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Posted: 5:11 PM- Andrew Bogut and the University of Utah's run to the Sweet 16 in 2005 will be the lasting legacy of Ray Giacoletti, who resigned as the school's men's basketball coach Friday.
Reached in Toronto prior to the Milwaukee Bucks' game against the Raptors, Bogut expressed disappointment over Giacoletti's fate.
"He's the reason I'm in the NBA," Bogut said.
Bogut nearly left Utah after an up-and-down freshman season, but he stayed when Giacoletti was named to replace ex-coach Rick Majerus.
In his final year with the Utes, Bogut enjoyed spectacular success by averaging 20.4 points and 12.2 rebounds. He was the consensus national Player of the Year.
Giacoletti "saw me as the leader of the team," Bogut said. "He let me take the reigns. He got me the ball when it counted. He ran the right plays at the right time and helped us win a lot of ballgames. I owe him a lot. But, obviously, they wanted to go a different direction and he doesn't fit into their plans."
After Bogut played one year under Giacoletti, Milwaukee made him the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft. This season, Bogut averages 12.2 points and 8.8 rebounds for the Bucks.
"It's just unfortunate, you know?" he said. "We went to the Sweet 16 in his first year. But then they had two disappointing seasons in a row. That's the way the college basketball industry works."
After his final season at Utah, Bogut donated $125,000 to the school for an endowed scholarship and to help renovate the basketball locker room.
Despite his disappointment over Giacoletti's resignation, he does not regret his financial support.
"It's not up to me to make that decision, no matter how much money I gave them," Bogut said. "They're trying to do what benefits the school most. . . . It's hard for me, sitting here in the NBA, to be critiquing what they should do."
Bogut did not speak to Giacoletti on Friday, but did get a phone call and voice mail from him at his Toronto hotel.
He plans to return his former coach's call "in the next day or two . . . when things are a little less hectic for him."