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Pac-12 basketball news: Utah fires Larry Krystkowiak, two ASU players enter transfer portal

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Colorado v Utah Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

In the first Pac-12 coaching change of the offseason, the Utah Utes announced Tuesday that they have fired Larry Krystkowiak, who had been their head coach since the 2011-12 season, two years after Arizona hired Sean Miller.

“Ultimately, our program needs a new voice, a new vision and a new leader who can build upon Larry’s foundation and lead us to greater heights in the years ahead,” Utah athletic director Mark Harlan said in a statement.

In 10 seasons in Salt Lake City, Krystowiak posted a 183-137 record and two NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet Sixteen in 2015 when the Utes were led by Kyle Kuzma, Delon Wright and Jakob Poeltl.

However, Utah had sputtered of late, going 45-42 over the past three seasons including a meager 26-29 record in the Pac-12. Their last NCAA Tournament appearance was in 2016.

The Utes went 12-13 this season with an 8-11 mark in the Pac-12.

“Unfortunately, Krystkowiak’s biggest failure as head coach was his inability to capitalize on that very stretch of basketball,” wrote Steve Bartle of UteZone.com. “The appeal and value of back-to-back tournament appearances, three first round picks, and the stability of a brand new contract were essentially lost over time on the recruiting trail. Utah found middling success in the years that followed and never again returned to the NCAA tournament.”

ASU’s House, Cherry enter transfer portal

Reports say ASU’s Jaelen House and Taeshon Cherry have entered the transfer portal.

Cherry was, at the timing of his signing, one of the highest-ranked recruits ASU had ever landed, though it didn’t show up on the court. The junior forward started in 17 of 62 games, averaging 5.1 points per game.

House entering the transfer portal was much more a surprise. He is the son of former ASU standout Eddie House and had a pretty good sophomore season, averaging 5.3 points per game while shooting 38% from 3 off the bench.

“His improvement was one of this season’s top stories,” tweeted The Athletic’s Doug Haller.

If Josh Christopher and Marcus Bagley declare for the NBA Draft as expected, and none of ASU’s seniors return, the Sun Devils will be losing seven of their top eight scorers from this season.