Las Vegas • Larry Krystkowiak preached patience. He preached being unselfish.
Those talks — held this week in practice leading to Utah’s win over Washington — paid off in the Utes 67-61 conquest of the Huskies at MGM Grand Arena.
Jordan Loveridge could have taken the shot that ended up in Dakarai Tucker’s hands with 35 seconds remaining. It was open. It was a good look. Utah’s sophomore forward had been having a great second half, and not one person would’ve complained had he let it fly.
"It would’ve been considered a good shot by us for sure," Krystkowiak said. "Instead, it turned in to a great play."
Loveridge saw Tucker in the corner, standing wide open. He swung the ball. Tucker swished the biggest shot of the season at just the right time.
And it took great team play for it to happen. Tucker is the person that will get all of the credit. Loveridge is the one who made it happen.
"We tried to tell everyone on the team that we need to have some trust in the guy next to you," Krystkowiak said. "We have a lot of confidence in Jordan. But we told him that at some point, a team is going to over rotate to you and someone will be wide open."
Where it all began
Pleasant Grove native C.J. Wilcox played his final Pac-12 game against Utah. It’s a bit ironic, considering Wilcox was all but a cinch to become a Ute during the recruiting process. He made news by committing to Washington and becoming the defining recruiting miss of the Jim Boylen era.
Wilcox then went on to become one of the best players in the league. He leaves the Pac-12 a bona fide NBA prospect, and as the best shooter in the conference.
"I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here," Wilcox said. "It’s been a lot of years and Washington has helped me grow on and off the floor. I’m proud of what I’ve done here."
Utah finished the game by scoring eight of the final nine points. It helped turn a 60-59 deficit into a win and a date against Arizona.
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