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    Basketball Archive

    Thoughts on the state of the program
    By: ColoUte, Wednesday 7 March 2001

    Thoughts on the state of the program...(really long...a lot longer than I thought it would be before I started)

    Posted By: Haskins couldn't afford to pay us, so we worked for beer. (ColoUte) <everutes@hotmail.com>
    Date: Wednesday, 7 March 2001, at 12:11 p.m.

    First off, I thought that was a great quote by Moose - certainly worthy of being my moniker for the day. I wish him and his family nothing but the best. I wish I could be at his final game so that as he walked off the court, I'd stand up, clap my hands, and boo like a mother. How else do you send off a referee?

    You know, after Josh Grant left Utah, people said that Utah couldn't be competitive. But then Majerus got Keith Van Horn. Three conference titles, two sweet sixteens, and an elite eight later, the locals were once again throwing dirt on the program. "They'll never survive without the great KVH." A fourth conf. title and a national championship run later, and the Utes wouldn't survive without Mike Doleac, then Andre Miller, then Hanno and Alex. The one constant has been Majerus. Well, he left this year, and once again, the Utes win a 7th consecutive regular season title. I'm probably not going out on too big a limb to feel that an 8th is pretty likely. But now, there is a feeling from some - mostly zoobs and local media hacks - that the program will sink to the depths of mediocrity if Big Rick leaves for good. It's a load of crap.

    I've been very vocal about how amazingly unlikely it is that Majerus takes the UNLV job. I think it's a bad situation, in an area that Rick has been very critical of all along, and, quite frankly, he's got a golden job here.

    I was listening to KFAN this morning...I know, I know. I'll never learn...and they were saying that since Majerus has distanced himself from the program this year, maybe this is what he's been waiting for. The question of the morning is, "Should Hunsaker get the Ute job?"

    First of all, there is no Ute job currently open - well, unless they were talking about the track coach job. I don't know why these hacks always feel that Majerus has some ulterior motive for EVERYTHING he says or does. I wonder if it has occurred to them that maybe...just maybe...Majerus is actually in Wisconsin looking after his mother, rather than job hunting.

    Second of all, if Majerus does take the job - he'd be in a worse position than the Ute basketball program. What many people don't seem to realize is that while we have one of the top 5 college basketball coaches in the country, we also have one of the top 5 A.D.'s. I'm guessing Chris Hill won't simply hire some bum from off the street. I'd make a good bet that he'll get a couple of resumes from some pretty good coaches, and that he'd work his magic once again. It was Hill who hired Mac, and Majerus, and Elliot IIRC. If he did hire Hunsaker, I wouldn't have a problem with it. If he hired some guy I'd never heard of, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

    So, I guess what I'm trying to say...and taking WAAAAAAAY too much time to say it... is that the program survived the graduation of our stars. It survived the temporary loss of our head coach. It would survive the permanent loss of our head coach. Rick has made this one of the top jobs in the West - if not the nation. Someone would step in and continue to be successful. I'd make a good bet it would also survive the loss of our A.D. (though that would sting) The program is strong, and does not revolve around any one person.

    Furthermore, the fact that BYU has improved doesn't mean Utah has regressed. The two are NOT negatively correlated. Utah is going to be in the hunt for the conference title for the next several years, despite the next hope for Ute naysayers, "Once Huntsman stops throwing money at the program, they'll be mediocre."

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