I not one of the people that thinks that Giacoletti should be off the hook after two consecutive victories, I still don't feel that the team looks well coached. Nonetheless, I wonder what this season would be like had Giacolettt made a few different decisions after his first season at Utah.
Giacoletti made one critical mistake in my mind following his first season. He excused Justin Hawkins from the team. I don't really care about the details of the dismissal. My understanding is that it was due to Hawkins not getting along with Giacoletti. However, I thought about Giac's choice to dismiss him after reading that Hawkins scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for New Mexico State last night to upset nationally ranked Nevada. Couldn't Utah have used Justin Hawkins this year and last? He had an attitude about him even during his first two years at Utah that this team badly lacks. He would have been a senior this year and would have brought experience and been a needed versatile scorer. More importantly, I think he would have brought toughness to this team that is lacking.
Kurt Kragthorpe argued in his article in the Salt Lake Tribune early this past week that Giacoletti deserved more time due to the youth and inexperience of this team. However, hasn't Giacoletti made his own bed here? Had he not let Hawkins go after his first season as coach, he would have an experienced and capable senior on the team that had played in the NCAA tournament twice.
Before last season Giacoletti refused to allow Richard Chaney to return to the team after Chaney realized that he would not be able to transfer to Indiana as he originally planned after he requested a release. I realize Chaney would have played his senior year last year and done nothing for this team, However, how much better would Utah had been last year with Chaney?
The choices to release Hawkins and not allow Chaney to return have a great effect on the program today. Many say that Majerus that didn't leave the program with a lot of talent when he left. However, isn't it the fault of Giacoletti that he allowed two of the top talents left over from Majerus' program to get away?