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November 20, 2012
DuBois looks to finish strong
Jarred DuBois left alma mater Loyola Marymount having made a lasting impression on the program, and the record books.Senior guard
DuBois left LMU ranking in the top 25 in eight statistical categories, including scoring with 1,139 points and three pointers made with 148 in his career.
The most impressive thing of all is that he accomplished those feats in just three seasons, and also left with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications. Most exciting for Ute fans is that he brought his talents to Salt Lake City, without fanfare or ado, but rather with humility.
"To have graduated from an institution like LMU, then to come and play basketball while continuing my education at a major university like [Utah] is a blessing," he opined. "It's the best of both worlds, I think."
With a single year of eligibility remaining, DuBois is currently pursuing a Master's Degree, also in Communications, while simultaneously attending to his responsibilities on the court.
Shrugging off the workload, DuBois says his past experiences have helped ready him for his next stop in life.
"I feel like on, and off the court, LMU prepared me very well," he praised. "So I feel like I could have been successful anywhere I went."
While not a huge market for one-and-done players, many teams have use for someone of DuBois' ability, leadership and character. Take, for example, a Utah team in dire need of senior leadership at a critical rebuilding juncture.
In his most recent recruiting class, Larry Krystkowiak brought in four true freshmen, two sophomores and returns two sophomores and one redshirt freshman.
Utah's roster includes 17 players, of which nine are underclassmen. Three of the eight upperclassmen on the team are first-year players and two redshirt-ed last season and are back to playing ball just this season. Finally, senior center David Foster represents one of the 17 roster spots, but is only occasionally with the team due to injury and is therefor unable to contribute to the leadership of the team in any significant way.
While DuBois is one of the Ute seniors new to the program, he is quietly doing all the things one might expect a four-year senior to do. Rather, he's doing all the things Krystkowiak might expect a four-year senior to do.
"We brought Jarred [DuBois] in for a reason. We liked the things he did at his last school, obviously, but he's a mature guy with the values we want to instill here," said Krystkowiak very early in the Utes' first three weeks of practice. "We needed instant leadership, and that's hard to manufacture out of thin air. But we felt like we kind of did that by bringing Jarred in."
With so much poise, and so much accomplished in such a short time, DuBois is as solid a player, and person, as any program could hope for.
In discussing her son and his accomplishments, DuBois' mom, visiting Salt Lake for the Thanksgiving holiday, isn't surprised in the least by the man her son has become.
"He didn't have a choice," said Sharon DuBois after agreeing, and graciously accepting a compliment about her son. "Kids are like clay, and they have to be molded."
After an immediately strong, positive impression, it's hard to argue with Sharon's force of will -
or her values and judicious perspective on life, which she has clearly instilled in Jarred.
"Through your life, if you have a good family, everything else is a lot easier," DuBois said of his family. "My family is always going to be there for me, whether I'm playing basketball or not."
Even with his family's support, things are decidedly not going to be easy for DuBois or the Utes as they face the daunting task of an uphill battle in rebuilding the Utah basketball program, much less in its infancy in the Pac-12 conference.
"It's definitely tough to want to come to a school for just one year. Especially when they finished last in their conference, and picked to finish last again," DuBois said of his decision to attend Utah. "But I had a lot of faith in the guys that were here like Aaron [Dotson], Glen [Dean] and Cedric [Martin].I had a lot of faith in this coaching staff, and that we'd make this a good year, a winning year-one that the program could rebuild on."
On a team looking to rebuild, feeling the pressure to lead and succeed could begin to weigh heavily on DuBois and the other seniors on the Ute roster.
Quite the contrary, says DuBois as he discussed how the Utes are approaching a successful campaign as part of the larger rebuilding process, and what realistic expectations might be for this team.
"What's realistic? To come in and try to win the game [versus Idaho State] tomorrow," he answered simply.
After the concise answer, DuBois expanded.
"There are two days that people want to worry about: yesterday and tomorrow. We can't worry about yesterday, or tomorrow, because they're not important," the mature senior explained. "All we can focus on is today, and today we came out and practiced hard. Tomorrow, with Idaho State, we'll hope that the work we put in today will show up. We'll see, but that's how we're going to succeed at this thing."
With so much already accomplished in his career, DuBois shunned any focus on himself and immediately deflected it back on to his team.
"My personal goal is for this team to be at its very best in March. If we could be at our best in March means we're strong as a team, and that's all you can ask for," he said. "You can't control whether you win or lose, but you can control whether you improve or not."
As head coach Larry Krystkowiak stated unequivocally on day one of the 2012-13 season, his singular goal was to oversee a team that would make progress every single day.
Clearly, significantly, one of his senior leaders is listening, and has bought in to the message.