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Why the youth argument just doesn't wash

Giacoletti supporters, mainly those people in the media, tend to justify their reasoning toward keeping Giacoletti because of how young Utah really is. And while it's true the Utes are the youngest team in the conference, only having one senior on the entire team, that argument just doesn't fly, not this late in the season.

Realistically I could see using this youth argument to explain Utah's early season struggles. Their losses to Southern Utah, Santa Clara and Colorado early on were very troubling, but not damning. The excuse that Utah was young worked then, but it really can't explain their troubles now. I say this because teams typically improve as the season progresses, especially if they're young to begin with, yet that just hasn't been the case with Utah. If anything, the Utes are worse today than they were a month ago and maybe even a month before that.

In December the Utes completely dominated a Washington State team that cracked the top-10 last week. They also beat Virginia, who are ranked 25th this week and stunned 11th ranked Air Force in January. Yet during that span they've also lost to the likes of Albany, TCU and Colorado State. The Utes only conference road win was against the equally bad Horned Frogs, and that was a fairly ugly win. All of this, and the fact the Utes still haven't strung together a winning streak of more than 3-games, tends to dampen the argument that inexperience is to blame.

But beyond the fact Utah has yet to show any real signs of progress, the media is also ignoring one crucial aspect of this year's Utah team. Many of these players saw considerable playing time last season. Nevill, Johns, Bryant, Green and Borha were all here last season and in some cases actually look worse today than they did this time last year. Yes I understand losing Bryant Markson and Tim Drisdom hurt, but there is no excuse for the Utes actually being worse this season than they were last year. Not when they had 4 returning starters heading into this season.

Ironically enough, the same media that's propping up this youth argument predicted that Utah would finish 4th in conference play. Not many people could have foreseen such poor basketball and now that we're in the midst of it, their only logical conclusion is that the Utes are too young of a team to compete. Except it's nearly March, not December, and there should be some sign of improvement. Young teams grow, sadly, this Utah team is stuck in neutral, if not reverse.