The Utes men’s basketball recruiting class just got bigger with a commitment from 6-foot-11, 205-pound forward Lahat Thioune, a senior at Florida Prep Academy in Melbourne, Fla.
Thioune, who is from Senegal, announced his commitment on Twitter on Friday evening. He visited the Utah campus this week. He’d reportedly also received scholarship offers from Louisville, Iowa State and UNLV.
The Utes will lose senior forwards David Collette and Tyler Rawson to graduation this offseason. Riley Battin, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward from California, signed with the Utes during the November early signing period.
Next year’s recruiting class includes four-star prospect Timmy Allen, a 6-foot-6 wing from Arizona, as well as junior college guard Charles Johnson II from the College of Southern Idaho, guard Naseem Gaskin from California and Battin.
The Utes also have highly regarded 6-foot-5 guard Devante Doutrive from California in the program sitting out this season as a redshirt.
Thioune and Battin would join a frontcourt that should include returners Jayce Johnson, Chris Seeley and wing/forward Donnie Tillman.
Utes freshman forward Donnie Tillman, who has averaged 9.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, did not dress for Thursday’s game against Stanford, but he came off the bench with 13:17 left in the first half on Saturday night against Cal.
Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak offered a somewhat cryptic answer when asked about Tillman’s status on Thursday.
“Just needs a little getaway, a break,” Krystkowiak said. “He’s got a lot going on. As I’ve said many times, for freshmen it’s not easy. A combination of getting some classwork squared away, getting his body squared and getting his mind in the right spot. We’ve got some great support people around him, getting through it. Hopefully he’ll be back here with us pretty quick.”
Krystkowiak said Tillman sitting out Thursday was not disciplinary and described it as part of the process of “growing up” and added “it’s somewhat of a private issue and I’m not going to get into it.”