I was going to write about how the Utes have lost some support, but had stopped the bleeding with the win over Washington. Then this last week happened. To paint a picture of the game, look at these quotes:
“This is rock-bottom for me. This is the lowest I’ve felt since I took over. We just got beat up out there tonight. I can tell you this much: We will play hard for the rest of the year. That won’t be a problem again. There just wasn’t a bright spot in this ballgame for us.”
“That’s the million dollar question. We got our butts kicked in every phase of the game. The one thing we’re going to do for the rest of the season is play hard. We got out-physicaled in every phase against Stanford. We’re just not dialed in.”
“If I go down, I’m going down swinging.”
– Coach Larry Krystkowiak
Coach K was not the only person who saw no positives in the game. Many fans on twitter started voicing their concerns. I saw anything from firing Coach K to AD Chris Hill. I must say based on Coach Krystkowiak’s comments, he must be feeling some heat. I almost want to go down the road about managing expectations. You should know if a team does well in the preseason the fans are going to expect more. Then the Utes held BYU, Arizona, ASU, and UCLA to close games where the Utes had honest chances to win. So, what are the hopes and expectations now? Don’t lose by more than 15 points? Is this team that bad?
“We are always coming out and getting behind and not playing well early on. That’s on the players. We have to come out with much more energy. Until we do, we’re always going to be getting beat like this.”
“We came out dead on Sunday, like most of the other games we came out dead. Coaches put a lot of time into putting us in a good position. We can’t be outplayed like we have been.”
– Justin Seymour, Freshman Guard
Are the players losing confidence and not playing with the energy they need to? How does a team that is in the bottom of the conference not play with energy? Good teams can’t afford to play with no energy, and the Utes can’t afford it either. This is where I think it is time for the Utes to mix it up. Change the starting lineup. I have previously said the Utes should move to a young and big line-up. The lineup I propose should improve the defense and offense, improving the team for the short and long term.
At looking at the latest numbers I would adjust the starting lineup to:
Brandon Taylor – PG – PER 18.86
Dakari Tucker – SG – PER 15.10
Jordan Loveridge – SF – PER 17.32
Jason Washburn – PF – PER 23.66
Dallin Bachynski – C – PER 18.70
Set the older guys to come off the bench. I would hope the older guys would be able to use their experience and provide a good bump off the bench. Either way, I am just as down hearted as the rest of Ute nation. What will happen to this basketball program? I just don’t know anymore.
I would really just not like to end up like this: