SALT LAKE CITY — Utah will honor Sedrick Barefield, Beau Rydalch, Novak Topalovic and Parker Van Dyke in postgame ceremonies Saturday when the Utes close out Pac-12 play against UCLA. It’s the last scheduled home game for the four players.
“It’s that time of year,“ said Utah head basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak. “You get a little bit sentimental about it.”
Krystkowiak added that’s why the ceremony will be after the game. He noted that they did their annual senior tribute before facing Colorado a few years back and the Utes narrowly escaped with a win.
This time, they’re hoping the pomp and circumstance follows a victory that secures the No. 3 seed in next week’s Pac-12 Tournament. That’s the main objective in the script.
However, as Krystkowiak noted, all those playing their final game in the Huntsman Center have got their own storylines.
Rydalch and Van Dyke, he said, are two guys with “Utes DNA” and longtime ties to the program. Krystkowiak added that the duo are the definition of program kids that “always wanted to be here.” They also prove the value of recruiting in-state players. As for Topalovic, Krystkowiak said that he took a completely different path — going from Serbia to Idaho State and then Utah as a graduate student.
Barefield, a transfer from SMU, became the 39th player in Utah history to score 1,000 points his career despite playing less than three seasons.
“Each senior class is always unique and different,” said Krystkowiak, who explained that there’s more to it than basketball. It’s also about getting the players ready for life.
Krystkowiak expressed confidence in this year’s group.
“Those guys are all ready for whatever lies ahead and they’re going to be great representatives of the university at some point and they’re all going to make us proud,” he said.
Basketball-wise, the Utes are coming off an 83-74 victory over USC on Thursday. They’re now 16-13 overall and 10-7 in Pac-12 play — marking the fifth straight winning conference record for the program.Comment on this story
EXTRA STUFF: UCLA is coming off a 93-68 loss at Colorado on Thursday. … The Bruins are led by sophomore guard Kris Wilkes (17.2 points), freshman center Moses Brown (8.5 rebounds) and sophomore guard Jaylen Hands (6.3 assists). … Utah is 4-3 against UCLA in Salt Lake City. The Bruins, though, lead the all-time series 10-9. … The Utes defeated the Bruins 93-92 at Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 9, rallying from a 22-point deficit and prevailing on Van Dyke’s thrilling 3-pointer at the buzzer.
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UCLA (16-14, 9-8) at Utah (16-13, 10-7)
Saturday, 5 p.m.
Radio: ESPN 700AM