Men’s Basketball: Runnin’ Utes looking to put ugly losses behind them against OSU

IMG_2185 (1) Emily Juchau

The Utes are looking to get their first Pac-12 win at home this Sunday against Oregon State. Since losing Thursday night against Oregon, Utah is just 1-3 in conference play.

The team looked out of energy against the Ducks and could never recover from a slow start to the game. Head coach Larry Krystkowiak expects his team will want to make up for its poor performance and come out with a lot of energy against Oregon State. But to get to this point, he’s going to need his players to step it up in practice.

Krystkowiak could tell his players were not completely focused earlier in the week, so he hopes this loss will wake them up a bit.

During the game, the team was outplayed in nearly every category, and the Utes also turned the ball over 15 times. Although Oregon kept fouling and sending Utah to the line, the Utes missed their free throws, and it took a toll on the entire team. At one point, the team was held scoreless for almost eight minutes.

“I think we lost our mojo,” Krystkowiak said. “Missing free throws and not seeing the ball go in. You got to have confidence in your ability. There were a few possessions where I thought it was ironic, that we passed it too many times and got a good look, and when you miss those, those are hard to swallow. It’s hard to defend some of those turnovers.”

They’ll watch some film, prepare for what’s in store against the Beavers, and Krystkowiak’s sure his team will be eager to forget about the loss.

“That’s the great thing about sports, it shouldn’t hang with you,” Krystkowiak said. “You get an opportunity to tip off and do it again. My job as a coach is to try and fix what’s broken. The job of our players is to come in with a better mindset, and we should have their attention, it’s humbling.”

Oregon State is 2-2 in the Pac-12 with wins against Cal and Oregon, both teams Utah has already dropped games to. Utah knows what it has to do to take down a team like the Beavers, but it starts from the top.

Brandon Taylor feels that as a senior, he needs to do a better job of leading the team. Despite being the lone Ute to score in double figures their last time out on the court, he knows he could have done more to inspire his teammates.

“As a team, we gotta change the way we come out,” Taylor said.

He also does not want to have another disappointing performance in front of the home fans. Taylor feels like in addition to letting his team down, he let the crowd down, and he hopes they’ll be able to put on a better show come Sunday evening.

Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. MST.