Each of the last two seasons, the Utah Utes made the NCAA Tournament.
Each of the last two seasons, the Utah Utes had Jakob Poeltl.
The Utes must now enter life without Poeltl, their dominant big man, as he’s off to the greener pastures of Toronto. It’s never easy to replace the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year, especially one who impacted the game on both sides of the ball like Utah, but if Larry Krystkowiak’s Utes want to compete this year, someone will have to step up and take over. Will it be one of their freshmen? Let’s take a look.
Daniels, a three-star wing, hails from Kalamazoo, Michigan (the fifth-best player in the state, per ESPN.) and is the biggest piece to Utah’s recruiting class, in my opinion.
He’ll likely play the three more than the two, because Utah has a fair amount of experienced guards.
When asked why he chose Utah, Daniels told the Salt Lake Tribune the following,
"I have a great relationship with the coaches. The fit with me was the biggest part: the roles that they want me to come in as, what position they want me to play. I think they can get me to my full potential."
Daniels brings some versatility to the Utes, as well. He averaged 16 points, six rebounds, and four assists per game in his junior season.
Daniels’ highlight video can be found below.
There’s a chance that Seeley, a three-star power forward from California, starts some games for the Utes this year. As mentioned above, they’re very thin in the frontcourt, and having a 6’8 player with Seeley’s ability (mostly dunking-based), can be an asset.
Seeley committed to the Utes just a couple months ago, after his eligibility was in a bit of a flux. UTEP and Washington State were also interested in him.
Below is a video of Seeley from last month. He’s mostly dunking all over people, which is fun to watch, but he also shows off his range, shooting a couple threes and mid-range shots.
Jokl, Utah’s final player in the class of 2016, is a 6’11 center. He comes to the Utes from the Czech Republic.
There isn’t a ton of information about Jokl out there. He played for the Czech Republic’s U16 and U18 teams, and I found the below video of him. That’s about it. He’s a mystery.
Johnson is technically a 2015 recruit, but he was a four-star and he redshirted. He’ll be a big-time addition for the Utes. Read more about him right HERE.