Some Thank Yous
It would be ungrateful of me to not say thank you to the fine people in charge of TornBySports. Without them I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunities that have been provided to me to do amazing things. I list among those things the chance to interview football coaches and players, watch practices, and most importantly get to know (if only through social media) some great and dedicated fans of all the Universities in the state of Utah. TornBySports has now afforded me another chance to live out another sports dream. I will be covering the Utes conference games live. Without further ado….
The Perfect Start
With the way the non-conference contests rolled out I had no idea what to expect from this team when they got into PAC 12 play. Add in the uncertainty of whether or not one of the best players (Kyle Kuzma) was going to be back from an ankle injury he suffered in the tournament at the end of the non-conference games. After the game we learned that David Collette was also going to be a question mark with a head injury.
So what was the best case scenario? Going into the game I would have thought winning by 5-10 would be ideal. The Utes proved me wrong. Colorado started out on a 10-2 run causing Utah to take an early Time out. I don’t know what Kryskowiak said, but it worked. Utah finished the second half up 36-29 and never really looked back.
Post Game Interview with Coach K.
The first question asked of Larry was a good one. The past few years he’s had teams with “NBA Guys” leading the team. Maybe not so much the case this year. Which type of team does he prefer? In what has become a bit of a trademark he answered with a little humor. “I wouldn’t mind having those guys back for a little action.”. Coach went on to talk about the turnover to assist ratios that have been plaguing the team thus far and how that is not Utah basketball and that it won’t be as long as he’s here.
Kryskowiak went on to expound on the Turnover to Assist ratio when asked about Barefields best game of the year in both categories. Coming into the game, in his limited experience, Sedrick was 15-5 on the season. Sunday against the Buffaloes he was 2-8. Coach went on to say the guards have been embarrassed by the stats.
In one of the highlights of the press conference a reporter asked Coach why they weren’t wearing suits and ties this year and his response was epic. He started by pointing at the Under Armour logo on his sweatshirt and asking the inquirer if he was familiar with the 10 year deal the University had signed with the company. Coach then continued to question the logic of a basketball coach wearing a suit and tie in a 75-80 degree arena while football and baseball coaches wear t shirts and sweats. The reporter doubled down on the question by saying the fans wanted to know. Kryskowiak basically lauged it off and asked if people missed seeing him drenched in sweat and popping buttons on his collars.
Post Game Interview With Kuzma and Collette
First things first. Kuzma is a really funny interview. When asked about the turnovers he pointed out the team as a whole only had 3 in the second half. Kuz then jokingly said they have that many in about 35 seconds at practice. At another point he talked about everyone playing “solid” with a little bit of an accent it sounded enough like “salad” that he laughed and made sure everyone knew he meant “solid”.
Kyle was asked about the rapidly improving relationship between himself and Barefield. “He’s like my little bro. Ever since he came here we’ve been close and getting closer. He’s just a smart player.”
Collette didn’t seem to feel nearly as comfortable in the interview room. David was asked about the concussion protocol process (the previously mentioned head injury). Collette’s answer was very “to the point”. It sucks to miss a couple days of practice right before a game. When asked if he was comfortable being the center of the zone defense they ran the majority of the second half, he responded with a very clear and concise “Yes.” After a brief and uncomfortable silence accented by Kuz laughing, Collette tried to use humor by saying that he’s been doing it a long time because he “sucks at defense”.
On To The Next One
If you want to wear the crown you have to dethrone the king. The Utes have a little momentum as they head to Tucson to take on the Wildcats. Arizona should be a great test to see how good, and consistent this team can be.