Utah full of compliments after loss

Utah gave it a good effort, but it was not enough to beat Arizona. Read on to see why Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak thinks Arizona is so tough.

Utah may have given its best effort in a loss against Arizona on Sunday, but it just was not enough as the Wildcats wound up winning 65-56.

"They pounded us," Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "We got them to miss, but we gave up 20 offensive rebounds and almost 20 points off of them. We just couldn't match their level of physicality. It was a whooping on the glass."

One of the main reasons why the Wildcats were able to get so many offensive rebounds is because of the energy that they had from the start of the game.

"They were wired from the beginning in terms of playing defense," Krystkowiak said. "We can't try to take athletes of that level one on one. To use a football analogy, it's a team that runs the ball.

"They just grind you and grind you and grind you and eventually the defense gets tired of being on the field at the end of the game. There's a lot to be said for the way they play."

In order to contain that style of play, Krystkowiak tried to use numerous defenses to slow down Arizona.

"We used a triangle and two, a bump zone, a switching zone," Krystkowiak said. "Part of it was to mix it up against such a well-oiled team.

"People may say that zone caused us problems with the rebounding, but I think those problems were there regardless. It's not just us they're pounding on. They're the best team in our conference and one of the best in the country."

The defense certainly worked at times, but junior guard Nick Johnson was able to come up big in numerous situations.

"He's a big time player and a great kid," Krystkowiak said. "They're talking about him as a potential player of the year for our league. He's the guy they go to and he stepped up to the plate and made some big plays.

"We didn't have an answer for him. Whether he's dunking the ball or shooting the ball, he's hard to guard. He's also a tremendous defensive player, which goes unnoticed a lot of the time."


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