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Utah basketball: Utes sign California point guard

Published April 12, 2012 9:01 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A day after Utah basketball underwent recruiting turbulence, Wednesday brought news of some stability.

As expected, 5-foot-9 point guard Brandon Taylor from West Hollywood, Calif., signed a letter of intent with the Utes on the first day of the late signing period.

Taylor was the first of several players expected to sign with the Utes over the six-week period, but the only remaining orally committed player who had not yet signed.

The Utes have now signed six players, but forward Josh Hearlihy, who signed with coach Larry Krystkowiak in November, is expected to release his scholarship after telling California media outlets that Krystkowiak asked him to opt out of his letter of intent.

Without Hearlihy, the Utes still have three open scholarships for next season. Utah released six scholarship players from last year's team, which finished 6-25 and 11th in the Pac-12.

Taylor led Pacific Hills High School to a California state championship as a senior, while averaging 19.8 points, 7.5 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game.

"Brandon has a really good feel for the game of basketball," Krystkowiak said in a statement. "He is a tremendous shooter and a natural leader. He's a great floor general, with the ability to score and distribute the basketball. Brandon's teammates flock to him and love to play with him, and if there is one person on the floor who you want to have that quality, it's your point guard."

Taylor will compete immediately for playing time with junior Glen Dean, who gains eligibility after sitting out last season following his transfer from Eastern Washington, and fellow freshman Justin Seymour, a combo guard from Smyrna, Ga.