I am supposed to be a blogger. A blogger that focuses on Utah basketball. Yet, I have been struggling to find material to write about. The reason? With each game, except the UCLA game, it seems like Utah basketball is in their own personal ground hog day.
It actually pains me to think of all the close games the Utes could have won. Instead there are 6 games in the loss column. All of them due to lack of execution as the game wore down. Some have been attributed to youth. Others have questioned Larry Krystkowiak’s end of game coaching, time out calls, and plays.
Through out all of the losses I have allowed myself to be hopeful. The Utes just need to win one close game. Then they would be over the hump, right? Wrong. They just need one road win, then they will be over the hump? Still looking for that one. However, through this season I have been okay with all of it. I expected this kind of season. Just look at last season.
Last season the Utes played a lot of teams close, see Arizona and ASU. They even won a road game against Washington. But there were some bad losses like the 87-56 loss to Stanford. So, I came into this season looking for the big losses to disappear. No more 17+ point losses. That doesn’t mean I was ready for the heart breaking, agonizing defeats.
Either way, I wasn’t planning on being disappointed about the season. This team is young and growing. Everyone watching the team can see the improvement. Add the strong recruiting class coming in and Utah is back. (Heck, another season like this year in football and more improvement in basketball could change Utah in to a basketball school.)
There is one concern I have with all these close losses. The moral victory. Larry Krystkowiak said there was a lot of positive signs against Arizona. I don’t want this team getting too excited about winning some battles in game, but not the game itself. Luckily, there are other quotes that show it isn’t happening yet.
We’re hurting now, a little down right now. But we’re confident that we’re going to bounce back. We know what kind of team we are and we know we’re capable – Dakarai Tucker (Salt Lake Tribune)
So, is there hope for this season? Depends on what your definition of success for this season is. Personally, I want some post season play. I am not saying the big dance. But, I do expect another post season tournament. What about you?