More Postseason Awards For Runnin’ Ute Branden Carlson
SALT LAKE CITY – The postseason awards keep rolling in for Utah center Branden Carlson who received another nod Tuesday morning after earning two other awards last week.
This time the NABC recognized Carlson as a First-Team All-District player for the 2022-23 season, adding to Carlson’s AP All-Pac-12 selection, and First-Team All-Pac-12 nod for the year.
While the Runnin’ Utes are not where they ultimately want to be yet, the continued honors for Carlson are a sign Craig Smith has the program trending in the right direction after a disappointing 11-20 (4-16) record last season. Utah has since improved their standing to 17-14 (10-10) in 2023.
Awards continue to stack up for @ballerbranden35 after being named @NABC1927 First-Team All-District for District 19.
🔗 https://t.co/arF4WtxK2f#GoUtes pic.twitter.com/FMwekLjfwK
— Utah Basketball (@UtahMBB) March 14, 2023
Carlson’s On-Court Contributions
Carlson averaged 16 points per game, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks for the Utes in 2023 while also having 21-straight games scoring double digit points. Carlson broke his career-high twice through that 21-game streak.
Carlson’s averages per game in points, rebounds, and blocks in 2023 ranks him fifth, seventh and fourth, in the Pac-12 amongst his peers.
Utah’s big man was recognized as the Pac-12 Player of the Week on January 23 after a dominant performance against the Washington schools at the Huntsman Center. Carlson averaged 26.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.5 blocks and 1.5 steals to go with a .724 (21-of-29) shooting that weekend while helping the Utes gain ground to second place halfway through Pac-12 play.
Waiting On A Decision
It is currently unknown what the Utah big man will ultimately opt to do for the 2023-24 season.
Carlson does have one more year of eligibility left with the Utes due to the Covid-19 year and there is hope he will “run it back” in an effort to inch Utah even closer to how many fans remember them from the 1990s.
Utah already showed some early promise this past season of getting back on track with their winning ways but were unable to end as strongly as they started. Carlson could be a big piece of the puzzle once more for Smith in his third year at the helm of the Runnin’ Utes if he chooses to return for a final 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.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports
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