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Utah basketball: What's next for unpredictable Utes?

Published February 3, 2013 5:36 pm

College basketball • Team's up-and-down season continues Wednesday at Oregon State.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Not even Larry Krystkowiak can predict what's going to happen next.

If the 2013 Utah Utes have proved anything, it's their consistent inconsistency. In the last month, Utah has managed to lose to Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA by a combined eight points. The Utes have been blown out by teams closer to the bottom of the league like California and USC. They were manhandled by Stanford. They went on the road and blown out a pretty good Washington team.

Saturday's 58-55 win over Colorado just adds to the mystery. Utah has proved that it's clearly good enough to compete — and beat — the top teams the Pac-12 has to offer. And the Utes have proved capable of looking like one of the dregs of the league on more than one occasion.

"Every time we talk about momentum, it doesn't work out," Krystkowiak said. "So we have to do everything one step at a time. We have to take it one practice, one day at a time."

Utah travels to Oregon State on Wednesday night to take on the Beavers. For now — with OSU's loss Sunday to Stanford — the Utes have managed to dig themselves out of the league cellar. But with a one-game lead in that department, a loss Wednesday would prove to be a short reprieve of last place for Utah.

Many Ute fans have been asking which team will show up for the last nine games of the regular season. On Saturday, it was the team with the stingy defense and an improved flow on offense. Brandon Taylor started his first game at point guard, and his insertion into the lineup coincided with much better ball movement.

Jeremy Olsen keeps getting better in the post. The freshman scored 12 points in 14 minutes. And Jason Washburn added to his senior season by scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.

"Jeremy is a technician in the post," Washburn said of Olsen. "He better savor that because he'd never catch me saying that to him in private. He's been getting better and better with every day. He's really going to be a force; people better watch out for him."

tjones@sltrib.comTwitter: @tjonessltrib