Rivalry Game Lacks Interest
There doesn’t seem to be much buzz for the BYU vs. Utah rivalry game up at the Huntsman Center.
Featuring one of the best players in the country, BYU is ranked nationally in the top 10. There should be more anticipation for this game!
This made me think about the goals and priorities of this 2010-11 team compared to the teams I was on from 2005-2007.
Coach Rose took over in 2005 after our 9-21 year. We had limped through a tough re-building season that year with most of the players being freshman or sophomores.
Early on, coach established three goals for our team. 1) Win the conference 2) Go to the NCAA tourney 3) Beat Utah at Utah. These goals were discussed often in practices and team meetings and we put a lot of hard work to accomplish them. In 2006 we missed all three goals: finished second in the conference, went to the NIT, and lost at Utah.
In 2007, my senior year, we were able to accomplish all three goals. One of my best memories of college basketball was winning in front of a packed house at the Huntsman Center. The Utah game was our focus all year and it felt great to get the win.
I guess this shows the different directions BYU and Utah’s basketball programs have gone.
I wonder if BYU has talked about this game every day in practice for the last year or so. Doubt it. My guess is that the goals this year are 1) Win conference 2) Win conference tourney in Vegas 3) Make it to the Final Four.
BYU is playing for high seeding in the NCAA tournament and convincing wins definitely help the resume. I don’t know what Utah is playing for; probably to avoid losing their scholarships to the gymnastics team (I hear they have better attendance).
It’s unfortunate that this game isn’t a bigger deal because rivalry games are a lot of fun with two competitive teams going at it. BYU vs. Utah football is a great example.
My diagnosis for the Utah Basketball problems is coaching.
I don’t know when the change is coming but I think the consensus is that it will happen this year. I don’t believe you can load a team with odds & ends JUCO players and expect to win. Not in the MWC and definitely not in the PAC-12.
Coach Rose is consistently landing the best players in the state as well as solid 4 year players from around the country/world. Recruiting is the key. It doesn’t matter how loud you yell if your players just don’t have the talent.
I predict another lopsided victory for BYU. It might be close early on but I have a feeling what is left of the MUSS will be hitting the bars early.