College basketball: Utah ends 'season one' with another loss, prepares for Pac-12

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Ogden • Cedric Martin quickly drew in a breath, and memories of Damian Lillard filled his head: The step-back 3s, the driving dunks, the quiet and calm as he brought the ball up the floor."He had one of them games again," the Utes' guard said, sounding as frustrated as he looked defending the nation's leading scorer.Utah lost to Weber State 80-51 Thursday at the Dee Events Center. Lillard scored 22 points to lead the Wildcats, including 12 in the first half when the Utes wasted a quick start and fell behind 30-16."I thought we kind of got fooled into the mold that we didn't have to play as hard anymore," coach Larry Krystkowiak said.Weber State represented a measuring stick for the Utes, to see how much they had actually improved throughout a sluggish preseason that ended Thursday with another loss, their ninth. Lillard, in turn, represented the kind of player the Utes can expect to see more consistently in their first Pac-12 season."Season one is over," coach Larry Krystkowiak said, "and now it's season two."The Utes will take four days off and then reconvene before traveling to fellow Pac-12 newcomer Colorado on Dec. 31.After that the realities of the Pac-12 schedule kick in: Washington, Cal, Arizona, UCLA and Oregon, and on.It's not quite the same as the preseason gauntlet comprising Montana State, UNC-Asheville and Cal State-Fullerton that sent Utah to a 1-8 start this season. But Krystkowiak said he hopes the Utes use their Christmas break to refocus and come back improved."I don't think a stretch is going to be rougher for us than it just was," he said.It was so rough for the coach that he said he told his team in the locker room after losing to Weber State. "I feel like I've gone through about three seasons in the last couple of months."