LOS ANGELES — Three down, one to go. Utah’s 84-67 loss to USC came on the third straight Sunday the Utes have played. They’ll make it four when Washington State visits the Huntsman Center this weekend.
“I can’t believe all these Sunday games,” said Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak. “… I have an issue with it but that’s something that’s out of our control.
“We’re talking about the time for these players and when we’re supposed to give them time off and there ain’t many other situations where you’re playing four consecutive Sundays,” he continued. “It’s not easy, you know.”
The run began Dec. 31 at Oregon State and continued Jan. 7 at home against Arizona State. Then came the USC game and now the impending contest with Washington State.
Three of the Sunday games started at 6 p.m. (all on ESPNU), while the other (on the Pac-12 Networks) tipped off at 4 p.m.
TILLMAN BACK: Freshman forward Donnie Tillman started in just his second game since Dec. 9. He finished with 10 points, four rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes of action.
“I felt great,” said Tillman, who has been sidelined with a sore foot. “I feel more confident.”
Tillman scored the opening basket (a 3-pointer) and had an impressive dunk later in the game. He intends to play in all the remaining games.
“Yes, definitely,” Tillman said before leaving the arena.
SUPPORTING KUZ: The Utes wore “Kuzmania” T-shirts during pregame warmups in support of former teammate Kyle Kuzma, who is having a stellar rookie season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Kuzma had dinner with the Utes Wednesday at the team hotel in Santa Monica.
Utes warming up with "Kuzmania" shirts. Donnie Tillman is dressed and expected to play tonight at USC. (Photo courtesy of Alina Rogers/Utah Basketball) pic.twitter.com/d9H9a58XGz— Dirk Facer (@DirkFacer) January 15, 2018
SCOUT-A-RAMA: Scouts from the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks and the Utah Jazz were credentialed for the game. The Jazz were also represented by Richard Smith, Utah’s executive director of basketball operations.
NOT GOING THERE: Krystkowiak opted not to get involved in the war of words between Colorado coach Tad Boyle and USC’s Andy Enfield regarding the FBI probe that involved the Trojans.
“I’ve got opinions. I think everybody can make yourself a victim. Some people want to make themselves victims,” Krystkowiak said on Friday. “I’m going to stay pretty Switzerland on the whole deal, just focus on what I can control, not worry about what everybody else has got going on. I’ve got enough headaches.”
EXTRA STUFF: Former Utah Jazz guard Mack Calvin attended the game. The 70-year-old is a USC alum. … The attendance was 4,822. … Bibbins had a team-high four assists.