Utah Basketball Is Looking For A Bounce Back Against TCU

Dec 20, 2022, 4:47 PM
Craig Smith - Utah Utes Practice...
(Photo courtesy of Utah Athletics)
(Photo courtesy of Utah Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY- By and large Utah basketball has exceeded expectations early in the 2022-2023 season. That doesn’t mean the handful of losses the Utes have experienced (they are currently 9-3) haven’t hurt any less though. Perhaps the toughest loss to date for the Runnin’ Utes came last Saturday against rival BYU. However, head coach Craig Smith says Utah basketball is ready to bounce back on Wednesday night against No. 20 TCU.

“We had a really, really good practice [Monday],” coach Smith said. “Obviously, BYU played outstanding, and they were the better team Saturday. Clearly, we were disappointed in a lot of different things from that game, including the outcome. Sometimes you need a piece of humble pie, and we certainly were served that.”

Runnin’ Utes Taking Ownership

Perhaps Utah’s biggest issue Saturday against the Cougars was their shot choices which Smith noted were particularly bad and not something he’s seen his team do all season. The Utes were just 41% from the field, 67% from the line, and an abysmal 20% from the three.

Smith was very candid about the fact the “tape don’t lie” and that he and his team are working on some of the things BYU exposed in preparation for TCU at Vivint Arena.

“We had a great session,” Smith said. “Some things we clearly need to get better at and address. I always say the camera doesn’t lie whether you’re recording something or taking a snapshot. To fix things you’ve got to have some self-awareness. That includes me as the coach, our coaching staff and our players. We had a good film session and I thought we had an outstanding practice the other day.”

As far as how the kids on the team have responded, Smith says he’s really proud of the effort and awareness demonstrated by leadership.

“We win together, we lose together,” Smith said. “I take a lot of responsibility for Saturday, no question about it, but some of our leadership said some things in the locker room that was great to hear. When you can have the self-awareness and confidence, ownership and maturity to take responsibility for those games, it’s a big thing. I don’t care how old or young people are- you don’t always see that in any walk of life. We have had good leadership from our upperclassmen all year and I believe we will have that the rest of it.”

How To Check Out Utah’s Next Game

The Utes will host the No. 20 ranked TCU Horned Frogs at Vivint Arena on Wednesday, December 21. The throwback “old Mountain West Conference” matchup will tipoff at 7 pm MT and can be viewed on the Pac-12 Networks Mountain channel.


Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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Utah Basketball Is Looking For A Bounce Back Against TCU