SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah men’s basketball program got some good news late Thursday night as its leading scorer last season decided to return to school for a junior campaign.
Timmy Allen, the 6-foot-6 forward from Mesa, Arizona, took to Twitter Thursday to declare he was “pulling my name out of the 2020 NBA draft and I’ll be returning to campus to go to school to play next year.
“I’m excited to get to work with my teammates and coaches again; I’m excited to rep this red. Go Utes.”
Allen started in all 31 games his sophomore season and led the team with 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds on a team mostly made up of sophomore and freshman talent. The talented forward led the Pac-12 for a time in scoring his sophomore season, but finished the season in the top 10.
His addition to the team will provide some veteran leadership to a team that continues to be young and inexperienced, though not as much as the 2019-20 season. Allen joins starters Rylan Jones, Branden Carlson and Riley Battin as the most experienced athletes on the court, but will welcome incoming freshmen Ian Martinez and Pelle Larsson — heralded recruits to help raise Utah’s recruiting profile in the Pac-12.
Utah, however, will be without former starting guard Both Gach, who after entering his name into the NBA draft process decided to transfer to Minnesota. Utah also released incoming freshman Caleb Lohner last month after he sought a release from his National Letter of Intent; he later committed to BYU.
Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak was surprised by both departures at the time, but said he wanted to “focus towards the motivated, talented and connected players and coaches that are committed to our program.”
Whether the 2020-21 season will be played is yet to be determined as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that has seen a surge in the United States in the last month. Athletes, however, can participate in voluntary workouts on campus at the University of Utah despite the uncertainty of the upcoming season.