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Utah basketball: Krystkowiak grades his ‘D’ with a data-intensive system
College basketball » Armed with a laptop, he scours game footage, looking for missteps and defensive perfection.


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As the first half against Washington winds down, Utah’s Chris Hines gets caught up in a screen while chasing Wilcox, sparking a chain of defensive decisions that make Krystkowiak smile.

Lumbering forward Javon Dawson switches on to Wilcox, but bites on a pump fake, leaving his feet. The Washington guard slips past. Blake Wilkinson steps into Wilcox’s way to disrupt his control of the ball. On the baseline, Martin slides over to cause a collision that ends the scoring threat. The Huskies’ lead remains two as the half ends.

At a glance

Getting defensive

» Coach Larry Krystkowiak, pictured, personally breaks down defensive footage of his team after games.

» Using a system he learned from New Jersey Nets coach Avery Johnson, Krystkowiak creates and accumulates defensive data.

» The data turns into grades for each player that Krystkowiak distributes to each player after every game.

Utah at UCLA

At Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena

Tipoff » 8:30 p.m.

Radio » 700 AM

Records » Utah 5-14 (2-5), UCLA 10-9 (3-4)

Series » Tied 4-4

Last meeting » Utah, 67-61 (March 19, 1983)

About the Utes » The Utes are 0-9 in games away from the Huntsman Center this season. … Junior center Jason Washburn leads the Utes with 10.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. … In his two starts since replacing Josh Watkins, point guard Kareem Storey, the freshman has averaged 11 points and six assists.

About the Bruins » UCLA has struggled after the media picked it in the preseason to win the Pac-12 championship. … Guard Lazeric Jones leads the Bruins with 13.5 points and 4.3 assists per game.

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Krystkowiak pauses the footage on his laptop computer, backs it up and watches it again: The screen, the switch and the pressure in the lane.

"That’s like the play of the game right there," he says. "That’s winning basketball."

He doesn’t reach for his sheet. Instead, he savors a brief moment of defensive perfection.




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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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