A new era of Utah men’s basketball officially kicks off Tuesday as the new look Craig Smith led Utes will take the floor for the first time against Abilene Christian. The roster is almost entirely new, except for returners Riley Battin, Branden Carlson, Lahat Thioune, and Jaxon Brenchley. I mean, I guess you can count Both Gach as a returner since he is back with the program after transferring out, but as of now, he’s still waiting for the NCAA to clear him to play.
The rest of the roster is full of transfers from all over the country, and Craig Smith has done the best he could do to put together a roster after Larry Krystkowiak was let go after last season. Fortunately, he has made the list of many high-end recruits, and if he can close the deal on those guys, the future is very bright for Utah.
For this season, especially in this opener, it will be interesting to see how the team plays and what kind of personality it will start with. I’d imagine the team will evolve dramatically as the season goes along. Coach K had a very NBA-like style to his team and was old school in his approach to the game. It will be fun to see how Smith contrasts to that and the brand of basketball he’ll bring to the U.
It all starts tonight, and if you can’t make it to the Huntsman Center, here’s how to watch:
Tip: 6 pm
TV: Pac-12 Network