Runnin' Utes Host Westminster in Free Exhibition Game Thursday
SALT LAKE CITY – The 2021-22 men's basketball season approaches as first-year head coach Craig Smith and the Runnin' Utes play host to Westminster this Thursday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m. in an exhibition match. In addition to the game being FREE for all fans, there will also be an autograph session with the team postgame.
SCOUTING THE GRIFFINS
Westminster comes to The Hill under the direction of a familiar face in seventh-year head coach Norm Parrish, who served as the director of operations for the Runnin' Utes from 2011-15. The Griffins were picked to finish 10th in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) by the league's head coaches after coming in seventh last season.
Westminster's roster features seven seniors, six freshmen, three sophomores and one junior. Of the 17 players on roster, only seven have played significant minutes for the Griffins last season. Senior transfer Yusuf Mohamed averaged 17-plus minutes with Tennessee State in 2020-21 while posting 5.9ppg and 4.6rpg.
With all 12 teams in the Conference of Champions kicking off the season next Tuesday, Nov. 9, the Pac-12 will be opening up access via the Pac-12 Now app and on Pac-12.com for fans to catch 10-plus hours of FREE continuous basketball coverage starting at 1 p.m. (MT).
The Pac-12 Now app is free to download and available via iOS, Android, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.
The Utes were picked to finish in 10th earlier this fall after the media poll was released prior to the start of Pac-12 Media Day in October. Heading into its 11th season as a member of the Pac-12 Conference, Utah has exceeded the polls every year besides the 2014-15 (2nd) and 2020-21 (8th) campaigns when it finished exactly where it was predicted to in the preseason media poll.
Utah will have (technically) eight new faces to its roster for the 2021-22 season. Six are DI transfers while Bostyn Holt is a JUCO transfer and Lazar Stefanovic comes to SLC as a true freshman.
Marco Anthony – Virginia / Utah State
- Helped Utah State earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2020-21
- Started in all 28 games while averaging 10.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.1 assists
- Named to Mountain West All Defensive Team
- Member of the 2019 National Championship team at Virginia
Both Gach – Utah / Minnesota
- Started in 16-of-29 games in his lone year at Minnesota, averaging 6.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists
- Started in 25-of-27 games as a sophomore at Utah, averaging 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists
- Was the third Utah player to record a triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against MVSU on Nov. 8, 2019
- Joined Rylan Jones as the only teammates to record a triple-double in the same game since 1997-98 per STATS, LLC
Bostyn Holt – Coffeyville CC
- Led Coffeyville CC to an NJCAA Division I Championship with an overall record of 27-3 his sophomore year
- Also led Ravens to the KJCCC Championship with an 18-2 record that year
- Started in 17-of-34 games his freshman year, averaging 6.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists with a .509 shooting clip
David Jenkins Jr. – South Dakota State / UNLV
- Led UNLV in scoring his lone season there, averaging 14.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists
- Was the 48th player in South Dakota State history to record 1,000 points and finished his career 25th all-time in scoring with 1,194 points
- Named the Summit League Freshman of the Year while at South Dakota State after averaging 16.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists
- Led Jackrabbits to the Summit League Tournament Championship and NCAA Tournament berth his freshman year
Gabe Madsen – Cincinnati
- Saw limited action as a freshman at Cincinnati before opting out of the 2020-21 season
- Twin brother, Mason, is a sophomore at Cincinnati
- Played high school basketball for his father, Luke, all four years
Dusan Mahorcic – Lewis / Mobley Area CC / Illinois State
- Started in 16-of-22 games his lone season at Illinois State, averaging 9.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists
- Spent a season at Mobley Area CC where he averaged 9.9 points and 6.0 rebounds with a .591 shooting clip
- Started his collegiate career at Lewis University where he played in 18 games
Lazar Stefanovic – Belgrade, Serbia
- True freshman from Belgrade, Serbia with plenty of FIBA playing experience
- Helped lead the Serbia National Team to a third-place finish at the FIBA U19 World Championships this past summer
- Invited to play in the Basketball Without Borders Camp in Latvia for the 2020-21 season
Rollie Worster – Utah State
- Averaged 9.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists for Craig Smith his freshman year at Utah State
- Started in 25-of-26 games his freshman year while shooting .406 from the field and .804 from the line
- Helped lead USU to an at-large bid for the 2021 NCAA Tournament
I'M GOING (BACK) HOME
Heading into the 2021-22 season, there are nine players transferring back to a school that they had previously left. For a full list dating back the last 20 years, click here.
|Name||Original School||Year(s)||2nd/3rd School||Year(s)||Returned|
|Pedro Castro||UT Arlington||2017-19||Blinn JC/Houston Baptist||2019-20 / 2020-21||2021-22|
|Jaylen Fornes||UNC Wilmington||2016-19||Nicholls State||2019-21||2021-22|
|Kevin Marfo||Quinnipiac||2017-20||Texas A&M||2020-21||2021-22|
|Dimencio Vaughn||Rider||2016-20||Ole Miss||2020-21||2021-22|
|Elijah Olaniyi||Stony Brook||2017-20||Miami||2020-21||2021-22|
|Caleb Grill||Iowa State||2019-20||UNLV||2020-21||2021-22|
|Tyler Harris||Memphis||2018-20||Iowa State||2020-21||2021-22|
|Andrej Jakimovski||Washington State||2020-21||LMU||Summer 2021||2021-22|
On opening night of the 2021-22 NBA season, Utah had three active players on NBA rosters in Kyle Kuzma (Washington Wizards), Jakob Poeltl (San Antonio Spurs) and Delon Wright (Atlanta Hawks). All three were drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft in consecutive years between 2015-17 – making Utah the only team to do so in the Pac-12. In addition, there are also a trio of Utes on the sidelines coaching in Alex Jensen (Utah Jazz), Johnnie Bryant (New York Knicks) and JD DuBois (Detroit Pistons).
The Craig Smith Era at Utah official begins next Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. (MT) in the Jon M. Huntsman Center as the Runnin' Utes welcome in Abilene Christian. Tuesday's season and home-opener will air on Pac-12 Mountain.
For the latest news and information on the Runnin' Utes men's basketball program, fans can stay connected online at www.UtahUtes.com and on social media by following @UtahMBB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.