With a single press release last week, the Running Utes announced the departure of Utah big man Jeremy Olsen and the addition of junior college shooting guard Lorenzo Bonam. Let's take a closer look at the newest Ute and see what he adds to the current team and how he will fit in next season.
Lorenzo Bonam is from Inkster, Michigan, where he played his high school ball at Robichaud high school in Dearborn Heights. In high school Bonam averaged 23 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists per game. The past two seasons Bonam has been playing at Gillette College in Sheridan, Wyoming, where he averaged 16.5 ppg 6.8 rpg and 3.4 apg. Bonam had committed and signed on to play at Southern Miss back on November 12th. However, due to reports the NCAA was investigating the Southern Miss program, Bonam requested and was granted a release from his scholarship on April 30th, giving him a chance to sign with the Utes and play immediately.
Bonam will come to Salt Lake City with a chance to replace some of the production the Utes lost with Delon Wright graduating. Bonam is similar to Wright in his ability to get to the rim. Bonam shows good ball handling skills and plays tough defense having recorded 91 steals in 35 games last season for Gillette.
The Utes view Bonam as a combo guard and are interested to see how he will pair with Brandon Taylor in the backcourt. Bonam shot 57% from the field last season, though like Delon, many of the shots were close to the basket. Bonam is a great passer and has a decent outside stroke shooting 31.5% from beyond the arc.
Below is some of Bonam's highlights from his senior year at Robichaud.
Bonam's biggest competition for minutes next year will likely be the Runnin' Utes other JC transfer Gabe Bealer. Both are similar in their ability to get to the rim and score. Bealer is a little longer and plays more above the rim than Bonam, while Bonam is a better ball handler and passer. Bealer is more suited to play at small forward, however with Jordan Loveridge, Dakari Tucker on the roster, both are going to have some stiff competition for starting minutes. Add in Kenneth Ogbe, and Utah has some incredible depth at the guard/forward position.
With two years of eligibility remaining, Bonam will get a chance to show what he can do immediately. His ball handling skills and ability to drive the lane could very well earn him a starting role with the team. Last year with Wright and Taylor in the backcourt, the Utes had two ball handlers who could provide scoring in different ways. If Bonam is able to make a quick transition to playing Pac-12 caliber basketball, his skill set could help fill the void left behind by Delon Wright.