SAN FRANCISCO – Coming off a 23-12 season when it made the finals of the NIT Tournament, the Utah men’s basketball team has been picked to finish eighth in the Pac-12 Conference in a vote of media members released Thursday morning at the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Media Day.
The Utes only return one starter in senior guard Sedrick Barefield along with part-time starter, senior guard Parker Van Dyke. Also back is junior center Jayce Johnson and sophomore forwards Donnie Tillman and Christian Popoola.
Nine newcomers have joined the team, led by graduate transfer Novak Topalovic and junior college transfer Charles Jones Jr. from College of Southern Idaho, while Brandon Morley joins the team after playing for Salt Lake Community College in 2016-17. Freshmen on the team include Timmy Allen, Naseem Gaskin, Both Gach, Kevin Kremer, Riley Batten and Lahat Thioune. Redshirt freshmen include Brooks King and Vante Hendrix.
Oregon was picked to win the league title after receiving 16 of 25 first-place votes and 288 total points. UCLA was picked for second, followed by Washington, Arizona, USC, Arizona State and Colorado. Picked behind Utah were Stanford, Oregon State, California and Washington State.
Not a lot of expectations for the Runnin’ Utes this year. They’re picked to finish 8th in the Pac-12 this year. pic.twitter.com/Q78v5w0pM9
— Josh Furlong (@JFurKSL) October 11, 2018
The annual Night With the Runnin’ Utes will be Wednesday night with an exhibition game set for Nov. 1 against College of Idaho. The season opener will be Nov. 8 against Maine. The Utes will also have road games against Minnesota and Kentucky, home games against Nevada and Tulsa, play BYU in the Beehive Classic at Vivint Arena and compete in the Wooden Legacy Tournament in Fullerton.
Source:: Deseret News – Sports News