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Utah basketball: Utes will play a pair of Sunday home games this season

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 26 2012 7:31 p.m. MDT

"There's a series of things that affect attendance. A good team is one of the elixirs for helping with attendance, and I think Larry's doing a good job putting some things together," he said. "That's not the only answer. But it is where it is on TV, so there's no sense spending your time worrying about if a game is on TV or not. It's going to be on. It's nothing we can worry about it."

As such, Hill and his staff are busy working on ways to make things better for season customers and Utah's other fans.

"That's where we are focusing," he said. "Worrying about something that isn't going to change isn't a good use of anybody's time."

Krystkowiak is convinced things can get rolling inside the Huntsman Center once again.

"A lot of it is going to start with our students," he said, adding that meetings with MUSS leaders have already taken place. "We've got to crank up the students again and bring the pulse back to the arena."

Taking care of business on the court, however, is Krystkowiak's top priority. Part of the process in doing so includes a toned down non-conference schedule.

Utah will play nine of its 12 games in the Huntsman Center. The home slate features Boise State, Cal State Northridge, College of Idaho, Sacramento State, SMU and Willamette, as well as a Thanksgiving tournament featuring Central Michigan, Idaho State and Wright State.

Road games are scheduled for BYU, SMU and Texas State.

Krystkowiak acknowledges that there's certainly some teams, at least on paper, that Utah is expected to beat.

"We're not going to break any records for strength of schedule. It's not my intention. My intention is not to schedule games that we think are going to start helping our win-loss percentage. The last thing I'm worried about is my coaching record when it's all said and done. It's not doing that," Krystkowiak said.

"But I think with the state of our program right now and where we are with the number of young kids and trying to get this thing built, it puts us in a position where if we take care of business we can gain some confidence in some of those games."

At the same time, however, Krystkowiak expects the Utes to have their hands full in five or six of the games.

The Utes went 6-25 last season and almost completely overhauled the roster for the second consecutive year — mostly with youngsters.

"Hopefully we can gain a little confidence and not get beat up like we did a year ago, where a lot of those games we really didn't have much of a chance to win," Krystkowiak said.

Hill noted that non-conference schedules can always be a topic of debate. For now, however, the preferred path for Utah and its many new faces is clear as the program works through hard times.

The Utes, Hill explained, need a chance to learn a few more things and win some games in order to build some momentum going into Pac-12 play.

"As that grows, then of course your non-conference schedule can grow and get tougher," Hill said. "And that's kind of our intention."

Email: dirk@desnews.com Twitter: @DirkFacer

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