SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah men’s basketball team brought in its best recruiting class in program history Wednesday after signing four incoming athletes on the first day of the NCAA’s signing day period.
Utah signed two four-star recruits, shooting guard Ian Martinez and small forward Caleb Lohner, and two three-star recruits, combo guard Pelle Larsson and shooting guard Mason Falslev. Martinez and Lohner are the second and third-highest rated recruits to join the Utah family, according to 247Sports.com.
Martinez, a 6-foot-3, 165-pound guard, from JSerra Catholic in San Juan Capistrano, California, already has early NBA draft buzz coming into his freshman season as a guard with a great shot and assertiveness on the court.
“We are excited to add a guard like Ian, who has a great combination of athleticism, skill and IQ,” head coach Larry Krystkowiak said in a written statement. “Ian has had a great couple years of development and continues to improve his physical strength, which will allow him to be an excellent player at Utah.”
And Lohner, the Wasatch Academy product out Mountain Pleasant, adds some length to a Utah roster with a young core of talent. Krystkoiwak sees Lohner as a “multi-positional” athlete that “brings energy, skill and athleticism to the court. We are impressed with Caleb’s physicality, which will allow him to compete at the college level.”
The two four-star recruits spurned offers from programs like Arizona, Baylor, BYU, Ole Miss, Texas, Texas A&M and USC. Matinez committed to the program in May and remained firm on his commitment the entire year, whereas Lohner made his decision in late August.
Falslev is the second recruit from the state of Utah that the U. signed. He hails from Sky View High School in Smithfield and was a talented shooting guard that will add to Utah’s depth. Larsson, who comes to Utah from Sweden, was a late commitment for the Utes. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound combo guard is a four-star recruit according to 247Sports, but a three-star recruit according to the 247 Composite.
Obviously, you have to recruit talent and guys that understand the game, but they're all just great kids... They're really unique kids, they're not all the same, different personalities that I think is going to add a great deal to the existing group that we have already.
“Obviously, you have to recruit talent and guys that understand the game, but they're all just great kids,” Krystkowiak said about his incoming class Tuesday, a day before they signed their letters of intent. “They're really unique kids, they're not all the same, different personalities that I think is going to add a great deal to the existing group that we have already.”
With the incoming four signees, Utah ranks first in the Pac-12 and ranks No. 7 in the national standings, according to 247Sports.com.
“I just think about the term DNA, and we talked about it in our program — being Different, Noticeable and Appealing — and each one of those kids are in their own way, they're different and they're very noticeable and they're great kids; they're high-character kids from great families, and it's an exciting time,” Krystkowiak said. “It really is for us.”