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Utah hoops: Krystkowiak: Players send message 'other things are more important'

Published December 31, 2011 8:17 pm

Utah basketball • "If somebody's late again, they won't be in the lineup," Krystkowiak says.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Boulder, Colo. • Utah's implosion Saturday at Colorado was met by an explosion.

Coach Larry Krystkowiak disappeared into the team's locker room and his voice rose and his words sneaked under the door.

When he emerged, he looked haggard, the combination of a 73-33 shellacking and the physical wear of a 10-minute browbeating.

"His main message was that if you're not prepared off the court," wing Cedric Martin said, "you're not going to be prepared on the court."

To hear Krystkowiak tell it, the Utes have been far from prepared.

"Practices have been going great," Krystkowiak said, "with the exception we've had a lot of guys be late for things and not show up for things."

It's a familiar problem for the Utes. Krystkowiak suspended star guard Josh "Jiggy" Watkins for a game earlier this season after he arrived late to a practice. Krystkowiak hoped that discipline would send a message to the team.

He appeared to be at new levels of frustration Saturday.

"When you're right around the corner from this Pac-12 thing cranking up and the inaugural season," Krystkowiak said, "it's pretty important. For me, all it is a statement from all of our players that other things are more important."

Krystkowiak did not specify which players had been the problem. He simply said the Utes now have a "zero-tolerance" policy.

"If somebody's late again, they won't be in the lineup," Krystkowiak said. "They won't be on the team."

Junior center Jason Washburn said the Utes needed to pay attention and take heed to Krystkowiak's message.

"Coach does a lot for us," he said. "All the coaches do. The whole staff really works to give us a good life as college athletes. On top of getting paid to come to college and getting a free scholarship, they do a lot to make sure we live good and we have everything we need to be prepared. And we have to start giving it back to them."


Twitter: @oramb




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