Utah basketball: Improved Runnin' Utes eager to start making an impact in the Pac-12

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  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    April 3, 2014 1:15 a.m.


    Even with the losses you identified, the Cougs went dancing for the 8th time in 10 years... How many times have the utes been invited to the dance in the last 10 years? How long has it been since the utes went bowling? How long has it been since the utes beat the Cougs in Provo? What's the utes record against BYU the past 7 years???

    nuff said...

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    April 2, 2014 7:35 p.m.

    Sweater In Rafters
    Franklin, IN

    "Weak is weak...our OOC was weak...your Conference is weak. We can change ours....you cant..."


    Go Utes; Go Coach K; Go Pac-12!!!

  • TheSportsAuthority Arlington, VA
    April 2, 2014 7:16 p.m.

    sweater man

    Utah won in the Huntsman Center.

    Utah would have been destroyed in the Marriott Center where the Utes have NEVER beaten BYU during the Dave Rose era.

  • Sweater In Rafters Franklin, IN
    April 2, 2014 6:54 p.m.

    SKY...We beat you going away SOS fan...

    Keep winning on paper and losing on the court if you want.

  • skywalker Palo Alto, CA
    April 2, 2014 6:33 p.m.

    Sweater In Rafters

    "Weak is weak...our OOC was weak...your Conference is weak. We can change ours....you cant..."

    Our overall SOS was #17; good luck trying to match, let alone beat, that.

    Can you make Washington State a better team. Can you ensure that no other conference teams will tank? Can you ensure that the PAC 12 won't return to being just as mediocre as it was in 2012?

    You might actually have to leave the friendly confines of the HC in order to improve your OOC SOS?

    What makes you think you can improve your SOS without suffering significantly more losses?

  • Horrible Stumper Hyrum, UT
    April 2, 2014 6:19 p.m.

    As I read these comments I can't help but think that next season in both basketball and football it's going to be the litmus test for both of these programs. Utah basketball has shown steady improvement in the PAC 10+2, if they can sustain that improvement next year, the BYU fans will have to admit the Utes are the real deal. The same is true with Ute Football, Ute fans seem to think that the gap is closing between them and the rest of the PAC 10+2, record wise it seems to be widening. Next year will be the true measuring stick. Real tough schedule, can the Utes finally compete? As far as BYU, with their huge advantage in resources they should be able to dominate the WCC in basketball. The less challenging football schedule should guarantee perceived success. A 10-2 record in football should be a lock. But, due to the weak schedule, your record probably won't translate to a top 25 ranking. Finally, the Utes and Cougars don't have to compete head to head with each other. So your challenges should be measurable apart from one other. I hope both of you have success.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    April 2, 2014 2:59 p.m.


    4 of BYU's 23 wins (17%) came against non-D1 or 200+ ranked teams.
    10 of Utah's 21 wins (48%) came against non-D1 or 200+ ranked teams.

    It was obvious to any knowledgeable fan looking at Utah's non-conference schedule, that the Utes had already written off getting an at large bid to the tournament with that pathetic schedule.

    Chris Hill and Krystko obviously underestimated Utah's improvement and purposely chose to play one of the weakest non-conference schedules in the country to give the Utes a chance to finish above .500.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    April 2, 2014 2:38 p.m.


    I find it amusing that Utah fans are so clueless about the impact a weak non-conference schedule can have on a team's overall SOS. Unlike football, almost half of the basketball schedule, 12 of 30 games (40%), is played versus non-conference opponents.

    #32 BYU(23-12) - non-conference SOS #3; overall SOS #17
    #79 Utah(21-12) - non-conference SOS #347; overall SOS #104

    Versus RPI Top 100
    BYU 8-7
    Utah 5-9

    BYU played 15 games versus RPI Top 100, and finished with a winning record.
    Utah played 14 games versus RPI Top 100, and finished with a losing record.

    10 of Utah's 21 wins (and one loss) came against non-D1 or 200+ ranked teams.
    3 of BYU's 23 wins ( and no losses) came against non-D1 or 200+ ranked teams.

    Despite the clueless "weak WCC" put downs, BYU played a much tougher schedule than Utah, and still finished with a better record.

    btw, unlike football, where Sagarin's rating were included in the BCS formula, the NCAA Selection Committee looks at RPI, and couldn't care less about Sagarin's ratings.

    #32 BYU - IN the Big Dance
    #79 Utah - not even considered

    is proof of that.

  • sherlock holmes Eastern, UT
    April 2, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    The Utes 2013-14 preseason schedule was not put together years in advance. Months more likely. Might be why they were unable to get good teams to play them. Plus they refused to do road games.

    Hopefully, it won't be the same this fall.

  • Christine B. Hedgefog Salt Lake City, UT
    April 2, 2014 1:10 p.m.

    "when throwing rocks at a glass house, remember that what goes around, comes around."


  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 2, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    Coach K has the right attitude. I like that he is now expecting the team to step up to the next level. Last season's pre-season schedule was a necessary step in the process. Next season we will definitely see a stronger schedule with Kansas already on the schedule. Go Utes!

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    April 2, 2014 7:48 a.m.


    "It's amazing how many people (probably who cheer for Provo and live in Sandy) who do not understand that b-ball schedules are put together years in advance."

    It's amazing how little some people know about b-ball scheduling.

    Unlike football, OOC basketball schedules are put together on a yearly basis. Although a few games (mostly pre-season tournaments and a few home-and-homes) are scheduled a couple years in advance, most pre-season games are scheduled in the spring or summer preceding the season.

    Case in point, who is Utah playing OOC next season?

    Utah hasn't announced the opponents, because the games are still being scheduled.

    Next time, try doing a little research before spouting off.

  • UoU 1991 Park City, UT
    April 2, 2014 7:24 a.m.


    Starting from rock bottom, it would be hard for Utah to have anything but an upward trend.

    Still, there's a long way to go to actually being a team competing for a conference championship, especially when Utah can't win on the road.

  • u25 West Jordan, UT
    April 2, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    Utah will take another step forward next year and be in the hunt for the PAC 12 championship. Coach K has everyone scared of where he is taking this program. Theres enough talent coming into the program and the development of a couple freshman.

    Next season could be huge for the Utes.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    April 2, 2014 7:14 a.m.

    I believe that this team is known as a bunch that will fold if pressure is applied late in games. Even lowly USC turned a rout at Galen into a three point contest by simply pressuring in the final minutes and the Utes were lucky to pull out a win. Next season, every team facing the Utes next season will be looking to simply turn up the heat with full court pressure, hoping that Brandon will dribble it off of his foot, or travel--that Jordan will force a long shot--or that Dalin will hand the ball to a member of the wrong team, if things get tight. Two solutions that might work are either for Brandon Taylor to learn to handle pressure, or for the team to place the ball squarely in the hands of Delon Wright whenever the opposing team decides to come hard.

  • JD Las Vegas, NV
    April 2, 2014 12:22 a.m.

    It's amazing how many people (probably who cheer for Provo and live in Sandy) who do not understand that b-ball schedules are put together years in advance. Utah did not have many options to improve their schedule at the last minute before the season began. Anyone who thinks that Coach K wants to have a winning record against weak competition clearly does not understand how competitive the guy is. Winning is a habit, the Utes got a taste of winning again and improved themselves beyond what anyone thought would have this year. Also, when you play in the third strongest conference in the nation against the best teams out there and already have 20 conference games that are more difficult than most teams face in six years of schedules, having a super difficult preseason is not necessarily needed. Utah climbed out of the bottom half of the league this year, they are far from the basement, nor did they finish in the basement.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    April 2, 2014 12:12 a.m.

    "3-15 (11th), 5-13 (12th), 9-9 (8th) in their first three seasons"

    I see a clear upward trend. I hope Coach K keeps doing what he's doing.

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    April 1, 2014 11:09 p.m.

    I agree worf, the utes have made an impact.... My friends at WSU agree as well... They told me that they finally got to go to a bowl game and they finally won a conference basketball game... They totally credit Utah for those accomplishments.

  • ute94 Corona, CA
    April 1, 2014 11:02 p.m.

    Finally! Finally we actually hear it from a coach/player that they want to be part of the elite. I understand the mindset that maybe Coach K had in knowing being part of the top 3rd of the Pac this past season was probably a stretch, and as frustrating as it was a fan to sense a lack desire from the players to be up there, it's awesome to hear Coach K set the tone for next season.

    This program has made a miraculous 180 and it's because of Coach K and these players. I think we needed everything this past season brought us. Although the non-conference schedule killed us in the end, we probably would've have lost 4 or 5 non-conference games had we played tougher teams and we may have seen no improvement. And those close losses will definitely make these guys better over time.

    Coach K understood how crucial it was for these guys to get wins under their belt and build confidence and moving forward I know he'll set up this program for success. We are finally seeing the benefits of the Pac-12 transition come to life and it's exciting.

  • backpacn Sandy, UT
    April 1, 2014 9:28 p.m.

    The Utes might want to start with something a little more challenging than the 350th worst pre-season schedule in the country played almost entirely in the friendly confines of the HC.

    That might toughen them up enough to be able to win an occassional road game, which is what it will take if the Utes are ever going to climb out of the PAC 12 basement:

    3-15 (11th), 5-13 (12th), 9-9 (8th) in their first three seasons with only a couple of road wins.

    Or Krystko can go on pretending that beating Saint Katherine's and Evergreen State is going to impress the selection committee.