Utah basketball: Improved Runnin' Utes eager to start making an impact in the Pac-12
Krystkowiak added that he wants to take it to the next level with his team.
There’s certainly a solid foundation in place. For the first time since Krystkowiak took over the program in 2011-12, no major roster renovations are in the works. Renan Lenz was the only senior on scholarship. Top returnees include Delon Wright, Jordan Loveridge, Dallin Bachynski, Brandon Taylor, Dakarai Tucker, Jeremy Olsen and Princeton Onwas.
Wright, who averaged 15.5 points and 6.8 rebounds, became the first Utah player to earn first-team all-conference honors since the Utes joined the Pac-12.
“It’s really difficult for a junior college player to come in and it didn’t take Delon long to kind of find his niche and perform at a high level,” Krystkowiak said.
Wright opted to return for his senior season instead of turning pro and Krystkowiak said the player and team have similar goals for improvement that will make everyone better next season.
The Utes also have several promising newcomers joining the mix next season, including forward Brekkott Chapman, forward Kyle Kuzma, forward Chris Reyes and guard Isaiah Wright.
“We’ve got a great group of kids coming to join us. But it’s even more clear now that it’s going to be on them to get brought up to speed,” Krystkowiak said. “Because there’s a lot of players that can play that are here and you’re going to have to earn a spot if you want to come in and play because we’ve got some guys that are seasoned and been through some of it.”
Final record: 21-12/9-9
Statistical leaders: Delon Wright, 15.5 ppg, 5.2 apg), Jordan Loveridge (7 rpg)
Key returners: Wright, Loveridge, Brandon Taylor, Dallin Bachynski, Dakarai Tucker, Jeremy Olsen, Princeton Onwas
Key newcomers: PF Brekkott Chapman, SF Kyle Kuzma, PF Chris Reyes, PG Isaiah Wright
Key losses for 2014-15 season: C-F Renan Lenz
Krystkowiak says: “We’re at the point now where we want to be a part of the NCAA tournament. For us to do that, it’s going to take improvement by everybody.”
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