Utes could be losing another basketball player
Larry Krystkowiak announced last week that his first Utah basketball recruiting class was "virtually complete."
Turns out, Josh Sharp accounted for the "virtually."
Sources close to the 6-foot-7 Utah forward, who has missed the past two seasons while serving an LDS mission in Houston, said Sharp was granted a conditional release from the Utah program, but that his family is appealing restrictions that would prevent him from playing at another program in the state or in the Pac-12. The appeals process is expected to take several weeks, sources said.
"He's not necessarily against Utah," a source said. "He just looked at it like, '[Former head coach Jim] Boylen is the guy who recruited me, I've been gone for two years, I want to be recruited again.' "
If Sharp departs, it would be another blow to Krystkowiak, who has already released seven of last year's players from their scholarships.
Without Sharp, the Utes would have no Utah natives on their roster. Sources suggested Sharp would be interested in transferring to BYU or Utah State, even if it meant spending a year as a walk-on.
When reached Monday evening, Krystkowiak said Sharp had not been released and declined to further discuss his status with the Utes.
"I better not get into that right now," he said, "because there's a few things pending. It's just not a good time to be digging that up, because I'm just not sure right now."
Krystkowiak was hired on April 3, after Boylen was fired. After the announcement, a flood of Utah players eventually seven requested they be released from the program.
Sharp played in high school at Lone Peak, and led the Knights to 5A championship appearances in 2007 and 2008.
Sources said Sharp exceeded expectation in his redshirt season at Utah.
"Josh didn't have all these kind of offers coming out of high school," a source said. "They didn't know how good of a player he was."
Since being hired, Krystkowiak signed seven players to the Utes roster, using what then appeared to be all available scholarships. Jim Boylen's one 2011 signee, George Matthews from Arizona, opted to stay with the Utes.
It was a whirlwind recruiting season for Krystkowiak, who pieced together a recruiting class of two Division I transfers, three junior college transfers and three incoming freshmen. Krystkowiak said the process was "as high-intensity as any coach can go through."
While Pac-12 schools such as Arizona and Oregon added five-star, top-25 recruits, Utah's highest-rated signee is three-star forward Javon Dawson, who backed out of a commitment with Colorado State to join the Utes.
"I'm not a big fan of the two-star, three-star, four-star kind of recruits," Krystkowiak said late last week, "but I'm a big fan of character guys. We've got a group of guys who are high-character guys, hard-nosed players."
Guards Aaron Dotson and Glen Dean, transfers from Louisiana State and Eastern Washington, respectively, must sit out one season, per NCAA rules. In addition to Dawson, who played at Gulf Coast Community College, the Utes added JC Indian Hills Community College forward Dijon Farr and 6-foot-4 guard Cedric Martin from Lee College. Incoming freshman are Matthews and point guards Anthony Odunsi and Kareem Storey.
"At the end of the day â¦ there's going to be a couple of guys that surprise you," Krystkowiak said, "maybe a couple of guys that are farther behind."
Javon Dawson • 6-7, F, Soph. Gulf Coast CC
Glen Dean • 5-10, G, Jr., Eastern Washington
Aaron Dotson • 6-4, G, Jr., LSU
Dijon Farr • 6-6, F, Jr., Indian Hills CC
Cedric Martin • 6-4, G, Jr., Lee College
George Matthews • 6-7, F, Fr., Westwind Prep (Ariz.)
Anthony Odunsi • 6-3, G, Fr., Travis (Texas) HS
Kareem Story • 6-3, G, Fr., Princeton Day (Md.)
Players released from scholarship
• Will Clyburn, J.J. O'Brien, Shawn Glover, Dominique Lee, Chris Kupets, Antonio DiMaria, Preston Guiot, Josh Sharp*
* Is appealing for nonconditional release