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Utah basketball: Utes' turnover margin has dramatically improved this year

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  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 8:27 p.m.

    Length is the biggest difference with this Utah team. I've watched Delon Wright make passes - and layups - that a smaller player would have trouble making, and of course length is the biggest reason why we're getting more steals, all other factors being equal.

    Interestingly, when the game tightened up against UCLA, it was *their* length that created problems for our offense, as they pressured us into multiple turnovers that against other teams might not have been turnovers.

    That's not to say we can't improve our offense against that type of defense, and this team will improve with experience, but the ability to cover space - via length and athletic ability - is a major point of separation between the different levels of basketball, and a key improvement Coach K made in recruiting the players on this year's team.

    Donny Daniels, the assistant coach under Majerus, once observed: "Quickness gets tired, but big stays big all game long".

    And so it is with length. At the end of a game, when everyone is tired, Wright, Loveridge, Tucker, Onwas and Ogbe can still extend their arms to disrupt passes.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 9:48 p.m.

    Utah has a .666 record against top 50 RPI teams, with as many wins against top 50 in 3 games as any other team in Utah has in 6 games against top 50 teams. The next best team is only .333 against top 50 teams.

    And Utah still has 8 games left against top 50 opponents, unlike some other schools who play in gymnasium conferences and have to schedule big boys in the preseason since no big boys want them in their conference.

    Go UTES!

    If we beat Arizona I'm storming the court! And for those who say we can't, you're the same people who said we had no chance beating UCLA. So keep it up!

  • Carnak Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 10:25 p.m.

    Thanks Mr Wright

  • Truth Machine Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    "However, turnovers, or a lack of them, have been a big reason for Utah’s turnaround winning season compared to four straight losing seasons."

    The biggest reason for Utah's "turnaround":

    Playing one of the weakest schedules in the country, mostly at home.

    Which explains why BYU's RPI ranking, with one less win and three more losses, is significantly higher than Utah's.

    #40 BYU(13-7) SOS #8 overall, #3 non-conf, #148 conf
    #123 Utah(14-4) SOS #297 overall, #350 non-conf, #105 conf

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 22, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    CB

    "Utah has a .666 record against top 50 RPI teams, with as many wins against top 50 in 3 games as any other team in Utah has in 6 games against top 50 teams. The next best team is only .333 against top 50 teams."

    So please explain why Utah is ranked a paltry #123 in RPI, while the "next best team" is ranked #40.

    Despite your frantic and emotional spin, Utah's RPI is a direct reflection of Utah's pathetically soft, 297th ranked SOS.

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    Jan. 22, 2014 10:23 a.m.

    "If we beat Arizona I'm storming the court!"

    IF???

    What, no "mark it down" prediction from the king of lame predictions?

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Jan. 22, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    It took a little longer than usual, but apparently the BYU fans have woken up and discovered a new article on Utah basketball. Don't know what we'd do without you all giving us such sparkling insight on our basketball team.

    By the way, nobody in the West Coast Conference should feel good about dropping schedule smack. Which high schools do you guys play this week?

  • Snack PAC Olympus Cove, Utah
    Jan. 22, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    timid sparrow

    Unlike Utah, which has played NINE bottom 100 or non-div 1 opponents, BYU doesn't play high school teams.

    #40 BYU plays 21st-ranked Gonzaga this week.

    Meanwhile #123 Utah is getting ready to play their 4th road game of the season in a conference in which the Utes are 1-19 on the road.

  • mussingaround Palo Alto, CA
    Jan. 22, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    robin

    "By the way, nobody in the West Coast Conference should feel good about dropping schedule smack."

    And why is that?

    Because it might shed some light on just how pathetic Utah's 297th ranked SOS is compared to BYU's 8th ranked SOS.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    "In Jim Boylen’s last season in 2010-11, the Utes ranked 313th "
    Even today when we see an ill-advised pass, I turn to my fellow season ticket holders and say "that's a play from the Boylen era."

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    I see a lot of byu fans making up random numbers for strength of schedule or only mentioning the out of conference schedules and forgetting that conference play makes up more of the season than non-conference.

    Ya, I'd probably do the same if none of the best 9 leagues in the nation wanted me and I was in the 10th "best" conference.

  • Big 12 Call Yet? Ogden, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 12:36 p.m.

    What was it that byu fans said all football season?

    Oh ya, playing ranked teams doesn't count for ANYTHING if all you do is lose.

    byu 0-4

    Utah 1-1

  • 81Ute Central, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 1:23 p.m.

    Isn't is funny that the haters have resorted to complaining about home games on the Utah schedule. Home is were the cash register is, duh!

  • UtesBy5 Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 1:59 p.m.

    All eyes on the PAC-12 Utes with many comments coming from other Utah team fan bases. I guess this is why The University of Utah is THE University in Utah. The Utes will represent the state well at the only major conference team.

    I cheer for all of our mid-major programs as well: USU in the MWC, BYU in the WCC and SUU & WSU in the Big Sky.

    Go Utes!

  • Sweater In Rafters Franklin, IN
    Jan. 22, 2014 5:15 p.m.

    How come the question of the best team is always determined in head to head competition except when it comes to the school down south? These fans always have goofy measurements.

    We beat BYU in football but they are better because they went to a bowl.
    We beat BYU in basketball but they have a better RPI, BMW, DFW.

    Utah won. We plan again in the future...until then, we are better than you...otherwise we should play each other every week....right?

  • Rose Bowl call yet? Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 7:46 p.m.

    B12

    Fortunately for BYU, they've done far more than lose:

    versus RPI Top 100
    #40 BYU(13-7) is 4-4
    #123 Utah(14-4) is 4-3

    The biggest difference, BYU has only played ONE team in the Bottom 100, Utah has played SEVEN.

    Which accounts for Utah's incredibly weak 297th ranked SOS,
    while BYU has played 8th toughest SOS.

    RPI also considers road/neutral site wins/losses

    BYU 5-6
    Utah 0-3

  • FACTchequer Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 9:53 p.m.

    Sweater Man

    "How come the question of the best team is always determined in head to head competition except when it comes to the school down south?"

    Define "always".

    Was Texas A&M BETTER than national champion Alabama?

    Was Utah BETTER than PAC 12 champion Stanford?

    Was Chaminade BETTER than #1-ranked Virginia?

    Was UNLV(2-10) BETTER than Utah(9-4)?

    Have Utah fans already chalked up a loss to Washington State on February 8th?

    So why do Utah fans insist on claiming that the head-to-head results of ONE game in an entire season ALWAYS determines which team is BETTER?

  • Creeper51 Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 10:29 p.m.

    Factchequer

    UNLV hasn't beaten us consistently in football for four years in a row, unlike Utah to the Cougers. So why do you insist on throwing away the best indicator of actual ability and talent that we have? (Head to Head)

  • Sweater In Rafters Franklin, IN
    Jan. 23, 2014 2:45 a.m.

    Fact Dude,

    Utah must have been better than Stanford that day...we won! As with your other examples. We scored more points, we had better defense, our coaches were more creative that day. Lots of reasons.

    The fact is that no one has ever been awarded a throphy at the end of March Madness over an RPI. Or SOS. Or most points scored. It's the team who wins head to head games.

    Some team will get hot in Feb and Mar, upset RPI stats, win an unlikely tourney, make the big dance, make it deep into the tournament and be recognized as winners...

    People with strong RPI will sit home and post messages...well, about RPI.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Jan. 23, 2014 7:48 a.m.

    Fact Guy,

    Utah was ranked higher in the Sagarin Ranking and beat BYU in football this year. Utah's the better team.

    Utah is ranked higher in the BPI poll and beat BYU in basketball this year. Utah's the better team.

    That's spot on according to your criteria; correct?

    And yes Texas A&M was better than Alabama two years ago. Both teams finished in the top 6, but A & M won at Bama.

  • FACTchequer Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    Creeper51

    14 of the last 17 BYU-Utah games (since 1997) have been decided by 7 points or less in the closing minutes or in overtime.

    Fortunately for Utah, the Utes have won a slight 6-8 majority of those games. That hardly proves dominance by either team, especially when BYU has finished with a better record and higher ranking in 9 of the 17 seasons. BYU's SOS has also been tougher than Utah's in 9 of the 17 seasons.

    Comparing toughest schedules:

    #3 Utah 2013
    #11 BYU 2003
    #14 BYU 2004
    #38 BYU 2013
    #41 Utah 2012
    #45 BYU 1999
    #50 Utah 2010

    --------------

    Sweater dude

    Being better for one game doesn't prove U were better for the entire season.

    Despite Utah's upset win, do you honestly think that anybody living outside of the crimson bubble believes that Utah(5-7, 2-7) was BETTER than Stanford(11-2, 7-2) in 2013?

    --------------

    Spokane Ute

    If Texas A&M was BETTER than BCS national champion Alabama, why didn't the Aggies play in the championship game instead of the Crimson Tide?

    If Utah was BETTER than Stanford, why didn't the Utes play in the Rose Bowl instead of the Cardinal?

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Jan. 23, 2014 11:44 a.m.

    Fact

    They were better than Stanford on that day, and better than BYU all season. I hope that helps.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 23, 2014 6:40 p.m.

    @FACTchequer

    Going back 17 seasons? Meaningless, considering where the programs are now. Utah has dominated over the last 10 years: 7-3, with three woodshed moments including one at LES.

    Under current coaches (current systems) SOS Utah vs BYU:

    2013: #3 vs #38
    2012: #41 vs #63
    2011: #49 vs #90
    2010: #50 vs #55
    2009: #75 vs #61
    2008: #56 vs #74
    2007: #60 vs #59
    2006: #73 vs #74
    2005: #76 vs #65
    2004: #67 vs #11

    Utah has played a tougher schedule in 6 of the 10 years.

    Utah had a better record 7 of the 12 seasons when playing in the MWC.

    Is Utah better than Stanford? No, we've struggled in the PAC-12.
    Is Utah better than BYU? Yes! Against teams like BYU we are 8-1 in the PAC-12 and 36-5 since 2007.

  • jarka-rus Layton, Utah
    Jan. 25, 2014 2:11 p.m.

    I'ld say that Wazzoo and USC aren't much more than a high school team, they stink big time. Oregon sure was an overrated joke, Zona is s decent team, after that just mediocre teams all down the might Pac line.

  • jarka-rus Layton, Utah
    Jan. 25, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    If If's ands or buts were giving out as quarters up on the hill then Ute fans would all be billionaires.

  • UtesBy5 Syracuse, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 9:54 p.m.

    @jarkarus

    I respect your judgment of "high school teams" because your team, who this article wasn't written about, plays in the #10 conference in the country. The WCC is loaded with "high school teams". I'd bet both WSU and USC would finish in the top three battling for the conference championship with Gonzaga if they were in the WCC. PAC-12 teams recruit better players than the WCC teams get.