CORVALLIS, Ore. — It may be the tallest reunion in college basketball, at least among head coaches. Sunday’s game at Gill Coliseum pitted Utah’s Larry Krystkowiak and Oregon State’s Wayne Tinkle, who are both 6-foot-10.
Height, however, isn’t the only thing they have in common.
Krystkowiak and Tinkle were college teammates at Montana and both became head coaches with the Grizzlies. Tinkle was an assistant on Krystkowiak’s staff from 2004-06 and then took the helm in Missoula from 2006-14.
The duo have been competitors in the Pac-12 over the past 3½ seasons.
“We’ve never been ultra-close to where we’re talking all the time or anything,” said Krystkowiak, who noted their bond is built more on mutual respect as former teammates and coaching colleagues as part of the tradition at Montana.
“Short of that,” he added. “We’re a couple of dumb 6-10 post players just trying to find our way.”
DEFENSIVE UTES: Utah’s 66-64 victory at Oregon State had a lot to do, obviously, with 11 3-point shots by the Utes. However, defense was also pivotal. Tres Tinkle and Stephen Thompson Jr. of the Beavers combined to shoot 8 of 23 from the field. Keeping the stars in check proved to be quite beneficial.
Krystkowiak said it was a nice blend of zone and man defense that helped the Utes, at one point, keep the Beavers from making a basket for a stretch of nearly eight minutes in the second half.
EXTRA STUFF: Former Utah assistant and interim head coach Kerry Rupp is in his fourth season on Oregon State’s staff. In 2004, the attendance was 4,751. There were seven lead changes and four ties in the game. The Utes were ahead for nearly 31 minutes. Justin Bibbins finished with a team-high 18 points, six assists and two steals. Jayce Johnson topped Utah with five rebounds.