NCAA Basketball Conference Rankings - PAC 12 / MWC Last 5 Seasons

2015/16 - PAC 3rd / MW 11th
2016/17 - PAC 6th / MW 10th
2017/18 - PAC 6th / MW 9th
2018/19 - PAC 7th / MW 15th
2019/20 - PAC 3rd / MW 10th

The PAC 12 is a top 5 basketball conference. We’ve seen basketball talent in the West drop off, much of this is cultural reasons, basketball just isn’t a way of life for young men in the West like it is in urban environments back east.

Regardless, the PAC 12 remains a very tough conference and there clearly is a large gap between the PAC 12 and MWC.

Well, I was going to quibble, then I realized that you did complete seasons.

For giggles I carried it out to today: PAC 7/MW 10.

Ok, so the PAC is competitive within the league, and perhaps the West. Talent may have shifted to the East. But the PAC is supposed to be a “power” conference. IMO it should then be able to recruit like a power conference.

Perhaps it has come as a deemphasis on men’s BBall from the powers that be in the conference. We have seen over the last several years, at last the P5 playoffs that the PAC football has declined. Is that a similar, but longer trend in men’s BBall? If so, does new administration at the PAC offices change this, and help the PAC brand grow again in both football and BBall?

Based upon you link, I’ll grant LK is a decent coach. I do have one caveat, within the PAC. Don’t you think, that it’s time for expectations to be raised on LK? You mentioned in another thread that getting rid of LK the program could turn into Oregon State. Yes, that is a possibility. Another possibility, the program could turn back into the halcyon days under most of Majerus’ tenure. Another possibility is, the program continues to tread water. LK is paid way too well to have the results he has had. He’s among the highest paid coaches in the country IIRC. So, shouldn’t expectations match that?

I think it’s time for the expectations to be lowered for Utah basketball. Look at the local talent, it’s a joke.

I think it’s time to raise the football expectations, Utah has a ton of local NFL caliber talent. Two of the top three NFL draft picks this year are from Utah high schools. We can do better.

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We figured your POV out long ago; low expectations is the only way to go.

Name some outstanding local high school basketball athletes that have excelled in college the past ten years…Sam Merrill. Yoeli Childs…solid but not draftable.

It’s really, really bad. I bet Idaho has a better crop and they’ve never been known for basketball.

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I can’t, I don’t even live in Utah any more. It is up to the coaching staff to either find or develop players.

The allowance of low to mediocre expectations to the program have helped propagate the problem. You mentioned a bit ago that expectations should be higher for the football program. You may be correct, but how much of that has come from the staff, over the years developing players? I would bet most of those expectations come from the development via the coaching staff. The football program grew organically. Remember under McBride how things improved, then Meyer. We took a few years under Whit to get going, but once he started developing players the program has done well. Now we expect even more out of him and the program.

My expectations for the football program are higher because of the fact that we have a dense crop of NFL talent in our own backyard. Any coach should succeed here. We have above average Dlinemen, Olinemen, linebackers, safeties…almost always filled out from local players.

Is it easier to drive over to Draper or fly to Europe like our basketball coaches are having to do?

You’re dancing around the issue of the coaching staff’s duties. Of course it’s easier to get to Draper vs Boise, LA, NYC, Europe, China, etc.

It’s still up to the coaches to find and develop talent, and the staff doesn’t seem to be doing that. If they can’t develop the talent, then scheme to use the talent you do have.

What would the Majerus era look like without Alex Jensen, Drew Hansen, Britton Johnsen, Jeff Johnsen, Trace Caton, Ben Caton, Craig Rydalch, Mark Rydalch, Jimmy Soto, Josh Grant, et al?

Do you think Majerus and his staff would have had the time and luck to get equivalent talent from out of state if they had no in-state low hanging fruit?

If a coach doesn’t have the low hanging fruit to pick, it also reduces the time his staff has to recruit out of state athletes, some of the Van Horn, Jesse, Motorola, Miller and/or Doleac fall through the cracks.

Majerus would have peaked at Sweet 16 without the local talent. Same thing Larry has done. Utah boys high school basketball isn’t producing PAC 12 talent.

You’re still dancing around the job of the coach to find and develop talent. We all understand, you have a HUGE bromance for LK. Great, hope it treats you well. But it’s still his job to find and develop, whether the talent in Utah or elsewhere.

I have a man-crush for Larry because his teams generally over-achieve. The 70s were a long time ago. Nobody faults Whittingham for not winning several conference championships in a row like Ike Armstrong did in the 40s. Nobody faults Whittingham for not being Urban.

Larry doesn’t have Chambers and Vranes in his backyard, nor all those 90s players mentioned above. He also can’t use fear tactics. It’s amazing people hold a grudge against Larry because he deficates in the toilet 100% of the time while coaching.

does the team join him in the bathroom?

Do agree that coaching has changed. I had a roommate that was a walk-on gray shirt for Majerus - he said he wasn’t quite as bad as his HS coach in Hawaii, but you no longer can coach old school like that (as seen by the Wichita St. coach). Everyone has to be told how good they are. NCAA has become an extension of AAU.

For his top-10 pay though, local or no local talent can’t be an excuse. Have to find others and bring them in and/or develop them.

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Just admit, it is up the to the coaching staff to FIND and develop talent, it doesn’t matter where they find it. It is part of a coaches duty/job description to do both.

I don’t care about your bromance. LK may find talent, but has it been developed? It does not appear so.

Larry has done a lot better than his predecessors and better than any of the other candidates available when he was hired.

Most of the Larry haters wanted Blaine Taylor…lol. Seriously. Had we listened to the Larry haters we would have hired a guy who went 2-20 at Old Dominion while we were dancing against Duke in the Sweet 16 with Larry.

You are still avoiding the issue about the coaches job of finding and developing talent.

Just because LK is a better coach than many in the PAC doesn’t mean he’s meeting expectations of the fan base. He may be meeting yours, but you already know many on the board have grown tired of mediocrity. Don’t you think it may be time for him to up his game, or has he peaked and this is the best he’ll do?

I suspect you’re too afraid of the negative possibilities, and would rather stay put than reach greater heights.

Yes I saw the article on his contract. Perhaps the school just lets his contract run out and then finds someone else. He will still have to prove himself somewhere else. I, like many others, feel that the program has stagnated, very similar to what happened to football under McBride. It’s not that Coach Mac was bad, it was that things stagnated.

I could see him just run out his contract then not be extended by Harlan and be an NBA assistant. Or starting a meditation center while burning some sweetgrass. Maybe he and Bill Walton can go into business.

I don’t know who Harlan brings in, but probably not more than 1.5-2M/yr or less with incentives to prove themselves. Basketball overall seems like it’s on the decline (attendance, participation), more so in the west. Not sure why, maybe NBA style is trickling down where it’s just chuck up 3’s or drive to get fouled. Officiating needs to let them hard foul again and hand check.

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I think this is 100% true. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that Ch 5 in SLC would pre-empt national programming to show a byu game on a weeknight. Ch 2 would do the same for a Ute game. I get with cable TV is a different beast now but no way there is enough interest to do that now.
Wyoming used to sell out their arena for games. Last year I saw a WYO game that couldn’t have had more than 500 people in attendance.

Even with paying players, Arizona doesn’t have the same bite they used to have. For a bunch of reasons I don’t understand, college ball isn’t nearly as popular as it once was, especially in the west.
There are rarely must-have recruits in Utah HS basketball anymore.

No, Larry doesn’t force the team to watch him defecate. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t. Majerus could get away with power plays like that. It’s a soft era we live in.

But you said


I have one younger co-worker who is an avid Utes Football fan and huge Utah Jazz fan. He couldn’t care less about Ute hoops. Comparing the student section in the Hunty to what it was when I attended in the 80s, he’s certainly not the only one out there disinterested in college hoops.