Departures. They happen to every single program in the country. Kids want to be closer to home, don't get along with their coach, want more playing time, and sometimes they just don't want to be there anymore. With Brekkott Chapman's departure from the Utah basketball program, we find ourselves again discussing the constant departures from the team and it poses the question as to whether or not this is becoming a problem, or if Larry Krystkowiak's style, while possibly viewed as harsh, is necessary for the team to continue to grow and reach the heights Coach K has in mind.
Since taking the helm at the University of Utah, 21 players have departed school via transfer. That's an average of almost 4 per season. Here is the complete list:
Antonio Di Maria
When looking at that list of players, it's clear that some of them weren't helping the program win games at the level Utah needed. Many weren't Pac 12 level players and were band-aids in the early days. Some were recruiting misses. Sometimes, for the betterment of a program, encouraging players not to return because they won't play is a necessity. Dead weight on a roster will slow your growth, but there's also a cost associated with those departures.
At the end of the day, I trust Larry Krystkowiak and his process. It's turned a program that was down in the deepest of dumps into a Pac 12 power that is starting to turn into more of a recruiting destination. The overall talent level on the team continues to increase. The 8th guy in the rotation is more talented than the 8th guy this past season. The 11th guy is better than the 11th guy. The bottom isn't as low. The question is whether or not these departures start to have an impact on Utah's recruiting efforts. Will other schools use Utah's constant player turnover against them? Will it force a player to wonder why so many have left? Are they unhappy? Are they misled? Is Krystkowiak hard to play for? Have they been pushed out? The general sentiment is that these players are leaving to find a place where they can play more, but that doesn't mean that the departures won't cause some damage.
It's a risk/reward situation when you're constantly attempting to upgrade your talent level. So far it's worked out just fine for the Utes. Hopefully, for their sake, that continues.