#111 Utah Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Utah Utes
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #111
Conference Rank: #9 Pac-12
Utah Logo
Last season marked the third consecutive season in which Utah failed to make the NCAA Tournament. The Utes won just 17 games in 2018-19, their lowest total since the 2012-13 season. Getting back to the postseason this year will be no easy task. Utah lost their leading scorer and All-Pac-12 First Team member Sedrick Barefield. Only three players from last season’s rotation are back. Utah’s roster will be extremely young; constructed of eight freshmen, three sophomores and one junior college transfer.

2018-19 Record: 17-14, 11-7
2018-19 Postseason: None
Coach: Larry Krystkowiak
Coach Record: 155-111 at Utah, 197-131 overall
Key Departed Players:
Sedrick Barefield, Guard, 16.8 ppg
Donnie Tillman, Forward, 10.5 ppg

Parker Van Dyke, Guard, 8.5 ppg
Jayce Johnson, Center, 7.1 ppg
Novak Topalovic, Center, 2.8 ppg

Charles Jones, Guard, 2.6 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Timmy Allen, Sophomore, Forward, 12.2 ppg
Both Gach, Sophomore, Guard, 7.7 ppg

Riley Battin, Sophomore, Forward, 6.4 ppg
Key New Players:
Jaxon Brenchley, Freshman, Guard 3 star
Branden Carlson, Freshman, Forward 4 star
Naseem Gaskin, Redshirt Freshman, Guard
Mikael Jauntunen, Freshman, Forward
Rylan Jones, Freshman, Guard
Alfonso Plummer, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Junior College
Lahat Thioune, Redshirt Freshman, Forward
Matt Van Komen, Freshman, Center
Brendan Wenzel, Freshman, Guard
Utah will have only three players returning from last year’s rotation. Timmy Allen had a strong collegiate debut season, earning All-Pac-12 Freshman Team honors. Allen averaged 12.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists as a freshman and has a good shot at being Utah’s best player this season. Both Gach and Riley Battin also return after solid freshmen campaigns. Gach started 14 games and averaged 7.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists. Battin started 21 games and averaged 6.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists. The Utes will be full of new faces this season with eight freshmen joining the team along with a junior college transfer. Alfonso Plummer is a sharp-shooting guard who averaged 18.6 points last season in junior college while shooting 44% from three-point range. Lahat Thioune and Naseem Gaskin are both redshirt freshmen who have spent a year in the Utah basketball program already. Though they are all true freshmen, two of the newcomers have been out of high school for multiple years. Branden Carlson and Jaxon Brenchley are both coming back from three-year church missions. Carlson was a four-star prospect out of high school. Rylan Jones is also a four-star prospect who was one of the top ranked point guards in the 2019 class. Mikael Jauntunen, Matt Van Komen, Brendan Wenzel are all three-star recruits. Jauntunen comes from Finland and Van Komen is a towering 7-foot-4. It is a very young team for Larry Krystkowiak, but there is quite a bit of promise on the roster. They may be a year away, but Utah should be a team on the rise in the Pac-12.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.6 (97th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 74.5 (256, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.4 (64, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 45.8 (290, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.6 (27, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.0 (57, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.6 (172, 7)
Rebound Margin: 3.1 (80, 4)
Assists Per Game: 14.2 (110, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.2 (198, 6)

Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#99 Rylan Jones PG