Utah was a REALLY good team last season. They finished 3rd in the Pac-12, and you could make a case they deserved to be in the NCAA tournament. Their only bad loss was early to UNLV and they had many good wins. They went to the Championship game of the NIT, before losing to Pann State.
Coach Krystkowiak consistently gets the most out of his roster.
BTW, they must have a TON of walkons, since they list 17 players on their roster. 13 players played in 12 games or more. Like Colorado, they must want to keep their players fresh to take advantage of the altitude.
Minutes Points Rebounds Assists
Justin Bibbins 35 15 3 5
David Collette 22 12 5 2
Tyler Rawson 31 11 7 4
Gabe Bealer 20 6 2 0
They are losing 3 of their top 4 scores, 2 of 3 leading rebounders, and their 2 best assist players.
Kolbe Calwell and Chris Seeley will be transferring out. Caldwell played in 27 games averaging 11 minutes and 2 points. Seeley played in 20 games averaging 8 minutes, 3 points, and 2 rebounds.
Minutes Points Boards Assists
Sedrick Barefield 29 12 2 3 Sr 3-star 157
Donnie Tillman 20 8 5 1 So 3-star 234
Jayce Johnson 17 6 5 0 Jr 4-star 87
Parker Van Dyke 19 4 5 2 Sr 2-star 510
Outside of rebounding, that isn't a ton of production. These seem like decent players, but lacking in star power. This hardly seems like the core of a good team.
Sedrick Barefield declared for the draft, but apparently couldn't answer the question of why a 12-point scorer thought he had a shot at getting drafted. Maybe he thought they would be impressed with his 40% shooting.
In 2017, Utah's highest-rated recruit was 4-star Branden Carlson. He will be on his Mormom mission next season.
RECRUITS (#34 class, #7 in Pac-12)
Since the previous review, the Utes have added Both Gach, their highest-rated recruit, although he doesn't have offers to match his rating.
Both Gach 4-star 115 SF San Diego St. Texas Tech, LMU, Kent St
Timmy Allen 4-star 124 SF UCLA, SC, ASU, Creighton
Riley Batten 3-star 222 C Ohio St, Vanderbilt, Clemson, Georgia Tech
Lahat Thioune 3-star 205 PF Louisville, Pitt, UCF, UNLV
Charles Jones 3-star Juco PG None
Naseem Gaskin 3-star 462 SG Boise St, Montana, Nevada
Three of these players have decent offer lists, indicating they are pretty good, even if they aren't ranked very high.
I cannot find out anything about why Charles Jones wasn't listed as having any other offers. He was at the College of Southern Idaho where he averaged 19 points and 4 assists.
Does Coach Larry K do a good job of finding un-noticed players? Kyle Kuzma was ranked #187 out of high school.
Jakob Jokl will be leaving to go back to the Czech Republic. He played in 12 games, averaging 3 minutes per game.
It seems like Utah has some decent players returning, but they lost a ton. But Utah's roster every year seems like a bunch of no-names, and somehow they end up in the top 4 in the Pac-12 standings almost every year.
Looking at their roster, I feel ccmpelled to quote Shania Twain. "That Don't Impress me Much." On paper, this is the weakest roster other than Cal and WSU.
Based on their history with Coach Krystkowiak, another 3rd or 4th place finish wouldn't totally surprise me. But it would impress me. It would probably be his best coaching job.
On second thought, a 3rd of 4th-place finish would surprise me. I don't see how this roster can finish that high. Wilner picks them to finish 8th and that seems about right to me.
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