Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Colorado's Xavier Johnson, right, falls into Utah's Dakarai Tucker during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/The Daily Camera, Cliff Grassmick) NO SALES
Utah basketball: Utes’ road struggles continue
Utah basketball » Team unable to win close games.
First Published Feb 02 2014 07:02 pm • Last Updated Feb 02 2014 11:16 pm

Boulder, Colo. • People are starting to take notice.

The national college basketball observers are taking to Twitter, speaking of Utah’s woes away from the Huntsman Center. And in analyzing the Utes’ seven losses, you would be hard-pressed to find another team around the country with worse luck.

At a glance

Washingtonat Utah

Thursday, 7 p.m.

TV » Pac-12Network

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Utah has been defeated by an average of 3.7 points per game. The Utes are 0-6 in games decided by four points or less. They are 0-2 in overtime, and their losses total 26 points. They are young, and they are taking their lumps, despite being the most competitive team the program has seen in years.

Maybe it’s just a part of the process, growing the program. Maybe Utah is simply a year away.

"I don’t know what you can say about it," sophomore guard Brandon Taylor said. "We just have to find a way to get better. We have to go back to practice, look at the film and get better for the week."

The latest loss was Saturday against Colorado, a 79-75 overtime defeat that stung in many ways. In falling short again, the Utes had a 47-35 lead with 14 minutes remaining. They controlled the first half, and fought back to send it to overtime on Taylor’s 3-pointer even when the Buffaloes made an inevitable run.

But in the extra session, Utah never led. The Utes scored 10 points but never really seemed to have many good offensive possessions. As a result, the questions persist, and it’s not just about winning on the road. It’s about winning close games, period.

"When we hit the 3 to send it to overtime, it really felt like we were going to win this game," freshman forward Ahmad Fields said. "Everyone was hyped, and everyone was excited. For us to not win that game was frustrating. There are a lot of games this year that we’ve lost that we feel like should’ve gone our way."

There is good news. The Pac-12 is so jumbled that the Utes aren’t out of contention — even at 3-6 in league play. But this is almost desperation time for Larry Krystkowiak’s team. Washington and Washington State come to the Huntsman Center this week. They are almost must-win matchups. Only Arizona (21-1, 8-1) has separated itself from the field. Even UCLA lost at Oregon State over the weekend, so everyone beyond the Wildcats has at least three losses in the conference.

So if Utah can find a way to win a few consecutive games, and pull out the close games, it could still put itself in position for a good Pac-12 tournament seed.


story continues below
story continues below

But it’s February. The sand in the hourglass is running. The Utes still have time left. But not much.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.