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University of Utah men's basketball • Utes find turnovers tough to swallow after loss

Published February 23, 2012 11:24 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Given the ironing of imperfection and incremental improvements, it's fair to say that during this 5-22 season, many new leaves have been turned for the Utah men's basketball team.

Then again, what hasn't?

While the Utes have made small progressions this season, turnovers remain an area where Utah consistently struggles.

Thursday, the Utes committed 18 turnovers in their 60-46 loss to California. It was the 22nd time they committed 10 or more turnovers in a game and the 11th time they committed 15 or more.

"You can't win with 18 of them," guard Chris Hines. "It's tough. We had 18, 11 in the first half, I think, and that really hurt us. So, it's that simple, you just can't win with 18 of them."

Thursday, though, may have marked a new low in the manner of turnovers.

It began when freshman point guard Kareem Storey sailed a sideways pass over Cedric Martin's head and hand.

"They weren't the turnovers where we're getting trapped," Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "We're just throwing it away. It's beyond me without pressure that we're not able to keep moving the ball and make a simple play."

Would this be a good time to mention that the Golden Bears rank 12th in the conference in turnovers forced?

Krystkowiak continued:

"This isn't Oregon State, we didn't just play a team that picked you up full court and trapped you and had 6-[foot]-9 guys out front."

Cal scored 13 points off of the 18 turnovers (although seven were scored as steals), while the Bears committed just eight.

The problem, Krystkowiak said, is that even now, nearly seven months since this team first came together for unofficial workouts, the Utes aren't on the same page on offense.

"We've got some guys that pretend that can't hear it," he said, "and other guys that don't know it. But it seemed like tonight there was always one person that just didn't quite understand what we were trying to do and we're only going to be as strong as our weakest link."

boram@sltrib.com

Twitter: @oramb