SALT LAKE CITY Last week, Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said he needed to develop his bench more because his starters were playing too many minutes, sometimes 35-40 a night.
In Sundays game against Colorado, the Utes kind of started to solve that problem as 11 players saw action, 10 of which played at least 10 minutes. Everyone scored and no one played more than 30 minutes.
The bad news was, no one scored more than eight points and the Utes were beaten by 39 points, their worst loss in eight seasons. So while more guys played, the team didnt play any better.
The Utes started freshman Lahat Thioune at center instead of Branden Carlson, who had started 13 of the previous 14 games. Thioune got Utahs first basket of the game on a rebound putback, but it turned out to be Utahs only basket during the first five minutes as the Utes quickly found themselves down 16-2.
It only got worse from there as Colorado built its lead to 25 before halftime and kept the lead above 30 for most of the second half.
While a 39-point loss seems devastating, Krystkowiak said afterward that a loss is a loss no matter the final margin.
Whether you get beat by one point or 40 points, the result is the same, he said. Life in the Pac-12 on the road is really difficult and I dont know if our guys got a sense for that with teams coming into our building (last week). But you sense what kind of punch youre going to get when you step into foreign territory. We have to check a lot more boxes when were on the road.
The Utes have relied on sophomore Timmy Allen to carry them all season and hes led the team in scoring in nearly every game; he came into the game averaging a conference-best 21.1 ppg.
He scored seven of Utahs first nine points Saturday, but after that didnt score for the final 30 minutes of the game as no one else stepped up to fill in the gap. Riley Battin ended up as the leading scorer with eight points and second-leading scorer Both Gach only had seven.
On Allen, Krystkowiak said, He is the head of our snake. He is going to be first on the other teams scouting report. They did a nice job and had a good plan. Its not just him. We have to get a bunch of guys who are contributing well to the whole puzzle.
Krystkowiak called the big loss humbling, but believes it wont have any long-lasting effect on his team, which bounced back well after a 22-point loss to Coastal Carolina and a 28-point loss to San Diego State.
The key for us is we need to stay together and keep growing, he said. We have a good group of guys. Its not going to wound us. Well jump on a plane and get back to practice tomorrow.
At the end of the day you lose, and as a coach you try to figure out what you have to fix and we have plenty of things to fix. It gets us back into the weve got a long ways to go and I think thats the focus that well have. This is all a process and we have 15 more of these and were going to grind it out.
The Utes play at Arizona on Thursday night and at Arizona State Saturday.
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Utes expand their bench, but it doesnt matter much in 39-point loss - Deseret News
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