Utah Runnin’ Utes lose two players to NCAA transfer portal

Jordan Kellier and Lahat Thioune both played sparingly

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes guard Jordan Kellier (10) drives to the basket as Utah hosts Idaho, NCAA basketball in Salt Lake City on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020.

Four days after the University of Utah basketball team’s season ended in the Pac-12 Tournament, two little-used reserves are opting for the NCAA Transfer Portal.

Jordan Kellier, a sophomore guard and junior college transfer from Williston State, hit the transfer portal Monday afternoon, a source with access to the portal confirmed to The Salt Lake Tribune. Later Monday, 6-foot-10 redshirt sophomore Lahat Thioune also opted for the portal.

Kellier, a late recruiting pickup in the 2020 pandemic-affected cycle, played in just seven games for a total of 31 minutes, scoring nine points. Thioune played in 20 games this season and 45 for his career, averaging just 7.4 minutes per game over that span.

Utah was at the NCAA maximum of 13 scholarships for the 2021-22 season, but Monday’s defections leave the Utes in an advantageous position with three open scholarships at this still-early juncture of the 2022 recruiting cycle. Furthermore, the transfer portal is still taking shape.

Alfonso Plummer, the lone senior on this season’s Utes, is allowed to come back for another year after the NCAA froze the eligibility clock due to the pandemic. Should Plummer decide to return, he would not count against the 13-player scholarship limit.