UTAH UTES

Utah Head Coach Craig Smith Talks About Utes Strong Start To Season

Dec 1, 2023, 5:07 PM

Craig Smith - Utah Utes vs. USC...

Craig Smith head coach of the Utah Utes reacts to an officials call the USC Trojans during the second half of their game January 22, 2022 at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah basketball head coach Craig Smith joined the KSL Sports Zone to talk about the Utes’ strong start to the 2023-2024 season.

Utah is currently 5-2 after a big win over the previously undefeated Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.

“It’s been a good week for the Utes,” Smith said. “It was really fun to be able to play in the Delta Center. Of course, it’s always fun to win and to compete.”

RELATED: Utah Men’s Basketball Gets Win In Delta Center Against Hawaii

Utah’s men’s basketball team went through a lot of changes last offseason while also managing to keep guys like Branden Carlson and Gabe Madsen.

Smith said that building off of last year’s strengths while also focusing on improving the team’s weaknesses has been a challenge that they have faced head-on.

“Last year, we were one of the best defensive teams in the country,” Smith said. “We knew there were a multitude of things we had to bring in over the offseason. We have eight new guys in our program. I like the influx of talent.”

The landscape of college athletics has changed so much in recent years.

The balance between recruiting from high school and getting talent in the transfer portal is something that Utah has tried to make the most of.

“I know what our culture is about,” Smith said. “I believe in it. We’re steadfast in it. We have a great coaching staff. That’s what we’re going to be but you always have to adjust. We’re going to keep pushing forward.”

The Utes play three in-state rivals in their upcoming games. First up is Southern Utah on Tuesday, December 5. Utah will then play the No. 19 BYU Cougars and the Utah Valley Wolverines in their next two games.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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