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Runnin' Utes Ascend to No. 10 in AP Poll

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Utah guard Delon Wright has led his team to the No. 10 AP ranking, the team's highest ranking since 1999 under the late Rick Majerus.
Utah guard Delon Wright has led his team to the No. 10 AP ranking, the team's highest ranking since 1999 under the late Rick Majerus.
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Nearly a week after cruising past South Dakota State 80-66, the Runnin' Utes (9-2 and 7-0 at home) check in at No. 10 in this week's AP Poll, their highest ranking since 1999 under the late Rick Majerus. After beginning his career at Utah at 6-25, Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak has rebuilt a program that was a shadow of its former self under Majerus. Coach K went 15-18 in his second season at the helm (a nine game improvement), 21-12 in his third season (another six games improvement, 15 games above his first season), to his current 9-2 record and Top 10 ranking.

Utah is third in the Pac-12 conference in scoring (75.6 points per game) and second in scoring defense (57.6 points per game), +17.6 scoring margin, which leads the league. The Utes are second in the conference in field goal percentage (.493) but in the bottom half (seventh) in free throw shooting (.663), a sore spot for the team. In keeping with Krystkowiak's philosophy of rebounding and defense, Utah leads the conference in rebounding margin at +7.7 per game and is third in blocked shots at 5.82 per game.

Utah's star guard Delon Wright is third in the Pac-12 in steals at 2.18 per game, as well as sixth in the Pac-12 in scoring at 16.4 points per game and sixth in field goal percentage at .577.

Freshman center Jakob Poeltl is second in the league in field goal percentage at .657, third in blocks at 2.55 per game, and tied for fourth in rebounding at 8.6 caroms per contest.

AP Top 25

RANK TEAM (1st) POINTS PREV
1 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/kentucky-wildcats" class="sbn-auto-link">Kentucky Wildcats (65) 1625 1
2 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/duke-blue-devils" class="sbn-auto-link">Duke Blue Devils 1559 2
3 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/virginia-cavaliers" class="sbn-auto-link">Virginia Cavaliers 1457 5
4 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/wisconsin-badgers" class="sbn-auto-link">Wisconsin Badgers 1395 6
5 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/louisville-cardinals" class="sbn-auto-link">Louisville Cardinals 1327 4
6 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/villanova-wildcats" class="sbn-auto-link">Villanova Wildcats 1316 7
7 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/gonzaga-bulldogs" class="sbn-auto-link">Gonzaga Bulldogs 1249 8
8 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/arizona-wildcats" class="sbn-auto-link">Arizona Wildcats 1243 3
9 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/iowa-st-cyclones" class="sbn-auto-link">Iowa State Cyclones 1005 12
10 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/utah-utes" class="sbn-auto-link">Utah Utes 956 14
11 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/texas-longhorns" class="sbn-auto-link">Texas Longhorns 903 9
12 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/maryland-terrapins" class="sbn-auto-link">Maryland Terrapins 869 15
13 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/kansas-jayhawks" class="sbn-auto-link">Kansas Jayhawks 775 10
14 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/notre-dame-fighting-irish" class="sbn-auto-link">Notre Dame Fighting Irish 709 16
15 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/st-john-s-red-storm" class="sbn-auto-link">St. John's Red Storm 690 17
16 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/wichita-st-shockers" class="sbn-auto-link">Wichita State Shockers 630 11
17 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/west-virginia-mountaineers" class="sbn-auto-link">West Virginia Mountaineers 584 18
18 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/oklahoma-sooners" class="sbn-auto-link">Oklahoma Sooners 530 19
19 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/north-carolina-tar-heels" class="sbn-auto-link">North Carolina Tar Heels 483 20
20 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/ohio-st-buckeyes" class="sbn-auto-link">Ohio State Buckeyes 435 21
21 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/washington-huskies" class="sbn-auto-link">Washington Huskies 253 13
22 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/baylor-bears" class="sbn-auto-link">Baylor Bears 238 22
23 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/northern-iowa-panthers" class="sbn-auto-link">Northern Iowa Panthers 216 23
24 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/colorado-st-rams" class="sbn-auto-link">Colorado State Rams 194 24
25 http://www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/teams/georgetown-hoyas" class="sbn-auto-link">Georgetown Hoyas 140 26
Others Receiving Votes: TCU (12-0) 132; Virginia Commonwealth (9-3) 101; San Diego State (10-3) 40; Arkansas (10-2) 27; George Washington (9-3) 7; LSU (9-2) 7; Old Dominion (10-1) 7; Penn State (12-1) 5; UNLV (9-3) 5; Indiana (10-3) 4; Florida (7-4) 2; Minnesota (11-2) 2; Stanford (7-3) 2; Army (9-2) 1; California (10-3) 1; Davidson (9-1) 1

The Utes finish up their non-conference schedule tomorrow night against Carroll College (Mont.) at 7:30 p.m. MT in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.