Brad Rock: Utah, BYU coaches keep it in perspective
Going into Saturday’s game, it was hard to tell exactly what would transpire. Clearly BYU was the favorite. With an 8-3 record and an up-tempo attack, there was always the chance it would turn the game into a rout, as it has so many times in the past few years.
How was anyone supposed to know anything substantive about the Utes? They played close with a good Boise State team — picked to finish second in the Mountain West — and they beat Fresno State, the MWC’s No. 8 pick.
Everyone else belonged on the bargain shelf.
Still, it was hard not to notice coach Krystokwiak is improving his team. The days of finding players through open tryouts are over. Jordan Loveridge scored 15 points in the first eight minutes on Saturday. The addition of NBA prospect Delon Wright has made Utah a team some believe can be a mid-level program in the Pac-12.
But that was all speculation going into Saturday’s game. The numbers don’t lie. BYU had been to the NCAA Tournament six consecutive seasons prior to last year's NIT run. Yet the game held considerable promise for the Utes, too. An impressive crowd of nearly 14,000 showed. For many Utah fans, their last memory of a Ute-Cougar game at the Huntsman Center involved Jimmer Fredette nailing a half-court shot.
This time Wright hit the halftime buzzer beater — at shorter distance.
So it was on Saturday that the annual game was a big deal, but only moderately so, because they both knew long ago about life’s important things. Neither lost his head and got a technical or pounded the scorer’s table. Nobody followed the refs up the tunnel.
For them, the big thing was that they were able to live another day. Winning the game?
That’s just a nice way to end a week.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @therockmonster; Blog: Rockmonster Unplugged
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