Men’s hoops notes: Krystkowiak doesn’t mind Twitter, but stays away from it

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By Griffin Adams and Griffin Adams

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(Photo by Chris Samuels)

In a day and age where Twitter and other forms of social media seem to take over our lives, there is one person who has steered clear from all of the Twitter-hooplah.

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Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak shut down his account in November, before the 2014-15 campaign began. While he sees a lot of positives that can come from social media, Krystkowiak believes the real conversing between his team remains on the court and in the locker room.

“We try and keep the communication within our group and a lot of guys have stayed off social media,” Krystkowiak said.

With just over a month remaining until the Pac-12 tournament, Coach K and the Runnin’ Utes are preparing for a grinding end to the season. With Stanford coming to town on Thursday and a date with Arizona looming at the end of the month, Utah will need to buckle down and take care of business – not worry about social media.

While there are no official team rules, Krystkowiak has faith in his players to do the right thing.

“Goals are in reach and we don’t have enough time or energy to focus on things outside our circle,” Krystkowiak said. “…We trust our guys to not make mistakes.”

Kuzma finding a role

When Kyle Kuzma committed to the Utes before the 2013-14 season, many pegged the small forward as someone who could revive this Utah program. The Runnin’ Utes have been reborn, but a guy named Delon Wright can be attributed for much of the national climb.

Kuzma has not played as vital of a role as many fans, and maybe even himself, thought coming into the season. Fellow freshmen Jakob Poeltl and Brekkott Chapman have gotten more playing time up to this point in the season, averaging 23.6 and 16.2 minutes per game respectively, compared to the 9.3 for Kuzma.

— Chris Ayers

This situation is difficult for a lot of young college athletes, and is sometimes a primary reason for why some players transfer. Krystkowiak admitted in his press conference on Monday the thought of Kuzma thinking about transferring had crossed his mind.

But after a few sit-down talks and some positive recent play, Coach K believes the Michigan native will be just fine moving forward.

“He faced adversity and responded very well,” Krystkowiak said. “He did his job and has gone about things the right way. You come to practice and earn minutes, you get rewarded.”

In Utah’s last game at Colorado, Kuzma registered nine points, four rebounds and three assists in his 17 minutes of action.

Poeltl working on getting back

In Utah’s loss to Arizona a few weeks back, freshman center Poeltl injured his ankle after awkwardly landing on the court after a dunk. This injury caused Poeltl to sit out the next game, but the center has been easing his way back into full-strength mode.

According to Krystkowiak, Poeltl is close to getting to that point.

“He did some pretty substantial damage to his ankle, but he’s getting his conditioning back,” Krystkowiak said.

Against the Buffs on Saturday, Poeltl told a Utah trainer there was no more pain in his ankle – great news for Krystkowiak and company.

“Having him back gives us more of a punch rebounding and defensively,” Krystkowiak said.

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@GriffDoug