Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Kim Raff | The Salt Lake Tribune) University of Utah forward Jordan Loveridge (21) reacts to getting called on a foul during a game at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on December 21, 2012.
Utah basketball: Utah picked to finish ninth in Pac-12
Men’s basketball » Utes picked to finish out of cellar for first time Krystkowiak’s tenure
First Published Oct 17 2013 10:07 am • Last Updated Oct 18 2013 04:38 pm

San Francisco • The first victory of the 2013 season for the Utah men’s basketball team looks small on paper, but is a significant step in the perception of Larry Krystkowiak’s program.

On Thursday morning, media that covers the Pac-12 tabbed the Utes to finish ninth in the 12-team conference in its annual preseason poll. It represents the highest prognostication for Utah since the team made the jump over from the Mountain West three years ago. In fact, it’s the first time the Utes haven’t been picked to finish dead last.

At a glance

Pac-12 basketball poll

Team Pts.

1. Arizona 273 (21)*

2. UCLA 212 (1)  

3. Colorado 211 (1)

4. Oregon 196

5. California 194

6. Stanford 166

7. Arizona State 159

8. Washington 121

9. Utah 68

10. Oregon State  67

11. USC 63

12. Washington State 39

*First-place votes in parenthesis

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"It feels good that we’re not being picked to finish dead last in the conference. It shows people are starting to pay attention," Utah sophomore forward Jordan Loveridge said. "We have athleticism at every position this year, so hopefully that helps us. We try not to worry about where we’re picked because we have to play well regardless. We’re excited to see how it all comes together."

Arizona — which many think has a shot at making a run to the Final Four this season — was picked to win the league. UCLA, Colorado and Oregon round out the top four.

Oregon State, USC and Washington State are picked to finish below the Utes.

If anything, picking Utah ninth represents a sign that the league is finally starting to play attention to the Utes — a team that won four of its last five a season ago, advanced to the Pac-12 semifinals and beat NCAA Tournament teams Oregon and California along the way.

Utah loses three starters from that team, but a deep and talented recruiting class led by Delon Wright and Princeton Onwas has arrived on campus to provide reinforcements. The Utes also return four sophomores who played extensively as freshmen. Two -—Jordan Loveridge and Brandon Taylor — are projected starters, with Loveridge having the potential to develop into an all-conference candidate. A third, Dakarai Tucker, is fighting for the small forward job with Onwas. Jeremy Olsen also will be a prominent part of Krystkowiak’s frontcourt rotation.

"It’s been a long offseason," Loveridge said. "It’s almost over. We want to get on the floor and play. We’re tired of beating each other up in practice."

Will it all add up to more wins? That will be played out over the next five months. But at least on media day, it’s clear that others outside of the program are recognizing the steps taken by Utah over the last two years.


story continues below
story continues below

on twitter: @tjonessltrib

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
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
  • Access your e-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.