Utah Utes basketball: Utes gear up for 3-game road trip, not interested in moral victories


Return To Article
  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 21, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    I've been over the trend position several times and even posted the definition. If you can't see an upward swing from last year, to this years team, than you certainly don't want to. Any thing short of a NIT bid (and 20 wins) next year will be dissapointing and reverse the trend. I understand the difference between ranking, and SOS ranking. I really hit a nerve by saying tha BYU hasn't beaten a decent team this year. Actually, they have; Utah State. They haven't beaten a good team though, and not a single top 50 or NCAA tournament team. That's just being honest; a concept that seems to be challenged. Along with the concept of supporting my Utes.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 21, 2013 7:36 a.m.


    Now that would be a silly wager. I don't believe you would honor it any way. Good programs don't rebuild when players graduate, they reloacd. I'm optimistic. I find it quite sad that so many in your fan base attack someone for supporting there program and being optimistic about the future.


    Thanks, I think! I'm a true fan, win or lose. I love my Utes, been a fan since the Jeff Judkins and Buster Matheney days. Believe me, I'm much more happy with a NCAA bid, then any moral victories. The state of Utah basketball is pretty down; as a whole. I don't see any Utah school getting a bid and that's kind of sad. Oh well, here in Spokane we have the litte school called Gonzaga that's fun to watch; and easy to root for.

  • OCoug Ogden, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 10:20 p.m.

    Quite the banter going on, I'm only saddened because Spokane Ute is pretty much the lone defender of Utah moral victories.

    I don't hate the Utes, my only other comment on this was in response to Chris B's comment. Like it or not, from prior article comments sections, U fans have seemed more than happy to take a moral victory.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Feb. 20, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    @Spokane Ute - If the Utes win 20 games next year, I will change my moniker to UteFaninTX. If the Cougs win 20 games next year, will you change yours to Spokane Coug?

    It's one thing to be optimistic, but if the Utes win 15 games next year it would be an accomplishment. Unfortunately, with losing 3 of your 4 most productive players, I think the trend is more likely to be 10-20. I think the Utes are better this year than U will be next year.

    Feb. 20, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    skywalker, "Taylor might be an adequate replacement for DuBois, but who then would replace Taylor?"

    That's Glen Dean, the one whom Taylor replaced in the starting lineup. Dean is more natural of a shooting guard, but has the body of a point guard, which is why he filled that role until Brandon was ready. Glen's struggled with consistency lately, but when he is on he can shoot the ball very well. Dakarai Tucker and Justin Seymour have both been rotating into the wing positions more lately, as well. Neither of them have looked like as sure a thing as Loveridge and Taylor, so it seems apparent to me that their minutes are more about building their experience than direct impact on games (even though Dakarai's shots against Arizona were huge in getting back into the game). Add to them next Parker Van Dyke (I believe he plans to play a year before his mission), who has a very high basketball IQ, and it's possible that next year's backcourt will be better than this year's.

  • Christy B Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 20, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    This trendy thingy is fun!

    I'm predicting pieRsquared.

  • skywalker Palo Alto, CA
    Feb. 20, 2013 2:27 p.m.


    "Lately, however, the offense has been handed over to run through freshman PG Brandon Taylor, largely because of his ability to create his own scoring opportunities."

    Since mid-January when he started playing 20+ minutes and began a streak of three straight double-digit scoring games, Taylor's offensive production has been spotty at best:

    WSU 26 min - 13 pts
    Wash 30 min - 19 pts
    Cal 31 min - 10 pts
    Stan 24 min - 5 pts
    Col 32 min - 7 pts
    OSU 34 min - 21 pts
    Ore 36 min - 6 pts
    ASU 34 min - 5 pts
    Ariz 26 min - 2 pts

    Except for Washington, he's struggled against decent teams.

    Taylor might be an adequate replacement for DuBois, but who then would replace Taylor?

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 12:16 p.m.

    @Spokane Ute, how about you continue that trend anlaysis of yours.

    2012-13: 13-17
    2013-14: 20-10 (projected, trending)
    2014-15: 27-3 (projected trending)
    2015-16: 34--4, as in negative four losses
    2016-17: 41--11

    I'm just saying you have as good of a chance going 20-10 next year as you do going 41 and negative 11 in 2016. But you keep hoping.

    Feb. 20, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    CougFaninTX, It's easy to draw conclusions on the loss of production from one year to another based on the point production of the players that are leaving, but I disagree with your analysis. If you've watched the Utes throughout conference play, they started with an upperclassmen-dominated lineup, which has frequently been pointed out. Lately, however, the offense has been handed over to run through freshman PG Brandon Taylor, largely because of his ability to create his own scoring opportunities. Freshman Loveridge is already a respected player in the conference. And Freshman Jeremy Olsen has been taking a lot of Washburn's minutes lately because of his offensive production, and once he improves his endurance and strength, should be a valuable contributor for the next few years. Personally, the biggest loss I see coming is in Cedric Martin because of his defensive ability to keep the opposing team's best player off of the stat sheet. But Tommy Connor is a great defensive mind, and I think can still come up with winning defensive gameplans with any group.

  • killarney Lincoln Park, IL
    Feb. 20, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    @Spokane Ute

    "there's an obvious trend"

    What obvious trend?

    All I see is a team that bounced back from their worst season ever to close to where they'd been for several years.

    Crawl out from under your crimson bubble and you'll see that there's no real trend here to indicate that the Utes will continue to improve at the same pace they did from 2012 to 2013.

    If you want to compare apples to apples, consider Utah's "improvement" from winning 3 conference games last season to maybe winning 4 conference games in 2013. At that pace, it'll take the Utes until 2018 just to finish with a break even 9-9 conference record.

  • CordonBleu Park City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    Spokane Ute


    The separate column for SOS ranks teams' schedules, not the teams themselves.

    If two teams played identical schedules, but one team had a better record, then, of course, that team would be considered better. But if one team has a SOS that is 20 places higher, but finishes with a much worse record, it's possible for the team with the better record to be ranked much higher.

    Team rankings determine how teams stack up against each other.

    When comparing two teams, the higher ranked team is considered to be the better team. It's really quite simple, so why are you having so much trouble understanding the concept?


    Two seasons don't define a trend because the sample size is simply too small. A team could just as easily go 6-25, 12-19, 6-25 as to go 6-25, 12-19, 18-13. It's much more complicated than simply drawing a straight line from point A through point B and extending it to the projected point C. You also have to consider more important factors like who were the main contributors on this year's team and how many of them will be returning next season.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    False Machine
    A) Of course the overall computer rankings are based on win loss %, opponents win-loss %, scoring margin (some rankings), strength of schedule, etc. However, these rankings have a SEPERATE column, and ranking, for strength of schedule. Simple concept to grasp. Did I say Utah should be ranked higher? Of course not. I guess you have to put words in my mouth to come up with a counter in the debate. Nice!
    B) Please explain why two seasons do not make a trend? If a team loses 4 of it's first 5 games, then wins 4 of it's next 5 games, there's an obvious trend. I simply used last year and this years games to project next year. Take off your blue glasses and look at the issue from an objective point of view.....heavy sigh

  • Truth Machine Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    "See the trend?"

    Nope; two seasons hardly substantiate a "trend".

    It's far more likely that the Utes will plateau at around their 14-17 record that they've averaged the last 8 seasons, than that they'll come anywhere close to 20 wins.

    If you really think the Utes are going to lose their two best scorers from a team that's struggled to score this season, yet improve significantly next season, you need to lay off the red koolaid.

  • Truth Machine Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2013 7:52 a.m.

    Utah fan: Here's a given these days regarding BYU fans in pointing their collective finger at Utah--Conveniently omitting SOS.

    BYU fan: How do you know Utah's SOS is stronger than BYU's?

    Utah fan: Because that's what some ranking system says.

    BYU fan: You mean the same ranking system that ranks BYU higher than Utah?

    Utah fan: Yeah.

    BYU fan: You do realize, don't you, that the ranking systems includes SOS as well as won/loss records in their calculations?

    Utah fan: Doesn't matter because Utah still has a stronger SOS than BYU.

    BYU fan: Current RPI/Sagarin Rankings

    #62/#62 BYU > #165/#136 Utah

    Utah fan: Stop spinning; there's no way Utah could be ranked over a hundred places lower than BYU because Utah plays a tougher schedule.

    BYU fan: sigh...

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 20, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    Trend, since Coach K:
    2011-12: 6-25
    2012-13: 13-17
    2013-14: 20-10 (projected, trending)

    See the trend? loses go down, wins go up. What simple concept; atleast for some. Mind boggling for others.

  • AZUTE1 Mesa, AZ
    Feb. 20, 2013 12:48 a.m.

    Here's a given these days regarding byu fans in pointing their collective finger at UTAH--Conveniently omitting SOS [In both Football/Basketball] from the equation, such as how byu's SOS in basketball is currently ranked virtually twice as high as UTAH's and the actual trend of each school's season....While UTAH has been curb-stomped twice in conference play [Once to RPI #73 which followed it up by curb-stomping ranked-UO, too], they've mostly either narrowly lost to top-tier schools or beat them....Whereas byu is getting whooped by schools they were favored to beat, practically surrendering the century-mark to bottom-feeder USF at home, and securing ZERO wins against RPI Top-50 schools, UTAH is rapidly earning the respect of their conference-opposition while securing victories over RPI #s 21, 43, 70 and 83....byu has "impressively" beat RPI #92 and........Literally, not one other RPI Top-100 school.

    No amount of Spin refutes this reality....Not to mention, byu has no significant post-season accomplishment to ever fall back onto, either.

  • Whatsnu Sandy, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 11:55 p.m.

    Why so defensive about claiming moral victories?

    They're better than no victory,


    never mind.

  • Utah Fan2 Anaheim, CA
    Feb. 19, 2013 11:05 p.m.


    Based on your analysis, the likely trend for Utah would be:

    2013 12-19 (losses to Col, Cal, Stan, and Ore, a win over OSU, a tourney loss, 4 PAC wins)
    2014 14-17 (5 PAC wins)

    The only double-digit scorer returning for the Utes next season will be Loveridge at 11.7 ppg.
    The next highest scoring returning player is Dean at 6.2 ppg.

    And this from a team that only averages 65 ppg, 243rd in the country.

    That's not a lot to build on, regardless of how optimistic some fans are about the improvement they're seeing.

  • mussingaround Palo Alto, CA
    Feb. 19, 2013 9:48 p.m.

    spoken ute

    So here's your trend:

    2006 14-15
    2007 11-19
    2008 18-15
    2009 25-10
    2010 14-17
    2011 13-18
    2012 6-25
    2013 11-14

    Looks suspiciously like Utah is basically flat-lining right around their average record of 14-17 for the last 8 seasons, with a brief spike up in 2009 and a huge plunge down in 2012. Utah will likely finish slightly below their average this season.

    SIX losing seasons in 8 years.
    Double-digit losses EVERY season.

    Now have your math teacher graph Utah's "trend" and predict how many years it's going to take the Utes to get to 20+ wins if Utah continues on its current trend.

  • JayDee West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 8:35 p.m.

    Good luck Utes on your road trips.

    Curious how Crimson rivalry talking points work in basketball vs. football.

    Why isn't current year scoreboard mentioned?
    Why isn't head-to-head win/loss record over 11 years mentioned?
    Why aren't historic recent blowouts mentioned? i.e. 54-10 vs. getting Jimmered
    Why aren't consecutive postseason appearances mentioned?

    But...these oldies still apply?

    My conference is better than yours.
    Look at our SOS.
    You would have a worse record if you played who we played.
    Our losses are better than your wins.
    We know we're bad, but we were supposed to be.
    You're not as good as predicted, so you're bad.
    Your ranking is higher, but rankings are subjective.
    You had a better season, but hey, we're in the BCS. Basketball Championship Series?

    Will new talking points come out when spring football starts?

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Feb. 19, 2013 6:55 p.m.

    @Chris B - "Of course we aren't interested in moral victories."

    Shall I resurrect your previous comments? Because until this comment you sounded like you were pleased with all the close loses (i.e. moral victories).

    Utes record is about what I thought it would be, but this hasn't been the "rebuilding" year I thought it would be. With three Seniors and Loveridge doing the majority of the scoring, Utes could find themselves right back in the same situation next year. I thought the young guys would get more playing time / experience to build on for next year.

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2013 5:31 p.m.


    "Marked it Down went to the dictionary. Very interesting."

    What's really interesting is you weren't willing to admit that he'd proved you wrong, so you changed subjects in a failed attempt to equate BYU's "disappointing" football and basketball seasons with Utah's dismal failures.


    unranked/#26 BYU(8-5) bowl winner > unranked/#62 Utah(5-7) bowl no show


    #69 BYU(19-8) NCAA/NIT bound > #167 Utah(11-14) couch potato bound

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 19, 2013 5:21 p.m.


    Definition of a trend:
    1. The general direction in which something tends to move.
    2. To show a general tendency; tend.

    Chart and analyis Utah's last 50 games, win vs. loses, and tell me what the "trend" is. Do you come on here to pick a fight or an agruement, simlply for the sake of arguing? It sure appears that way. But hey, what ever floats your boat. Have a good evening.

  • Jordan Lynchburg, VA
    Feb. 19, 2013 5:04 p.m.

    Riddles, I didn't know that in order to be an interested and serious fan that I had to comment on D-News. Good to know.

    And about the whole moral victory thing, if being happy about the fact that my team is certainly improving and never quits counts as a moral victory, then sure, I will take it. As a fan, I don't see why I should become depressed if my team isn't as good as I would like. I believe in coach Krystco, and I am excited to watch these next few games, and I think we will at least pick up one of them! Go Utes!!

  • talkinsports Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 19, 2013 5:02 p.m.


    ...could you find a word that means "failed to meet high expectations in such a way that no redeeming value can be found, resulting disatisfaction [sic] and despair"

    Actually, the word you're looking for is two words:

    Runnin' Utes

    Unfortunately for U, your high expectations of finishing with a winning record by scheduling one of the worst preseason schedules in the country were dashed when the Utes started losing to teams like Sacramento State and CS Northridge at home.

    Plan B was to win more conference games than last year - still in doubt.

    Plan C was, well there was no Plan C. So now you're left with trying to put a good face on another rebuilding season in hopes that you're actually making progress.

    Unfortunately, the players who are mainly responsible for Utah's modest improvement this season will be gone next season, so it'll be back to square 1 in the perennial rebuilding project on the hill.

  • TroyTown Anaheim, CA
    Feb. 19, 2013 3:36 p.m.

    Marked it Down

    Stop confusing them by providing the actual definition of "moral victory."

    Spokane Ute

    It takes more than one season to create a trend.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 3:18 p.m.

    Marked it Down went to the dictionary. Very interesting.

    While you're in the dictionary, could you find a word that means "failed to meet high expectations in such a way that no redeeming value can be found, resulting disatisfaction and despair". That would be useful, so we could accurately describe the Cougar basketball season. You know... the same word used to describe the last Cougar football season.

    I'll take 'moral victory' over that 'moral failing', anyday.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 19, 2013 2:37 p.m.

    @Sooner Ute

    You are spot on as usual. This season has been about what I expected, yet I hoped for better. Next year it's NCAA bid or bust. By the third season the Utes should be at that point; especially when you play in a tough conference, and it's pretty common for 5 +/- teams to get a bid. Keep the faith Bro........GO UTES!

  • Riddles in the Dark Olympus Cove, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2013 2:35 p.m.

    @Spokane Ute

    What's "uncivil" about backpacn's comment?

    "Don't know why the Utes wouldn't be interested in moral victories; the chances of getting an actual victory at Colorado, at California and at Stanford are slim and none."

    Just because the truth hurts, doesn't make the comment uncivil.


    "You may want to google the word "trend". Utah was 6-25 under a first year coach last year, currently 11-14 under a second year coach. See the trend?"

    So the trend describing Utah football as being steadily in decline since their high-water mark in 2008, is accurate, right?

    2008 #2/#4 13-0
    2009 #18/#18 10-3
    2010 unranked/#23 10-3
    2011 unranked 8-5
    2012 no bowl 5-7

    See the trend?

    btw, two seasons hardly establishes a "trend"; a slight up tick, yes, but a trend, not.

  • Marked it Down Park City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 2:26 p.m.


    "The Utes are making progress,"


    "...and it is not a moral victory to praise their progress."

    Actually, it is.

    Webster's definition of a Moral Victory : an actual defeat regarded as a virtual victory because of the narrowness of the margin or because of some circumstance that gives satisfaction or hope.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 19, 2013 1:51 p.m.


    No, not if the comments are civil or even on the subject line; but they seldom are, correct? Riddle me that fella.

    Gordon Blue,

    You may want to google the word "trend". Utah was 6-25 under a first year coach last year, currently 11-14 under a second year coach. See the trend? Which direction is BYU trending? Do tell. When is the last time BYU beat a decent team? I guess it's easy to beat on the weaklings in the WCC; yet not beat a good program. BYU has perfected that art this year.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    Ufan complains "when fans praise the Utes for giving phenomenal effort in a loss or characterize a close loss to a good team as being better than any win over a bad team, it's really no different than calling a loss a moral victory."

    Alright. I'll bite. What do YOU think fans should say when they play a top ten team so closely? You don't want to praise the effort, so something simple like "Uh... thanks for showing up."

    11 new players on the team is the very definition of rebuilding. The Utes are making progress, and it is not a moral victory to praise their progress.

  • Riddles in the Dark Olympus Cove, Utah
    Feb. 19, 2013 12:41 p.m.

    Spokane Ute

    "10 comments and 8 from Utah Haters (aka BYU fans). What a sad trend."

    What's sadder, the fact that more BYU fans are interested in Utah basketball than Utah fans, or the fact that only 2 Utah fans cared enough to bother reading and commenting?

    btw, there's nothing "low" about commenting on a rival's basketball team.

  • Ufan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 12:17 p.m.


    Utah fans may not be using the term "moral victory", but when fans praise the Utes for giving phenomenal effort in a loss or characterize a close loss to a good team as being better than any win over a bad team, it's really no different than calling a loss a moral victory.

    Krystko is doing a decent job of rebuilding, but his so-called "offense" is incredibly boring to watch.

  • CordonBleu Park City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 12:08 p.m.

    Spokane Ute

    Just curious:

    Is being content with constantly losing to really bad teams considered "trending in the right direction" up on the hill?

    It's sad when mediocrity has become so accepted on the hill that the only ones who can clearly see what a train wreck Utah basketball has become are folks not living under the crimson bubble.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    The only people I read using the phrase "moral victory" are Cougar fans and media members who ask Coach K "do you consider this a moral victory?"

    Ute fans aren't tallying moral victories. Fans appreciate the close game against a top 10 team. Were we expected to lose the game? Yes. Did we lost the game? Yes. But the players didn't treat the game like an automatic loss. Coach gives a lot of playing time to the freshmen. Ute fans enjoyed the great effort of the team, and the development of the players. We're excited about the direction of the team.

    I actually wish the Cougar basketball program hadn't fallen so short of expectations this year. If they were on track, Cougar fans would be interested in their own little world. Instead, they've given up on their season, and come here to vent their frustration. Sad, but expected. If you're unhappy, you resent those around you who are happy.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 10:55 a.m.

    Coach K is doing a great job. I'm looking forward to the tournament and then next year.

    The jealous Ute haters are showing great interest since their team "isn't playing

    to their full potential","making mistakes","beating themselves",blaming the refs,etc. lol.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 19, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    The Utes are certainly trending in the right direcetion. Nothing wrong with getting close to the .500 mark; especially considering last year, and having a second year coach.
    10 comments and 8 from Utah Haters (aka BYU fans). What a sad trend. Stooping so low you go to your rivals threads and try to be-little them. What a sad, sad group.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 19, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    @ Down Under

    Is it great to get beat by every good team you play? You have low expectations. Maybe that explains the "down" in your name.

  • MUSSing with U Baltimore, MD
    Feb. 19, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    "Krystkowiak acknowledged that road games at Colorado, California and Stanford will be extremely challenging as the Utes jockey for the best seed possible at the conference tournament."

    Nice spin coach, but the reality is, regardless of the seed, the Utes will be one-and-done in the PAC tourney and another Utah basketball season will mercifully end so Utah fans can begin focusing on finishing 3-9 in football.

  • Chris B's momma Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 19, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    Quest for .500???? How about quest for 4 wins in conference. Neither will happen this year!

  • Down under Pullman, WA
    Feb. 19, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    No moral victories but how about a virtual run to the final four is basketball or the BSC championship in football? If you close your eyes, picture it hard enough and dream BIG, no HUGE, it could happen. The Utes are my fantasy team, because that is the only place it would happen, in a fantasy world.
    Great to be a COUG!

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    Good luck to the Runnin' Utes in their remaining schedule and in the tournament. Coach K has them going in the right direction.

    The Runnin' Utes weren't expected to come right in and own the Pac12. They didn't but they've showed improvement. Many good things to come...given their advantage of membership in a major conference.

    The cougs were expected to take right over in the wcc. What happened.....the refs?

  • Hawkeye79 Iowa City, IA
    Feb. 19, 2013 6:21 a.m.

    The quest for .500 continues...

  • backpacn Sandy, UT
    Feb. 18, 2013 10:19 p.m.

    Don't know why the Utes wouldn't be interested in moral victories; the chances of getting an actual victory at Colorado, at California and at Stanford are slim and none.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Feb. 18, 2013 7:32 p.m.

    The team might be tired of'moral victories' but the 'fans' aren't!

    Bring 'em on. LOL

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 18, 2013 7:23 p.m.

    3-game road trip? Just mail it in - take the 3 losses - update the conf record to 3-13 - let the players focus on their general studies majors.

  • OCoug Ogden, UT
    Feb. 18, 2013 6:46 p.m.

    @Chris B

    Funny, because for pretty much a whole articles comments after one of the U's many close losses that seemed to be a main focus of U fans, you and Moto included.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2013 4:58 p.m.

    Enough with the no moral victory articles. Can't think of anything new to write? Of course we aren't interested in moral victories

    We also aren't interested in 15 more articles about not being interested in moral victories.

    I still am behind coach k 100 percent. The guy took Montana to the big dance. Given time, he will take us to where we want to be.