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What the players are saying

It's no secret Utah basketball players were tiring of Giacoletti. The fact none seemed surprised, or really even cared that he was let go speaks volumes about his coaching ability. So with the prospects of a new coach, the players are probably very excited and the future of the program. And, if you read what they have to say, they truly believe things are heading in the right direction.

The Salt Lake Tribune interviewed some of the Ute players and this is what they had to say.

"I personally look at that as a good thing, seeing as I want to play at the next level," Nevill said. "That's going to help me. He knows what it takes to get there and he has coached at that level before and he knows players who have played there. I think that will push me a lot."

I'm sure Nevill is salavating at the possibility of playing under Boylen -- a big man's coach. I'm pumped to see how well Nevill's game develops with a little discipline and toughness. I can't wait to see him setting picks and cleaning up on the boards.

"Just from what I've heard, totally by the word of mouth, is that he's really actually quite a disciplinarian, which I think is good," forward Stephen Weigh said.

"I'm hoping that this year we're actually going to learn a lot of stuff on the court."

I've wondered since the season ended if Weigh wanted out of the program, since he wasn't used much over the season. But with his excitement over the new coaching staff, I feel optimistic that he'll be coming back for another year.

Shaun Green, "It's really cool to get a guy who has so much experience in the NBA and at such a big program like Michigan State and had so much success at those places," he said. "So it's really exciting for the players and the program."

I definitely think Green will improve, especially on defense, under Boylen. His emphasis at getting everything out of each player could go along way at returning this team to the top of the conference.

The Utes also have three recruits who already have signed binding letters of intent, but might need some assurance that Utah is a good place for them. Meanwhile, the current players are bracing for a tough new regime.
    "It's going to be an eye-opening experience for everybody," Nevill said. "But it's going to be real good. I felt like maybe we weren't getting pushed as much as we could have this last season, just more trying to run enough plays to get some wins. . . . I think it's going to help a lot of the guys improve and develop their skills."

I get chills thinking about a "tough regime". Toughness breeds strength and discipline, which are two essential components of winning. That's imperative to Utah's success and as Rick Majerus proved, you instill discipline into your team, then victory is very attainable.

Boylen will be tough on these players, which they need. But he's not going to be the type of coach that will alienate his team through negative actions, which sometimes happens with a tough disciplinarian. In my mind, he's found that healthy middle and I think Utah will return to its winning ways because of it.