Utes add a prep guard from Texas to their young 2019-20 basketball roster

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah players look on from the bench in the final moments of the loss, as the Utah Utes host the Oregon Ducks, NCAA basketball in Salt Lake City on Thursday Jan. 31, 2019.

Utah's basketball program is adding a Texas high school guard, making the Utes' 2019-20 roster even younger.

Brendan Wenzel, a 6-foot-6 player from O'Connor High School in suburban San Antonio, announced his commitment to the Utes on Thursday. He received a release from Texas-El Paso after signing with the Miners in November. After reopening his recruitment, Wenzel reportedly visited Texas and Utah.

Wenzel will be among eight scholarship freshmen in Utah’s program, including redshirt freshmen Lahat Thioune and Naseem Gaskin. Utah’s coaching staff has received no assurance that center Jayce Johnson, who’s in the NCAA transfer portal, will return for his senior season. A source familiar with Johnson’s thinking said the player is unlikely to stay at Utah, amid efforts by coaches and teammates to keep him.

The Utes lost out to West Virginia this week in their pursuit of Texas junior college guard Taz Sherman, but found a guard who was considered one of the top uncommitted players in the Texas class of 2019, in this phase of his recruitment.

Wenzel averaged 24.1 points as a senior, scoring a school-record 42 points against Midland.

When he signed Wenzel in November, UTEP coach Rodney Terry said, “Brendan is a special talent, because he he has great size for the position at 6-6, playing the wing. He has the size and athleticism to defend and rebound at the position, a high IQ for the game and he possesses an elite ability to shoot the basketball. … He is arguably the best shooter in the 2019 class in Texas.”