Runnin’ Utes Big Man Gets Preseason Pac-12 All-Conference Team Honors

Oct 10, 2023, 12:14 PM | Updated: Oct 11, 2023, 11:06 am

SALT LAKE CITY – Runnin’ Utes big man, Branden Carlson has been placed on the Preseason Pac-12 All-Conference team as voted on by media.

This is Carlson’s second straight season receiving the honor.

Unsurprisingly, Carlson is expected to have another big season for the Utes in year three of head coach Craig Smith’s tenure. In fact, the news of Carlson’s return to Utah for a fifth and final season was one of the biggest stories for the team in the offseason.

More About Utah Center Branden Carlson

Carlson finished last year earning first-team honors on the All-Pac-12, Associated Press and NABC All-District teams- living up to his preseason honors with hopes to do it one last time this season.

Carlson averaged 16.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.0 with .496 shooting in 2023-24, while his 63 blocks were tops in the Pac-12 and 27th overall in the NCAA. His 2.03 blocks per game was good for second in the league and 22nd in the country. Carlson is now tied with Utah great Jakob Poeltl for most blocks in a single-season at Utah.

The big man closed out last season with a 22-game double-digit scoring streak that included three-straight double-doubles.

Utah Basketball Striving For More In Craig Smith’s Third Year

In 2023-24, the Utes don’t want to simply be discussed as a possible NCAA Tournament team if everything bounces in their favor. They want to be an NCAA Tournament team.

Carlson’s return to Utah and ability to live up to his preseason hype one more time will go a long way to accomplishing those goals.

“We’ve had a good preseason,” head coach Craig Smith said at Utah’s first open practice of the season. “We are super excited to get rolling with this team. We have six weeks to go, but it seems to be a group that really has an attitude that craves improvement. We look a lot different. I think you’ll see we look a lot different this year in every way, shape and form than we did the last two years. I think that’s a real positive.”

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 XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Runnin’ Utes Big Man Gets Preseason Pac-12 All-Conference Team Honors