I've got to admit that I am really starting to become discouraged with the basketball program. I'm clearly not going to become hysterical and demand a change, but there is no doubt my concerns for this program's future grow with every loss. Tonight's game, against a team that, by all accounts, is not that much better than Utah, only cemented my fears - as the Runnin' Utes lost 75-65 in a game that probably wasn't even that close.
I know there was much optimism out of the close losses to BYU, Arizona State, Arizona and UCLA, but I fear, and I've said as much in the past, that those close defeats broke this team's spirit and now we're paying for it in lopsided losses to programs that, on the whole, have not been entirely better than Utah the last two seasons. It was, after all, Wazzu who the Utes beat last year for their first Pac-12 win.
So, what is the problem and can it be corrected before season's end? I guess that's the new question. Right now, the team is staring down an 0-6 start in conference play and that would be pretty disappointing all things considered. I know we like to point to the fact the Pac-12 has improved, and it certainly has this season, but this only bolsters my concerns - as Utah's improvement can't even keep up with the entire conference's.
Sadly, I fear, and feel, we're just spinning our wheels right now and it's not even a coaching problem. I don't think firing Larry Krystkowiak tomorrow will solve any of these problems. It seems much deeper than that - like we're just one of those teams stuck in a vicious cycle of mediocrity and despair. Those programs exist - ones that can't seem to get their act together no matter who's coaching.
I never thought that at any point following Utah basketball. Even during the down years of Ray Giacoletti and Jim Boylen - I always felt we were just one coach away from being good again. Not anymore. I think it's going to be a long process and we're going to have to endear even more struggle.
I said three days ago that Utah basketball was not back and I maintain that ... they're not. So, buckle up because it's going to still be a fight and we're going to see more nights like tonight.