That Oregon game was a huge disappointment. Why? Because the Utes were in position to win, but, as has happened over 90% of the times a Larry K team has played an Altman team, they lost because Altman is a better coach.
Larry is 2-16 vs. Altman. 2 wins in 18 tries!
Two things that showed that Larry is just not very good at this:
At the end of the first half, 10 seconds left, and 3 or 4 fouls to give. Plummer in the game, could have fouled three times and kept Oregon from even getting up a shot. Instead, Pritchard goes righ to the basket for a lightly contested layup. It’s only 2 points, but it’s also momentum for Oregon going into the half. And, all else equal, had the Utes not given up that 2 points, they’d have been down 1, with the ball and 30 seconds left at the end of the game instead of being down 3.
Speaking of being down 3, Larry sold out for a three pointer on that last possession, which would have been fine if the play for Gach would have worked and he’d have gotten open. But he didn’t and the team had 3 pointer on their minds, so Timmy Allen - the world’s worst 3 point shooter - took the long, contested 3. Was that a case of the players being too dumb to realize that a quick 2 would also work, or was it a case of Larry and staff not mentioning that possiblility?
In the end, the Ducks outrebounded the Utes by a ton and the Utes missed 10 free throws (if you count the back half of the three one-and-ones they never gave themselves a chance at. You can point to those things. I’ll point to the lack of attention to detail by the coaching staff. If this was an isolated event, I’d say it was just one of those games where things didn’t go our way, but it’s not. This is, and has been, the rule, much more than the exception, for the last 9 years. Next year could be special, talent-wise, but don’t expect Larry to beat good coaches, even with lots of talent.