Utah Utes basketball: Coach Larry Krystkowiak gets questioned and has the answers

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  • 3ULLS3Y3 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 19, 2011 4:15 p.m.

    I wonder if Veracity could name ten high school basketball players right off the bat (without having to dig into the DesNews archives, that is) that would be considered good enough to earn scholarships to play for the Utes. I'm not saying there aren't any, quite the contrary. I'm just curious if Veracity knows just exactly what he is talking about.

  • che loco Springville, UT
    April 18, 2011 10:27 p.m.

    I liked his answers, but the questions were mostly just softballs. I wish the transfers leaving so quickly every was addressed and what he was going to do to stop that. I get a good feeling about him being demanding and putting a pretty good product on the floor.

  • In Stitches Provo, Utah
    April 18, 2011 5:14 p.m.

    I agree that the whole Coach K thing has nothing to do with Duke. It's more like the fans aren't going to bother learning how to say or spell your name when they know you won't be around for long. I mean they went through all that effort to learn how to spell and say Giacoletti and he only got to stay 2 years. I guess he didn't have a magic wand to wave....

    Nice try, but your vocal few were the ONLY ones commenting on every Ute article from almost before the season started calling for Boylen's head. Apparently, your vast majority does't read the sports section?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 18, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    I krystco seems unfocused it is because he litterally has to fix everything about the utah basketball program. There is nothing positive in it at this time to build on and he is probably overwhelmed and has no clue where to start.

    If I was him I would start by trying to recruit good players, whever he can find them. It is undoubtedly a tough sell, no top player wants to be part of a trainwreck, but if he ever wants to be good he needs good players.

    I personally think it is going to take a loooooong time. I hope chris hill has some patience this time but his track record indicates otherwise.

  • Unbiased Viewpoint Draper, UT
    April 18, 2011 4:00 p.m.

    Mormon Ute,

    I am unbiased in whether it is Utah or BYU. Don't care either way, but just making observations. Based on the number of comments you have made concerning this article you have probably read my paraphrased comments with bias. If you can see focus at any point in the interview, please enlighten me. I don't see it. I would have thought that a new coach would have a certain set up principles / standards / philosophies that would be evident from day 1. To just say we plan on working hard is a poor excuse for not having a real agenda. Again, best of luck to Coach.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    April 18, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    Good luck Coach K. in getting this program back on track.

    Hope the fans, the university and general public allow enough time and exercise enough patience for positive things to happen.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 18, 2011 3:39 p.m.

    Unbiased Viewpoint,

    You comment is the exact opposite of what your name suggests. You have distorted every one of the Coach's viewpoints that you would like us to believe you are paraphrazing. I guess freedom of expression protects your right to do that, but that doesn't make it okay.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 18, 2011 3:34 p.m.


    You didn't really read the article. His answer about foreign players was in response to a question about that. He has clearly stated in other interviews his first focus on recruiting is local and that is why he brought in Tommy Connors and tried to hire Alex Jensen. He has said he would like to mix in players from the PAC-12 footprint and some international players where possible, like the Utes have done in the past. He's not focusing on international players and never has stated that.

  • MAFU Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2011 3:32 p.m.

    @ Veracity & other Son's of Provo:

    Fact: Many college hoops programs recruit foreign players to fill out their rosters. Your team has had a few over the years too i.e. Cosic, Hafa, Tavanarri, Balderson, etc. When an in-state player comes along that fits Larry's criteria and needs; he will be recruited. The CJ Wilcox's of the world will not be getting away while Larry is in charge.

    Fact: Krysko will recruit LDS players and accommodate missionary service (listen or read his press conference remarks). Keep on trying to kick the hornets nest and paint Larry K and the U as being anti. It's the oldest card in the Y fanship handbook of instructions.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 18, 2011 3:27 p.m.

    In Stitches,

    If Coach Boylen had continued in a positive direction, he would still be there. The problem was he had his best years up front and then went down hill. He was given 4 years, that should be enough to show you have a good system that is working. When you have a losing record after two winning seasons and it keeps getting worse, that just doesn't cut it.

    Don't worry about your tax dollars, they're not being used on the athletic programs. As far as the number of vocal fans calling for changes in coaching, it is a relative few when you consider how many fans there really are.

  • kstep15 Logan, UT
    April 18, 2011 2:43 p.m.

    U of U, still can't get past those USU Aggies...

  • Unbiased Viewpoint Draper, UT
    April 18, 2011 2:43 p.m.

    I thought the answers lacked overall focus. He appears to be just winging it on recruiting and what type of offense he is going to run. He narrowed his recruiting down to everything but Iceland. I'll give him a couple of weeks to decide direction, but I was unimpressed by this read. Here is my paraphrase.

    Pac 10 knowledge - I have watched a few games just like everybody else.
    Recruiting - We plan on doing it. No real agenda here and chasing east coast kids is a waste of time.
    Am I staying - Yes, until they tell me I'm not. Everything has been transitional until I landed my dream job at the University of Utah. I can't imagine that this is his dream job.
    Assessment of players = We have some, but I can't tell you how many today or tomorrow.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    April 18, 2011 2:08 p.m.


    From the article:

    "But Utah's going to be a big part of it. We're a Utah school and we need to get some Utah players."

    From Coach K's introductory press conference:

    "We need to place a lot of focus on the state of Utah. There's tremendous basketball talent here so I need to hire a staff with at least one person, if not more, familiar with the state. "

    Coach K has never said he isn't going to focus on Utah think coach K's hiring of Connor shows his commitment to recruit Utah.

    You're statement "Utah can be real proud of its foreign brothers and not their own sons..." is pretty off base. I believe Coach K is going to recruit very hard, but obviously the state doesn't provide enough talent to field the entire team.

  • Veracity Morgan, UT
    April 18, 2011 1:48 p.m.

    Well, if I were a Utah High School basketball player, it would be very discouraging knowing the Coaches interests lie in Brazil, France, Europe and not really in SLC or Utah...but I guess it doesn't matter anyway if I also want to serve a mission...I guess that is strike two...Oh, what the heck...strike three and I'm gone...Utah can be real proud of its foreign brothers and not their own sons...

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    April 18, 2011 1:12 p.m.


    I don't know you can type, so I would suggest you actually research things before you post.

    coach K had a bad run with the Bucks: 31-69

    His other head coaching jobs were Montana where he was 42-20, went to the tourney both years he was there and lead Montana to their first NCAA tourney victory in their history. He was also the head coach for the Idaho Stamped (CBA). In his one season there he went 38-14 and they went to the CBA finals. His other coaching jobs have been as assistants, hardly the point man for the success of a team.

    Therefore, your statement, "Coach...you've been to a lot of different places and haven't won at any of them? You weren't even 500 or a little bit under...in every case, you've been atrocious." is either an expression of your ignorance regarding Coach K, or your bias towards making completely false statements. And the fact that multiple people have recommended your post is a condemnation to the same, or merely a reflection of blind support by those related to you.

  • man of few words Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2011 12:22 p.m.

    Deep Thoughts

    Well stated! Here's hoping that we give this one a chance!

  • Deep Thoughts Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2011 12:08 p.m.

    Unfortunately, I have to agree with In Stitches on this point: when we continually fire our coaches, it makes it hard to rebuild the program. SoCalUte is the very example of the wrong attitude to have. MormonUte is more the attitude we SHOULD have. It takes time to rebuild a program. Ridiculous expectations from us have hindered this program for far too long.

    Good luck Coach K. (By the way, let's be honest, Coach K is just a lot easier to say and type -- it has nothing to do with Duke).

  • Ibleedcrimson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 18, 2011 12:07 p.m.

    Look at that little nunya finally found the cap key. I guess there is hope for some BYU fans!!

  • In Stitches Provo, Utah
    April 18, 2011 12:01 p.m.

    Mormon Ute

    Actually I was basing it on those (MORE than few) vocal Ute fans who perennially call for the coach's head because they are perennially rebuilding. When you make the coach start from scratch every other year, what do you expect?!

    As a Utah tax payer, I hope and cheer for the teams to do well. But I've come to realize that those many vocal Ute fans will never give any coach a chance to rebuild the program. Like spoiled children, they want it NOW. Lucky for Steve Fisher that he went to San Diego State. The Utes never would've given him the kind of time he took to rebuild the program.

  • SoCalUte Trabuco Canyon, CA
    April 18, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    @ In Stitches I am guessing that you chose that name because you think you're funny. I believe it is more literal, and it's because you've been smacked around a few times. Winning coaches don't need more than 2 years to prove themselves. Coach K will be around for a lot of years.

    If coach K has talked to his team about the same things he said in the interview, then I am glad that the players who left are gone. They are not the players who will work hard and be hard nosed.
    I am one Ute fan who believes that we will have significantly more win's than losses next season.

    Go Utes!

  • Qwest Perfected Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    The coach has done some very good things - the best thing is that he brought in Tommy Connor as his head assistant.

    One thing he hasn't done as someone above suggested, is run Clyburn. Clyburn asked to be released - crazy move on his part to sit out a year for only one year left of eligibility but whatever.

    The biggest difference I'm hoping for is that he can actually coach - that is something that Boylen or his staff simply could not do. Coach K is supposedly a good x's and o's guy and I know Connor is too - hopefully they will be able to teach the players how to play the game better.

    As for all the coog fans commenting on here - you should probably focus on how you replace the only player of the year your school has ever / will ever have and who is going to replace coach Rice.

    I think the Utes will be fine. It is going to take a couple of years to get the talent level to where it needs to be but I'm confident this coaching staff can get more out of the players we have.

  • nunya sacramento, ca
    April 18, 2011 11:43 a.m.

    Here's a question that should have been asked. Coach...you've been to a lot of different places and haven't won at any of them? You weren't even 500 or a little bit under...in every case, you've been atrocious. What makes this different? Basically, if you don't have the winning experience then how are you possibly going to bring it here?

  • Flame of the West The OC, CA
    April 18, 2011 11:20 a.m.

    Lone Star...I second that.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    April 18, 2011 11:19 a.m.

    Real Bass, if you think Ute fans call Krysto coach K because we want to be like Duke, you're sorely mistaken. I call him Coach K because it's faster to type it, and, more importantly, it obviously get's under the skin of overly sensitive BYU fans.

    Coach K's interview got me pumped up. It sounds like he knows what needs to be done, now let's hope he is able to get that translated on the court.

    I loved Boylen, and really wanted him to succeed. I thought he would be able to do it as well, but he struggled with progressing with his guys.

    viva la Pac-12

    Go Utes.

  • Lone Star Cougar Plano, TX
    April 18, 2011 11:10 a.m.

    Dear Coach,

    Congratulations on your new position. I wish you the best of luck and hope you do well. Even though I am not a huge Ute fan I liked your answers on the interview.

    In spite of a few supposed BYU fans, I believe most Cougar fans wish you well.

  • Anonymous Infinity American Fork, UT
    April 18, 2011 11:03 a.m.

    Universities in sparsely populated states will in most cases have difficulty in building programs, particularly since in states like Utah, there are few players in high schools that can excell at the division 1 level. Yeah, and it's not coach K, he's at Duke. Let's go with Kystco. I wish nothing but the best for Utes basketball, except when they play BYU, Utah State, Weber State, in that order. This is going to be a tough job to get done. With all the corruption in collegiate recruiting, and keeping players eligible and out of trouble is daunting. Obviously basketball is not the headline sport in America, or in Utah. The other PAC-12 universities will be tough to handle for the Utes, since they have a serious leg up in the recruiting of top players. Hang in there Ute fans.

  • CaptainCougar Sandy, Utah
    April 18, 2011 10:50 a.m.

    Coach K,

    Congrats on getting the job and running off the best player before you've even settled in office... I wouldn't get too comfy, you're likely just arranging seats on the Titanic.

  • Real Bass Idaho Falls, ID
    April 18, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    Sorry wanna bes, Coach K is at DUKE! Try again.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 18, 2011 10:10 a.m.


    Welcome and congratulations on the job!!! I'm very impressed with the staff you have assembled, your approach with the current players, your initial recruiting efforts, and your personal philosophy. We're behind you - all the way!!!

    I would like to offer one coaching suggestion. Have Janita Badon, our 5 foot 7 inch wonman's team guard, teach our two 7 footers how to rebound!!!!! She got 17 in one game... for our guys that's a months effort (or lack therof)!!

  • aljmac Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2011 10:06 a.m.

    This is going to be an exciting era for Utah basketball.

    We're going to reestablish ourselves in this state. Sweep out the Cougs and Ags who feel like they've made a permanent roost at the top; their success is fool's gold, IMO. The Utes ceiling has always been higher than those other two, and their history, deep post-season runs and various championships show that.

    Now that the Utes are in the PAC12, Utah will start a new chapter of its rich history. Krystkowiak will do just fine. It's exciting to see Connor on the staff.

    Things are looking up. Go Utes!

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 18, 2011 10:03 a.m.

    I like what I see in Coach K's answers in this interview. I'm one Ute fan who has a lot of patience. I understand it is going to take time to get back to where the program once was, but as long as we see things going in the right direction I'm happy. I think most Ute fans look at it the same way. There are a few very vocal ones who make themsleve known on blogs and comment boards who don't understand what it takes.

    By the way, Stitches, I don't believe the MC was full to capacity during the Steve Cleveland years. So if you're taking the low attendance to mean our fans are impatient, take a look in the mirror. BYU fans are no different.

  • In Stitches Provo, Utah
    April 18, 2011 9:37 a.m.

    Coach K2,

    It's nice to meet you. I'm sorry that you will only be allowed 2 years to fix the programs before the impatient Utes decide that you need to be replaced. Since Majerus, Boylen is the only one they've given more time than that to and they only gave him 4 years. Just think of it: you are the 6th coach since 2004! Keep that resume dusted off.

    Also, just wondering, will there actually be any players on the team this year?