Utes land another recruit

first_imgE-mail: [email protected] The Utah basketball team has received another commitment for the 2007-08 season.Carlon Brown, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound combo guard from Martin Luther King High in Riverside, Calif., said he will play for Ray Giacoletti’s Utes next year.Brown, who averaged 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists as a junior, was recruited by schools such as Stanford, UNLV, Temple, Santa Clara and San Diego State, before narrowing his choices to Marquette, Nebraska and Utah.”First of all, I like the city, it’s beautiful and clean with no smog like L.A.,” Brown said. “The people were great, it’s a real good staff and I got along great with the players. I like the school a lot.”Giacoletti is not allowed to comment on possible signees until after they actually sign a letter of intent in November.He has said the Utes plan to sign three players this fall. The Utes will lose one senior in Ricky Johns, one to an LDS mission, David Foster, and will get back the scholarship they lost from NCAA sanctions four years ago.Last spring, Morgan Grim, a 6-7, 205-pound forward from Riverton High, committed to play for the Utes. The third player is expected to be Nemanja Calasan, a 6-9 power forward from Midland (Texas) College, who is originally from Serbia and Montenegro. According to several recruiting services, he has committed to Utah. PRACTICE ON TAP: Ute basketball practice officially begins Friday, Oct. 13, at 7 p.m.Traditionally, basketball practice has begun Oct. 15 and in recent years that was amended to the first Saturday nearest Oct. 15.However, because so many schools were trying to get a jump by holding practices at midnight, the NCAA decided to move it to Friday night.The Utes have been holding individual workouts, as per NCAA rules, and Giacoletti is happy with what he has seen so far.”I’m as excited as I’ve been since I’ve been here,” Giacoletti said. “We have a great group of kids. They’re a hard-working group.” The annual Night With the Runnin’ Utes will be Oct. 24 at the Huntsman Center, with the first exhibition game on Nov. 3 against a team from Canada. Another exhibition against Montana Tech will be Nov. 6 before the first official game of the season Nov. 10 against Southern Utah. NINE NEWCOMERS: The Utes will have nine new players, joining holdovers Johns, Luke Nevill, Johnnie Bryant, Shawn Green, Lawrence Borha and Chris Grant.Six are recruits, point guards Curtis Eatmon and Luka Drca, swingman Stephen Weigh, forwards Daniel Deane and Kim Tillie and center David Foster. Misha Radojevic sat out last year with an injury and has just started practicing, while the other two are walk-ons Craig Cusick and Sayre Brennan.”I like the foundation we have with our first two classes and can see improvement from last year to this year,” Giacoletti said. “The six freshmen are each unique in their own way. The good thing is there will be competition at each position.”Giacoletti said the 7-foot-1 Nevill has bulked up to 265 pounds after finishing last season at just 225 and has gained needed upper body strength. The Ute coach is also “really happy” with how Bryant has come back this year. “Johnnie has made really good strides,” Giacoletti said of Bryant, who will most likely begin the year at point guard, while freshmen Eatmon and Drca develop. WEIGHING IN: Giacoletti prefers not to single out any players at this point, but Weigh, the 6-6, 220-pounder from Australia, may see the most playing time of the newcomers.For one thing, the Utes need a replacement for departed Bryant Markson at the 3 spot. For another, Weigh is pretty darn good. “He has a lot of international experience and was the MVP of the 18-under Australian team,” Giacoletti said. “He’s athletic, versatile, can shoot it and put it on the floor. He has a good feel for the game.” NICE PROGRESS: Giacoletti isn’t sure yet if he’ll redshirt any players this year. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that Foster, the 7-foot-2 center from Lake Forest, Calif., would redshirt before his LDS mission. But maybe not.”He’s further ahead than we expected,” said Giacoletti. “We’ve got a month for it to work its way out.” If the Utes do decide to redshirt Foster, they’ll still have Radojevic, who is likely to play almost exclusively at the 5 spot because of all the talent at the 4 spot (Green, Deane and Tillie). last_img read more