Krystkowiak looking forward to Arizona

Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak is looking forward to seeing his team play Arizona on Thursday. Read on for his thoughts on the Wildcats, previous meetings, and more.

Arizona will take on Utah for the third time this season and both teams know that there is a difficult challenge ahead.

"Well, Arizona, you look statistically is without a doubt the best defensive team in our league," Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "They hold teams to percentages that are not really in the same neighborhood as a lot of the other 11 teams, points scored.

"They're real physical. They're solid. I think Sean, Coach Miller, they talk a lot. They've obviously got offensive fire power, but that's what's making them an elite team in college basketball this year is you have a really talented group that's committed to playing defense. "

Looking back on the first meeting, Krystkowiak can't help but to focus on what Arizona was able to do with its rebounding.

"First go around in Arizona, we absolutely got pounded on the glass," he said. "I think it was maybe 20 points, offensive rebounds.

"We couldn't keep them off the glass. Actually, a little bit of an eye opening situation for us. We spent a couple weeks working on rebounding. It takes a lot of things. There are certain guys that need to block out.

"There are certain guys that maybe just need to go get the ball, but there are a lot of 50 50 balls, and I think some of it is a mindset. It's a little bit of an eye opening loss for us there. We got them to miss shots, but we just couldn't keep them-it looked pretty good on paper.

"We held them to 33%, but they were one for three every time they went down the floor, and they ended up scoring on their second offensive rebound. That's just Russian roulette. That will kill you every time."

Arizona and Utah are plenty familiar with each other, but the Utes under Krystkowiak have yet to beat the Wildcats.

"We've been close in both games," Krystkowiak said. "Actually, we've been close in three years, as I told our team. It's the one team in the Pac 12 that we've not won a basketball game against, and we got a lot of booby prizes along the way, consolation prizes and atta boys and way to go. You competed with them.

"But we've been close both times this year. We've been close in four previous games. We've got to figure it out, and we'll look at a lot of film tonight. The good news is it's just after 2'oclock, so, we have got the rest of the day.

"A year ago we were playing later in the evening and kind of scrambling. Not sure exactly you how it was going to go, but we're familiar with them. Hopefully we can make the plays necessary to compete and get a W."

Krystkowiak acknowledges that his team will be the underdog against Arizona on Thursday, but does not seem to have a problem with it.

"We're obviously not the favorite against Arizona," he said. "We should come out fighting and be ready to compete against a really good basketball team. There are a lot of Arizona fans that come. It's a school, I think, that travels as well as anybody.

"There will be a lot of anticipation for it, and here we are, as we have been in the previous games against them, the underdog. I like that element. I don't have nearly the nervous feeling that I maybe had leading into this game, and hopefully our guys are feeling the same thing."


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