Larry Krystkowiak has had one of the tougher rebuilding jobs on his hands since he took over Utah three seasons ago. He’s made headway in his two seasons, after a 6-25 maiden campaign, the Utes improved to 15-18 last season.
Now, top recruits are starting to take notice, apparently, with the Utes getting their first pledge of 2014 in power forward Brekkott Chapman.
The 6-8, 215-pound Roy, Utah product decided to stay in-state on Monday afternoon. Chapman’s AAU coach told Scout.com’s Josh Gershon what went into the commitment (subscription required). Chapman, a four-star recruit, was ranked the 16th-best power forward in his class by Scout.com.
According to Chapman’s AAU coach, Lynn Lloyd with the Utah Prospects, the biggest reason the four-star prospect chose Utah was his relationship with head coach Larry Krystkowiak.
“It was his relationship with Larry,” Lloyd said. “He worked his (butt) off and didn’t miss a game. It was all about Larry; it was his relationship with coach K.”
Besides a 25-10 year in 2008-09 under Jim Boylen, the Utes haven’t had a ton to be happy about since Ray Giacoletti’s first season, a 29-6 season in 2004-05 season where Utah made the Sweet 16. That was the first full season after Rick Majerus resigned.
To hear that Krystkowiak is getting top-level talent means he’s got the program on the rebound. To hear it’s happening because of his own relationship with the players should really get Utah fans excited. Because players say they commit for a lot of reasons (facilities, style of play, etc.) but for a team that’s won 20 games once in the last eight seasons, it’s a tough sell — it probably didn’t hurt that Chapman is a native Utahan, though — and relationships with the players and coaches are magnified.
Here are a few highlights of Chapman to see what he’s bringing to Salt Lake City in 2014.
(Photo courtesy of Kelly Kline/Under Armour)
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten