The University of Utah men’s basketball team had the weekend off as it only competed in one game against Colorado this past Thursday, and the Utes came out on top with a final score of 86-81.
At this point in the season, head coach Larry Krystkowiak enjoys any additional time off the team can receive. He’s trying to keep everyone engaged and, although things may look a little shaky in the big picture, Krystkowiak is having his guys focus on whatever game is ahead of them, and that’s something they have been trying to do all season long.
With Cal visiting the Huntsman Center this upcoming Thursday, Krystkowiak is grateful to close out the regular season in the confines of the Huntsman. He thinks where a team’s final home stand is can have a role in how the team performs in its postseason.
Other than that, Krystkowiak thinks his team has faced its fair share of adversity, and he needs the Utes to be sharp on Thursday night because there’s no more room for error. Krystkowiak also expects his team to play with the mentality to win rather than playing with a mentality to not lose, like when it did against Oregon State.
“I think more than anything we’ve learned a lot of lessons throughout the course of the year,” Krystkowiak said. “I think it’s important we don’t have to learn that next lesson because we’ve already learned them. If you play the game the right way, then the wins take care of themselves.”
Update on Daniels
Just a few hours ahead of the game against Colorado, Devon Daniels was indefinitely suspended from the team. Krystkowiak cited that it was because of “conduct detrimental to the team,” and whether or not he plays in Utah’s final two home games is still up in the air.
Besides mentioning that Daniels has been attending practice, but he has not been participating, Krystkowiak did not go into any further details regarding his playing status.
Bealer receiving more minutes
Gabe Bealer made his way into the starting lineup in Daniels’ place, and when the coaching staff looked at how each individual player performed in terms of limiting the number of mistakes, Bealer outperformed the rest.
Although Bealer is listed as a senior, he could potentially have another year of eligibility left. Krystkowiak isn’t entirely positive on whether or not he can get the appropriate waivers cleared with the NCAA, but he’s hopeful he has another year left with the Utes.
“Gabe’s been pretty darn solid,” Krystkowiak said. “Obviously we’re missing someone at his position, and that gives him an opportunity to play more. From a defensive point of view he’s dialed in, some errors, but overall he graded out our top player in the last game. He’s doing a nice job.”
Since Bealer might have an additional year, he won’t be honored before Saturday’s regular season home finale as a part of Senior Day. It will instead just be Lorenzo Bonam.