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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Boylen will lead Utes to more success

By Paige Fieldsted

Ahhh, at last: a great debate about basketball.

I could probably make a valid argument why the women’s team could have a successful season, but when it comes to who will have the better season, I have to go with the men.

After Ray Giacoletti successfully destroyed the legacy built by Rick Majerus, Jim Boylen has brought the Utah basketball program back to life. His flamboyant coaching style reminds me slightly of Majerus, the man who drove Utah basketball to its peak.

Boylen is the No. 1 reason why the men’s basketball team will have a better season than the women. In two short years, he took the team from a losing season to the Mountain West Conference Championship and a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament. He holds players accountable for their actions on the court and inspires greatness in them as well.

Luke Nevill was mediocre at best before Boylen came to the U, but he learned how to use his size to become a powerful player under Boylen’s wing.

This is also the first year that Boylen will have a team composed solely of players he recruited, and I’m excited to see what kind of team he has put together.

Both the men’s and women’s teams will face tough competition this year, as Boylen will continue his tradition of bringing top-notch teams to Utah. Although both teams are young and seeking new leadership, women’s head coach Elaine Elliot has said that the women’s schedule is not in the favor of a young team. I have heard nothing but excitement from the men’s team looking forward to its tough schedule.

The men’s team, despite losing four seniors and more than half of last year’s scoring, is returning key players who could make an impact on the court.

Kim Tillie, Luka Drca and Carlon Brown got significant time on the court last year and will undoubtably be the team leaders this year.

Tillie saw the least amount of playing time last season, as he lived in the shadow of Nevill, but when he did play, I saw signs of greatness. Tillie was one of the best rebounders on the team last year and plays tougher defense than most men his size. In Boylen’s defensive style of play, a tough defense will be a big contributing factor.

Drca was a starter last year and learned how to command an offense full of weapons. He will have to contribute more to scoring this season but has the shot to do so. Brown is probably my favorite reason the men’s team will have a successful season. He is an explosive, big-time playmaker who only showed us a hint of what he is capable of last year. He has a make-no-excuses attitude and holds himself and his teammates accountable for what happens on the hardwood.

In addition to Tillie, Drca and Brown, the men have more returning players than the women. Players such as Jordan Cyphers and Jace Tavita already know the system and don’t have as much to learn as the newcomers. The men’s team only has three freshman, compared to the women’s six.

The men’s team has all the ingredients it needs to be successful: a great coach, experienced players and talented newcomers. All the players have to do is it put it all together.

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