Utah Stars Branden Carlson, Alissa Pili Receive Postseason Honors

Mar 19, 2024, 10:16 AM | Updated: 1:14 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – If you wear No. 35 for the Utes men’s or women’s basketball team, you are likely raking in the postseason awards.

Runnin’ Ute big man Branden Carlson and Utah women’s basketball forward Alissa Pili both received postseason recognition on March 19.

Carlson was named Second Team All-District from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) while Pili received Third Team All-American honors from the Sporting News and USBWA.

Both players wear the No. 35 and have made huge impacts on their teams in the 2023-24 season.

Branden Carlson And The Utes In 2023-24

Carlson has played in 32 games so far this season and is averaging 17.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.5 blocks per game. Carlson leads Utah in every category aside from assists.

The Utah big man is unique in that he leads the country in 3-point shots made by players 7-foot or taller notching 58 on the season to this point.

Carlson became the program’s leader in blocked shots sitting at 234 and counting. He is also the all-time leader in total games played at 142 and counting.

Carlson plans to play in Utah’s first-round NIT game and will certainly add to his 1,825 career points, 822 rebounds, 164 assists and 44 steals.

The Utah star is the only player in Pac-12 Conference history to have at least 1,500 points, 700 rebounds, 100 assists and 200 blocks.

Alissa Pili And The Utah Women In 2023-24

On average, Pili has been good for 20.8 points per game so far this season which ranks 17 in the NCAA.

Pili has totaled 666 points this season which is No. 7 in the NCAA, and she is 35th in the nation in field goal percentage as she’s shooting 54.8 % this season. Pili is also good from the three shooting 39.4% and is 124-152 from the free throw line for 81.6% on the season.

Pili consistently has gotten after it on the boards averaging 6.5 rebounds per game and has recorded 78 total assists, along 28 steals and 26 blocks.

Pili set a new career high in points on December 1, 2023, against No. 1 South Carolina at 37 which caught national attention. Pili matched that figure against her old squad, also USC, later on January 19, 2024.

Perhaps most importantly of all however, has been the impact Pili has had off the court this past season.

Pili has been drawing crowds of Indigenous and Polynesian fans wherever the Utes have gone in the 2023-24 season wanting to see a little of themselves being great out on the hardwood.

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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