Utah Basketball v UCLA: Final Thoughts


Feb 13, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Utah Utes forward Jordan Loveridge (21) reacts after a 3-point basket in the second half against the Southern California Trojans at Galen Center. Utah defeated USC 79-71. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

To prepare you readers, I’m going to rant in this column and later today, I’ll have something more positive.

When I finished watching the game yesterday, I tried to mention that it was troubling that this team didn’t come out and compete.

And after sitting on it for a day, I feel even more strongly like that.

Utah had somehow started to edge it’s way into the conversation of the NCAA bubble, doing something that all but the lappiest of dogs thought couldn’t be done.  A win against UCLA is one half of really good basketball away, and with it, bubble talk.  Then the Utes come out and do that.  I never expected them to win, but to not even try?

And outside of Delon Wright, not one player had double figures in scoring.  In fact Delon led the team in rebounds too.  No wonder this coaching staff is trying to bring in two more guys for next season, there isn’t a player on this team you can truly count on whose name isn’t Delon, when the chips are down.

And I realize he’s the all Utah wonderboy, but someone outside of me needs the courage to call out Jordan Loveridge.  His vanishing act came up again and bit us yesterday.  It’s far to frequent for someone people keep telling me is All-Pac-12 material.  Not to mention he has made too many mistakes late in games.  For someone who has had starters minutes for two years now, he plays like a freshman far too often.

I’ve been told I’m just supposed to sit back whatever happens this season.  But we haven’t closed the deal far too often this season.  It’s nearly March and there is no sign it’s gotten better.  In the games we have managed to escape, it’s been by the grace of God.  This weekend we nearly crapped the bed against USC of all teams and then when our greatest opportunity presented itself, only down two at the half at UCLA, the Utes wilted like something that wilts really bad.

I fully believe that this is a problem.