Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak answers questions during the Pac-12 NCAA college basketball media day, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
They're starting to really get commitments. They're making their presence felt on the recruiting trail and that's where it all starts. —Tad Boyle, Colorado coach

SAN FRANCISCO — Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak paid homage to the late, great Don Knotts’ character on the old "Andy Griffith Show" at Pac-12 media day Thursday.

The unexpected tribute came in response to an unusual question. An Internet query from a fan asked the coach, who recently helped University of Utah police make a couple of arrests in some theft cases, who would play him if a “Coach K: The Crime Stopper” movie was made.

“Oh, my goodness. I think I already mentioned that in my Twitter account,” Krystkowiak said during his turn on the main stage in the media room. “That would be Barney Fife.”

After drawing laughter from reporters, Krystkowiak was pressed for a deeper explanation — because inquiring minds want to know.

“I just always liked Barney,” Krystkowiak said. “ ... He got his gun and thought he was something special and always managed to step in a little pile of something, it seemed like, whenever he had an opportunity.”

Krystkowiak then explained that it was a fun week helping solve crimes on campus — catching a bike thief and another man who had stolen 17 laptops from the athletic department.

“With the practice changing a little bit — having six weeks to get 30 practices in — it allows your coaches to step out and take on some other career opportunities,” Krystkowiak joked. “So we had an awful lot of fun with that. It’s good to have people behind bars.”

MAKING STRIDES: Utah’s increased success isn’t surprising to Colorado coach Tad Boyle. He said that Krystkowiak is making tremendous progress with the Utes on the floor and in recruiting.

“They’re starting to really get commitments,” Boyle said. “They’re making their presence felt on the recruiting trail and that’s where it all starts.”

While noting that building a program isn’t easy and doesn’t happen overnight, Boyle credits Krystkowiak and his staff for doing a great job.

“They’re going to be a force to be reckoned with,” he said. “There’s no question.”

GOOD ENDORSEMENT: Colorado guard Spencer Dinwiddie, a first-team all-Pac-12 honoree last season, had good things to say about Utah newcomer Delon Wright. They grew up near each other in Southern California.

Dinwiddie said that Wright, a 6-foot-5 guard from the City College of San Francisco, is a very talented, multi-skilled player.

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“Anytime you have a versatile player like that it’s definitely going to help you in this conference,” Dinwiddie said.

EXTRA STUFF: The Utes practiced without Krystkowiak on Thursday. Krystkowiak said he was really confident and comfortable in his staff to do what needed to be done. ... Krystkowiak and the other Pac-12 coaches were scheduled to have dinner with conference commissioner Larry Scott Thursday evening. ... Arizona was picked first in the Pac-12 preseason media poll. However, the last time the reporters got it right was in 2009-10 when California met the lofty expectation.


Twitter: @DirkFacer