I haven't really had much to say about Wednesday's loss to BYU. It wasn't an ugly loss, as Utah made it a very competitive game, but it was still frustrating and ultimately, Utah is now two years removed from beating BYU in the two big sports. So outside a possible meeting in the Mountain West Tournament, Utah's next shot at owning victory over BYU in something significant will come in November -- or essentially an eternity from now. And that might be all I really want to say about the game, though I do have some thoughts:
It's obvious this team is tougher than last year. I remember Utah going into the Marriott Center a few days after Ray Giacoletti was fired and staying close early, only to collapse late in the first half -- it was an ugly loss. Utah, though, didn't do that Wednesday. They hung around, even after it looked like things were slipping, but just could never get over the hump.
And that hump thing continues to piss me off. It seems a pattern has emerged here and hopefully it can be broken with these players. Utah plays well enough to keep the game close, surges back in the final minutes and then positions themselves to seize control of the contest. Except they don't and wilt under the pressure of clutch plays. That's happened in nearly every game that has come down to the final few plays, outside of Cal, which let's be honest, feels like years ago.
As for the amazing free throw discrepancy, it played a major role in taking Utah out of the flow of its game, but it wasn't the thing that lost the game for Utah. Too many missed shots and turnovers, especially in the first half, did them in. Plus, as mentioned above, they have got to start playing better in the clutch and as much as they've toughened up this season, they seem to be weakest there.
Anyway, next for the Utes are the Lobos, who Utah hasn't lost to at home in about 20 years. Hopefully that doesn't change Saturday.