Utah basketball: Jordan Loveridge has made a smooth transition into the college game

Published: Tuesday, March 12 2013 9:20 a.m. MDT

“He’s come in and made an instant impact for our team and has been an instant force,” said Washburn, who predicts Loveridge will continue to get better under head coach Larry Krystkowiak and his staff. “So, the sky’s the limit for him.”

Loveridge is living up to the high expectations that accompanied his decision to play for Utah.

“That was a huge coop for us in our very first recruiting class,” Connor said.

Signing with the Utes is something Loveridge doesn’t regret. He’s where he wants to be. Loveridge is encouraged by the team’s improvement and feels like everyone can see that the program “is on the right path.”

The goal, he explained, is for the Utes to win as many games as they can; try to compete at a high level; move toward the top of the Pac-12; and make their way into the NCAA tournament.

Krystkowiak credits Loveridge for taking the coaching he’s receiving to heart. The freshman has improved his game in several areas, including defense, aggressiveness on offense and passing.

The latter, he continued, has had a lot to do with Utah’s improved shooting as of late.

Rebounding success has also been on the rise. After getting outboarded in nine straight games, the Utes topped Oregon State and Oregon last week. Loveridge pulled down 19 over the two games.

“I’ve challenged him to try to get a rebound every four minutes,” Krystkowiak said.

The challenge was eagerly accepted.

“It just helps your team’s chances to win games. If you go get rebounds on both ends of the floor it will just help your team as much as you can,” Loveridge said. “You can’t control if you’re going to miss shots. But you can control if you’re going to play hard enough to go get rebounds and chase loose balls and stuff.”

Pac-12 tourney

Utah (13-17 4-13) vs. USC (14-17 9-9)

Wednesday, 7 p.m.

MGM Grand Garden Arena

Las Vegas

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: ESPN 700 AM

Email: dirk@desnews.com; Twitter: @DirkFacer

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