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Utes basketball: Utah conducting planning meetings for new $24 million practice facility

Published: Tuesday, June 18 2013 1:57 p.m. MDT

Larry Krystkowiak coaches the Utah Utes during a men's basketball game against Oregon at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City Saturday, March 9, 2013.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah men's basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak took to Twitter earlier this month when meetings about the university’s new $24 million men’s and women’s basketball practice complex, which includes a sports performance and training facility for other programs, began after an architect was hired.

“Great things happening at the U.,” Krystkowiak tweeted.

The project, which has a targeted completion of spring 2015, is something that he feels fortunate to be involved with at the ground level.

“It’s really exciting. We’re putting a lot of time and effort into it, trying to do it right,” Krystkowiak said. “We’ve got a lot of people who are lending a hand and trying to come up with a good plan.”

Krystkowiak noted that upgrading the program’s practice courts, offices, locker room, lounge, weight room and training facilities — along with planned renovations to the Huntsman Center interior — add to the great tradition and views that already exist up on the hill.

“At that point there’s really nothing that you’re missing,” he said. “ ... We just need to put some wins on the board and tie the whole thing together.”

Krystkowiak acknowledged that the new facility will provide a boost in recruiting, especially when combined with elements like the history of the program, current players and the future.

“We’ll certainly be able to add a lot of pizzazz to that presentation,” Krystkowiak said.

ONGOING SEARCH: The Utes still have a scholarship available for next season.

“We’re looking for the right guy,” said Krystkowiak, who explained that with Renan Lenz being the only senior on the roster it will be OK to carry that through — giving the Utes more time to find a player that is going to make an impact on the program.

“We’re getting to the point now where we’re able to kind of specialize a little bit and figure out what we don’t have,” he added. “I think we’ve got a really strong base.”

The recruiting process, Krystkowiak explained, is a whole lot easier when you can kind of specialize what it is you’re looking for.

Utah’s late-season success, culminating with a trip to the Pac-12 tournament semifinals, has also bolstered recruiting — also providing the program with valuable experience, maturity and optimism.

“I feel good about the fact that we won four of our last five games,” Krystkowiak said. “We were playing some real solid basketball going down the stretch.”

Email: dirk@desnews.com

Twitter: @DirkFacer

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