Utah Utes basketball: Despite difficult season, Larry Krystkowiak maintaining his resolve

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    March 8, 2012 10:19 a.m.

    utahsnow, I follow the logic of your theory, but like I said, I'm gonna have to go ahead and respectfully disagree. I think a lot of people falsely assume that employees at a church sponsored school live pious, monastic lives in sackcloth and ash (exaggerating, of course), while these "worldly" state universities are bathing in dough. Not so in this case. Utah is getting better with the new conference affiliation, but unfortunately does not quite have the pockets BYU does right now. Frankly, that's all that matters right now. Almost anybody can handle leading a certain public lifestyle for the right amount of compensation. (And BYU fans, don't extrapolate this as me saying BYU's coaches are wolves in sheep's clothing, because I'm not. I believe Rose and Mendenhall are stand-up guys, but they're not doing their jobs just for the blessings, they are undoubtedly very comfortably paid.)

  • utahsnow saint goerge, UT
    March 8, 2012 8:35 a.m.

    Imagine that BYU and Utah for whatever reason had to go out and find new coaches for basketball and football this year. With the philosophy at BYU vs. that at the U, each school would have a signficantly different approach. Utah could court coaches from all walks of life and hundreds of Universities. BYU would have a short list of options for its replacements in comparison. In general, Utah would end up with 'higher rated' coaches overall. Additionally, here is where we disagree, Utah would be offering more money in general. I'm not talking about the athletics budget, I'm talking about staff compensation. I think most people agree with that. This is a big deal to college coaches.

    Then these coaches head out to recruit. Once again, significantly smaller recruiting pool. May have something to do with the part where they say..."Oh yeah, no drinking, no sex, read this honor code, and you gotta take our Book of Mormon class."

    So, who do you think should theoretically get 'better' coaches/athletes overall? And thus field better teams? (theoretically)

    These reasons are in big part why I cheer for BYU. Success under these conditions is highly impressive and underrecognized.

    March 8, 2012 12:18 a.m.

    utahsnow, as a responsible Ute, I have to respectfully disagree with you on a few of those accounts. As it stands now, BYU appears to have a much larger budget and payroll (can't be proven, as private schools don't disclose that info), although Utah is closing the gap. And the budget is not the only thing that attracts a coaching candidate to a school; the current state of the program has a good deal to do with it as well. BYU's is currently very stable; Utah's, sadly, is presently not. Jury may still be out for the next couple years, but let's hope we're on the right track.

    Have to laugh at SnackPAC, though. Every time I visit friends in Provo, and experience the campus "life," I can't wait to get back to Salt Lake. Let's just say... it's polarizing. Some people enjoy it. Everyone else wonders "What is the deal with this place?"

  • utahsnow saint goerge, UT
    March 7, 2012 7:57 p.m.

    @Snack PAC and DUCKHUNTER.

    I am a lifetimer BYU fan...football season ticket holder for 30 years.

    I didn't say K was in a better coach than Rose...What I said was Utah offers more money to its coaches and staff AND when they go for a hire, they have a much larger pool of suiters than BYU. This gives them an ADVANTAGE over BYU when hiring...at least on paper. Do you really disagree with that? Did you hear how many options Utah had for the OC position (50+ including gary crowton)

    And Duck---I also did not say that Utah has better athletes than BYU, what I said was theoretically Utah SHOULD have better athletes because of their recruiting advantage...

    Everything I said was just my opinion, I realize there are BYU fans who disagree with me, I'm ok with that. Go ahead and re-read my original post and maybe you will see where I'm coming from. you may have to skip the first section since I'm sure you can't imagine that any BYU fan might have a nice thing to say about the Utes.

  • SSmith Washington, UT
    March 7, 2012 6:29 p.m.

    Hey Utes, listen to your own center (Washburn) who says: ÂAnd whoÂs going to remember except that we got the ÂLÂ? Because thatÂs all that matters.Â

    History means nothing. How many Ws and Ls do you have?

  • Snack PAC Olympus Cove, Utah
    March 7, 2012 6:06 p.m.


    Only a delusional Utah fan would even pretend that coach small k is even in the same class as Coach Rose.

    btw, you've obviously haven't even attended the U; Utah is a commuter school, it has no campus life.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 7, 2012 5:01 p.m.

    Sorry, 3 AND 7. My mental typo gave the cougs more credit than they actually earned.


  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 7, 2012 4:54 p.m.

    Ah, Ducky. It seems he loves to make grand statements that ridicule the Utes, yet are devoid of truth; one being the 40+ point-blowout-loss-comparison, as motorbike has shown. But Ducky can't help himself, throwing out another fact-challenged statement:
    "why does BYU have such a decided head to head advantage on the field . . ."

    Surely he didn't mean the football field, as the blue team is 3 of 7, head-to-head, in the last 10 years.

    LOL, indeed!!

  • SSmith Washington, UT
    March 7, 2012 3:41 p.m.

    Enough with bring up history. Where do we live and where will we live. We live in the present and will live in the future. That is all that is relevant. So ask yourself, where are you today?

  • Qwest Perfected Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    Seriously I don't understand why this has become a competition of who has had the worst team. All the breakdowns are great but it is what it is - byu won 1 game and Utah has won 6. I don't think we need to look much deeper than that. They are both horrible records and I'm sure will be the low points of each program.

    As good as byu's basketball team has been the last few years, you can't get past the fact that they have only won 3 NCAA games in the past 30 years. Byu does own the advantage in the head to head match up between the Utes but that is the only advantage that they have over Utah when it comes to the two schools basketball history.

    Even with the handful of bad years the Utes have had recently, they are still one of the nations winningest programs in NCAA history.

    The cougs are still a bubble team for this years tournament, they went out in the second round of their conference tournament and came in 3rd place in a conference ranked below the PAC12 - and the PAC 12 had its worst year in a long time.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 7, 2012 2:23 p.m.

    To anyone who read Duckhunter's comment and took it literally (as he meant it)

    He wrote, "BYU didn't suffer any 40+ point losses either while utah has multiples of them to worse competition."

    Now the truth -

    Utah 2011-12 worst losses:

    46 @ Oregon - a bubble ncaa tourney team playing at it's peak

    40 @ Colorado - a 19-11 team w a small shot at making the ncaa tourney - NIT for sure.

    36 @ Cal - Will be in the ncaa tourney next week

    31 at Home to Cal State Fullerton - Best year in ages at 21-8 2nd in conference and could still win their tourney and make the ncaa tournament.

    30 @ Fresno St - Utah's worst loss ... not a good team at 13-19

    BYU 1996-97 worst losses:

    51 @ Washington - Yes that's 11 more than 40. 17-11 record NIT first round loss.

    42 at home to New Mexico - 25-8 won one game in the ncaa tourney - good team.

    42 @ New Mexico - Same point difference, same team, different day.

    40 @ TCU - Won one game in the NIT tourney.

    36 @ Utah - The best team on their schedule ... went to the Elite 8.

    For the record that's 3 "40+ point losses" for BYU and 1 for Utah.
    If you want to include the number 40 it goes to 4 for BYU and 2 for Utah.


  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    March 7, 2012 1:40 p.m.


    So if we were to accept your false premise then we must accept that utah constantly underachieves, fails really, in almost every single sport in comparison to BYU. Seeing as though BYU routinely beats utah in far more sports than utah beats BYU, and BYU wins far more conference championships than utah ever does, it is actually an embarrassingly, for utah, wide spread, that BYU has far more All Americans, far more national award winners, far more college hall of famers, and far more of almost everything that makes for a top to bottom quality overall athletic program.

    I'm no big fan of the "Deseret 1st Duel" but it does give us a very accurate breakdown of which school dominates the other in overall athletic competition.

    *hint* It isn't the school you wish it was. LOL!

    And of course that brings us to your claims of superior coaching, recruiting and finances. If true then why does BYU have such a decided head to head advantage on the field, court, gym, pool and track?

    It would seem to me that superior recruits and coaches would win more often. Then there's the unfortunate fact BYU's athletic budget is 50% bigger.


  • MJB Tooele, UT
    March 7, 2012 1:39 p.m.

    Even though I'm a cougar fan first, I still root for all teams from Utah. I think that coach Larry is doing a great job and hope he's able to bring Utah back to the level of past teams.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 7, 2012 1:32 p.m.

    Those of you claiming BYU's 96-97 schedule was so much harder ... consider the facts:

    BYU played 3 opponents that were ranked at one point or another - 6 actual games ... Utah, New Mexico and Tulsa.

    Utah also played 3 opponents ranked at one point or another - 5 actual games ... Arizona, Cal and Harvard.

    Little doubt that Utah and New Mexico (not Tulsa) were stronger that year than Arizona, Cal and Harvard.

    Win - BYU

    BYU opponents who went to the NCAA Tourney - 5
    Utah opponents going to the NCAA Tourney - 3 to 6 (BYU, Weber St and Oregon TBD)

    Win - probably end up a tie.

    BYU opponent tourney wins - 5 wins (Utah with 3 of them)
    Utah opponent tourney wins - tbd.

    Win - Probably will go to BYU but only due to one opponent - Utah.

    BYU's average score - Opponent 79 BYU 59 - 20 point margin.
    Utah's average score - Opponent 70 Utah 56 - 14 point margin.

    Win - Utah

    BYU top 5 losses - 51, 42, 42, 40, 36
    Utah top 5 losses - 46, 40, 36, 31, 30

    Win - Utah (hard to call that a win)

    In the end it's looks pretty much like a tie and the strength of opponents looks very similar.

    However, one last stat, and this is the one that matters the most:

    Utah 6 BYU 1

    BYU clearly owns the distinction of worst season between two great overall programs.

  • utahsnow saint goerge, UT
    March 7, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    In spite of the tail spin of Utah basketball these past few years there is good reason to be optimistic. Coach K. seems to be a true professional. He's got the support from the AD and an excellent environment to thrive.

    I have to add, comparing BYU and Utah in sports is natural behavior but I think its much like comparing apples and oranges.

    -Utah has a vast sea of athletes in their pool, including a strong draw on LDS kids.
    -BYU picks first from LDS kids and hopes to get lucky with a few decent 'non-denominational' athletes
    Advantage: Utah

    see Recruiting...
    Advantage Utah

    Difficult thing to sift through, but the key is where its spent. Its generally accepted that Utah pays their coaches/staff better if not much better than BYU (but nobody really knows)
    Advantage Utah

    Campus life:
    SLC vs Provo??? get real.
    Advantage Utah

    IMO BYU does more with less...essentially playing with one hand tied behind its back. Utah never has any excuse to lose to BYU in any sport...ever.

    There are many reasons to love both schools, but you gotta look a bit deeper when comparing wins and losses.

  • utahcountyute Cedar Hills, UT
    March 7, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    Gotta love ETB!

    I love the fact that Coach K has been able to keep a level head through this year. Helps that he has assistants like Tommy Connor and the rest though. They are all successful on different levels and with the right talent, will take the U back to where they were.

    We don't need to remind the detractors of where that was, they already know.

    It IS coming. Keep your heads up Utes!

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 7, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    Haha. Check out are history in the NCAAs. We our so much better than utah ever will be. When have they ever had a NBA player as good as Jimmer?

  • Utahman4ever FORT HUACHUCA, AZ
    March 7, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    Along with many others, I have said this before, Krystkowiak has proven he can coach. The question is can he recruit? The downfall of Utah basketball has been the inability to bring guys into the program that fit the system the coaches wanted. Recruiting will save or further plumet this program into the depths of dispair

  • Don't Feed the Trolls Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2012 12:10 a.m.

    I like and admire Coach Krystko.

    The silly BYU vs Utah fans on here? Not so much.

  • midpacmajor Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 6, 2012 11:13 p.m.

    It wouldn't be a Utah basketball article without a flood of Utah fans trying to deflect the topic to anything EXCEPT Utah basketball.

    Utah is none and done for the last seven years COMBINED and your lone NCAA appearance resulted in a humiliating loss to a 12th seed.

    Keep living in the past if it makes you feel better about that trainwreck on the hill.

  • Qwest Perfected Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2012 9:44 p.m.

    It wouldn't be a Utah article without a flood of byu fans commenting.

    I'm not sure what this article has to do with slump comarisons but whatever makes you feel better. As a far as Utah being in a "several year" slump, they were conference champions 3 years ago and won the MWC tournament. The cougs have won 3 NCAA tournament games in 30 years - to me that is a bit more of a "slump". Sure they are better this year but they still may not even make the tournament.

    The Utes have had some bad years with a number of coaching changes but even through those times, they had the number 1 pick in the NBA draft - oh yeah that was the same year we had the first pick in the NFL draft too - only college team to do that by the way.

    So pile on while you can byu fans

  • sandrus cedar Hills/ utah, UT
    March 6, 2012 9:26 p.m.

    In comparing BYU's 1996-97' 1 win season to this years 6-24 Ute team, BYU had a much tougher schedule and will play 6 fewer games (-5 at this point with PAC Tournament game pending and barring an Miracle for the Almighty the Utes win) and they had fewer home games, plus the 96-97 WAC was far better than this years PAC12 Conference.

    In the 96-97' preseason BYU played: Cal St.-Fullerton, Washington, Pacific, Weber St., Utah St, Boise St, Houston, Georgia and Penn State. Of those 9 games, BYU had only 5 home games and they had 4 true away games with no neutral site games.

    In this years preseason Utah played: San Diego Christian, Boise St, Montana St, Harvard, Massachusetts, UNC Asheville, Fresno St, CSU Fullerton, BYU, Idaho St, Portland and Weber St. Of those 12 games 7 of them were at home, 2 were on neutral courts and only 3 were true away games.

    If the 1996-97' BYU team played against this years Ute schedule they would have won more than 6 games!!!

  • deductive reasoning Arlington, VA
    March 6, 2012 8:27 p.m.


    BYU only three losing seasons during their slump:

    1998-99 - 12-16
    1997-98 - 9-21
    1996-97 - 1-25
    1995-96 - 15-13

    1996 wasn't all that great, but at least it wasn't a losing season.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    March 6, 2012 6:51 p.m.

    i thought this article was about the U. Why all the comments and comparisons with BYU?

  • kitsutsuki South Jordan, Utah
    March 6, 2012 6:32 p.m.

    Good point Ufan. What you failed to mention, however, is that Utah's slump is not yet over, although that could change next year (or not).

  • Ufan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2012 6:12 p.m.

    Slumping Facts

    BYU's slump was much steeper, but much shorter.
    Utah's slump has been shallower, but much longer.

    BYU's slump lasted four years (112 games), beginning after finishing 22-10 in 1995 and ending after finishing 22-11 in 2000.
    During BYU's slump, the Cougars had four losing seasons and were 37-75 (33%) overall.

    1999-00 - 22-11
    1998-99 - 12-16
    1997-98 - 9-21
    1996-97 - 1-25
    1995-96 - 15-13
    1994-95 - 22-10

    Utah's slump has lasted seven years (219 games), so far, beginning after finishing 29-6 in 2005 and continuing for who knows how much longer.
    During their slump, the Utes have had five losing seasons and have been 101-118 (46%).

    2011-12 - 6-24
    2010-11 - 13-18
    2009-10 - 14-17
    2008-09 - 24-10
    2007-08 - 18-15
    2006-07 - 11-19
    2005-06 - 14-15
    2004-05 - 29-6

    Frankly, I'd much have had BYU's slump than this on-going nightmare of musical coaches and players.

  • Balan South Jordan, Utah
    March 6, 2012 5:39 p.m.

    Coach has about a $million$ reasons to "maintain his resolve". Heck, if I made as much as he does I would milk it for all it's worth as well.

    Resolve is one thing, winning is a totally different story.

  • Qwest Perfected Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2012 4:34 p.m.

    I like what coach K is doing with this program. There is no quick fix to the problems but it has to be built up from scratch.

    He has proven this year that he can keep players motivated to play and to continue to work hard. They could have given up on this season a long time ago.

    I'm excited to see what he and his staff can do with more talented players coming next year. I know it will take a few years to get it turned around but hopefully next year they will be a lot more competitive.

  • Leo Femedlers El Paso, TX
    March 6, 2012 4:30 p.m.

    Larry was in my third grade elementary class in Gt Falls MT. He was a foot taller than everyone in the class. Then he moved and I moved to different (smaller) towns and my jr high bball team played against his. They killed us every time we met and it was primarily due to Larry. I was glad to see he made it to the NBA. (Made the losses in jr high a bit easier.) '-) I wish him the best with the Utes...except when they play BYU.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    March 6, 2012 4:10 p.m.


    Uh, I suppose if you are basing "worst evers" on wins and losses then BYU's 1 win season was worse. But "far worse"? Hardly. utah has played more games, so more opportunities to win. utah has played a far easier schedule as well. BYU did not play, and lose to, any D2 teams nor was the conference BYU played in as awful as the current pac12.

    Of course BYU didn't suffer any 40+ point losses either while utah has multiples of them to worse competition. BYU can't even come close to matching utah's current 7 year, and counting, run of futility. And then BYU actually had players on that team that amounted to something and became decent players whereas no one on utah's active roster this year is any good at all and will ever amount to anything.

    So "far worse"? Hardly. We can make a pretty good argument that this utah team is the worst college basketball team in the history of the state.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    March 6, 2012 2:59 p.m.


    You said what I said at the end of my last paragraph. My comment was from a Ute perspective, and yours a cougar one.

    Yes Utah has struggled much lately. I am just saying things will turn to my my fellow fans while pointing out history comparisons. It is true that BYU's worst year was by far worse than Utah's worst year. Again, Utah has still been down for a number of years.

    Now the success comparison. Utah has been to the championship game twice, the final four three times, the elite 8 four times, and the sweet sixteen so many times I can't count. Utah missed the NCAA tournament onlt twice in the Majerus era. And they lost only once in the first round out of thirteen times.

    BYU on the other hand has won only 3 tournament games in 30 years.

    March 6, 2012 2:53 p.m.


    Run along now and watch "Amazing" lest you soon forget how far your team advanced and how much it achieved at the pinnacle of the program while lead by a arguably your best player in history. I'll tell you how it ends; A Sweet 16 loss. What a simply "Amazing" season preceded by runs of 1st round tournament losses. Amazing.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    March 6, 2012 2:19 p.m.

    BYU had one bad year and you dare to compare it to Utah miserable seasons, how funny. How many will transfer out this year?

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    March 6, 2012 2:14 p.m.

    Well said MC Ute. At this point what other options are there? Utah will be back.

    Utah has NEVER had a down point like this in it's basketball history. Three years in a row have been rock bottom. Make that 5 of the last 7 years of struggle overall.

    However, remember the end of the Roger Reid era in Provo, and the Tony Ingle coached season where BYU won one game. Utah was going to the final four at the time.

    So you see Ute fans who are obsessed with BYU comparisons, Utah's best years have consistently beat out BYU's best years. And Utah's worst years have not been as bad as BYU's worst years. The latter is a little cloudy because Utah's bad run has extended for a number of years now. So I can't make the consistency argument there. Still, be supportive Ute fans. The patience part is hard in sports and sometimes not a good thing. However, now is the time for being patient as well.

    March 6, 2012 2:03 p.m.

    I really enjoyed this piece on the process associated with building from the ground up. Krystko has done a great job instilling a culture that we have not seen in quite some time and as Hill said, "anyone who knows basketball can see this team has improved."

    Better days are ahead. I can't wait!

  • MC Ute Midvale, UT
    March 6, 2012 1:39 p.m.

    Stay positive coach and team and especially the fans. Progress was made this year and things can only get better.

    Go UTES!!!