Larry Krystkowiak

How Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak can avoid an NCAA violation

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I’m going to have to go ahead and stand up for Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak.

I don’t think he committed an NCAA violation.

Let me explain.

Last night, as I was trying to wrap my head around the latest episode of Homeland, this tweet from, Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune, popped up on my feed:

Here’s the rule that Drew is referencing:

Before the signing of a prospective student-athlete to a National Letter of Intent or an institution’s written offer of admission and/or financial aid, a member institution may comment publicly only to the extent of confirming its recruitment of the prospective student-athlete. The institution may not comment generally about the prospective student-athlete’s ability or the contribution that the prospective student-athlete might make to the institution’s team; further, the institution is precluded from commenting in any manner as to the likelihood of the prospective student-athlete’s signing with that institution.

By the letter of the law, yes, Krystkowiak committed a relatively minor violation. He should have known better, and the television station that aired the clip should have known better as well.

But, frankly, Krystkowiak may as well be talking about Kobe Bryant, because he has absolutely no chance of landing this nation’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2013. Let’s forget, for a second, that the Utes are coming off a season where they weren’t even an afterthought in a Pac-12 that was barely able to get their regular season champ an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Utah isn’t on Parker’s final list of five schools, and he wasn’t on the list of 11 schools that he was considering prior to that.

You know who is on that list, though? One of Utah’s biggest rivals, BYU. BYU also happens to be the flagship university for Mormons. Parker is Mormon. If he decides to spend his one season in college in the state of Utah, he’ll be doing so at BYU. I have a better chance of getting him to play for me men’s league team than Krystkowiak does of getting him to become a Ute.

With that in mind, you cannot honestly consider that Parker to be a “prospective student-athlete” for Utah.

Lawyered.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: