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Utah Utes basketball: Jordan Loveridge leads Runnin' Utes past Wright State

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  • Down under Pullman, WA
    Nov. 28, 2012 5:44 p.m.

    Wright State? Really??? How can one say that there has been improvement when you play a bunch of high school teams?
    Can't wait for the the real season to start.

    Chris B. Mark it down. Utah will finish the season with 4 conference wins. Welcome to the PAC 10.2.

  • TroyTown Anaheim, CA
    Nov. 27, 2012 5:55 p.m.

    JohnInSLC

    "Scheduling down" doesn't even begin to describe the depth to which the Utes had to sink in order to give their fans the false impression that the Runnin' Utes were actually "improving".

    #336 in SOS; rated a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10 by ESPN

    Bookended by a D-III school (enrollment: 500) and an NAIA school (enrollment: 1000)?

    By comparison, they make Idaho and New Mexico State look like college football elites, and unfortunately for U, that's not an exaggeration.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 27, 2012 3:50 p.m.

    TSA:

    The difference is:
    Utah and its basketball fans admit it when they schedule down, but BYU and its football fans don't. Instead, they spin a dizzying array of conflicting explanations ("We scheduled tough AND bad teams well in advance, but were forced to do it late" Huh?) that leave us wondering if they sustained head injuries while jumping off the Riley Nelson bandwagon.

  • StGtoSLC SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 27, 2012 12:50 p.m.

    TheSportsAuthority, you're telling ME about reading comprehension? I don't know how many times I have to ask the question, because I'm not claiming to be the BYU authority and changing my handle to Cosmo. What I was saying was that handfuls of Y fans claimed that the move to independence was carefully thought out and planned years ahead of its announcement. That would mean schedule negotiations with schools, not just creative t-shirt and billboard planning. But then, when their schedule for the first two years of it gets brought up, 3 of you in this thread alone have cried now, "THEY DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO PUT TOGETHER A BETTER SCHEDULE!!" which indicates either bad planning or that they didn't want to play tough teams. I'm not determining which one that is, just saying it doesn't work to have it both ways!

    The Utes basketball schedule is what it is, you're beating a dead horse, and I feel sorry for you that it obviously frustrates you so much not being able to enjoy seeing Utah get beat up by good teams while they're regaining their footing.

  • TheSportsAuthority Arlington, VA
    Nov. 26, 2012 10:06 p.m.

    StGtoSLC

    Two words: reading comprehension

    Regardless of how much planning BYU did for its move to Independence, it was impossible to complete a 12-game schedule BEFORE their move to Independence was announced. Since few teams have openings in their schedules only a year or two out, BYU was forced to schedule whoever was available to fill in their schedules for 2011 and 2012. With Fresno State and Nevada bolting to the MWC, it meant that the remaining schools in the WAC had openings in their schedule available.

    As has been clearly demonstrated by BYU's schedules starting in 2013, BYU had no intention of scheduling weak opponents in 2011 and 2012 just to assure themselves of guaranteed wins, unlike Utah, who is intentionally scheduling Big Sky opponents in football (remember the Utes dropped Utah State to schedule Montana State), and in basketball, even Hill and Coach k admitted that they intentionally scheduled an entire pre-season of the worst teams they could find to give the Utes a chance to get off to a "good start".

  • StGtoSLC SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 3:21 p.m.

    Snack PAC, convenient to come into the conversation with completely irrelevant commentary, so let me fill you in, if you can't tell what the two or three prior comments were about:

    The neverending drama continued of Y fans knocking Utah's bball schedule while U fans knocked BYU's football schedule, which was defended by Swoop as "necessary" because they had to throw together on short notice a lineup of terrible teams, but in the same breath that BYU had planned independence for years, but that losing two scheduled teams (Nevada, who was good but not great, and Fresno, who was still terrible then, but surprisingly semi-decent now) forced them to schedule a lineup of teams like New Mexico State (x2), Idaho (x2), Idaho State, San Jose State (x2, again, a terrible team turned decent this year), UCF (looked to be decent when scheduled, but turned out to be a dud), Hawaii (x2, a traditional rival, but bad, bad team at this point), and Weber State.

    So I realize that BYU played some good teams, but they played a greater number of very bad teams, so which was it? Intentionally scheduling bad teams, or lack of preparation?

  • Snack PAC Olympus Cove, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2012 12:24 p.m.

    StGtoSLC

    BYU's schedule included

    #1 Notre Dame
    #15 Oregon State
    #20 Boise State
    #24 Utah State
    #25 San Jose State

    Along with Georgia Tech, a team that could be playing in the Orange Bowl this season.

    Of course, BYU also scheduled a couple of PAC 12 bottom dwellers, but sometimes you have to take a chance that the teams you schedule will actually be good come game time.

    How many BCS Top 25 teams did Utah play this season?

    (Hint: #15 OSU, #16 UCLA, #24 Utah State)

    Enjoy the couch potato bowl!

  • StGtoSLC SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 11:04 a.m.

    Ohhhhh, now I got it, so they only PLANNED well in advance to have 6 or 7 games against some of the worst teams in the nation over the last two years instead of the 10 or so that they had. That makes it so much better, thanks for the clarification!

  • Swoop Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 10:07 a.m.

    StGtoSLC

    BYU's advanced planning to Independence was evident in the multi-million dollar state of the art HD television station, the near simultaneous announcement of the 8-year contract with ESPN, and the proposed scheduling agreement with the WAC that was all but a done deal before Craig Thompson caught word of it and scuttled the deal by immediately inviting Utah State, Fresno State, and Nevada to join the MWC.

    After Fresno State and Nevada bolted to the MWC, BYU had to scramble to formulate a backup plan to fill their schedule for 2011 and 2012. Even a naysayer should be able to figure out that you can't actually schedule games until the decision to make the move to Independence is announced.

  • Kosta Fesenko Chicken McNuggetville, UT
    Nov. 26, 2012 9:51 a.m.

    Excited that we won all three games of the tournament. That was a good sign. Now, I am interested to see how we do on the road this week. Everything abotu this team will be baby steps. Keep going strong guys!

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2012 5:33 a.m.

    Duckhunter, you walked into this one by saying "I don't even think cautious optimism is appropriate in this case. The teams Utah is playing are absolutely awful. Their one loss, and who it was to, says far more about them than their 4 "wins". Yes, kind of like BYU football, and their 4 wins against Weber State, Hawaii, Idaho, and New Mexico State. Other than those four easy wins, BYU won three other games (Washington State, Utah State and Georgia Tech). Those were decent wins, but BYU was 3-5 outside the four weak opponents.

    Now, I agree with you about my Utes in basketball this season, but I am still glad the Utes didn't lose to those patsies as they did last year. It's baby steps for Utah basketball right now.

  • StGtoSLC SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 11:37 p.m.

    "BYU was forced to schedule those bottom dwelling WAC teams on short notice just to fill it's schedules for 2011 and 2012; unlike the Utes in basketball who could have scheduled a much tougher schedule, but instead chose to play one of the most pathetically weak schedules in the country."

    Swoop, not to continue to harp on something so pointless as schedule smack talk, but what I was told by many Y fans was that the move to independence had been planned for and expected by Y "insiders" for several years, not just as a knee jerk reflex to the U's conference change. So if we are to believe those Y faithful, then those scenarios are quite similar. However, if we are to believe those like you, such a faithful Y fan that you parodied the U's mascot as your handle, then there was no prior planning in it. See the hole there?

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 25, 2012 10:59 p.m.

    Too early to tell about this team. The true test will come during PAC-12 play. One thing for sure that even BYU fans will agree on is that the talent on this team has improved.

    Go UTES!!

  • Swoop Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 10:29 p.m.

    Dave S

    "If you want to talk Sagarain rankings please note Wright State is ranked one spot higher than Cal St. Northridge which is a team that BYU trailed by 1 with 3:00 left in the game while the Utes handled Wright St. quite easily."

    Nice try; too bad reality doesn't match your fantasy:

    Utah 66 Wright St 54 (+12)
    BYU 87 CS Northridge 75 (+12)

    Unfortunately, U conveniently chose to ignore this little embarrassment

    #259 Sac St 74 Utah 71

    -------

    ImaCaMan

    The vast difference between football and basketball scheduling is football games are scheduled years in advance, so BYU was forced to schedule those bottom dwelling WAC teams on short notice just to fill it's schedules for 2011 and 2012; unlike the Utes in basketball who could have scheduled a much tougher schedule, but instead chose to play one of the most pathetically weak schedules in the country.

    Sagarin ranks Utah's SOS at #336

  • Qwest Perfected Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 4:41 p.m.

    It's nice to see Loveridge have a good game. He has a bright future and the fact that Utah is rebuilding means he starts as a freshmen. He may not have been able to do that on too many other teams. Even though the opponent isn't very good, he is making a good progress in the transition from high school to the NCAA.

    I agree that it is too early to tell too much about this team, but I am encouraged from all the new players. I believe the talent level is higher than it was last year.

    I think the strength of schedule argument is played out. The Utah coaching staff has come out and said they have scheduled teams they should be able to easily beat. They aren't claiming anything different, so I don't know why this still comes up on every article. Their conference schedule will make up for all of these easy early victories soon enough.

    This weeks road games will be interesting to see as well.

    Go Utes!

  • Dave S Holladay, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    Re: Truth Machine

    If you want to talk Sagarain rankings please note Wright State is ranked one spot higher than Cal St. Northridge which is a team that BYU trailed by 1 with 3:00 left in the game while the Utes handled Wright St. quite easily. Hmmmm makes you think BYU's ranking will be dropping like a rock from 55 doesn't it?

    You keep reading those Sagarin rankings and we'll keep on winning games ok!!

  • ImaCaMan Oceanside, CA
    Nov. 25, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    @ truth machine

    Hey, it works for BYU football.

  • Truth Machine Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    Coach small k's plan is working; play the weakest pre-season schedule possible, pile up a bunch of meaningless wins, and fool the fans into thinking that the Utes have actually "improved".

    Unfortunately, even that plan may not be completely fool proof since some of those scheduled gimmies may actually turn out to be pretty good.

    Sagarin:

    #189 Utah (and climbing) - SOS #336
    #172 CS Northridge and #55 BYU looming

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    I don't even think cautious optimism is appropriate in this case. The teams utah is playing are absolutely awful. Their one loss, and who it was to, says far more about them than their 4 "wins".

  • D4inSLC SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    Saint George,
    It was fun to see them play. There are definite rough spots, but years ahead of last year. Loveridge broke out offensively finally, but his play without the ball has consistently been good. It's still a process!

  • Real Bass Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 25, 2012 5:25 a.m.

    What is a wright state? You can't call it improvement when u play sub-Patsy's. The PAC will eat u up just like they did in football . Or worse!

  • StGtoSLC SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 25, 2012 12:49 a.m.

    I think my favorite part of the game was when Utah was struggling to hit any shots early, and Washburn was headed to the table to check in for Bachynski, then Dallin nailed a 3-pointer, and coach just smiled and waved at Wash to come sit back down. The upgrade in talent obviously has Coach K in a much easier position, not requiring perfect game plans and by the letter execution to even have a chance at a win. Even though the team isn't great and the visiting teams are bad, this is a much more fun team to watch than last year.

  • indycrimson Franklin, IN
    Nov. 24, 2012 10:52 p.m.

    Interesting comments from the coach...

    He is right that there are lots of players in the mix each game...good reason to be playing middle of the road teams. If they keep progressing they may be an Interesting team by the end of the season.

    I heard good things about this coach while at Montana.

    Not suggesting we are giant killers but find the progress interesting. Lots of people involved and different prole risk g to the top...

  • Dave S Holladay, UT
    Nov. 24, 2012 10:51 p.m.

    Gotta love the improvement in this year's team vs. last year. The talent and skill level is much higher with this team and I love the direction Coach K is leading them.