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Utah Basketball: Runnin' Utes Sign Three Players

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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah men's basketball team added some bodies to the program for the 2016-17 season. The Utes picked up center Jayce Johnson, shooting guard Devon Daniels and point guard JoJo Zamora. With the departures of Brandon Taylor, Jordan Loveridge, Dakari Tucker, and likely Jakob Poeltl, the Utes will have some big shoes next year, as many of those players are four year starters for this program.

Coach K has had a knack for recruiting since joining the program, and it all started with picking up Jordan Loveridge from West Jordan, which was a big time pick up for the Utes, especially with the program as down as it was.

Below is the official press release from The U with some additional information on the signing class.

SALT LAKE CITY - Head coach Larry Krystkowiak announced Utah's 2016 recruiting class on Wednesday, which features a pair of four-star recruits in Jayce Johnson and Devon Daniels, along with one junior college signee in Jojo Zamora. Johnson, Daniels and Zamora signed National Letters-of-Intent to join the Utah men's basketball team on Wednesday.

Johnson is on track graduate high school early and will enroll in the 2016 spring semester, while both Daniels and Zamora look to join the squad next fall.

JAYCE JOHNSON
6-11 | 225 | C
Dana Point, Calif. | Santa Monica High School

Johnson is ranked as the No. 47 overall recruit at 247sports.com, according to the Recruiting Service Consensus Index (RSCI), which combines the ranking efforts of several national recruiting experts. Johnson was tabbed the No. 11-ranked center overall by ESPN. Meanwhile, Scout.com calls Johnson "one of the best true 5-man players in the nation."

Johnson played AAU ball for Earl Watson Elite (Los Angeles, Calif.)

Coach Krystkowiak on Johnson:
"Jayce is a player that we have been recruiting over the past two years. I have watched Jayce become the best center on the West Coast through his hard work and commitment. He plays extremely hard for his size and his skill set will improve as we continue to work with him. Not only does Jayce bring the effort and skill we are looking for, but he is also a high-level student-athlete, which there is no substitution for. Jayce will join us early and that will give him a chance to get acclimated to our culture, which will give him the opportunity to make a huge impact as he heads into his freshman season."

DEVON DANIELS
6-5 | 190 | SG
Napa, Calif. | Prolific Prep

Daniels is a four-star recruit and is ranked as the second-best shooting guard in both the west and coming out of the state of California, according to Scout.com.

Originally from Battle Creek, Mich., Daniels transferred to Prolific Prep ahead of his senior season. While playing at Kalamazoo Central, Daniels guided his squad to a SMAC East title, averaging 16 points, six rebounds and four assists per game. This past summer he played AAU ball with 1Nation (Detroit, Mich.) where he helped guide the team to an AAU title, scoring 15 points in the championship game.

Coach Krystkowiak on Daniels:
"We are extremely excited to have Devon join us next fall. Devon brings in a level of toughness and versatility to our guard spot, both offensively and on the defensive side of the court. He is capable of guarding the opposing team's best player, which is key in a league where you face several good players night in and night out. From a character standpoint, Devon is a great example of the kind of player we look for and he will be a tremendous asset to the program."

JOJO ZAMORA
6-2 | 170 | PG
Oakland, Calif. | Newark Memorial High School (Yuba College)

Zamora is a three-star junior college signee that will transfer to Utah following a successful freshman campaign at Yuba College (Marysville, Calif.), where he scored 18.5 points per game and also added 4.0 assists per contest. Zamora shot nearly 52 percent from the field and in his first season with the 49ers, which included a 44 percent effort from beyond the three-point line.

A graduate of Newark Memorial High School in 2012, Zamora was a league MVP and second team all-state selection after posting 25 points, 10 rebounds and three steals per game his senior season. Zamora then went onto spend a year at Impact Academy (Las Vegas, Nev.) before making his way to Yuba, where he averaged 22 points per game in his only season there.

"Jojo is a very driven and hard working kid who leads by example," Yuba College head coach Doug Cornelius said. "He is one of the best players I have had the privilege to coach and his determination on the basketball court is second to none. He is a skilled player in the open court, has a very nice jump shot and he can shoot the three-ball."

Coach Krystkowiak on Zamora:
Jojo is a highly skilled guard that can score the basketball in multiple ways. He has a great feel on both ends of the floor, but we are really excited about what he brings to us from a defensive perspective. We continue to seek out student-athletes that possess a high-character mentality and Jojo is a great example of what we are looking for in a player. He brings a certain element that our program is looking for and we are excited about getting him on campus next fall.