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A 6-foot-1 junior college guard is the latest commitment for Utah basketball's 2016 class.
Tim Coleman, a guard out of Lee College (Baytown, Texas), committed to play for the Utes next fall after his official visit this week, and expects to sign Monday. The Utes expect him to bring physical toughness to a rebuilding backcourt next year.
"I feel like I can bring toughness and experience, and just play some good defense," Coleman said. "The people there embraced me. They showed me love and seemed excited to have me."
Coleman said he had offers from Seton Hall and Creighton. Other reports linked him to Minnesota during the last month.
As a sophomore, http://njcaaregion14.com/sports/mbkb/2015-16/players/timcoleman8snz">Coleman averaged 14.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists in only 13 games a season shortened by a dislocated shoulder. He shot 36.5 percent from the field and 30.7 percent from 3-point range.
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Coleman http://www.cmacstats.com/bkPlayerStats.aspx?player=218065">led the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference with 23.9 points per game as a senior at Withrow High School. He went to Lee College after he didn't qualify academically for Division I hoops.
Coleman said he was impressed by Utah's campus and basketball facility ("I've never seen anything like it"). But he also bought into Utah's consecutive NCAA Tournament berths.
"They're on the top of the list," Coleman said. "It's just progress every year. That's a big plus."
Coleman said he expects to sign with Utah on Monday.
With Coleman, Utah brings in another new guard this fall, along with signees Jojo Zamora, Devon Daniels and Sedrick Barefield. Missionary Parker Van Dyke is also expected to return. The Utes are looking to replace the considerable production of graduates Brandon Taylor, Jordan Loveridge, Dakarai Tucker and transfer Isaiah Wright from the perimeter.
There's some question of scholarships: With six returning scholarship players and now eight newcomers, the math doesn't quite add up.
But there are other considerations: The Utes aren't able to put Utah State transfer David Collette on scholarship until at least December, and thttp://bit.ly/1RmvYmK">he Collettes told the Tribune earlier this year that he had not been guaranteed a scholarship. Rising senior guard Kenneth Ogbe has also struggled to stay healthy the last two years, andhttp://bit.ly/1T04gug"> coach Larry Krystkowiak said last month that Ogbe is considering retirement.
Utah officially put Barefield and center Jayce Johnson on scholarship last week, after Jakob Poeltl declared for the NBA draft. The Utes also signed http://bit.ly/1qIDbT3">SLCC forward Tyler Rawson during the spring period.