10-10 overall and 3-3 in Mountain West Conference contests.
Utah coach Jim Boylen acknowledged "it's huge" if the Utes are able to do so after a seven-game losing skid wiped out a 7-3 start to the season.
"Humbly, did I think we would be trying to get to .500 right now? I didn't," Boylen said. "But we are going to make the most of that opportunity down at TCU, and we'll be ready to play."
The Utes answered the bell in their last two outings, topping Wyoming (68-51) and New Mexico (82-72).
"We have an improving, developing, young, new team and I'm really excited to coach them," Boylen said. "... When you keep working at this level, I think good things happen."
Boylen noted the improved play and health of center David Foster and forward J.J. O'Brien for playing big roles in the recent resurgence.
The team as a whole, he insists, is getting better.
"I feel we are. It's been difficult to sell that when you don't win," Boylen said. "But I do feel we have an improving team, a healthier team."
And one coming off its best shooting performance in conference play. In the victory over the Lobos, the Utes were 27-of-53 from the field. They pulled away early by hitting seven of their first nine shots from 3-point range.
Utah was just 7-of-27 from beyond the arc in losses to San Diego State and BYU, but 22-of-46 since.7 comments on this story
"I believe in my heart we have a better shooting team than we've shot, but you have to do it," Boylen said. "This business is about doing it. The last two games, we've done it."
Another point of improvement is the center position. Foster and Jason Washburn combined for 13 rebounds, 11 points and five blocks in the New Mexico game.
"That is a big key for us," Boylen said while noting such production makes them "a good basketball team."
Utes on the air
Utah (9-10, 2-3) at TCU (10-10, 1-4)
Today, 4 p.m. MT
TV: The mtn. Radio: 700 AM