Let us not be Zoobs: How I'm viewing this season and Larry

First of all let me establish that I am not happy with Larry’s performance at the U over the course of that time overall noting a few bright spots. I also don’t take a lot of stock in exceeding expectations when those expectations are in the toilet and created largely by Larry. So to paraphrase Ricky Ricardo, he has some ‘splainin’ to do.

But we can’t change that today or even this year, and this team although it is his fault/result deserves to be considered on its own. Meaning it isn’t these guys fault they are one of the youngest teams in the nation.

So let us not fall into the Zoob trap that they experience with all sports but particularly in football where they get way too excited about unexpected success and way too down for failures.

This team IS extremely young and as I’ve said before is prone to lots of streakiness. That means we are going to likely surprise a couple more teams we shouldn’t and get blown out by others in embarrassing fashion. It’s part of youth.

Young teams also do not play well on the road. 4 straight losses, particularly against this slate of teams should not be a surprise.

Young teams fade as the season goes on. They have neither the physical or mental conditioning of an experienced team. Remember, Poeltl experienced it, and so did Bogut.

Young teams play bad defense and miss assignments they shouldn’t. Again those things come with experience.

My advice, don’t get too excited when we beat someone like AZ or Oregon at home, and don’t pull you hair out when they also lose to Middle Tennessee Southern State Beauty College the next day.

We have great talent on this team and more coming. What Larry needs to figure out is how to keep morale up, players invested and coming back next year. If he can do that (and right now that is a big IF) I not so boldly predict Utah will make a deep tourney run in as little as two years.

So I view two programs: the 2020 Runnin’ Utes, which I’m okay with and the program as a whole under Larry with which I currently do have a problem.

Also, anybody missing Jayce Johnson this year has serious memory problems.

You keep saying this, but repetition won’t make it correct. We would be better right now with Jayce than we are without him. Nobody has ever claimed that Jayce is great, but we’d be better with him.


Jayce was a formidable post presence. He was not a scorer, but he contributed a lot at the defensive end, and he was a solid rebounder. Those are two things this team DESPERATELY needs. This year’s team would be markedly better with Jayce.


I agree, mostly with what you say. I’m not too worked up over this years team. I am bothered by player turnover, and what appears to be Larry being in over his head. I believe it was LAUte saying that it looks like the job is over Larry, not Larry over the job. So in that regard, yes Larry has some “splaining to do.”

I stand by what I said in an earlier post, Larry is a wunderkind compared to Giac or Boylen, but couldn’t, or shouldn’t the program be better by now? Larry’s been HC for long enough to show tendencies, and they’re worrisome. Turnover, wtf losses, seemingly no growth in the players (partially due to turnover). This all goes back to the HC. I remember being frustrated with Whit early in his tenure, but his program at least showed growth season to season. Have we seen similar from Larry? Doesn’t seem that way.

As for getting excited and overblown expectations. I’ve had low expectations from Larry’s teams for a few years, and they’ve not met those much. After the the Kentucky win, I hoped for NIT, while others got overhyped for the NCAAs. Now I don’t see the NIT happening. Yes I have expectations for the men’s bball program, and they go back to how we’ve done historically, even prior to the Fat Man. We used to go to the NCAAs regularly, and at least win a game or 2. Now I go into the season hoping for NIT, and we’ve not even done that regularly. I still expect the program to be better, but reality is, the program isn’t great, let alone good. This goes back to Larry.

I couldn’t begin to tell you who to replace him with. Larry for all his being a good person, may not be the right fit for the program. All I know is that it’s frustrating. So I don’t watch much on TV, never listen on the interwebs, and only read about the games. It’s just not enjoyable to watch or pay much attention to the program. I doubt I’d pay any closer attention if we still lived in or near Salt Lake. Remember, even the Fat Man wore out his welcome after awhile, even as great of a coach as he was.

He never wore it out with me. I’ve always believed he was mistreated in Utah, particularly by the media that he, admittedly, trashed.

But I never got tired of winning. Many UTE fans seemed to be bored with his style. I never was. The guy could flat out coach.

Where do we go from here? Not sure. But I know there is someone out there who would be a perfect fit for this program. Needs to be a young man.


You keep saying it as well but it also doesn’t make it true. It’s okay. His 2pts 1 turnover and 0.5 blocks a game at Marquette indicate I might be right and indicate he is not a defensive deterrent at all. Carlson despite not exactly wowing right now outpaces Johnson statistically not just this year but last year.

We’re just accustomed to being zoobs due to our common ancestry.


Player turnover is the key for me. If we lose any of the following after this year (Allen, Battin, Jones, Gach, Thioune, Jantunen), then K definitely has some ‘splainin’ to do.


What Jayce is doing (or not doing) at Marquette means nothing other than what we all agree on - Jayce is not a superstar. The question is whether or not we could use him in Utah. And we could. A large portion of our problems begin with our lack of a center.

Carlson is not outpacing Jayce’s stats from last year. Jayce got 7 ppg and 8 rpg in 22 mpg. Carlson is getting 5 ppg and 3 rpg in 17 mpg. But stats only tell part of the story. One thing we really lack is interior toughness on D, and Jayce consistently delivered that when he was in Utah.

I guess a lot of people forgot, but at this time last year, talk on Utah message boards was whether or not Jayce would get some all-conference honors.

The problem looking at Jayce with wishful thinking is that he left saying he wanted to be more central to an offense. Can you really say you ever saw that as a possibility for him in Div I? I can’t. I’ll grant you that he’d help on the defensive end, but if he thought he should be a go-to offense guy then I’m left to conclude he wasn’t able to objectively determine where his skills were and would not be bought into just being a rim defender.


And that talk was nucking futs, just like this talk, and also why he DIDN’T get any all-conference honors. I laughed then and I laugh now. Keep in mind that is just Carlson, who is also a freshman, versus Jayce Johnson who was a Jr at the time and our only option. Comparing JJ at Marquette is applicable because that is a senior playing a similar amount of minutes. Plus between Carlson and Thione they are matching his 7ppg of last year.

It is obvious that JJ left because he knew he was going to be riding the pine behind these guys, as he should have been. And his 7ppg nor his pretend defensive presence (as illustrated by his 1 block per game average) would not have made an ounce of difference in any of the losses we’ve had this year.

In fact, if JJ matched his production this year as a senior I would be wondering why he was getting any minutes from Carlson or Thione and be pissed at Larry for investing an ounce of time in his lack of progression.

But that JJ talk is the smallest point in what I am saying in the OP, just a bug that is up yours and my craw.


For me, the issue is the trajectory of the program, not this team. They started 9 years ago and the first 3 years moved the program from the dumps in a very positive direction. The program performed at a high level for the next 3 years. From there, the program has regressed. Do I believe that this staff can move the program back in the right direction. I do not.


Yeah, just a bad decision on his part. He would be starting here and getting a lot of minutes. Carlson - who I love - is not able yet to defend anyone. Nnaji wrecked him, and that opened up everything for Zona. SDSU’s bigs did the same, and so did Bey at Colorado. I think Jayce would have been worth 1-2 extra wins on the season. But he was never going to be a contributor on the offensive end. He had no skill in that at all.

By the way, I think Carlson played with a bit more fire against ASU than he had shown previously. He fought for position on defense harder than before. Those are great signs for him.

Jayce played like he was wearing oven mitts covered in Crisco


this hand wringing over Jayce is asnine.

Utah’s records is exactly the same with or without Jayce and does it really matter if we only lost to CU by 33 instead of 39? Come one folks, you’re better than that.

Additionally having Jayce on the floor as a Ute takes up some valuable playing minutes for Carlson and others who desperately need reps on the court.


Jayce had height, slow feet and stone hands. He was a Lerch and always will be.


You rang.

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Wrong, we are much better of getting more experience for the slate of big men with more upside than Jayce ever had.


Sure, if the goal is preparing for next season, then I agree with you.

honestly, I think the goal this entire season is simply getting ready for future seasons

7’0" is the only reason he is even considered a D-1 player.

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