Utah 🏀 vs. Those Guys

During the game in that cesspool of a Marriott Center during Jordan Loveridge’s freshman year, I had a thought, as crystal clear as any I have ever had. We were not only in the game with a ragtag bunch in Larry’s 2nd season, we were threatening to win against the highly favored home team. I thought, going forward, I see no reason why we should ever lose to these guys ever again. They had just joined that joke of a conference, Larry was showing he could get the most out of three talent he had, and there were true signs of vast improvement in the quality of players we were going to bring in.

Since then we have built the amazing basketball facility, had two really good years and some overachieving teams, yet BYU has spanked us pretty good the last two meetings. I am hopeful about tonight but not getting the good vibe about beating them. We will see how it goes. The team is an enigma to me, as can be expected from a young squad, but I want to see us win in the worst way.

I love what Utah :football: is doing, but I will forever be a Runnin’ Ute guy first and foremost and it pains me to see us struggle in the way we are struggling right now. Even in a rebuilding year I think we should be capable of beating the ward ball crew from Provo. I am not happy with Larry’s ability to retain players But I am holding out hope that he can get things sorted out going forward. Just some ramblings as I await a flight. Go Utes!

I would love to see Larry succeed, but I just don’t think it’s likely at this point. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it will be a while before the program returns to the national stage.

Players leaving is always a bad sign.

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The fact that nobody on this board cares to comment on hoops, or so it seems this far, is very telling as to the apathy towards basketball. So sad.

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I’m a hoops first guy too, as I cut my teeth in the very beginning of the Majerus era having known a handful of the players from the 1990-91 Sweet 16 Team, and also having a bad run-in at a party with some Utah football players early in McBride era.

I too have expressed my doubts about Larry here on this board. I have made my peace with the turnover, as a few people have challenged my assumptions resulting in some research that ended in modifying my opinion as to the seriousness of the turnover. At the end of the day, the vast majority of the turnover seems to be understandable from a talent and playing time perspective. I guess what eats at me now is two things: Still turnover, but more from the standpoint of why we are recruiting so many guys that turn out to be not good enough to play, that are then pushed out for more recruits that turn out not to be good enough to play. And secondly, points of improvement (or lack thereof) such as free throws, turnovers, opponents 3-pt %, among others. Other things niggle at me in the margins too, such as why Kuzma is so awesome in the NBA but was simply better than average at Utah. Makes me also wonder if Poeltl and Delon maybe should have been better as well. I don’t know, I just feel like he is McBride of our basketball program, destined for better than average but still mediocre.

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I was a basketball junkie all the way up to Boylen and could probably count without taking my shoes off how many games I had missed of the Utes over a period of 25-30 years.

Boylen finally broke me and I just couldn’t watch the train wreck anymore and gave up watching.

Larry brought me back somewhat, but I’ve never quite been the same. Life demands meant that last year I didn’t watch a single game that Utah played although I enjoyed reading all about them. I’ve seen part of a couple of games this year.

So yeah, I think you are right about the apathy - never in a million years did I think I’d be here. Once the Christmas season ends and things normalize a bit in a my life I’ll try to check them out more, but I’m not even remotely excited about the game tonight.

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Giac and Boylen eras were brutal. I’m happy to say that I remained mostly plugged in despite it being a brutally awful time to be a fan. I hope Larry can get us back to greatness again, but I fear he just isn’t the guy.

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Kuzma was first team All-Conference, which is far, far more than “better than average”.

Also, Kuzma was completely lost as a freshmen and steadily improved over his sophomore and junior years. Kuz is probably the strongest example of player development in the Larry K era, though there are others.

I wonder about our annual trajectory of starting poor and become pretty good by March. Why does that happen every year?

I’m not sure what Larry’s strengths are as a coach. He’s had success in developing some players. He’s had some recent recruiting success. I don’t know what his strengths are in terms of x’s and o’s or in terms of motivating players.

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Player turnover is the simplest explanation for this.

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Count me as one of the “Hoops first” Ute fans. Basketball was, at very least, my gateway to Utedom. While I always supported and pulled for Ute football, I got bitten by the college football bug in '04 and I’ve been an addict since. But still I come back to Ute hoops. It’s like the old patriarch of Ute sports for me – it may not be the hippest and coolest, but its my roots.

With that said, a few thoughts:

I’m going tonight with my 10 yr old. It’s his birthday and I thought he’d want to do something else, but he thought a Ute game would be fun. While it’s against the Y, I’ve hardly had the heart to tell him that our prospects look grim for a win. Here’s to hoping for a low-grade miracle.

It’s hard to see Ute hoops in this odd funk. I never thought I’d see the day when we’d have multiple-year stretches of being inferior to the Y in hoops. It was unfathomable in the Majerus years, and once the PAC-12 came calling, I thought we’d recruit up and leave the mediocrity behind. To be here, still, 8 years later floundering and wondering if we have what it takes to squeeze out a miracle win against a pedestrian BYU team in SLC is just…I can’t even.

Lastly, it REALLY sticks in my craw that we’re on the wrong end of the historical series with BYU in hoops. Like, are you kidding me!? I know we had an all-time slump in the aughts, but I still think our historical head-to-head would have enough cushion to withstand a downturn era. The fact that we’ve been in the PAC for nearly a decade and we haven’t reversed the trend of the '00s is about all I can take. Ute hoops should be better than this.

70/30 I think we lose tonight (and it may not be pretty). I just hope this is it. The end of our trifling with BYU basketball. Our prospects in recruiting are looking up, and I don’t see much to get psyched about if I were a Coug hoops supporter – more of the same for them. So, I hope tonight is, in a sense, the end of an era. I hope I don’t have to wish for lucky Ute hoop wins over our rivals down south for another decade. Of course we’ll lose from time to time, but I hate this feeling of blargh knowing, going in, that we’re not the better team. It’s Bizarro World.

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Not a hoops guy, more a football first, but from my perspective this last round of turnover was more about realizing we needed to have better players to compete consistently, and so it was time to make a shift in how we are doing things. I think so far from a recruiting aspect it seems to be the right move, now the onus is on Larry to develop and keep that talent.

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Isn’t it a given that every team everywhere needs the best players they can get? I must not be getting what you’re saying.

I’ve wondered if it’s taken time for LK to find his recruiting sweet spot: talented enough that they’re good, P5-level players, but not so good that we court them for a year or two only to have them leave us at the alter for sexier schools like Akot and Mannion. We’ll likely never get a one-and-dones unless one grows up a Ute fan, and even the two-and-dones are rare, lucky lands for us. What we need are the the talented kids who are day-1 P5 talents, who can contribute as Fr and So, and lead as Jr and Sr with some NBA potential here and there. I think that’s what we have in Allen, Jones, Carlson, Gach, and some others.

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This is already an extremely ugly game. Hard to quit on this team so early in the season but I have had it. We should never, or rarely, lose to a WCC team. BYU is outclassing us in every way. I am officially going to say…

image

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I find it amusing that you call out fan apathy earlier in this thread, then talk about giving up on this game when it’s only about a quarter of the way through.

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It’s too bad MesoUte quit on this team. Missed a good game, buddy.

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lol…Now the Zoobs don’t even have bragging rights with men’s hoops. At least there’s men’s golf, right?

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Well. How bout that. Just like football.

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I think all posters should get a pass on things posted in the heat of battle.

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champions have composure.

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Where was bulgie in the chat thread. #notarealfan

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