It was a solid basketball season for the Runnin' Utes, as well as for freshman center Jakob Poeltl. The Utes success in the Pac-12, as well as in the NCAA Tournament has people at the next level noticing. According to DraftExpress.com, Utah freshman center Jakob Poeltl won the head-to-head battle with Duke's Wooden Award finalist Jahlil Okafor.
The bad news for Utah fans, DraftExpress.com has Poeltl projected to go No. 11 overall. Even while Poeltl is considered "raw" by most draft prognosticators, that kind of money might be too enticing to pass up. However, Poeltl is also European and may not be as given to impatience and greed as American players. Hopefully, he learned a lesson from teammate Delon Wright about the value of learning and growing for another year before turning pro.
Poeltl's strengths are his size, his fluidity for a big man, his soft touch around the rim, and his ability to block shots.
Poeltl's weaknesses are his lack of strength and bulk, his affinity for missing shots at the rim, his tentative nature around the basket (meaning his seeming unwillingness to rock the rim), and, of course, his 45.1 percent free throw percentage.
DraftExpress.com also has Utah's senior Delon Wright projected as the 29th selection in the 2015 NBA Draft, which seems a little low for the 6-5 point guard.
Bogut Coming Up Big for Warriors:
NBA.com says that without the Runnin' Utes last lottery big man, Andrew Bogut, the Golden State Warriors wouldn't be where they are today. Opposing offenses shoot just 40.9 percent when the former No. 1 overall pick, Bogut, is on the floor.
The former Utes 7-footer is averaging 6.2 points (the lowest of his NBA career, 11 ppg average), 8.2 rebounds (9.2 career average), and 1.7 blocks per game (1.6 career average). So while his personal production is down, his defense has helped the team (yes, along with Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson hitting shots from the upper decks) secure the top seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. Bogut could be the next Runnin' Utes player to flash an NBA championship ring.