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Utah basketball: Delon Wright quietly decides to return for senior season

Published March 24, 2014 5:44 pm

Men's basketball • Brother and scouts advise Ute guard to stay in school.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah will get its best player back.

In a modest announcement on Twitter over the weekend, Utah guard Delon Wright said he would return for his senior season, finalizing what he said beforehand was going to be a 50-50 decision.

Ultimately, he was given a second-round grade by NBA scouts, who told him he could work his way into the first round next season if he continues to develop and play well.

"I know I have some improvements to make," Wright said. "I also want to stay in school and help take the team to an NCAA tournament."

Wright was one of the best point guards in the Pac-12 this past season, garnering all-conference honors while also emerging as one of the best defenders in the league.

But Wright also is far from a finished product. While one of the best slashers in the country, the 6-foot-5 junior must improve his shooting range. His inability to consistently make 15-foot jump shots — let alone 3-pointers — was a glaring weakness in his game.

Wright was just 12-of-47 from the floor in the Utes' last five games of the season as Pac-12 opponents smothered his transition game.

Wright is the younger brother of Portland Trail Blazers forward Dorell Wright — who also advised him to stay in school.

Next season, with Wright back to lead the offense, the Utes expect to challenge for the top half of the conference and their first NCAA tournament berth since 2009.

If he stays healthy, Wright should be in the conversation for Pac-12 player of the year, as well as All-America honors.

tjones@sltrib.com

twitter: @tjonessltrib