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Thread: The 2020 Conference Play Thread

  1. #91
    I’ll be glad to see Pritchard gone after these long 7 years, but this is kind of cool

    “To me there is no dishonor in being wrong and learning. There is dishonor in willful ignorance and there is dishonor in disrespect.” James Hatch, former Navy Seal and current Yale student.

  2. #92
    Senior Member Scorcho's Avatar
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    a Utefan on twitter hinted that Larry might be bought out after this season. Its someone I've never seen on my twitter feed before, so I have my doubts that its legitimate.

    Certainly Utah's fanbase seems to be hedging towards making a change, but I don't know if Harlan is there quite yet, or better yet the handful of influential boosters who will nudge Harlan one way or another?

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorcho View Post
    a Utefan on twitter hinted that Larry might be bought out after this season. Its someone I've never seen on my twitter feed before, so I have my doubts that its legitimate.

    Certainly Utah's fanbase seems to be hedging towards making a change, but I don't know if Harlan is there quite yet, or better yet the handful of influential boosters who will nudge Harlan one way or another?
    Harlan could get a check for Larry's buyout tomorrow and he probably wouldn't take it. But it would probably be enough for him to start a behind-the-scenes search for a change after 2020-21, and it'll become apparent well before Selection Sunday whether or not we're an NCAA Tournament team.

    Then again, if you send up a flare and Brian Dutcher's agent is calling you at all hours of the night, you can safely proceed.

  4. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalPat View Post
    Harlan could get a check for Larry's buyout tomorrow and he probably wouldn't take it. But it would probably be enough for him to start a behind-the-scenes search for a change after 2020-21, and it'll become apparent well before Selection Sunday whether or not we're an NCAA Tournament team.

    Then again, if you send up a flare and Brian Dutcher's agent is calling you at all hours of the night, you can safely proceed.
    How about when Belein gets fired by Cleveland
    "Be a philosopher. A man can compromise to gain a point. It has become apparent that a man can, within limits, follow his inclinations within the arms of the Church if he does so discreetly." - The Walking Drum

    "And here’s what life comes down to—not how many years you live, but how many of those years are filled with bullshit that doesn’t amount to anything to satisfy the requirements of some dickhead you’ll never get the pleasure of punching in the face." – Adam Carolla

  5. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalPat View Post
    Harlan could get a check for Larry's buyout tomorrow and he probably wouldn't take it. But it would probably be enough for him to start a behind-the-scenes search for a change after 2020-21, and it'll become apparent well before Selection Sunday whether or not we're an NCAA Tournament team.

    Then again, if you send up a flare and Brian Dutcher's agent is calling you at all hours of the night, you can safely proceed.
    Who are the big money donors for basketball? It used to be Jon Huntsman, but I have had some interaction with some of his children and I don't think they are all that interested. Spence Eccles has been more visible at Utah basketball games than in the past, but he is probably more interested in football. The Garff's put up some big money for the SEZ. Are there any other big donors out there? Utah consistently lags behind most everyone in the PAC in annual giving, so I don't know who would be writing that check.

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    Who are the big money donors for basketball? It used to be Jon Huntsman, but I have had some interaction with some of his children and I don't think they are all that interested. Spence Eccles has been more visible at Utah basketball games than in the past, but he is probably more interested in football. The Garff's put up some big money for the SEZ. Are there any other big donors out there? Utah consistently lags behind most everyone in the PAC in annual giving, so I don't know who would be writing that check.
    Might be a question for SeattleUte.

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mormon Red Death View Post
    How about when Belein gets fired by Cleveland
    I thought I turned a corner with Larry when he took us to two NCAA Tournaments. Even the NIT Finals year was enjoyable. But it says a lot when you have little to no faith in a coach, in spite of him having two of the most memorable victories in program history. The ups and downs simply should not be coming like this, nine years into his tenure.

    At the same time, you wanna scare off the general populace, you fire a coach months after he's brought in a top-10 recruiting class. Then, if he proves he can't win with such a class, people will be lined up around the block, begging for a shot at the job. Is Belein worth firing Larry for a year early? I honestly don't know.

    My mindset on Larry is the same now as it was last offseason. I hope the kids have some great memories, both on the court and off, and that they look fondly upon their time at Utah. I don't openly root for Utah to lose, but I'm not going to be distraught if we don't. It's been a long time since I really got mad over a Utah loss. If anything, the most upsetting thing to happen to Utah hoops this year was to find out (via being put on probation) that Tommy Connor was given CIW status. You wanna talk about a program that lost it's way and doesn't have a clue, a move like that was more symbolic than any botched final set or inbounds play we've seen from Larry.

  8. #98
    I took a look back through our recruiting classes from 2015-2017. I looked at high school seniors only.

    2015- Makol Mawien. Redshirted a year then was booted. I think at the time he was behind Jayce (who enrolled a semester early) and Dave at the 5. Hes done pretty well for himself at K-State.

    2016-Jayce Johnson: Played three years and gave us solid rebounding and a few putbacks. Grad transferred because he thought he should be more important on offense than his abilities. Hardly contributing for a very good Marquette team.
    Devon Daniels: Played one year here and was booted off the team. Averaging 12.1 points, 5 boards, 2.1 assists and 1.7 steals for NC State as a junior.
    Chris Seeley: Redshirted and then played a year before transferring. Now a non-rotation player at Fresno State.

    2017-Donnie Tillman: Two years. Had some behind the scenes disciplinary problems that have only continued at UNLV. Not committed to basketball, at all.
    Vante Hendrix: Redshirted one year, then left the team less tahn a month into the season. Going for 10 points and 4 boards at UNM.
    Christian Popoola: Redshirted a year/played a year and then left after being a nonfactor. Putting up 9 points, 3 boards, and 3 assists on a pretty darn good SLCC team.
    Branden Carlson/Jaxon Brenchley- completing thier first season as Utes, make more sense as 2019 recruits.

    So............3 years and not one player made it all the way through. Of those 7 guys, 2 weren't good enough. 1 was delusional. 4 had a range of issues. There is blame to go around here, but the bottom line is that we went through 3 straight recruiting classes on the heels of a trip to teh sweet 16 and got jack squat out of it. Granted, there were good juco/transfers in there that helped us get to where we needed and there were other issues (Larry's cancer during that time for one. Larry swinging for the fences but striking out in 2016).

    I think we have seen a shift in how Larry recruits. I hope that he can hang on to the players this year.

    Ill put this down for posterity to see: We will make the next 3 NCAA tournaments at least.
    Last edited by UtahsMrSports; 02-19-2020 at 08:22 AM.

  9. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by UtahsMrSports View Post
    2016-Jayce Johnson: Played three years and gave us solid rebounding and a few putbacks. Grad transferred because he thought he should be more important on offense than his abilities. Hardly contributing for a very good Marquette team.
    I watched the 2nd half of Marquette/Villanova last week, and Jayce was on the floor in crunch time. He made a few plays. I think he wanted to go to the tournament, and it looks like he will get to experience that.

  10. #100
    Uteopia,
    Big money donors are or could be Kem Gardner, Richie Smith, Spence Eccles Sr, and potentially the Huntsmans. The Huntsmans have shown less interest but they and Kem Gardner were by far the greatest supporters of the Basketball facility with the Huntsman's allowing athletics to use the family jet to visit other facilities in the planning stages. Two factors are at work here and they are inter-related: Harlan's relationship with each of them and Jim Soto not being at the U anymore. Jim left because he has no respect for Harlan. Jim was the primary relationship with Gardner, Smith and the Huntsmans. Smith will most likely not give to the U while Harlan is there. The same can be said for the McCarthy's. I think the big three - Huntsman's Eccle's and Gardner's - would all still give significantly but Harlan has some work to do there and would maybe still need the President by his side to make an ask.

  11. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utebiquitous View Post
    Uteopia,
    Big money donors are or could be Kem Gardner, Richie Smith, Spence Eccles Sr, and potentially the Huntsmans. The Huntsmans have shown less interest but they and Kem Gardner were by far the greatest supporters of the Basketball facility with the Huntsman's allowing athletics to use the family jet to visit other facilities in the planning stages. Two factors are at work here and they are inter-related: Harlan's relationship with each of them and Jim Soto not being at the U anymore. Jim left because he has no respect for Harlan. Jim was the primary relationship with Gardner, Smith and the Huntsmans. Smith will most likely not give to the U while Harlan is there. The same can be said for the McCarthy's. I think the big three - Huntsman's Eccle's and Gardner's - would all still give significantly but Harlan has some work to do there and would maybe still need the President by his side to make an ask.
    I didn't know that about Soto and Harlan. Its surprising because they both seem very level-headed.

  12. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I watched the 2nd half of Marquette/Villanova last week, and Jayce was on the floor in crunch time. He made a few plays. I think he wanted to go to the tournament, and it looks like he will get to experience that.
    I have a co-worker who is a big Marquette fan. We were talking today, and she told me that Jayce accidentally smacked Markus Howard in his broken nose in the game against Creighton last night. That got a good laugh - totally sounds like Jayce.

  13. #103
    We may never win again.

  14. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by Utebiquitous View Post
    Uteopia,
    Big money donors are or could be Kem Gardner, Richie Smith, Spence Eccles Sr, and potentially the Huntsmans. The Huntsmans have shown less interest but they and Kem Gardner were by far the greatest supporters of the Basketball facility with the Huntsman's allowing athletics to use the family jet to visit other facilities in the planning stages. Two factors are at work here and they are inter-related: Harlan's relationship with each of them and Jim Soto not being at the U anymore. Jim left because he has no respect for Harlan. Jim was the primary relationship with Gardner, Smith and the Huntsmans. Smith will most likely not give to the U while Harlan is there. The same can be said for the McCarthy's. I think the big three - Huntsman's Eccle's and Gardner's - would all still give significantly but Harlan has some work to do there and would maybe still need the President by his side to make an ask.
    As I have been told I do not know any of these people or what they are thinking—so for what it is worth — Smiths gave up their tickets, & McCarthy there last night—sitting next to Jimmy pre-game. Huntsmans are being asked to donate to the face lift to the arena—new entrance & other upgrades. Kem will also be involved in that—may get a name plug. Spence is not that into basketball, ski team his passion. So money is not there for a buy out—vent all you want about Larry, but try to watch the games too.

    P.S. As to last night—Rylan Jones had the flu all week—did not practice. It is obvious it is time to sit Battin & start Jantunen. Not sure if they start Plummer or stick with Gach—he needs a shot doctor (ICU).

    And what do they do about FT shooting? Brenchley makes 1 of 3–barely draws iron on the first? they make their FTS first half & have the lead.

  15. #105
    I know some people believe we'll be good next season, but I'm not convinced. We are towards the bottom of an okay conference, and we are fading fast. We're getting blown out by so-so teams. Experience matters a lot, especially when some of the other good teams in the conference are running on one and done's. But does a year of experience cover the 20 point blowouts we've suffered all season? I hope so.

    We have a good PG, a promising center, and some other pieces. We have almost no shooting and don't rebound or defend particularly well. I'm not certain that another year of experience and a few new faces will be enough to move us up into the dance. It will require that our players improve significantly and/or our newcomers are lights out as freshmen.

    If we were a bubble team, or if we were close in these losses, I would feel a lot more optimism. I think the team is feeling pessimistic now too, and that really concerns me because of transfer potential.

  16. #106
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Standing ute View Post
    P.S. As to last night—Rylan Jones had the flu all week—did not practice. It is obvious it is time to sit Battin & start Jantunen. Not sure if they start Plummer or stick with Gach—he needs a shot doctor (ICU).

    And what do they do about FT shooting? Brenchley makes 1 of 3–barely draws iron on the first? they make their FTS first half & have the lead.
    We really upped the offensive energy with about 10 minutes left in the 2nd half, and there was a noticeable difference. I wish we could run at that level for 40 minutes. We really are more effective when we push things, even though we turn it over more.

  17. #107
    I think the fade has to do with playing a rotation that is short and inexperienced, mostly the former. We gotta get some playable depth.

  18. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by UtahsMrSports View Post
    I think the fade has to do with playing a rotation that is short and inexperienced, mostly the former. We gotta get some playable depth.
    Maybe. We have 8 guys getting > 10 minutes per game. Lahat is close at 9.5.

    Top six Pac-12 teams:

    Arizona: 10 guys
    ASU: 10 guys
    Oregon: 10 guys
    UCLA: 10 guys
    Colorado: 9 guys
    USC: 8 guys

    We should have a deeper rotation next season. Hopefully that helps.

  19. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by UtahsMrSports View Post
    I think the fade has to do with playing a rotation that is short and inexperienced, mostly the former. We gotta get some playable depth.
    We absolutely need Gach to be better. That changes a lot. He's shooting 10 percent worse overall (19 percent worse from 2!) from the field and 11 percent worse from the line from last year. Efficiency-wise, he's far and away the worst offensive player on the team -- the average efficiency of our rotation guys is 112.5 points per 100 possessions. Gach is at 87.5 -- that's 26 points per 100 possessions worse with him in the game. I'll say it right now -- no player in the Pac-12 is more of a millstone around his team's chances of winning than Gach has been to Utah this year. His game has absolutely cratered this year. We'd better hope his injuries are having a huge impact on his game, and I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on that. But he has to regain all he's lost, plus give us the improvement we expected out of him, in his junior year.
    Last edited by SoCalPat; 02-21-2020 at 03:06 PM.

  20. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalPat View Post
    We absolutely need Gach to be better. That changes a lot. He's shooting 10 percent worse overall (19 percent worse from 2!) from the field and 11 percent worse from the line from last year. Efficiency-wise, he's far and away the worst offensive player on the team -- the average efficiency of our rotation guys is 112.5 points per 100 possessions. Gach is at 87.5 -- that's 26 points per 100 possessions worse with him in the game. I'll say it right now -- no player in the Pac-12 is more of a millstone around his team's chances of winning than Gach has been to Utah this year. His game has absolutely cratered this year. We'd better hope his injuries are having a huge impact on his game, and I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on that. But he has to regain all he's lost, plus give us the improvement we expected out of him, in his junior year.
    If BG doesnt get better, there are two guys coming in who will push him down to the end of the bench on their first day in camp.

  21. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by UtahsMrSports View Post
    If BG doesnt get better, there are two guys coming in who will push him down to the end of the bench on their first day in camp.
    If BG doesn't get better, Jaxon Brenchley and Alfonso Plummer will push him down to the end of the bench this season. At this point, they would contribute more. We're playing him now out of a hope that he can get out of this massive funk.

    And, I think he showed signs of life last night for the first time in over a month. Maybe this is a start of a return.

  22. #112
    Quote Originally Posted by UtahsMrSports View Post
    If BG doesnt get better, there are two guys coming in who will push him down to the end of the bench on their first day in camp.
    The thing with Gach is that he has some attributes that nobody else on the roster has and I don't think any of the incoming recruits do either. His athleticism and length is something Utah needs more of. I have said I think his future at Utah is at the SF (and I've been saying that since before his massive slump). Utah will have plenty of guards next year, what they won't have much of is athleticism on the wing. It is imperative that they get him on track and keep him in the program.

  23. #113
    Development of players in the off season is pretty critical going into next year. There's no doubt in my mind that Carlson will come back bigger, stronger and more skilled. He's already heading in that direction. Jantuunen, Allen and Gach have got to show up next season with strong three-point shooting and better mid-range games - probably in that order. None of them are far from becoming good shooters from what I can see. Catching ready to shoot would be a first step that all of them need to work on. As I talk to skills coaches that is one of the biggest things I hear and see them working on with players. Knowing that creates huge frustration when I watch the Utes. Not only is it rare to see a player catch a ball ready to immediately shoot, pass or dribble, the passes made are so casual/unintentional.

    Allen absolutely must get in the gym and get a shot. He's just too good of a player to not get there. I totally understand Blender's thoughts on Gach but he has a ways to go to just know how to play. Even when he can get out and run he makes a lot of mistakes. Last night he missed three shots at the rim that became uncontested layups. UCLA players showed a physical presence convincing him they may contest and then they backed off. Gach also leads the team in poor passes. I don't even mean turnovers - just bad passes that are thrown near the player never to the center of the body. I hope he stays and continues to develop but I wonder.

    I think Lohner and Martinez are sure impact freshman - I may be wrong but paper indicates it. We know Jones will return better. If the above players develop some this team becomes formidable - even without much of an offensive system.

  24. #114
    I think this is the first team I can ever remember that regressed as the season went along. Hard to believe we beat Kentucky to BYU. We've gotten worse as the season has gone along

  25. #115
    How 'bout Cronin? Pretty amazing to be able to inherit a ton of top recruits and then do well with them.

  26. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    How 'bout Cronin? Pretty amazing to be able to inherit a ton of top recruits and then do well with them.
    If Arizona holds on vs Oregon then UCLA controls their own destiny
    "Be a philosopher. A man can compromise to gain a point. It has become apparent that a man can, within limits, follow his inclinations within the arms of the Church if he does so discreetly." - The Walking Drum

    "And here’s what life comes down to—not how many years you live, but how many of those years are filled with bullshit that doesn’t amount to anything to satisfy the requirements of some dickhead you’ll never get the pleasure of punching in the face." – Adam Carolla

  27. #117
    Even though I hate Oregon nothing beats my disdain for Arizona basketball
    "Be a philosopher. A man can compromise to gain a point. It has become apparent that a man can, within limits, follow his inclinations within the arms of the Church if he does so discreetly." - The Walking Drum

    "And here’s what life comes down to—not how many years you live, but how many of those years are filled with bullshit that doesn’t amount to anything to satisfy the requirements of some dickhead you’ll never get the pleasure of punching in the face." – Adam Carolla

  28. #118
    UCLA has a real coach now. This is like Pete Carroll's first year at USC. UCLA will be dominant again in basketball soon.
    One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike -- and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

    --Albert Einstein

    The fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved out of literally nothing, is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice.

    --Richard Dawkins

    Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

    --Philo

  29. #119
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    UCLA has a real coach now. This is like Pete Carroll's first year at USC. UCLA will be dominant again in basketball soon.
    They won’t ever be great, but the coach at Wazzu is also for real.

    Typical PAC-12 ref moment at end of UCLA game—Jones fouls out & before Utes put in a replacement, refs give ball to & UCLA player shoots & misses the FT.

    Horn has to sound to tell them only 4 on the floor—-so do over & instead he makes the first FT.

  30. #120
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Standing ute View Post
    They won’t ever be great, but the coach at Wazzu is also for real.

    Typical PAC-12 ref moment at end of UCLA game—Jones fouls out & before Utes put in a replacement, refs give ball to & UCLA player shoots & misses the FT.

    Horn has to sound to tell them only 4 on the floor—-so do over & instead he makes the first FT.

    The missed goal tendings and the foul on Battin that got LK the technical were the worst. BTW, why do you think we have not gotten better?

    Some guy named Armstrong tweeted Thursday from the tv broadcast, to the effect, "you can see this team does not like paying for its coach." True in whole or in part?

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