Runnin' Utes Open 2022-23 with LIU on Nov. 7
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah men's basketball team will open the 2022-23 season at home against LIU on Monday, Nov. 7, in the Jon M. Huntsman Center second-year head coach Craig Smith announced.
The season-opener between the Runnin' Utes and Sharks will serve as the first meeting all-time against LIU in its current state. Utah defeated the Long Island Blackbirds 65-42 back on Feb. 2, 1949, at home before LIU Brooklyn and LIU Post combined to become the LIU Sharks on July 1, 2019.
The Sharks are led by sixth-year head coach Derek Kellogg, who led LIU to an NEC Championship title and NCAA Tournament appearance his first year at the helm in 2017-18.
LIU went 16-14 last season with a third-place finish in Northeast Conference action (12-6), its highest finish under Kellogg. The Sharks had three players average in double-figures last season – all of which were seniors or graduate students while their top-four leading scorers were also seniors or grad students.
Of those seniors, Ty Flowers and Eral Penn both earned NABC All-District Honors after the two garnered All-NEC First-Team at the end of the regular season. Flowers led the team in scoring averaging 19.2 points, 7.8 boards, 3.2 assists and 1.4 steals with a .454 shooting clip while Penn averaged 17.1 points, 7.4 boards and 1.3 steals with a .428 shooting clip.
Utah returns eight players from Smith's first season at the helm and have added five newcomers to the roster in Will Exacte Jr., Keba Keita, Mike Saunders Jr., Ben Carlson and Luka Tarlac. The Runnin' Utes will return the services of their two leading scorers in Branden Carlson and Marco Anthony as well.
Carlson, a Second-Team All-Pac-12 honoree, averaged 13.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks with a .515 shooting clip last season while Marco Anthony averaged 9.4 points with a team-leading 7.2 rebounding average. The Utes will also return their floor general in Rollie Worster along with now a pair of veteran players in Lazar Stefanovic and Gabe Madsen to go along with Jaxon Brenchley and Eli Ballstaedt. Additionally, Bostyn Holt will make his return this upcoming season after suffering a season-ending injury (ACL) in late November of last year.
Monday, Nov. 7 – LIU
Monday, Nov. 21 - vs. TBD
Wednesday, Nov. 23 - vs. TBD
Thursday, Dec. 1 - Arizona*
Sunday, Dec. 4 - at Washington State*
Saturday, Dec. 17 – at BYU
Wednesday, Dec. 21 – vs. TCU
* = Pac-12 Conference Game
 = Suncoast Credit Union Arena (Ft. Meyers, Fla.)
 = Vivint Arena
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.