A pair of Utah hoops programs got divergent pieces of roster news Thursday, one more surprising than the other.
University of Utah sophomore guard Both Gach surprisingly revealed that, if he withdraws from the NBA Draft, he will transfer and leave the Utes. BYU secured the commitment of Washington prep guard Tanner Toolson.
Gach’s news arrived by way of national college basketball analyst Jeff Goodman, who tweeted “Utah sophomore guard Both Gach, who declared for the NBA Draft, told me he will transfer if he removes his name.”
Gach, a 6-foot-6 guard from Minnesota, played in 57 games for Utah over two seasons. He averaged 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists while starting 25 times as a sophomore. He scored a career-high 28 points in Utah’s regular-season finale against Oregon.
While Gach only represents the transfer of the second Utah player this offseason, his presumed starting role makes him one of several expected starters to leave the program over the last few years. Utah had eight players in the transfer portal last offseason.
A few hours after Goodman’s report, Utah released a statement from head coach Larry Krystkowiak.
“We have been very supportive of Both entering the NBA Draft to obtain valuable evaluations from team personnel these past two months, so this comes as a surprise to myself and our staff after learning of Both’s intentions to transfer,” the statement said. “Although the decision by Both to leave was not something we had planned or hoped for, our program continues to move forward with our players who are driven and excited to be a part of our Utah Basketball family.
“Sometimes one’s individual desires and goals don’t always align with the program they are a part of. However, our focus is and continues to be the players who are fully committed to our program, including our incoming recruiting class.”
Four seasons removed from its last NCAA Tournament appearance, Utah brings in the 37th rated recruiting class in the country next season, according to 247 Sports, headlined by four-star California prep guard Ian Martinez.
BYU added its sixth signee this offseason when Washington prep guard Tanner Toolson committed to the Cougars on Thursday and the school announced his signing Friday.
Toolson is the son of former BYU Hall of Famer and NBA player Andy. The 6-foot-5 guard had a breakout year as a senior, averaging 23 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3 assists on his way to being named the top prep player in the state of Washington.
Toolson joins Fremont’s Dallin Hall and guard Richie Saunders as signees planning to serve missions. Players who will join BYU immediately are Purdue graduate transfer center Matt Haarms, junior college forward Gideon George, and Weber State/Utah Valley/Salt Lake Community College sophomore transfer Spencer Johnson.