Jan 18, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA Utah Utes players celebrate after defeating the UCLA Bruins 74-69 at Jon M. Huntsman Center. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Hoops: The Thrill… And The Agony


Jan 18, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes head coach Larry Krystkowiak huddles with guard Brandon Taylor (11) and forward Jordan Loveridge (21) and center Dallin Bachynski (31) during the second half against the UCLA Bruins at Jon M. Huntsman Center. Utah won 74-69. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

I’m a big fan of Louis C.K.  And in one of his comedy specials he has a bit that is essentially, “Of Course this thing is true…But Maybe…”  Like saying “kids with nut allergies is a terrible thing and we should obviously help them, but maybe if we closed our eyes we’d be rid of nut allergies in a generation.”

It’s a joke people.

But it’s where I’m going with Utah Basketball.

OF COURSE beating a ranked UCLA team is a great thing, huge for the program, a big deal.  But maybe if we didn’t twice nearly blow double digit leads one of which wasn’t 17 points, part of me wouldn’t be sitting here shaking my head going WHAT THE EFF.

Of Course this is clear proof the program is moving forward, but maybe it would seem like more than an inch of progress if we weren’t a week off of losing to Wazzu without their best player while scoring 47 points.

Of Course, I’ve very happy for Utah Basketball, but maybe I could be ecstatic if this wasn’t a continued pattern we’ve seen over a few seasons now.

I think you get where I’m going.  Jordan Loveridge had his best game since BYU, but had two of the most inexplicably awful turnovers late that nearly cost us the game.  Delon Wright does a million things right, but it’s twice now he’s missed big late game free throws.

And the biggest thing of all is blowing big leads.  This is a continued issue across seasons for Larry coached teams.  And yesterday, Dakari’s three was huge to finally save us, but if UCLA doesn’t have two botched possessions when they cut it to 4 and another awful three point attempt by Zach Levine, well this is a different conversation.  Last year we had many leads evaporate, a couple where we hung on like at Washington and Colorado at home.  It’s feeling like a theme.

And youth ain’t an excuse because all these guys played last year.  Lots.  So I’m going to look at Larry till it gets better.

So what did yesterday teach us…

Being good at basketball combined with the only Pac-12 roadie at altitude and Colorado being good is going to make the mountain hoops road trip nearly impossible.

When our outside shot falls, Delon and Jordan can get to the rim and we’re a very dangerous team.

There isn’t really a way to predict when the above will happen.

Where the hell has Kenneth Ogbe been since Boise and why the hell isn’t he on the floor.  Good things just happen when he is.

And I think we all have to tip our hat to the game UCLA’s Kyle Anderson played yesterday.  Utah broke the spirit of most of that UCLA team and they were ready to quit. Anderson put them on his back and drug them kicking and screaming to have a chance to win.  Truly a special performance.

And finally, it’s possible to have multiple opinions about things.  Like to both enjoy winning and seeing people go to the JMHC again.  But at the same time this continuing issues of going into a not to lose shell while having another team on the ropes combined with continued execution issues when it matters.  The former makes me happy now, the latter concerns me for the future and that it will have ramifications when it really counts.

 

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