SALT LAKE CITY — Glen Dean stood tall in Utah’s 76-55 win over Boise State Wednesday night. The 5-foot-10 guard pulled down a game-high nine rebounds in the surprisingly lopsided game.
“All week in practice coach was just saying how the guards needed to put our heads in there and fish out some rebounds,” Dean said. “I just put it in my head before the game that I was going to make a conscious effort to try to get some rebounds, long rebounds, and they just happened to fall my way.”
Dean, who also had eight points and a game-best six assists, headlined a dominant rebounding effort by the Utes. Nine players contributed to a 31-18 advantage on the boards.
MAJERUS MAGIC: Dean noted that the tributes to former Utah coach Rick Majerus, who died Saturday, played a role in the win over Boise State.
“I think that just kind of sparked all of us,” he said.
Senior guard Jarred DuBois had similar thoughts.
“I definitely think there was a lot of energy in this building,” DuBois said. “With coach passing, a lot of former players and people in the community came out and supported us. I think it was a big win — not only for us, but the community also.”
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak is hopeful it’s a starting point for the program to remember Majerus and model things the same way he did — citing such things as fighting on every possession, taking good shots and playing every game as if it were your last one.
“You never want to see anyone pass (away) but things happen for a reason,” Krystkowiak said. “And I think it’s an inspiration for all of us and a motivator for us.”
SOMETHING BORROWED: Utah revamped its offense before Wednesday’s game, and the results were quite positive. The Utes shot 67.5 percent from the field and had assists on 20 of their 27 baskets.
Krystkowiak decided to tweak things after watching Boise State play, especially the tempo the Broncos showed against nationally ranked Michigan State and Creighton.
“I want to be like Boise State, the way they spread the floor and have some skill around the court,” Krystkowiak said while noting it’s a copycat kind of deal — a slap in the head, he added, while breaking down the Broncos on tape. “It’s like ‘we can be like this.’ We’ve got a long way to go, but I think it’s helped simplify some things for our players.”
LESSON LEARNED: Boise State coach Leon Rice, understandably, wasn’t happy with his team’s defense against Utah.
“It looked like we were running in sand a little bit,” Rice said while crediting the Utes for moving the ball around and getting open shots.
As far as the bigger picture is concerned, Rice acknowledged that the Broncos (6-2) are still maturing.
“We have to be the hungriest, scrappiest dog in the fight, otherwise we are in trouble,” he said. “We saw that tonight.”