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As Utah basketball coaching search goes on, Riley Battin opts for NCAA Transfer Portal

Battin played in all 25 games in 2020-21, but saw his role diminished with the emergence of Mikael Jantunen

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes forward Riley Battin (21) looks to pass as Utah hosts Idaho, NCAA basketball in Salt Lake City on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020.

Riley Battin is not waiting around to see who the next University of Utah head coach is.

The 6-foot-9 junior forward entered his name into the NCAA Transfer Portal on Monday, multiple sources with access to the portal confirmed to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Battin is the fourth Ute to enter the transfer portal since late-December, but the first since Larry Krystkowiak was fired on March 16. Battin, a Southern California native, will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Battin is joined in the portal by redshirt sophomore forward Lahat Thioune and sophomore guard Jordan Kellier, both of whom hit the open market the day before Krystkowiak was fired. The fourth Ute transfer, Brendan Wenzel, appeared in the portal on Dec. 28, and transferred to Wyoming shortly thereafter.

Battin played in all 25 games in 2020-21, but, dating back to late in the 2019-20 season, saw his role diminish with the emergence of sophomore forward Mikael Jantunen. Battin averaged 21.9 minutes per game last season, while Jantunen averaged 28.1 per contest.

As the Utah job remains open, there are now four open scholarships for 2021-22.

The NCAA froze the eligibility clock this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning sharpshooting senior guard Alfonso Plummer is able to return next season. Plummer coming back remains to be seen, but before Krystkowiak’s exit, multiple sources indicated to The Tribune that Plummer was not expected back.

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