Larry Krystkowiak made the decision months ago.
Utah’s men’s basketball coach wasn’t going to be outworked for Brekkott Chapman. If Roy’s 6-foot-8 power forward took his considerable talents to another school, it wasn’t going to be for a lack of effort on Krystkowiak’s part.
Brekkott Chapman file
» 6-foot-8 power forward from Roy High
» A top-100 national recruit
» Chose Utah over Utah State, BYU, Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and Gonzaga
"He made Brekkott feel very important," is how Chapman’s mother, Kim Littlefield, put it. "It showed a difference from some of the other schools."
Chapman, a national top-100 recruit according to every major recruiting service in the country, verbally committed to Utah on Monday afternoon, a day after his AAU basketball career ended in the sweltering heat of Las Vegas.
With Chapman’s pledge, Krystkowiak is 2-2 with local talent that were considered "must gets" for the Utes. Jordan Loveridge committed to Utah a year ago, and he turned in a terrific freshman season in the Pac-12.
Loveridge was something of a late bloomer on the recruiting front. He ended his career as a top-100 talent, and while the Utes had to beat out significant pushes from Utah State and BYU, Utah long was considered the leader for his talents.
Chapman’s recruiting process was different. He had offers from nearly every major program in the West, including Gonzaga, Colorado, Arizona and Arizona State. The competition for his commitment was fierce, and Chapman made it known that he didn’t mind leaving the state to play college basketball.
But relationships go a long way in recruiting.
"He’s been looking a lot and thinking a lot about it and noticing that some of these bigger schools say the same things to different kids," Littlefield said. "Brekkott’s been thinking that Utah’s trying to put together a program, instead of recruiting every kid that’s ranked, and that meant a lot to him."
Sources told The Tribune that Krystkowiak, who is known for developing big men, sold Chapman on how good a player the Ute coaching staff could make him down the road.
Chapman is a true combination forward. He’s just as comfortable on the perimeter handling the ball as he is with his back to the basket. He makes 3-pointers with ease, and he’s a matchup issue for opposing big men because of his ability to step away from the hoop and create offense.
Chapman is good enough with the ball in his hand that he’s talked about becoming more of a small forward once he gets to college. Many of his attributes are the same things that allowed Loveridge to be so successful this past season. Utah now has two players who are interchangeable in its frontcourt.
Chapman has told The Tribune that he will not embark on an LDS Church mission, which means he will play his career with the Utes without interruption. He has played pick-up ball with the team countless times, one of the advantages of being a local product. ESPN.com has him ranked as the 49th best player nationally. He’s ranked as high as No. 24 by one service.
"He’s a tireless worker and a better teammate," said Lynn Lloyd, who coached Chapman’s AAU team, the Utah Prospects. "He’s committed to the family and the team culture."
Lloyd told said that Chapman’s decision to commit to the Utes was made last Thursday, but Lloyd wanted to give Chapman a few days to think about it. Teams from the ACC, SEC and Big 12 called in the last seven days trying to get into the recruiting fray, but Chapman wouldn’t allow it.
"That’s when I kind of knew he was nearing a decision," Lloyd said.
firstname.lastname@example.orgClick here to read a recent profile of Chapman written by The Tribune’s Christopher Kamrani.
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