So I commented on another FanPost about our Runnin' Utes and I got blasted for my perceived pessimism. Hence this post to talk about my optimism for our hoops team.
I am optimistic of the Utes' future. In fact, I think next year, with an apparent infusion of talent, the Utes will win 16 games. I've seen the way Larry K coaches and I am impressed. I hope that next year's team can carry on what this years team began to have a habit of, and that is hard play with a lot of effort. I think Larry K will have our future teams tops in the league in defense. And as evidenced by this year's league champs, defense actually does win championships.
This year's team mostly consisted of players who were apparently passed over in the recruiting process. Usually players who sign after April are the top notch prospects who are either being dramatic or are indecisive. But not our guys this year. Look, I love our guys and I saw first hand how much they cared about Utah basketball and it's fans. But let's face it, they just didn't match up. I say this to emphasize the coaching job Larry K pulled off this year.
With that said, take a look at how the played at home against the regular season league champs, Washington. I remember thinking as I looked at Washington's players during the game that every one of their starting five has an NBA body. I couldn't believe we were hanging with them. Our Utes held them to 18 points under their season average AND outrebounded them. Keep in mind Washington ended up 34th in the country in scoring and 5th in the country in rebounding. That is not even considering how poorly we played offensively (on our home floor). We lost by four points but it was a two point game with 10 seconds left. Tough loss.
That Washington game is just one of many games that was close at the end only to be lost. Yes, there were a lot (A LOT) of blowouts this year, but also a handful of close ones too. Heck, if Foster had been playing, perhaps we come out of 3 or 4 of those close games with a win.
Ok, so this isn't a full blown analysis. But I just wanted to make a point that I am indeed optimistic.
What about you?