Either the Pac-12 Sucks or Utah Basketball is Awesome
The Pac-12 may be down a bit this year but the Utah Utes are off to an unbelievable 3-0 start in conference play. Their nearly 30 point thrashing of Colorado last night was essentially their 3rd such win in a row to begin conference play. Say what you will about the conference but it’s still the PAC-12 – full of future NBA players. And Utah is making people look silly. The games are not even close! Colorado is clearly one of the better teams in the Pac-12 this year and Utah handled them easily, 74-49.
What Larry Krystkowiak has done is nothing short of miraculous. I saw a Tweet yesterday that reminded us all that Utah lost to Colorado in their innagural Pac-12 basketball game 73-33 in 2011. That year they went 3-16 in conference play. Now, 3 seasons later, it looks like they may not lose a conference game and they are ranked #9 in the country. Many a Ute fan will remember that it wasn’t long ago that Utah Hoops was completely irelavent in the state, except for Jimmermania’s annual visit.
In addition to great coaching, what makes the Utes so scary is how many guys have the ability to score 15-20 points per game, namely: Delon Wright, Brekkott Chapman, Jordan Loveridge, Brandon Taylor, etc. And then you factor in a 7 footer in Jakob Poeltl who is just beginning to scratch the surface. He’s good for 6-10 points per night, is very skilled and is a real threat. Poeltl’s back-up, Dallin Bachynski is very high energy and no slouch himself.
If you compare Utah to the other big team in the state – BYU – who if they don’t get 24 and 15 from Haws and Collinsworth every game, they may struggle – Utah is such a complete team. Utah is so athletic, has plenty of size and defends like crazy. If Loveridge can get back to his normal self after his injury and start burying 3 pointers again, and Brekkkott Chapman can continue to shoot it along with the others – Utah should be able to continue this success.
Of course they aren’t gonna run the table in the Pac-12 as Arizona will have something to say about that, and Utah is yet to go on the road in-conference. All that said, it’s tough to see Utah losing any more than 2 or 3 games the rest of the way.