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Left (Silas Walker, Deseret News), Right (Scott Winterton, Deseret News)
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Who’s More On The Hot Seat: Dave Rose or Larry Krystkowiak?

Left (Silas Walker, Deseret News), Right (Scott Winterton, Deseret News)

Salt Lake City, Utah – Not since 1989 have both the Utah and BYU basketball teams missed the NIT or the NCAA Tournament. From a basketball-rich state that is not a great look seeing the two premier programs not playing meaningful hoops in March.

This is an unacceptable year for each program and it is going to put a lot of pressure on both BYU’s Dave Rose and Utah’s Larry Krystkowiak to make the postseason next year.

Bad Year For Rose

Rose had his worst season to date in Provo with a still solid 19-13 record, but it was the first time he did not earn 20 wins or go to a major postseason tournament in his 14 years on the BYU job.

Cougar athletics director Tom Holmoe released a statement announcing an end to the season.

“The primary focus of the BYU basketball programs is to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, or as a secondary option the National Invitation Tournament,” Holmoe said. “With that in mind, we have determined that our men’s basketball team will not participate in the other postseason events this year.”

Scott Mitchell of KSL’s Unrivaled thinks that maybe it could be time for BYU to find a new coach and it is not only because of this one bad year by coach Rose.

“Dave Rose has had a tremendous run at BYU. This is what it appears like to me, it appears like he is tired, it appears like his time has run its course,” Mitchell said of Rose’s time in Provo. “It is not going to magically get better. If BYU fans are like ‘if we just get to the tournament, great,’ but I think fans want more and expect more. They are hopeful that they just don’t get there but turn a corner.”

There has to be frustration from Cougar fans as they see from their own conference that Gonzaga is making deep NCAA Tournament runs nearly every year with legitimate chances of winning a national title. Then there is BYU which is not even consistently making to the Big Dance.

Utes Always “Rebuilding?”

As for Krystkowiak, his Utes also were knocked out of its conference tournament by falling to eventual Pac-12 tournament champion Oregon Ducks in the quarterfinal round. Utah finished third in a down Pac-12 with just a 17-14 record, and those wins are Krystkowiak’s fewest since his second year on the job when the Utes had a 15-18 record.

What amplifies Krystkowiak’s poor season is that he is one of the highest paid coaches in the country. According to the USA TODAY coaches salary database, he earns $3,572,500 which is tops in the Pac-12 and 11th among Division I coaches. Missing out on any postseason tournament not named the NIT or NCAA is not a good look for the type of salary Krystkowiak brings in.

Another part of that frustration is that it seems every year that the Ute program is starting over from scratch, and that should not be the case with the historic success of Utah basketball.

“From the Utah side of it, I always get the sense that this team is rebuilding all the time,” Mitchell said. “Every year, I hear ‘rebuilding and we are in a rebuilding mode.’ For Coach K, who is the 11th highest paid coach in the country, it just doesn’t seem like the production is matching what he is getting paid. I as a fan, I expect more.”

As for who is under more pressure, a Facebook poll was put up over at the KSL Sports page and it ended up being close, but Rose earned more votes than Krystkowiak.

Both BYU and Utah are sitting out of postseason tournament play this year. Tonight on KSL's Unrivaled on KSL Newsradio,…

Posted by KSL Sports on Monday, March 18, 2019

Tune into KSL’s Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast.

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