Craig Smith - Everybody's working for the weekend

So we should have been patient with Krystkowiak who we gave 10 years to develop a solid program, but Craig Smith has one year to turn it around?

I’m not remotely happy with the state of Utah basketball but there was no indication that we’d be getting to the tournament consistently with one of the highest paid basketball coaches in the sport.


You’re an idiot. You still live in the Utah pre-Pac-12 era of basketball. And you’re arrogant as crap. Utah is NEVER going to return to the level that they were at under Rick Majerus or anybody else who coached at Utah before they joined the pac-12. You still set the standard that they should be consistently making the NCAA Tournament or their season is a failure. You have ZERO understanding nor ability to see how a team is actually improving on a year to year basis, nor are you capable of understanding why they might not be as good one year as they were the year previous. Utah will NEVER be able to recruit the level of player to be good enough on a consistent basis to regularly make the NCAA Tournament as a member of the pac-12. You still live under the delusion that they made the NCAA Tournament all the time back then because they were just such an awesome program with unbelievable coaching. They weren’t. They made it all the time because their competition was sub-par, which allowed for them to rack up wins against terrible teams and win conference championships more easily. When you can do that, you’re going to make the NCAA tournament more often. When you’re in a conference like the Pac-12 however, that luxury is gone because the competition is just as talented and well coached as you are, thus negating the advantage. It causes more losses, which hurts your resume and makes it nearly impossible to consistently make the NCAA Tournament unless you are one of the best teams in the league every single year. Which is often a byproduct of getting the best recruits, which aren’t going to come to Utah over the Arizona’s, Oregon’s, and UCLA’s of the world. You have to build CONSISTENCY, which takes time unless you happen to get the best recruits every single season.

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Uh… Lots of assumptions my friend.

Why again can Utah not be consistently good, when we have the means to pay a coach a top 20 salary?

Tell the truth, are you Larry’s mom?

For the record, go look at my posting history, I always advocated giving Larry a chance.


I stopped reading after these three words. Please stop.


Holy wall of text. Paragraphs are your friends, especially for making points.


If nothing else, this is a red hot take. Should wake up the board a bit.

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Gonna side with @RockerUte on this one. LK had 10 or so years to build consistency, but Smith only gets one?

Is the state of the MBB program ideal? Far from it, but with the lack of consistency from LK, what did you expect? What impressed me, from my reading of reports, was that the team didn’t quit on Smith. That seems to be a far cry from LK’s teams, where they seemed to quit on him. I hope that Smith can build on this facet of the program, the no quit and build consistency. Only time will tell.

We ALL get it, you don’t care for Smith, and that you love our Alma Mater. The passion is great to see, that’s part of being a fan, but you don’t have to be a dick to get your points across.


Well, let’s talk about next year. Who will be coming back? What recruits do we have coming in?

There are some who are paying a lot closer attention than I have. What are the prospects for next year?

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So I’m giving Operaman a bit of a breather - and while that is happening, my frank assessment of what is going on.

First off, let us not forget how parallel Smith’s first season was to Larry’s. Whatever rumors you may believe about the arrival of Larry, the fact was every impact player left and he was left picking up scraps to form a team that really wasn’t a D-1 program. Similarly, Smith failed to retain the guys who have gone on to be starters and solid contributors at a solid program.

Also similarly, unlike Giac and Boylen, Larry’s teams and Craig’s team haven’t quit and played hard throughout the season.

I am concerned right now though because we are not seeing any promising players committing to the program. Maybe they’ve got a transfer portal strategy going on, but as it appears right now, we aren’t anywhere near being close to righting the ship.

Some favorable things I’ve seen with Smith is what he has done at previous schools and the fact that his former players followed him here. But can he recruit? I dunno. It seemed a lot of Larry’s players couldn’t get away from him fast enough… and it wasn’t our scrub players either.

And finally some definitions and commentary on what Operaman said: Defining ‘making the tournament’ consistently in my mind means that making it 2 out of 4 years should easily be in the realm of possibilities at the U. But even if we said 1 out of 4 years, Larry didn’t meet that goal. Making it to the tournament 2 out of 10 tries, and only making it to ANY post season 5/10 times.

Yes, I do believe that Utah can do better than that. Plus we’ve dumped a lot of money into salaries, facilities, renovating the JMHC and more, all indicating we are serious about basketball here. And a notion that somehow we can’t be consistent competitors in the PAC-12 I also believe is false - there is no reason we (as a school overall) can’t be in the top half and even top 4 consistently. I’m not expecting to be Gonzaga, but if you can succeed at Gonzaga, you can succeed anywhere, literally.

So, what are my expectations? Similar to Larry’s actually - I was willing to give him a pass his first year (where he went 6-25) and even his second year where he was about on par with what we did this season (15-18), but things need to be on a clear trajectory in season 3. That means having recruited some players who we believe can develop into winning seasons. By year four I expect to be in the tournament. Going forward at that point I would expect that we would be in the top half of the conference 3 out of 4 years, and in the tournament 1-2 out of 4 years.

But really, am I wrong and unreasonable to want to be in the tournament 3 out of 4 years? The PAC-12 shouldn’t be a 2 or 3 bid league.

And to recap, that is what Larry got:
Y1- Throwaway year
Y2- Losing season
Y3- NIT first round exit, tied for 9th in the PAC-12
Y4 - NCAA Sweet 16 and tied for 2nd in the PAC-12
Y5 - NCAA first round exit and 2nd place in the PAC-12

Nothing much after that despite some hefty raises and contract extensions. We had a losing season and 8th place his last two years and constant player exoduses.

Operaman you demanded that we hold Smith to the same standard we did Krystkowiak, so that is my demand - winning record year 3, and tournament by year 4. And also, I think when it comes to basketball I do believe that Utah should be consistently better than ASU, Cal, Oregon State, Washington State, Washington, Stanford and Colorado, and should be in the mix with the rest from time to time. I’m not expecting us to be Arizona or UCLA. But if football has proven nothing else, why the hell not?


I can imagine Operaman, of course sitting in his underwear in his mom’s basement (that goes without saying), furiously hitting the reply button but getting no joy right now. That thought amuses me.


When the game started to slip away and Utah was down 15, I chose to make a Bill Walton/Grateful Dead joke and go to bed. That seems like it’s a healthier path.

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When someone resorts to name calling, they generally have nothing to say. Thanks for the validation.




Unless someone on this board is really Mark Harlen, this has to be one of the dumbest accusations ever thrown out in the history of UF.N.

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I’m not necessarily defending operaman but I do share some of his concerns with Smith.

I hope for the best and would love to see the Utes in the NCAA tournament in Smith’s 3rd year. I don’t want him to fail, I want him to succeed.

That said, I think there are some red flags that may indicate he’s not going to get it done. I hope I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Utes are looking for a new coach in a few years.

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I agree 100%. There is plenty of reasons to be very concerned. Krystkowiak got Jordan Loveridge, a top Utah recruit that he could build a team around in year 2. Smith has landed…?

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Does anyone have a list of the players coming in? Are there any?

One player so far to be Exacte:

Larry beat Oregon, you say? Yeah, twice in like 23 tries. Awesome example.

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Hope the portal comes thru…