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yoco :: College Basketball
(a sports weblog) news and commentary on men's college basketball and the ncaa tournament

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Friday, October 22, 2004

Fun "things"

about new Utah coach Ray Giacoletti, courtesy Gordon Monson and the Salt Lake Tribune. First 15 here. Second 15 here.

Ray has big sweaters to fill. These are among my favorite things:

4. Giacoletti, 42, learned harsh lessons in the realities of economic ebb and flow growing up in East Peoria, Ill., where almost everyone was employed by heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar. When the company struggled in the late '70s and early '80s, it affected everybody, including his father, Ray, who owned a small business. "The people there were hard-working," he says. "And I learned from that. But they were vulnerable. I remember a billboard in East Peoria that read: 'Will the last one out of town please shut off the lights?'”

7. Giacoletti vacations almost every year with a tight-knit group of friends -- along with their wives -- who also happen to be basketball coaches. Among them: Mark Few of Gonzaga and Minnesota's Dan Monson.

13. Unlike his predecessor at Utah, Giacoletti is not a big food and buffet guy. "Give me soup and salad," he says. "Give me leftovers."

15. Giacoletti can recruit. One source close to the Eastern Washington program puts it this way: "We're in Cheney. Cheney is a dump. If he can recruit kids here, he should have no trouble getting them to Salt Lake City."