San Francisco • The first victory of the 2013 season for the Utah men's basketball team looks small on paper, but is a significant step in the perception of Larry Krystkowiak's program.
On Thursday morning, media that covers the Pac-12 tabbed the Utes to finish ninth in the 12-team conference in its annual preseason poll. It represents the highest prognostication for Utah since the team made the jump over from the Mountain West three years ago. In fact, it's the first time the Utes haven't been picked to finish dead last.
"It feels good that we're not being picked to finish dead last in the conference. It shows people are starting to pay attention," Utah sophomore forward Jordan Loveridge said. "We have athleticism at every position this year, so hopefully that helps us. We try not to worry about where we're picked because we have to play well regardless. We're excited to see how it all comes together."