UTAH UTES

Utes Bulletin: Things Happening In Utah Athletics (Week Of 1/30/23)

Jan 30, 2023, 2:53 PM | Updated: 2:54 pm

SALT LAKE CITY โ€“ย 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 weekโ€™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 1/30/23.

Utah Women’s Basketball

The Utes wrapped up another productive weekend, this time hosting USC and UCLA at the Huntsman Center. Utah handled their business in both games, sweeping the SoCal schools in highly entertaining games that brought in great crowds.

Moving On Up

Utah women’s basketball moved up to No. 7 in the latest AP Top 25 poll after taking down the No. 8 Bruins on Sunday. The Utes’ latest ranking is the highest in program history while also continuing their longest streak ranked as well.

Three Queen G

Gianna Kneepkens currently sits at No. 1 in the Pac-12 for 3-point shooting percentage at 45.5%.

Beyond The Paint

The Utah women continued their “Beyond the Paint” community service initiative with the focus being on Show Up Utah: Unified Sports. Unified Sports is a program that helps support people with special needs in pursuing sports.

Part of the Utes’ community initiative is having head coach Lynne Roberts donate $100 for every three-point shot Utah makes in their games. $1400 in total was raised last week for the Unified Sports program.

Who, What, Where, When Up Next

This week the women will hit the road to the Pacific Northwest to take on Oregon State at 7:00 pm MT on Friday, and Oregon at 3:00 pm MT on Sunday. Both games can be viewed on Pac-12 Networks.

Utah Gymnastics

After suffering a somewhat disappointing result the week prior against the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners, the Red Rocks didn’t disappoint in the opening of Pac-12 play this weekend against No. 25 Washington.

The Utes put on a clinic against the Huskies showcasing their roster depth while also posting their highest score so far of the fledgling college gymnastics season.

Red Rocks In The Rankings

Utah stood pat at No. 4 in the college gymnastics rankings after their big performance at home over the weekend. However, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some positive movement.

The Red Rocks finally cracked the Top-10 in every singular event this week. They crept in at No. 8 on bars and floor after sitting outside the Top-10 last week. Utah also currently ranks No. 3 on vault and comes in at No. 1 on beam.

Maile O’Keefe, Queen Of The Beam Queens

As the No.1 ranked team on beam, the Red Rocks have rightfully earned the title “Beam Queens” and if there was a “Queen” of the “Beam Queens” it would be Maile O’Keefe who sits as the No. 1 gymnast of the event with a 9.958 average.

 

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Who, What, Where, When Up Next

The Red Rocks get to spend a second-straight weekend at home in the Huntsman Center with all eyes turning to the No. 5 UCLA Bruins.

The big rivalry meet for the Utes will take place on Friday at 7 pm MT and can be viewed on ESPN2.

Utah Men’s Basketball

The Runnin’ Utes had a mixed-bag-weekend on the road in the PNW. Utah looked very strong Thursday night against the Oregon State Beavers but stumbled Saturday night against the Oregon Ducks.ย 

Who, What, Where, When Up Next

The Runnin’ Utes will be looking to regroup and get back to the synergy they had before playing Oregon at home while hosting the NorCal schools.

Stanford comes to town first for the Utes and will tip-off at 6:00 pm MT on Thursday. Cal follows on Sunday with a 4:00 pm MT tip. Both games can be viewed on the Pac-12 Networks.

Utah Football

Even though the Utes are only in the midst of their winter conditioning, doesn’t mean there aren’t some football notes of interest taking place.

Renew Your Season Tickets

Last week Utah football opened up their season ticket renewal a little earlier than they have in the past due to the Utes’ incredible success the past few seasons and the excitement surrounding the 2023 season.

Meet Utah Wide Receiver Coach, Alvis Whitted

In what was easily the quietest coaching search the Utes have had in a long time, they finally announced who their new wide receiver coach would be last week. Alvis Whitted may have come out of nowhere but should bring a good mixture of knowledge of what it takes to be great from both a collegiate and NFL standpoint.

A New Wide Receiver For Signing Day

The final Signing Day for the 2023 Class will be taking place on Wednesday, February 1.

Utah pretty much finished up their class in December during the early signing period so Wednesday should be relatively quiet with few if any surprises.

One guy that will for sure be signing is transfer wide receiver Emery Simmons who announced he will be joining the Utes on Sunday afternoon.ย Outside of Simmons the only other name to really keep an eye on is prized tight end Walker Lyons who is down to the Utes and Georgia for his services.

Micah Bernard Is Coming Back

Sources told KSL Sports last week that Micah Bernard will be taking his name from the NCAA Transfer Portal and returning to the Utes. Indications are his name should be withdrawn from the portal early this week.

Utes Heading To The Super Bowl

Utah football has a few distinguished alums heading to the Super Bowl this year.ย 

Former wide receiver Britain Covey will be getting his first Super Bowl experience as a rookie with the Philadelphia Eagles on the heels of helping the Utes to their first ever Pac-12 Title and Rose Bowl appearance the year before. Needless to say, Covey has had quite the year the past 12 or so months.

Joining Covey with Philly is former quarterback Brian Johnson as the quaterback coach for the Eagles.

On the other side, Alex Whittingham (head coach Kyle Whittingham’s son) will be representing the Kansas City Chiefs for the Utes as the defensive quality control coach.

Utes Participating In The East West Shrine Bowl Ahead Of NFL Draft

Utah football has two participants competing this week in the East West Shrine Bowl in running back Tavion Thomas and linebacker Mohamoud Diabate.

The 98th annual Shrine Bowl will be played on Thursday, February 2 with kick-off set for 6:30 pm MT at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The game can be viewed on NFL Network.

Pac-12 Meetings This Week

According to Pac-12 writers Jon Wilner and John Canzano, some important Pac-12 meetings are taking place in Arizona this week with school presidents and chancellors to further discuss lingering items for the “Conference of Champions”.

Both writers indicate the biggest topic of discussion (unsurprisingly) will most likely be centered around the Pac-12’s media rights as well as potential conference expansion once USC and UCLA leave for the Big Ten next year.

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.โ€“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 1/30/23)