Utah's 2011 recruiting class is close to being all set and with the little time that new coach Larry Krystkowiak has had to recuit the 2011 class has turned out to be a solid class. So far there are nine players who have signed on board with a potential of being a 10th if Kansas transfer Royce Woolridge ends up selecting the Utes.
This class will play a key role in the 2011-2012 success since the Utes lost J.J. O'Brien, Will Clyburn and Chris Kupets with the coaching change. Shawn Glover and Chris Hines have both been granted their release, and are looking to transfer but nothing is definite as of now. Two players in the class, Glen Dean is a transfer from Eastern Washington and Aaron Dotson is coming from LSU and will have to sit out the 2011-12 year per NCAA transfer rules. This class is full of athletic players and with amount of turn over there will plenty of opportunities for these players to see the court in 2011.
Time to take a look at how these new players will fit in with the Utes for next season.
George Matthews, small forward:
Krustowiak was able to retain the highest rated 2011 recruit for the Utes in George Matthews, and it was a big get for the Utes since Matthews committed back in October and he easily could have chosen to go elsewhere with the new staff coming in. With Utah losing small forwards J.J. O'Brien and Will Clyborn, Matthews has the ability to step in right away and make an impact in his freshman year. As a high school senior, Matthews averaged 18.1 points per game, and he is an athletic player that the Utes will need to go up against Pac-12 competition.
The small forward spot is wide open for the Utes in 2011-12, there are only two players on the current roster who play the small forward spot with Seth Tippet, who did not see any playing time last year, and Shawn Glover who played in 31 games last year and was the first man off the bench. Matthews will be given a shot to compete to start at the small forward spot, but at least expect Matthews to see plenty of minutes as a true freshman. His playing time will partly depend on if Glover returns to Utah or decides to transfer. The current concern with Matthews is that being 6-feet-6-inches he only weighs 185 pounds. That should change once the season starts, but to take the pounding at the next level Matthews will need to bulk up.
Cedric Martin, shooting guard:
Martin is a junior college transfer out of Lee College in Texas. Prior to going to Lee, Martin was a forward out of high school but while at Lee he changed position and became the Lee's starting shooting guard. Martin's defense is his best aspect of the game and it is something Utah needs since they were ranked 236 in points allowed last season. Martin also has said he has good floor vision and he mentioned he is excited to run the floor with the 7-footers Utah has since his offensive game is predicated on getting others involved. Martin is a capable scorer as well, but his main assets to the Utes will be his defense and distributing the ball with his scoring being an added bonus. The current Ute roster has only three guards, so there is a good opportunity for Martin to compete for playing time this year.
Corbin Green, small forward:
Green is another small forward in this class and is one of the many junior college transfers, and he comes to Utah as a walk-on after spending two years at Snow junior college. Green is a scorer, he can rebound and is a good athlete. Green is also a solid defender and was able to average one steal and a block per game. His experience at the junior college level should give Green an edge up over the incoming freshman vying for time at the same position. Expect Green to compete for playing time at the small forward spot with the other incoming wing players.
Kareem Storey, point guard:
Storey is one of three high school recruits to be attending Utah this fall. Storey is a confident player who feels he can come in right away and help lead the Utes. Storey is the prototypical point guard that distributes the ball first and then scores. In high school he averaged more assists then points per game at 6.8 to 6.3 and Storey handles the ball well and had a turnover-to-assist ratio of 2.63-to-1. Storey enjoys getting teammates involved in the transition and pushing the ball up court to get teammates involved. The Utes need a point guard and if Storey can handle the ball as well as he did in high school and learn the offense he should be able to compete for the backup point guard spot behind Josh Watkins.
Dijon Farr, small forward:
At Indian Hills-Ottumwa junior college, Farr logged time between the forward and guard spots, and that is why Krystkowiak recruited Farr. During his two year junior college stint Farr was an all-region player each year and started 64 of 66 games. Farr's strength is his defense where he lead the team in blocked shots and steals over the past two years, and he also averaged 10 points and five rebounds per game during that time. Do not expect Farr to lead the Utes in blocked shots, but his defense is what may set him apart when seeking playing time. Plus include that Farr can play multiple positions will give him a better chance to earn playing time this year. The guard position and the small forward spots that Farr can play are wide open with most of the competition coming from the 2011 class.
Anthony Odunsi, guard:
Odunsi signed with Utah on May, 6 after he was committed to Iowa State for almost a year. He made the switch, because there is a good chance that Odunsi could see the court early in his career. He was the leader of his Travis team that was one of the best teams in Texas and led the team to the Texas state semi-finals. Odunsi is the rare high-end scorer and a lock down defender. During his senior year he averaged 18.3 points per game and 2.2 steals per game. Odunsi is a combo guard, but expect him to play more of a shooting guard role in year one. In high school he only averaged 3.3 assists per game and that needs to improve if he wants to be a point guard at Utah. Spots are open next year and Odunsi wil get a chance to make his mark in the upcoming season.
Aaron Dotson, shooting guard:
Dotson is coming to Utah after spending two years at LSU. Coming out of high school Dotson was a three-star recruit and rated as the 27th rated shooting guard in the country by Scout. While at LSU, Dotson was a starter in both years for LSU, but near the end of this past year he was removed from the starting lineup but he still played significant minutes. At LSU, Dotson was a solid role player who was a reliable player who scored just under six points in his two years at LSU. Dotson was just the fourth option at LSU and they played nine players 16 or minutes last season. Transferring to Utah will allow Dotson a chance to get more playing time then at LSU where he played 23 minutes per game. If Dotson were to play just above 30 minutes per game then Dotson could easily become a double-digit scorer for the Utes because of his accurate three-point shot. Dotson already has the three-point show down, but to get to that 30 minute mark per game he will need to improve on creating his own shot and not rely just on the three point shot. He will not be eligible to play until 2012-13, but if he was able to jump right into the SEC and start right away -- even for a bottom of the pack SEC team -- he should be able to see the court in his junior year with the Utes.
Glen Dean, guard:
Dean transfers from Eastern Washington to head to the Utes and will be eligible to play in the 2012-13 season. Dean was the freshman of the year for the Big Sky Conference and was named to the Big Sky all-second team this past season. Dean is on the small side at 5-foot-10 and only 170 pounds. At Eastern Washington, Dean was an impact player from the moment he stepped on the court by being able to score, but he does have moments where he disappears on the court. There were games where Dean would score over 20 points and then he would also have games where he was in single digits. His biggest asset is his three-point shooting where Dean shoots 42 percent from beyond the arc.
His scoring ability is what will get him on the court, because at his size he can be put in mismatches when on the defensive end. The move from the Big Sky to the Pac-12 is a big one but he was one of the best players in the Big Sky but their will be a learning curve for him. Being in such a large class this year, even though Dean will have to sit out before he can play he will be practicing with the 2011 class which will be most of the team he will be a part of come the 2012-13 season. Dean will have two years of eligibility remaining.