Mike Sorensen: Utah hoops headed for rock-bottom season

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  • Eddie Syracuse, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 11:33 a.m.

    Keep dreaming Qwest Perfected. The PAC 12 is clearly the worst conference in the West. Just look at last year. They are no better this year. The PAC 12 have put all their eggs in one basket...Football and it shows. They have sunk to a new low in all other sports.

  • Qwest Perfected Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 11:08 p.m.

    The memories of some of the coug fans on this Utah article are pretty funny.

    Please stop trying to convince others that you are a powerhouse in basketball. You have a great coach that gets the most out of his players. Try and just be happy with that. Even with the best player your team has ever seen, he only won 3 NCAA tournament games. Now you have people on here claiming that the WCC is the strongest conference in the west. I would be willing to bet that a year ago most of you had no idea of what teams were in the WCC. As good as your new conference is, it is still a 1 bid league.

    I'm happy that you are all so happy with where you are. I guess that explains why so many of you comment on every Utah article - lol.

    the Utes are bad this year no doubt but you are kidding yourself to think that the PAC12 won't be easier to get top recruits to than the WCC. Ask your coach what conference he would rather play in.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    Dec. 5, 2011 10:28 p.m.


    "For Ute fans wondering how long this will last...next year will be much improved."

    If doubling your wins to 2 floats your boat, knock yourself out.



    San Diego Christian isn't even DII; they're an NAIA school, same level as Westminster College, with an enrollment of 500 students.

    Beating the Hawks by 3 points is the highlight of Utah's season.

  • Cali Coug Visalia, CA
    Dec. 5, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    Re: Motorbike

    The team you have listed is smaller than the team at Helix High School in San Diego.

  • gchris rock springs, wy
    Dec. 5, 2011 7:23 p.m.

    You're right about one thing. Coach K is a great coach. His Duke teams have been phenomenal. As for your coach Krystkowiak, time will tell but he won't be Rick Majerus any more than Boylen was. Very few knowledgeable basketball fans would consider the PAC12 an elite basketball conference this year and aside from the UCLA glory years and a few flashes by Arizona, it has probably never been one. But, good luck on that rebuilding thing. It can be done.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:55 p.m.

    "Second, no one should count San Diego Christian as a legitimate win."

    Wins are legitimate unless someone cheated. Yes, of course San Diego Christian is not even a Division I team and obviously a 3 point win against them is still pretty sad... but that doesn't make a win illegitimate.

  • riddlemethis Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 2:49 p.m.

    JohnInSLC | 1:15 p.m. Dec. 5, 2011
    Cottonwood Heights, UT
    "Wait Utah still has a basketball team?"


    Yeah, and since it doesn't appear we are going to win the conference title for the next year or two there is thought of going independent in basketball so we can play lousy teams, bolster our record and ignore legitimate conference interest.

    Oh wait. I was reading the wrong playbook.

    BYU is not independent in basketball. They are part of the WCC, you know the same conference that the Utes had a losing record against last year. And yes, BYU has some lousy teams on the schedule that will bolster its record; like this saturday when they play the 1 win team in SLC. And if the U could get past perrenial NCAA powers like Montana State and Boise St, U could bolster your record too.

  • cougar76 Raleigh, NC
    Dec. 5, 2011 2:12 p.m.

    bigrich, don't come on here acting like a BYU fan. first, no BYU fan refers to krysco as "Coach K." It is too demeaning to the real Coach K. Second, it took BYU three years to recover from a one win season recruiting against great u teams and playing a weak WAC schedule. u will have to recruit against great BYU teams and play a 12-pack schedule. Oh wait, the WAC may still be better.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Dec. 5, 2011 1:19 p.m.

    Unfortunately, this article is very accurate. I'm expecting a 44 point win by the Cougs on Saturday to avenge a 44 point loss on September 17.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 1:15 p.m.

    "Wait Utah still has a basketball team?"


    Yeah, and since it doesn't appear we are going to win the conference title for the next year or two there is thought of going independent in basketball so we can play lousy teams, bolster our record and ignore legitimate conference interest.

    Oh wait. I was reading the wrong playbook.

    It can't get any worse than BYU '96-97, so we'll tough it out.

    Dec. 5, 2011 12:39 p.m.

    Wait Utah still has a basketball team?

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 12:36 p.m.

    Have fun while you can Cougs...nothing wrong with some teasing. For us Ute fans it'll be a long year no doubt about it.
    However, those thinking Loveridge will transfer...he's as solid as they get.
    For Ute fans wondering how long this will last...next year will be much improved.
    There's good talent practicing now that's unable to play - transfer rules - and there are good recruits coming in. Problem will be which guys from the list below will be run or have to redshirt:

    Player Height Pos. Next Year Class

    Kareem Storey 5-10GuardSo
    Glen Dean 5-10GuardJr
    Chris Hines 6-0GuardSr
    Aaron Dotson 6-4GuardJr
    Justin Seymour 6-3 Guard Fr
    Anthony Odunsi 6-3GuardSo
    Cedric Martin 6-4WingSr
    Josh Hearlihy 6-6 Wing Fr
    Jordan Loveridge 6-6 Forward Fr
    Javon Dawson 6-6ForwardJr
    George Matthews 6-5ForwardSo
    Dijon Farr 6-6ForwardSr
    Blake Wilkinson 6-6ForwardSo
    Jason Washburn 6-10CenterSr
    Jeremy Olsen 6-10 Center Fr
    Dallin Bachynski 7-0 Center So
    David Foster 7-3 Center Sr (If he comes back)

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    First off, Boylen was driving his own fair share of players away, so there's no guarantee that all of those players who left would have stayed anyway. Secondly, anyone who had delusions that the Utes were headed back to the Final Four, or even to the NCAA tournament this year, probably weren't paying attention to Utah basketball anyway. Thirdly, leaving Boylen as head coach was only going to prolong the downturn the b-ball program had taken long ago. Rebuilding our program is going to take more than the single off-season that Coach K's had to cobble together a team in an already struggling program. The good news for him, and for all Ute fans is that once you've hit bottom, there's only one way to go: up.

    Now, in 2 or 3 seasons from now if we haven't seen any improvement, then we can reevaluate whether Coach K was the right man for the job. But for right now, he and all of the Runnin' Utes need our support and encouragement!

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    Dec. 5, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    Still Blue

    I thought sports were number 5 on the BYU priority list.

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    First, Loveridge will go to the U next year. He wants to play right out of the box and where else can he be assured of that? Nonetheless, I'll take Emery or Haws (and BYU got both) over Loveridge any day. Second, no one should count San Diego Christian as a legitimate win. That's a complete farce. Third, it's ridiculous to say Pac 12 basketball is tough. The WCC is the best conference in the west this year, followed by the MWC. The Pac 12 might be third but given the records, that's not for sure. Fourth, go count the number of freshman on BYU's roster. and then add in that Haws and Collinsworth come back from missions in next two years. Then add in that Emery and younger Haws plus Chatman and a good player from Colorado are coming along. Plus who knows other players. I know football is ALL that matters at the U. But at BYU, all sports are important.

  • Neil8790 Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    I hope the fans and the media will back off and give this new coaching staff a fair chance to do their job. This is a good staff with good coaches. No, things are not going to turn around over night like some fans think it should. Take your lumps now and grow and learn from it. By the third year of this staff, it will be interesting to see what kind of a product they put on the floor and too see if the growing pains they experienced this season and next was worth it.

  • Anonymous Infinity American Fork, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 10:21 a.m.

    Who is saying that the PAC-12 is an elite conference? Get real. Oregon comes in here and get buried by an ordinary BYU outfit. Utah is reeling this year in football and basketball. Who were the so-called pundits who were trying to stir up the locals about the football team winning the PAC-12? Good grief. We have too many people with their heads in the dirt about Utah sports. It's one thing about being optimistic and another about being real. Just settle down and take a deep breath and take a look at the daisies. All the football teams have mediocre bowls. We had about 70 Division I teams with 6 or more victories. It's all about winning 6 games and scheduling dummies to get there in the case of football. Basketball is about winning 20 games. Take a look at the miserable schedules for the major teams across the country and tell me if I'm not correct. I do wish the Utah teams good luck in their quest for post season play.

  • BigRich Orem, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 10:21 a.m.

    I'm a BYU fan but come on BYU people, show some maturity. If we were honest, we would admit that we would have been just as excited to be in the PAC 12 if the offer had come. If you think BYU won't have a down year some time in the future, you kidding yourself. Give Coach K a chance. It will take a good three years to turn the program around. I would rather see BYU, Utah, and USU all competitive on a national level. It will help draw more good players to all three programs. We can do that or simply spend our time trashing each other into oblivion.

  • zeba North Ogden, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 9:54 a.m.

    I think time will show that Coach K is a solid coach. The PAC12 is not as solid as it has been, but how many basketball championships from PAC12, MWC, WAC, or WCC? Players who are committing to Utah are joining a school in an elite conference and will have a great opportunity.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    Dec. 5, 2011 9:25 a.m.

    Loveridge isn't going anywhere. He as a huge get for coach K, and has signed his letter of intent.

    Everyone knew this would be a tough season, and losing Foster only made it a lot worse as defense is a huge issue for this team. Beyond that, talent is the biggest issue. However, with Olsen coming back, Loveridge coming in with Hearlihy and Seymour, and Dotson getting eligible I think the foundation is there for significant improvement next year and beyond, so long as coach K can coach them up, and I think he can.

    Time will tell, and hopefully my beloved Utes return to greatness.

  • gchris rock springs, wy
    Dec. 5, 2011 8:21 a.m.

    Much has been said about BYU's throwing their basketball program under the bus in its decision to go independent in football. In their euphoria over inclusion in the PAC12, the Uof U athletic department brass seems to have forgotten that they have a basketball program. Jim Boylen wasn't a bad coach; he just wasn't a football coach. Competition in the PAC12 top to bottom is no better than the old MWC but it will be better than the Utah program for many years. BYU only had to be better than Wyoming, Colorado State, Air Force and Utah to claw their way back to respectability--and, they had great support from their administration. Utah will have to deal with a PAC12 schedule, annual beat-downs by BYU and other WCC teams and an administration that is so absorbed with football parity that they will continue to sacrifice the basketball program. Don't expect a rapid turn-around in Utah basketball fortunes.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 8:09 a.m.

    Utah has a few decent players coming into their program but some of the others belong in the big sky. I don't see them being able to compete in the PAC, ever with the athletes they are signing.
    Good thing the Utes made a bowl game. Takes the focus off of basketball for a few more weeks.

  • The Dixie Kid Saint George, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 6:52 a.m.

    Jordan Loveridge should decommit.

  • Louisiana Cougar Pineville, LA
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:56 a.m.

    I hope the Utes win at least three games this season.

    I remember the Tony Ingle season. I actually enjoyed going to the games and seeing that badly undermanned team play hard. Ingle was always a fun interview with a terrific sense of humor and a great personality.

    BYU fans and Aggie fans need to go easy on the Utes, Coach K, and Dr. Hill.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 5:31 a.m.

    It's the "CURSE OF THE JUDDY"......

    Utah Basketball's demise can be traced back to Rick Majerus' firing Jeff Judkins. Remember when Judkins had to sit in the stands and not on the bench, even as an Assistant Coach?

    Utah's former players would come back in the Summer and meet Judkins at Lake Powell. Majerus was not invited. Ricky no like that.

    Once the calm and collected Judkins was removed from the U of U Program, most of the Utah-LDS kids had no desire to attend the U anymore. Judkins would run cover for the Abrasive Majerus. Once that buffer was gone, so went the local LDS recruits.

    You look at those great Utah teams in the 90's and they were loaded with local Utah LDS kids.

    This has been great for BYU of course, as they pretty much get all of the Utah-LDS talent now.

    Here's to many more years of the "CURSE OF THE JUDDY".

  • riddlemethis Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 5, 2011 4:17 a.m.

    But I thought it was 1998 again. Ute fans claimed they're headed back to the Final Four. I figured this was the year. How can this be?

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 10:32 p.m.

    Mike Sorenson has amazing insight.

    His ability is only surpassed by the hiring practices of Dr. Chris Hill.

  • Utah_State_Fan Logan, Utah
    Dec. 4, 2011 10:06 p.m.

    Hey Mike Sorenson,

    Looks like my Aggies will only get 5 or 6 wins this season. With Brady Jardine and others injured, wins are going to be hard to get. So far we only have 3 wins. It hurts, but we're rebuilding.

    Go Aggies!

  • che loco Springville, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 9:50 p.m.

    Not too late for Loveridge to change his mind... and I think he will, just not to the team most byu posters would like.

    The utah hoops program is a train wreck...

  • Veracity Morgan, UT
    Dec. 4, 2011 9:32 p.m.

    But their a PAC12...this just can't be.

  • nunya sacramento, ca
    Dec. 4, 2011 8:52 p.m.

    no..really? hahahaha

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    Dec. 4, 2011 7:55 p.m.

    Too late...already there.