Rank: #5 MWC
14-15, 6-10, 6th
Utah was streaky
at best last season while learning to play without Andrew
Bogut. This year, Coach Ray Giacoletti only has one senior on
the squad; thus, the best of Utah is still to come.
departures of Bryant Markson, Chris Jackson and Jonas Langvad
will leave the frontcourt relatively inexperienced. Markson,
the teams leading scorer, averaged 13.2 points and 5.4 boards
last season. Jackson started 18 games, while Langvad saw most
of his 12.9 minutes per game off of the bench. Roleplayers
Casey Iverson and Tim Drisdom have also run out of eligibility.
Curtis Eatmon highlights the group of perimeter newcomers.
Eatmon, who hails from Rancho Cucamonga, California, has great
floor vision and is an excellent transition passer. If he isn’t
starting right away, he will be soon. Wing Stephen Weigh
continues the Australia Institute of Sport to Utah pipeline.
Luca Drca and Craig Cusick will provide some depth to the guard
spots. Daniel Deane was rated one of the best power forwards in
the west and could be starting right away for the Utes. He
won’t hit many outside shots, but Deane will never be accused of
lacking hustle. That intensity especially helps out in the
rebounding department where the 6-8 Salt Lake City native will
go after everything in his sight. Misha Rodojevic redshirted
last year after transferring from the Polytechnic Academy. The
6-10, 255 pound center has the experience and toughness to
contribute right away. David Foster, a 7-1 center, doesn’t have
the strength to compete at this level yet, but he can run well
for his size and has loads of potential. Frenchman Kim Tillie
already has a lot of experience at the international level and
that will help him at Utah. Tillie is very athletic for a 6-9,
205 pound forward and can play at either forward spot.
Who to Watch:
frontcourt may lack experienced depth, but Luke Nevill and Shaun
Green are full of potential. Nevill, hailed as the next Bogut,
averaged 11.6 points and 6.6 rebounds as a freshman. He is now
the leader of the frontcourt and it is hoped he will have a
breakout season as a sophomore. Green can play either forward
spot and can step out and hit the long ball with consistency.
He is a match-up problem no matter if he plays the three or the
is the only proven scorer on the perimeter. Utah fans hope that
Eatmon can handle the point so Bryant is free to roam as the
shooting guard. If that doesn’t happen, Bryant will be forced
to run the show and his scoring will take a hit. There are
other options in the backcourt such as Lawrence Borha and Chris
Grant, both of whom have starting experience, but neither are
major scoring threats. In all, six players return who played in
over ten minutes per game last year. Add that to the newcomers
who are expected to contribute right away, and there is some
experience on this team. That should be enough to keep the Utes
in the top five in the conference, but not quite enough to make
a trip to the postseason.
Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Junior, Guard, 13.1 points per game
Sophomore, Forward, 6.4 points per game
Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Sophomore, Center, 11.6 points per game