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SALT LAKE CITY — Both Gach’s time at the University of Utah has come to an end one way or another.
The sophomore guard declared his intent to pursue an NBA career, or at least an exploratory option, in April, but on Thursday a report from Stadium’s Jeff Goodman said Gach is expected to transfer if he removes his name from the draft. The news of Gach’s departure came as a surprise to Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak.
“We have been very supportive of Both entering the NBA draft to obtain valuable evaluations from team personnel these past two months, so this comes as a surprise to myself and our staff after learning of Both’s intentions to transfer,” Krystkowiak said in a statement late Thursday.
Krystkowiak said the decision “was not something we had planned or hoped for” but added the program will “continue to move forward with our players who are driven and excited to be a part of our Utah basketball family.”
Gach’s name has not officially entered the transfer portal yet, a source told KSL.com, but he’s still committed to the NBA process. He was expected to remove his name from the NBA draft process by June 3, but the NCAA delayed the time an underclassman can remove their name until later this year due to the ever-changing coronavirus pandemic situation.
Utah sophomore guard Both Gach, who declared for the NBA Draft, told me he will transfer if he removes his name. Sophomore guard averaged 10.7 points this past season.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 15, 2020
The starting guard suffered an injury midway through the 2019-20 season that kept him out for several games. But before and after his injury, Gach’s production suffered with a sustained shooting slump late in the season. The lack of production forced Krystkowiak to bench Gach for a few games before reinserting him into the starting lineup. Gach eventually got his rhythm back for the team’s final three games of the regular season.
Gach finished his sophomore campaign at Utah averaging 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists as the team’s starting guard.
“Sometimes one’s individual desires and goals don’t always align with the program they are a part of,” Krystkowiak said. “However, our focus is and continues to be the players who are fully committed to our program, including our incoming recruiting class.”
The departure of Gach will hurt Utah from an experience standpoint, but Krystkowiak managed to sign his highest-ever recruiting class this year with four recruits, including a four-star signing of Ian Martinez from JSerra Catholic in California. The recruiting class was the third-best in the Pac-12 and No. 37 in the nation.
Utah’s Timmy Allen, the team’s leading scorer last season, also entered his name in the NBA draft process, though he’s expected to return to Utah for a junior season.