Just about three weeks after the release of Utah’s 2012-13 non-conference schedule, head coach Larry Krystkowiak has also voiced his lack of enthusiasm for the Utes’ upcoming series with Utah State.
According to Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune, Krystkowiak wouldn’t play the series, which is a four-game home-and-home due to begin in 2014, if he had his way.
“I’d rather not play Utah State at any time if I had my druthers,” Krystkowiak said. “I think it’s good for our state. We’ll give it a shot for a couple years and reevaluate. It’s something that’s been done for a lot of years and I’ve got a relationship with Stew. I wasn’t opposed. I was asked if I was willing to do it and I said, ‘Yeah,’ so we’re going to go from there.”
Now the cynic will rush to point out that while Utah State has enjoyed a great deal of success in recent years, it’s been a steady tumble downhill for the Utes since their last NCAA appearance in 2009.
And even though Krystkowiak was a player at Montana while Utah State head coach Stew Morrill was an assistant, there’s also the aspect of not wanting to fall to a team that isn’t in a “power” conference.
“They’re a great team,” he said. “I think [Morrill] has done a tremendous job there. It’s a hard place to get a win. Not many teams go in there and beat them on their court. I’m not playing the high and mighty Pac-12 kind of thing, but you won’t see any other Pac-12 team playing them, that’s for sure.”
According to Oram, Krystkowiak also suggested a four-team event at Energy Solutions Arena, which would be along the lines of the new “Big Four Classic” that the Iowa schools (Iowa, Iowa State, Drake and Northern Iowa) will take part in this December.
But such a tournament, as is the case with Iowa, would remove the possibility of a high-major team having to play a dangerous in-state foe in a true road game.
Whether Krystkowiak’s objection to the series is based on his relationship with Stew Morrill or not wanting to suffer a loss at Utah State is up to the fans to decide.
But when objecting to the series on the heels of a 6-25 campaign, it’s pretty easy to figure out which line of “reasoning” most will choose.