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Matt Piper and Kyle Goon
Matt Piper and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams for The Salt Lake Tribune. Matt Piper is on twitter at @matthew_piper, Kyle Goon is on twitter at @kylegoon

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Utah basketball: Utes make an in-state offer

Before this spring, Makol Mawien was a relative unknown.

Then the 6-foot-9 center from Granger High enjoyed two of the most productive months of his young basketball career.

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Last week, Utah offered Mawien a scholarship, the first hard offer the Utes have doled out for the Class of 2015. Mawien has been on Utah’s campus in an unofficial capacity. He plays AAU basketball for the Utah Prospects Under-16 team. It’s the same AAU team that Brekkott Chapman plays for, the 6-9 power forward from Roy High School who is the top recruiting target for the Utes in the 2014 class.

Mawien is a different player from Chapman, but could become the same type of hot national commodity. While Chapman is left-handed, can shoot from the perimeter and dribble abnormally well for a big, Mawien is already one of the better defensive big men out West. He blocks shots with ease, is athletic and has a ton of upside, according to Utah Prospects coach Lynn Lloyd.

Mawien is already well-known in the state, even though he’s still just heading into his junior season. He was officially offered by Utah State last week. While Chapman is nationally ranked, and has a chance to significantly climb the rankings in the next few months, Mawien appears headed for the same kind of acclaim.

With Utah’s offer, it sends a clear message that Mawien — who had an older brother play for East High School — is the top target for the Utes in 2015.

Tony Jones

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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