Glen Dean and Aaron Dotson were considered two of the best players in Utah’s basketball program at this time a year ago. They were transfers looked upon as building blocks in Larry Krystkowiak’s bid to make a winner out of the Utes.
On Thursday, following a mostly nondescript season out of both, Dotson and Dean no longer are members of the team.
Krystkowiak confirmed that both will graduate and transfer after they attend summer school. Dean will leave for the University of Idaho, where he will take advantage of the newly minted NCAA rule that allows graduates to be eligible immediately, and he will play for the Vandals. His brother, Perrion Callandret, will be a freshman.
Dotson’s future is a bit more unclear. Because of lingering knee issues, it’s not certain whether he will play again. He’s had consistent injury problems during his one season at Utah. He broke his foot in the preseason and never really found a place in Krystkowiak’s rotation.
“I feel bad for Aaron because I can relate,” Krystkowiak said. “It’s tough when your body starts to betray you a little bit. I told him that it’s OK if your body breaks down. It sort of happens to all of us eventually.”
Dean’s transfer decision was affected by Krystkowiak’s unwillingness to promise the point guard consistent playing time next season.
Dean, a former Big Sky Conference freshman of the year at Eastern Washington, began the season as Utah’s starting point guard. But he was supplanted by Brandon Taylor by the beginning of Pac-12 play.
Dean still carved out a role for himself as the Utes’ best perimeter defender. While he averaged 5.5 points per game, Dean’s best moment was a trip to his hometown Seattle, a win over the Washington Huskies and his defense on C.J. Wilcox, which went a long way toward helping Utah to the upset.
Dean also has had difficult times off the court as a Ute, having to undergo emergency brain surgery in December 2011.
“I thought he came to this decision thoughtfully,” Krystkowiak said. “We have a lot of variables for next year, and it’s impossible to predict how much playing time he was going to get. I think Glen wanted to play and he wanted to spend a year with his brother and pass the baton.”
• Junior guard averaged 5.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game this season.
• Began the season as the team’s starting small forward.
• Scored 27 points as a Utah player.
• Missed 15 of 18 Pac-12 games with a knee injury.