It's not often you can point to one coaching mistake as the sole reason you lost the game. But Friday night, in Larry Krystkowiak's first college game since the 2006 NCAA Tournament, that's exactly what happened, when, tied and with little time remaining in the game, he called a timeout the Runnin' Utes did not have.
That was an automatic two-shot technical foul on Utah - where a Grizzly player connected on one of two.
Utah still had a chance with 11 seconds left, but threw away the in bounds pass after and the fate of Krystkowiak's first game was sealed: Utah fell to Adams State 61-60.
Though only an exhibition game, which means it won't count in the final standings, it shows just how far the program has to go to be competitive with the rest of the Pac-12. Adams State is a Division II program that plays in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, so they're presumably far worse than the talent Utah will see this season.
Even so, if there is hope to gleaned from this defeat, in '08, the Runnin' Utes fell to DII Southwest Baptist State in their regular season opener (a game that actually counted) and then went on to win a share of the Mountain West title.
I don't expect near that success, but a few wins along the way, as well as improvement, shouldn't be out of the question.
As is, though, this is going to be a long climb back to respectability.