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Utes Bulletin: Things Happening In Utah Athletics (Week Of 1/23/23)

Jan 23, 2023, 12:06 PM | Updated: 4:13 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – With football on a bit of a hiatus till spring ball kicks off and several of the smaller sports in full-swing and having success, we thought a one-stop-shop for little tidbits of Utah information might be helpful for you, the fan with the Utes Bulletin.

If you missed anything from the previous week, you can review that here.

Without further ado, here is this week’s Utes Bulletin that includes ranking updates, upcoming events for the week, and important dates to keep track of among other things of interest concerning Utah Athletics for the week of 1/23/23.

Utah Men’s Basketball

It was a great week to be a Runnin’ Ute. After a three-game skid, the Utah men’s basketball team got back on track last weekend at home against Washington State on Thursday and Washington on Saturday

Saturday’s game against the Huskies felt like a particularly big exclamation point for the program, hosting Alumni Night and getting a very comfortable win over UW in front of some of the best to ever do it at Utah.

Head coach Craig Smith has talked a lot about his love for basketball history and appreciation for Utah’s while using it as a method to move the program forward.

Let’s Dance, Maybe?

Perhaps one of the more exciting developments for the Utes over the weekend was preserving a small chance at sliding into the NCAA Tournament. After sitting at No. 62 in the NET, they jumped up to No. 47 with their wins over the Washington schools which puts them in bubble range. The Utah Utes also currently sit at No. 2 overall in the Pac-12 Conference.

Obviously, this isn’t a guarantee as there is still a lot of basketball left to be played with 10 regular season games remaining, but it’s a sign of progress for a team that didn’t come remotely close to sniffing the Big Dance last season in Smith’s debut as head coach.

Branden Carlson Named Pac-12 POTW

Runnin’ Ute center Branden Carlson earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors after back-to-back career nights last week against the Washington schools.Β 

Who, What, Where, When Up Next

The Runnin’ Utes will be hitting the road this weekend heading up to Oregon to take on the Ducks and Beavers.

Up first the Utes will visit Oregon State on Thursday, January 26 in a 9:00 pm MT tipoff on Pac-12 Networks.

Utah will then head up to Eugene on Saturday, January 28 with the hopes of exacting some revenge on Oregon. Tipoff is set for 6:00 pm MT on Pac-12 Networks.

Utah Women’s Basketball

The Utah women’s basketball team split the difference on their road trip to the Bay Area over the weekend with loss to No. 4 Stanford on Friday and a dominating win over Cal on Sunday. Utah’s loss to the Cardinal was only their second of the season and by no means bad in anyway.

The Utes still very much control their destiny and are on a fast track to the Women’s NCAA Tournament come March.

Utes Supporting Utes

While playing against Stanford last week, the Utah women had a very special spectator in the stands cheering them on. Former Utah quarterback Alex Smith and his family were there to support the ladies. It’s just one more sign that head coach Lynne Roberts is building something special when some of the all-time greats across Utah Athletics show up.

New Rankings

Utah women’s basketball continues their hot streak of consecutive weeks being in the AP Top 25.

They did drop a spot to No. 9 due to the loss at Stanford, however, they remain in a prime position as we start heading into the latter part of the season.

Who, What, Where, When Up Next

Women’s basketball will be back home this weekend at the Huntsman Center playing host to the SoCal schools. Washington on Saturday

On Friday, January 27, the USC Trojans roll into town with tipoff set for 7:00 pm MT. If you aren’t at the Huntsman Center, you can view the game on the Pac-12 Network.

The Utes will then host another Top-10 matchup on Sunday, January 29 with the No. 8 UCLA Bruins. Tipoff is at 12:00 pm MT and can also be viewed on Pac-12 Network if being there in person isn’t an option.

Utah Gymnastics

Much like Women’s basketball, Utah gymnastics had some mixed results this past weekend. They were unable to secure a “traditional” win over No. 1 Oklahoma, but did produce a decent road scoreΒ  for a first real outting that can later be used to calculate their National Qualifying Score for postseason play. (See Twitter Thread below for further explanation.)

It should be said, while Utah can certainly use this score for their NQS as it’s within an acceptable range, they are capable of better and will be looking to have better road scores to use as the season progresses. Essentially this score is a security blanket that they will be hoping to dump as they get into the mid-season execution zone.

New Rankings

Despite the loss on Sunday, the Red Rocks did move up a spot this week in the ranking from No. 5 to No. 4.

Who, What, Where, When Up Next

This week the Red Rocks will be turning their attention to Pac-12 play, hosting the No. 25 Washington Huskies on Saturday, January 28 at 1:00 pm MT. The meet can viewed live at the Huntsman Center or on TV on the Pac-12 Network.

Utah Football

We’re rounding the corner of the super-quiet month of February for most college football teams and Utah appears to be no exception.

NCAA Transfer Portal Closes

The NCAA Transfer Portal for football officially closed last week on January 18 to very little fanfare for the Utes. A few more names entered, but no one that should hurt the Utes one way or another, especially considering what they have brought in with their 2023 Signing Class.

The NCAA Transfer Portal will open up again on May 1, 2023, and go through the 15th of that month.

A Final Good-Bye And Thank You To The Utah Utes

In a touching move, Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid said one more “good-bye” and “thank you” to the team and Ute fans further endearing him as one of the best pickups to come through the program recently both as a player and person.

2023 Signing Class Well-Represented At the Polynesian Bowl

10 of Utah’s 2023 signees were present at the Polynesian Bowl over the weekend and stopped to take a picture together. The future looks bright for the Utes with the talent they will be bringing in as the Polynesian Bowl is one of the more prestigious high school showcase games out there.

Perhaps more importantly, the chemistry they all seem to have built and their enthusiasm for being part of the program bodes well and is certainly encouraging for the future health of a team on the rise.

February Signing Day

The late signing period for football is coming up next week on Wednesday, February 1. Utah shouldn’t see too much action on that front, but all eyes will certainly be on tight end prospect Walker Lyons.

Lyons will be serving a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints mission for two years in Norway, but is expected to make his decision on where he’s going around late signing day.

The one-time Stanford commit reopened his recruitment late last year and word has it has come down to Utah and Georgia for his collegiate services. Stay tuned.

General Pac-12 News For the Utah Utes

If you are like a lot of people who shut everything down come the weekend, you may have missed this headline as it was released Friday around rush hour. The Pac-12 Conference is in the news again for more Larry Scott shenanigans.

Two Pac-12 executives were let go for negligence in reporting overpayments from a distributor dating back to 2016. While discouraging the conference is still playing “wack-a-mole” with leftover Scott drama, it was encouraging to see how new commissioner George Kliavkoff handled the situation.

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

 

 

 

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Utes Bulletin: Things Happening In Utah Athletics (Week Of 1/23/23)