Posted by PBaruh on October 18th, 2012
Throughout the preseason, the Pac-12 microsite will be rolling out these featured breakdowns of each of the 12 league schools. Today’s release is the Utah Utes.
Strengths. Although Utah had a terrible season last year with almost nothing going right, their coach, Larry Krystkowiak, took charge of the team and made sure that his players knew he didn’t need them if they didn’t play by his rules. He kicked leading scorer Josh Watkins off the team midway through the season. Although Krystkowiak hasn’t had consistent success yet, he’s a good leader for this young team. The Utes have few strengths on this unproven squad right now. However, Utah will have a lot of size, although it will be of the mostly inexperienced variety. They have some returning scoring and rebounding ability with Jason Washburn, but also welcome transfers Dallon Bachynski and Renan Lenz into the fray. Although Bachynski is raw, he still stands at 7’0″ and Lenz should be able to come in and rebound right away and provide a complement to Washburn. Also, the Utes bring in a promising young ESPN 100 recruit in Jordan Loveridge. He could easily become Utah’s best player as the season develops due to his ability to score in the lane, shoot from the outside, and rebound well for a forward.
Jason Washburn, the best player returning for the Utah Utes, will have to step it up this year for Utah to be competitive in the Pac-12 (AP)
Weaknesses. The Utes’ biggest weakness coming into this season is the fact that they don’t have a core of returning players to rely on. Krystowiak brought in 10 new players between recruits and transfers, but none of these players are coming from notable schools. Consequently, Utah doesn’t yet have the talent to really compete in the Pac-12. Last year, the conference was terrible and still they somehow managed to win only three games in the conference. This year, the conference is better, which doesn’t bode well for the Utes especially since they just lost 7’3” David Foster to the same foot injury that hindered him and kept him out for most of last year. It looks like it’s going to be another long season in Salt Lake.
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