MBB Video: Utah is viewed as a team that will vastly improve in 2020-21

Ryan Kostecka

When recapping Utah's basketball season there are multiple ways to decipher it.

One on the surface, a 16-15 overall record and 7-11 standing in the Pac-12 is nothing to be proud of — especially considering some of the success the Utes had found over the past couple of seasons.

But when you dig deeper, you'll see that any record over .500 is very good for a team that was one of the youngest in the nation — and probably the youngest when you factor in all of the one-and-done players in college.

Next season though, the Utes are set to bring back their top-8 players, including all-Pac-12 performer Timmy Allen and all-freshman team member Rylan Jones. Do they take the next step and make a run at the NCAA Tournament, or is this the end of the road for Larry Krystkowiak?

According to some, including CBS Sports' college basketball insider Jon Rothstein, the Utes are set to be one the most improved from last season. And that's mainly because of who Utah has returning and the incoming freshman. 

There's already a culture in place under Krystkowiak, and with leaders like Allen and Both Gach, there shouldn't be any issues as to what people's roles are. 

Next season, the Utes are projected to bring back every starter, as well as their top eight players who all averaged over 15 minutes a game.

They have two stars in the to-be juniors Gach and Allen, rising stars in to-be sophomores Jones and Brendan Carlson and sharpshooters in to-be senior Alfonso Plummer and to-be junior Jaxon Brenchley. 

Allen was the team's leading scorer, Gach notched a triple-double, Jones was clutch at the end of games, Carlson led the team in blocks, Brenchley provides size on the wing and Plummer dropped a Pac-12 tournament record 35 points with 11 three's against Oregon State.

This is a team that has the skillset to make a massive leap next year, and to be honest it's needed if Krystkowiak is going to keep his job. There has been a lot of speculation about his job over the course of the past year, and it appears that an NCAA tournament berth is badly needed.

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