Utah basketball needs size, and Dallin Bachynski is big. Very big. Standing 6'11 ½ barefoot and 7'1 in shoes, and weighing in at 245 lbs, the Runnin' Utes hope they have found a guy that can help them in the frontcourt moving forward.
Bachynski was born in Ontario, but grew up in Calgary, Alberta. With a country full of hockey fans, Dallin was raised in a basketball family. Dallin's mom played collegiate basketball, older brother is a 7'2 center at Arizona State, and sister is also an excellent basketball player.
At one point, Bachynski considered pursuing golf, but chose basketball instead. Having grown to 7 feet tall, Dallin believes he made the right decision.
In high school, Bachynski was one of the top big men coming out of Canada, and had some opportunities to play collegiate hoops in the United States. Ultimately, the talented big man chose Southern Utah University, and a chance to play and develop right away.
"(SUU) was definitely a building experience. What originally brought me there, is that it was a smaller D1 school, and my brother had been recruited by them a little bit. I felt like I needed to play before my mission, instead of redshirting."
After playing for one season at SUU, Bachynski headed overseas to Croatia on an LDS mission, from which he was honorably released in September of 2011.
"I'm extremely excited to be at the University of Utah now"
Speaking of his decision to transfer, Bachynski wanted opportunities for further growth.
"I made the decision pretty early that I wanted to transfer. I feel that I can play at a larger division 1 school. So I was looking at a couple of different things. I didn't have my permission to contact until probably about August, so it was more looking on the internet at if someone was graduating, and stuff like that. My parents really helped me out, and by that, I mean they did everything for me. They found out about Coach K, and my dad really looked into him and then talked to me about it. It seemed too good to be true. And then once I got my permission to contact, I ended up talking to (Utah), and I really got to like Coach K, and Coach Connor."
Like most returned missionaries, Dallin was excited to see his family members upon return. One of his first trips was to visit his best friend (and sister) at Utah Valley University.
"More recently, I just visited my sister who is at Utah Valley University. Being my best friend, I wanted to go see her after my mission. So I went down, and ended up deciding to meet with a couple of schools while I was down there. I went through the U of U and Utah State. When I met the coaches down there, I got a really good feeling about them. Honestly, I felt like I already trusted them and it was the first time I met them in person. From the get go, it seemed like the right place to go."
It wasn't long after that first contact with the Utah coaches that the interest was high on both sides. One thing that attracted Bachynski to Utah was having a big man's coach at the healm.
"That is a huge deal to have a coach that is willing to work with you and who actually knows what it takes. He's played in the NBA, he's coached in the NBA, and he's had a lot of success doing so. I know that he can help me become a player that I want to, and need to become. Speaking of the program, he said that he can see me being a huge boost for the program. I definitely agree with that. I feel that they are already on the map, and that we can build this program, and prove that we're more than #12 in the Pac 12."
While fans won't get to see the big man on the court for a little while longer, Bachynski described his own game and his own strengths.
"For a big, I have extremely good shooting touch. On my high school team, I was the go-to 3 point shooter for a couple of plays. So I do have that capability to step back and take that three. Even though I do have that ability, I do like to stay at the post because I feel that I am a little bit stronger down there."
"I feel like I'm a smarter player, because I'll recognize when I have the advantage, and I'll recognize when I see the double team coming, especially in high school I'd even get triple teamed. Those games I just get a lot of assists. So I understand when it's my turn, and when it's smartest to pass out."
When posted on the block, one of Bachynski's favorite post moves is to face up and attack the rim.
"I do like to face up on the block, and dunking is definitely a preferred method of scoring. I'm hoping I'll be able to give the fans a little bit of something to cheer about. When I was at SUU I was able to get a decent amount of dunks. I did have the most on my team, not trying to brag though. I do feel like I'm a scorer, and not just a rebounder and a guy that sets screens. Of course I do rebound, and I do set pretty big screens, but I do have that ability to score."
While it may not be a huge surprise for fans to imagine a 7 foot player dunking the ball, it might be a little more difficult to imagine a 7 footer bringing the ball up the court.
"Also, one thing that I feel is a little different about me is that I can dribble the ball extremely well for being 7 feet tall. When I play pickup ball with my friends, I try to play point guard position, just to work on my ball handling. I actually don't get the ball stolen from me, which is something to be said when you're 7 feet tall and bringing the ball up the floor."
Bachynski doesn't figure to play outside of Utah's frontcourt, but is a dedicated worker, committed to improving all facets of his game.
Bachynski may enroll at Utah as early as January if he can get the international hurdles cleared in time.
Getting To Know Dallin Bachynski
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