It’s fitting, really.
On the night that Utah honors their former coach — the late Rick Majerus, who spent many seasons in Salt Lake City and brought the Utes to the 1998 national title game — by placing one of his patented, cream-colored sweaters on the first seat on the bench, Larry Krystkowiak’s team put together their most impressive performance since … Majerus was actually on the Huntsman Center sideline?
Boise State was 6-1 on the season coming in, with a 13 point win at Creighton on their resume and their only loss coming by four at Michigan State, but found themselves down 27-8 in the blink of an eye. Utah would push that lead to as much as 26 points en route to a 76-55 win.
“We felt like coach Majerus was with us all night. He was right on the bench with us, smiling down,” senior center Jason Washburn said. “We talked about giving our best, and giving a complete performance. This was a Rick Majerus type of game. We hope that we made him proud.”
Utah finished the game shooting 68% from the floor as they won their sixth game of the season, matching last year’s win total just eight games in and picking up what is undoubtedly the biggest win of Krystkowiak’s tenure.
Boise State came in with a combination of hype and momentum, but they ran into a Utah buzzsaw that sent them back to Idaho with a heaping helping of humility.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.
The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.
But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.
New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.
The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.