Utah hoops star freshman Pelle Larsson commits to Arizona after entering NCAA Transfer Portal

Larsson played in all 25 games, starting 18 of them in his one and only season with the Utes.

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Utah Utes guard Pelle Larsson (3) plays against Idaho in Salt Lake City on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020.

Pelle Larsson is leaving the University of Utah, but he is staying in the Pac-12.

Larsson, a 6-foot-5 Swedish combo guard who started 18 games and played in all 25 as a freshman last season for Larry Krystkowiak, has committed to the University of Arizona, a source confirmed to The Salt Lake Tribune on Sunday morning.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony was the first to report Larsson’s commitment to the Wildcats and new head coach Tommy Lloyd, a former longtime assistant at Gonzaga with deep international recruiting ties.

Larsson is the sixth Ute from last season to exit the program via the NCAA Transfer Portal. He is eligible immediately under the NCAA’s one-time transfer waiver, and has all four seasons of eligibility after the college sports governing body from the eligibility clock in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Larsson entered the transfer portal on April 30, a source telling The Tribune then that while he wanted to explore his options, he will “only take calls from select schools, but is leaving open the possibility of returning to Utah, unless the alternative ticks all the boxes.”

Who the “select schools” were was a mystery during the transfer process, but The Tribune reported Thursday that Larsson had spoken with the four schools he intended to speak with at the outset.

On Sunday morning, ESPN reported and The Tribune confirmed that the other three schools involved were Kansas, Creighton and Stanford. One source painted the situation as having boiled down to “a race” between the Jayhawks and Wildcats.

With Larsson out of the picture, new Utah head coach Craig Smith unofficially has four open scholarships for next season, and seemingly a gaping hole at point guard, where Larsson made substantial progress down the stretch last season.

Assuming Rylan Jones does not return after he entered the transfer portal on Friday, Utah is down to one point guard in Rollie Worster, who announced his transfer from Utah State on April 15, 2 1/2 weeks after Smith took the Utes job following three successful seasons as Aggies head coach.

In his one season in Logan, Worster was solid, averaging 9.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 26 games for the NCAA Tournament qualifier, but his lack of Power Five experience and the program’s current lack of depth at the position is a giant question mark for the time being.