Utah Hoops: Now We Can Talk


Feb 13, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans dance force cheerleaders perform during the basketball game against the Utah Utes at Galen Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Utes get their first road win of the year and second conference road win in three seasons under Larry Krystkowiak.  Utah avoided what could have been a soul (and NIT crushing) loss.


Just to preface this post I’ve got some good things and some critical things to say.  If you’re one of those folks who freaks out when someone criticizes Utah basketball, I’ll alert you to when the good stuff starts so you can skip the critical we can avoid the whole you calling me names part.

First, some critical stuff.

Yes we got a road win.  But USC is really terrible and outside of an inexplicable Cal performance, everyone is winning at USC.  What is troubling is we gave up another lead and nearly lost the game.  Yes we held on.  But this is becoming a theme that I don’t think we should ignore.  For two years we’ve seen teams make serious runs at us when we’re up.  Sometimes we hold on, if the lead is big enough or the team we’re playing is bad enough.  But far too frequently we don’t.

And these guys have seen too many minutes on the court now to simply excuse it.  And you’re free to have your own opinion on this but I think it’s more than youth and learning to win and whatever other excuse we’re using.  I think you have to look squarely at how the coaching staff handles these situations.  If they’re bad at this, they’re going to stay bad at it even when we have lots more talent.  It’s a huge red flag and someone needs to think about it.


But we did hold on and now we get to talk about some fun stuff.

Baring losing out, I think we’ve secured our place in the NIT.  In fact the NIT might just want a 2nd round Utah-BYU match up so look for both schools to get home games in the first round.  That is of course if BYU can’t do something amazing to save it’s season.

As for the NCAA tourney, please don’t start the talk that we’re in.  You don’t get to do that until Joe Lunardi has us in.  And we’re not even in the last eight out yet.  We have a great deal of work to do.  And this team hasn’t really shown that they could do something like go to Cal and Stanford and get wins.  If we were to win at UCLA, I’ll begin to entertain the discussion.

But the good news is, it remains theoretically possible.

The concerning news, Arizona St. and a surprising Colorado team are both capable of beating us at home and we also play Arizona.  So there’s that.

All in all it is nice to be able to have this discussion.  We’ll talk after UCLA.