Two Utah Basketball Players Earn Pac-12 Honors

Mar 13, 2024, 9:00 AM

LAS VEGAS – The Runnin’ Utes had two players earn Pac-12 honors early on Tuesday, March 12 as Utah prepares to take on ASU in the first round of the Conference Tournament.

Big Man Branden Carlson earned First-Team All-Pac-12 honors along with Associated Press Second-Team All-Pac-12 honors. Carlson’s teammate, Deivon Smith earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors.

This is the third time this season the duo has been recognized for superior accomplishments as a pair. In January, Carlson set a Pac-12 record while Smith earned his first triple-double. In February, Utah’s talented players further cemented their legacies as Utes.

What Carlson, Smith Have Meant To Utah

So far in the 2023-24 season Carlson has averaged 17.5 points per game, 6.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and is shooting 48.8% from the field, 37.1% from the three, and 70.5% from the line. Carlson also averages about 1.6 blocks per game.

However, what has endeared the big man the most Utah’s rabid fans is his clear love and loyalty for the program- something he got very emotional about on Senior Night a few weeks back.

“It feels good,” Carlson said after a strong showing in his final game at the Huntsman Center. “I’m going to get emotional. Last game in the Huntsman Center…I love this program and my time here…just being able to get another win with this team and knowing we still have more to go and accomplish is all I can ask for. I’m so thankful for the fans and coaches- everyone who has been a part of this journey…it’s just going to be a tough adjustment leaving here after this year. I did so good all day not crying. It feels good having a good game for your last time in the Huntsman Center.”

As for Smith, he’s only into one season as a Ute after transferring from Georgia Tech. Oh, what a season it has been- even with the delay due to his transfer waiver being denied initially.

Smith is just the third player in Pac-12 history with three-plus triple-doubles in a single-season joining Jason Kidd (1993-94) and Andre Iguodala (1993-94).

Additionally, Smith is just the fourth player from any major conference to record three or more triple doubles in a single season according to the NCAA record book. Joining Kidd (Cal), Iguodala (Arizona) and LSU’s Shaquille O’Neill (1991-92) for that record.

Smith finished second amongst the Utes in scoring during Pac-12 action with 13.6 points per game, 6.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists. Smith’s 21 steals were also second on the team behind Gabe Madsen who had 27.

“I feel good- I feel at home,” Smith said after his second triple double. “This is my third school, but I just feel the love and the energy. We have super, super great fans- even before I was playing and now, they are able to see my abilities and everything I bring. Then my teammates- it’s just a super, super great environment and it’s special.”

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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Two Utah Basketball Players Earn Pac-12 Honors