Giacoletti's former assistant Randy Rahe is proving this year that a team can be successful with a young and inexperienced team as long as they have some direction.
Randy Rahe left Utah last year to become the new coach at Weber St. Entering this season his Weber St. team was picked to finish 7th in the nine team Big Sky Conference. Rahe's team has now clinched a share of the conference championship and will have home court advantage for the conference tournament. This will give Rahe a good chance of taking Weber St. to the NCAA tournament in his first season by playing the conference tournament in Ogden.
Weber St. was considered a young team entering this season. Furthermore, players had left the program following the coaching change. Weber St. finished at the bottom of the league last season and it would have been considered a successful year for Rahe had he finished in the middle of the Big Sky; yet he has found a way to develop this team into a conference championship regardless of its youth and inexperience. Weber St. currently has an 11-4 record in conference play.
The reason I bring this up is that I don't think Utah's inexperience and youth should be an excuse for Ray Giacoletti's failure the past two seasons. As I have written before, Giacoletti made his teams more youthful than they needed to be by dismissing Justin Hawkins and not allowing Richard Chaney to return to the team after his attempt to bolt to Indiana failed. Furthermore, Giacoletti himself proclaimed at the beginning of the season that he was more excited about this team than he had been about any other. You don't say something like that if you don't believe your team is experienced enough to be successful.
Good coaches find ways to win. I'm starting to think that the brain of Giacolettt's staff left with Randy Rahe. Rahe was considered a great defensive mind which is what Utah has struggled with most this season. He is proving this year that he was the best coach on Utah's staff last season. Maybe he should be a candidate to replace Giacoletti.