SALT LAKE CITY — It was quite a weekend for the Utah Utes. Saturday’s thrilling 93-92 come-from-behind win at UCLA led to plenty of celebrating.
For senior guard Parker Van Dyke, who hit the game-winning 3-point shot at the buzzer, he was mobbed by teammates on the floor at Pauley Pavilion.
The former East High School star joked that maybe he should retire and go out on a high note.
“It was something I’ll never forget,” he said while expressing appreciation to share the moment with his teammates, coaches and family members.
Van Dyke noted there were some surreal hours that followed the game-winning shot. He heard from a lot of people, including his elementary school principal and folks from his church mission in Alabama.
“It was just really cool,” Van Dyke said.
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak enjoyed the weekend as well. Besides the game, he also celebrated his 22nd wedding anniversary.
The latter came on Friday and he wound up taking his wife, Jan, on a recruiting excursion to a high school basketball game.
“It wasn’t exactly her idea of a romantic weekend, so we put it off another day and then enjoyed Saturday together,” explained Krystkowiak, who wasn’t on the flight back to Utah with the team.
However, Krystkowiak did see ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and its lead story on Utah’s comeback from 22 points down with 12 minutes to go and Van Dyke’s decisive shot.
“That was neat,” said Krystkowiak, who tuned in after his cell phone lit up with people bringing it to his attention. “That was a neat deal.”
At the same time, though, it’s now in the rear-view mirror as Utah prepares for Thursday’s game against Arizona in the Huntsman Center.
“That was fun and the euphoria has kind of worn off,” Krystkowiak said. “We had a terrific practice yesterday and it’s really only fun if you try to take care of business in the next one and we’ve got to be dialed in.
“I think it’s a confidence boost, but I was blown away with the attention to detail and the energy that our guys brought to practice,” he continued. “A lot of times you come in after a game like that and it’s kind of this magical carpet ride that you’re on and we really had an approach as though we lost the game, and for 75 percent of it we did lose the game.”
Krystkowiak added that it takes a mature mind to come in and practice as though you lost the previous game.
Van Dyke acknowledged, however, it can be difficult coming off an outing like the win at UCLA.1 comment on this story
“We come into practice Monday and we’re still talking about the game because it was so incredible,” he said. “But I think our coaches do a really good job. We came and watched some film about things we need to improve from the UCLA game and then yesterday we had a great practice where it was all focused on this weekend.”
Utah (13-10, 7-4) is currently in a second-place tie with Arizona State and Oregon State with seven games left to play. Washington leads the Pac-12 with a 10-1 mark.
• . • . •
Arizona (14-10, 5-6)
at Utah (13-10, 7-4)
Thursday, 7 p.m.
Radio: ESPN 700AM