Like I said a few days ago, it’s transfer season in college basketball, and the Utes are continuing to see players leave the program. Now, I’m not sure why these players are leaving, but they are, and that’s the new norm in college hoops.
Kolbe Caldwell announced on social media that he is going to pursue other opportunities after averaging about 11 minutes per game, while scoring 2.2 points and almost 1 rebound per game. He transfered in from Lewis and Clark Community College, where he was eligible to play right away, and he joinged the program right before the season started. It’s hard to form too much of an opinion on Caldwell, since he did see such limited action, or why he may be leaving. I’m thinking it’s a scenerio where the coaches said playing time is going to continue to be a premium for him going into next year, and that he may be best suited to look elsewhere for playing time. I have no idea if that’s what happened here, but with the guys coming in it wouldn’t surprise me.
Caldwell isn’t the only one leaving, as big man Jakob Jokl has decided to return home, per Bill Riley.
Utah Hoops Big Man Jakub Jokl will leave the program and return to the Czech Republic to finish school and hope to turn pro in the future per HC Larry Kyrstkowiak#Utes @ESPN700— Bill Riley (@espn700bill) April 26, 2018
I have a hunch this is the same scenerio as Caldwell, just no playing time to be had. He only played in 12 games and averaged 3.8 minutes per game. When David Collette went down either with foul trouble or injury, or Jayce Johnson, you’d think Jokl could have filled in some of those minutes, but it never happened. Of course, being so far from home, combine that with a minutes battle, maybe he just wanted to go home, it’s hard to say.
It looks like both players left on good terms (as far as I can tell), and hopefully they land on their feet. It’s unfortunate that college basketball has evolved into this consitant rotation of rosters, more so than the regular graduation/NBA Draft, but that’s the landscape of the game now. For the Utes, they should be able to lean on their new guys pretty well moving forward.
Best of luck to Jakob and Kolbe!