This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The Runnin' Utes secured another player in their ongoing pipeline of big men, the top-ranked prospect in Utah this year.
Bingham 6-foot-10 forward/center Branden Carlson announced his commitment to Utah on Sunday night, giving the Utes a late-blooming big who is expected to serve an LDS mission before he arrives at the U.
Carlson posted relatively modest stats as a junior for the Miners http://www.maxpreps.com/athlete/branden-carlson/FZRM0I4SEeW-8KA2nzwbTA/gendersport/basketball-stats.htm">(3.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg) playing with another top-100 prospect in Yoeli Childs (who went to BYU), but impressed at Utah's Elite camp as well as on the summer circuit with the Exum Elite club team. Carlson is ranked No. 102 by 24/7 Sports andhttp://www.scout.com/player/207913-branden-carlson"> No. 69 by Scout. ESPN grades him as http://www.espn.com/college-sports/basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/217338/branden-carlson">a four-star prospect just outside the top 100.
Carlson picked the Utes over offers from UCLA, Stanford and BYU among others. He could play center or power forward at the next level. As shown in the video above, Carlson plays with strong athletic ability and verticality, but likely needs to gain weight and strength before playing in the Pac-12.
Carlson was not immediately available for comment.
The Utes have now secured two commitments from in-state players who are going on LDS missions and expected to join in 2019. Ridgeline guardhttp://bit.ly/2bSKRjd"> Jaxon Brenchley committed to the school in August, giving Utah potential scoring and playmaking in the backcourt.
The Utes don't yet have a committed prospect who will join the team next year with at least two spots open: Both Lorenzo Bonam and Gabe Bealer are expected to graduate after the 2016-17 season.