SALT LAKE CITY — Most people missed one of the better parts of the BYU-Utah basketball game Saturday afternoon at Vivint Arena — and this had nothing to do with Yoeli Childs' monster dunk.
Before the tipoff of the Cougars’ eventual 74-59 victory over their rivals, Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak and Nick Emery had an exchange.
Don't worry. This one was a million times better than the last one they had on the basketball court three years ago.
This time around, Emery and Krystkowiak exchanged pleasantries and a bro hug.
That would not have been imaginable three years ago after Krystkowiak convinced then-Utah athletic director Chris Hill to let him buy out of a game against BYU to allow the rivalry to cool off after an altercation between Emery and Brandon Taylor in 2015.
Emery and Krystkowiak have since made up — they exchanged texts a year ago — and the Ute coach seemed genuinely happy for the BYU player/U. Public Enemy No. 1 after Saturday’s showdown at the Beehive Classic.
This was the first time Emery has played the Utes since the infamous run-in with Taylor and Krystkowiak.14 comments on this story
“A lot of that stuff, I’ll just keep between Nick and I. It’s heartfelt on both of our parts,” Krystkowiak said of his brief pregame chat. “I’m happy for him. He’s reached out. We talked before and after the game, and it’s not something that’s made up. It’s not for TV. It’s just real life, being involved in sports, a lot of emotions and a learning experience for both of us. I think we’re better for it.”
BYU did not make Emery available for comment following the game, which was his second back after his NCAA suspension.