Program, Interrupted: Student Tryouts For Utah?

After the University of Utah’s 2009-10 basketball season under then-head coach Jim Boylen, four scholarship players with eligibility remaining left the program.

Larry Krystkowiak

(Utah Coach Larry Krystkowiak: Pac-12 Crash Landing)

Following the 2010-11 season, Utah fired Boylen and replaced him with Larry Krystkowiak on April 3. Since then, eight more scholarship players with eligibility remaining have left the Utah program.

Two months after his hire, Krystkowiak had already signed several future Utes to scholarships, a class of which was noted by Bill Oram of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE:

It was a whirlwind recruiting season for Krystkowiak, who pieced together a recruiting class of two Division I transfers, three junior college transfers and three incoming freshmen. Krystkowiak said the process was “as high-intensity as any coach can go through.”

While Pac-12 schools such as Arizona and Oregon added five-star, top-25 recruits, Utah’s highest-rated signee is three-star forward Javon Dawson, who backed out of a commitment with Colorado State to join the Utes.

“I’m not a big fan of the two-star, three-star, four-star kind of recruits,” Krystkowiak said late last week, “but I’m a big fan of character guys. We’ve got a group of guys who are high-character guys, hard-nosed players.”

In its inaugural Pac-12 conference game last Saturday, Krystkowiak’s Utah squad was beaten by Colorado 73-33 - dropping the Utes to 3-10 overall. After the latest of what has been a series of unimaginable losses already this season, Utah player Cedric Martin said of Krystkowiak’s postgame remarks:

His main message was that if you’re not prepared off the court, you’re not going to be prepared on the court.”

More from Oram’s postgame report in the Salt Lake Tribune:

To hear Krystkowiak tell it, the Utes have been far from prepared.

“Practices have been going great,” Krystkowiak said, “with the exception we’ve had a lot of guys be late for things and not show up for things.”

“When you’re right around the corner from this Pac-12 thing cranking up and the inaugural season,” Krystkowiak said, “it’s pretty important. For me, all it is a statement from all of our players that other things are more important.”

Krystkowiak did not specify which players had been the problem. He simply said the Utes now have a “zero-tolerance” policy.

“If somebody’s late again, they won’t be in the lineup,” Krystkowiak said. “They won’t be on the team.”

But even without the possibility of Krystkowiak enacting such drastic disciplinary action in the future, the injury- and defection-addled Utah squad put out a call today for student bodies:

“We’re probably going to have tryouts when school starts,” Krystkowiak said.

“I’m not sure there’s not a couple of guys in the student body that wouldn’t come on over and lend some help,” Krystkowiak said. “When we’re beat up we need some more bodies to practice. Utah’s a pretty good basketball state, I would imagine there’s some good hoopers on intramural programs running around. We’re going to look into that when school starts.”

Utah may indeed be a “pretty good basketball state” but unfortunately for its flagship university’s basketball team, it hasn’t translated into a single in-state player on scholarship this season.

Not that you necessarily need scholarship players from the state or, for that matter, the school itself, to win - as Rick Majerus proved during the 1992-93 season.

On March 25, 1993, Doug Robinson of the SALT LAKE DESERET NEWS reported that the Utah squad that finished with a 24-7 record that season did so despite “losing six players during the offseason and replacing them with student tryouts.”

Of course, Utah didn’t play a Pac-12 schedule that season. Or UNC-Asheville.

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Even Sully Couldn’t Save a Flying Coach Majerus

Based on his bizarrely childish behavior the past few weeks over his St. Louis Billikens being taken off charter travel, coach Rick Majerus apparently is hoping to be fired.

Rick Majerus Ball Sack

 (Majerus admiring Keith’s Van Horn)

After the decision to fly the team commercial came down last month thanks to budget cuts, Majerus subsequently begged off his weekly local radio show, claiming game preparation and attention to charity work precipitated him dropping his responsibility. He also played the “academics” card to full effect.

But the week after he quit the show under those circumstances, Majerus guested on a Chicago station for 45 minutes at exactly same time his own show in St. Louis would’ve been aired. The feed of the show was then picked up by a local St. Louis station which is a competitor with the outlet where Majerus had planned to previously appear.

While on the show in Chicago, Majerus reiterated his pro-choice stance on abortion, which is in direct conflict with his superiors at catholic SLU and caused controversy in the past. Read more…

Week In Review: Danielle Lloyd Destroyed in Fight

• Hottie soccer WAG Danielle Lloyd gets bruised & bloodied in a bar fight.

Danielle Lloyd

(The delicious Danielle, back before her bar-brawling days)

• What a memorable Memorial Day: Jose Canseco gets mauled in his MMA debut, while Mr. T pities Cubs fans with his 7th inning song stylings.

• Meanwhile, Kendra Wilkinson & Hank Baskett go for a dip at the MGM Grand’s Wet Republic - and Holly Madison is there, too!

Danica Patrick’s latest GoDaddy spot features the randy racer being pulled over by a policewoman-turned-stripper.

• Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima is pregnant. Great job, Marko Jaric!

Read more…

Filthy Sign Language Lessons With Rick Majerus

Rick Majerus: good-natured goofball or basketball tyrant? Despite the image he tries to project (and his resemblance to the Dad from “Just the Ten of Us,” it’s becoming abundantly clear that the only thing the former Utah and current St. Louis coach loves more than a free buffet is making his players’ lives miserable. At St. Louis, he’s managed to set the bar so low for his team before the season that they’ve tripped over it and later said his team had no chance to win the conference tournament.

Lance Allreds new book and Rick Majerus

But that’s nothing compared to his exploits at Utah, where according to an earlier SPORTS ILLUSTRATED piece he had a thing about being naked and showing off his … ahem … Running Ute. Somewhat lost in the hubbub and mass vomit that took place thanks to the mental images created of a sweaty, naked Rick Majerus naked in a steamroom was his treatment of certain players, including center Lance Allred, who has 80 percent hearing loss. Majerus might have been cleared of any wrongdoing in a school investigation, but a new book by Allred reviewed by CLEVELAND SCENE sheds more light onto his claims.

Read more…

Majerus Hates Conference Tourneys & His Team

Remember Rick Majerus — the portly fellow who made a name for himself first for coaching Utah to a bunch of NCAA appearances and then later for talking about “oh-fense” on ESPN? Well, apparently he’s coaching again, and not exactly doing wonders for his Saint Louis team’s confidence as they went into their first-round matchup with Xavier in the Atlantic 10 tournament.

Rick Majerus is Debbie Downer

Seems that Rick thinks all these conference tournaments are stupid (something a lot of fans — and especially ESPN — might disagree with). But Majerus didn’t stop there. No, he basically acknowledged that his team didn’t have any chance of winning the tournament, and said it would be “phony” if it did. Way to pump up your guys, coach.

Fortunately, the Billikens lived up to their coach’s expectations.

Read more…

Majerus Doesn’t Want To Show You His Billikens

First off, I stole the headline from Rick Chandler at DEADSPIN. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’m happy to report that college basketball season is upon on us. And you know what that means: Lots and lots and LOTS of Rick Majerus posts!

Rick Majerus

The BELLEVILE (IL) NEWS-DEMOCRAT headlines a story today about Majerus’ latest SLU squad with: “Majerus is comfortable with young roster.”

St. Louis Billikens score 20 points in loss

But after reading the piece, I’d say the hed was about as accurate as Majerus’ team was last Jan.10. So I compiled a list of Majerus’ unintentionally hilarious quotes about his team from the story.

Read more…

Brog: Brooks Uncovers Nude Beach In San Diego

I was thinking about writing about the Olympics today, but I decided to pass when I turned on the telly and the first thing I heard an NBC announcer say was, so-and-so “is the greatest beach volleyball player in Latvian History.” I really, really want to crack open an Oly, but they just won’t let me. At least until that Bolt guy laces ‘em up. (No, I won’t be strapping my balls up for Women’s 30-meter air rifle.)

Blacks Beach Lifeguard Cones

Instead, I thought I’d chronicle my last Sunday, as I tooled around in the San Diego area, deciding eventually to finally visit North County’s notorious nude beach: Black’s Beach.

Blacks Beach Climb

The area is located on the shores below Torrey Pines golf course. (Yes, the same track where Rocco nearly wrecked Tiger coming out of the pits.).

Blacks Beach Nudity Sign

Despite what would’ve seemed to be an accessible location, there is no real easy access to the nudie haven, and it’s impossible to see the the beach up-close from the cliff’s above. So I braved the steep climb down in search of Rick Majerus to see what it was all about.

Read more…

“Disgrace To Cripples” Allred Signs Deal With Cavs

The NBA signed the first legally deaf player in its history Thursday.

Lance Allred Cleveland Cavaliers

Lance Allred of the NBDL’s Idaho Stampede signed a 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, mainly as backup for their injury-plagued front court. Allred’s ascendancy to basketball’s biggest stage was rockier than most. Read more…

Maryland Basketball Is Already On The Bubble

When the women’s basketball highlights hit, we’re usually up to get some vacuuming done, so we had no idea that apparently the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Maryland, Brenda Frese, is eight months pregnant and still coaching.

Brenda Frese 8 Months Pregnant

(Someone somewhere is somehow making this sexual)

She’s got twins on the way, hasn’t missed a practice this season, and the Terrapins are currently 22-1 and ranked third in the nation.

ESPN has video of her in *action* after the jump.

Read more…

Majerus Won’t Buckle to Archbishop Over Beliefs

Rick Majerus is in hot holy water for his pro-choice stance on abortion, but the St. Louis U. coach is not backing down from his beliefs.

Rick Majerus

Bernie Miklasz of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH reports that Majerus’ biggest concern wasn’t criticism from church or school officials, but the worries of his own mother:

She was upset, thinking I was going to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church, and that I would be denied Communion during Mass.”

Which is just what St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke is threatening to do, unless the coach apologizes for his comments and puts his beliefs back in line with the church’s.

But Majerus’ mama also told her son to do what he thinks is right.

Read more…