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'Third times a charm': After a year hiatus from program, Both Gach returns to Utes basketball

Both Gach

Both Gach (Qiling Wang, Deseret News, File)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY β€” The transfer portal giveth and taketh away, and sometimes bringeth back, too.

On Thursday afternoon, former University of Utah guard Both Gach announced his decision to transfer back to the university he called home from 2018-20 before a one-year stint with his hometown Minnesota.

"RUN IT BACK! #GoUtes," was the simple message he shared on Twitter, with two black-and-white pictures of him in a Utes uniform.

On Friday, the university confirmed Gach's return to the program.

"I'm extremely excited to announce that Both will be joining our Runnin' Utes basketball family," head coach Craig Smith said. "Obviously with this being his second stint, Both brings a knowledge of what our Utah brand is all about. He brings size, length and elite athleticism to our backcourt in addition to his wealth of experience."

Gach announced his intention to transfer away from Utah in May 2020, later deciding to go home to Minnesota. While at Minnesota, Gach started in 16 games and averaged 22.7 minutes a game, while averaging only 6.8 points per game.

Smith attempted to bring Gach into his program while at Utah State β€” prior to his commitment to Utah and after transferring from Utah β€” but was ultimately unsuccessful. But Smith continued to pursue his fellow Minnesota native and was successful after Gach announced his decision to transfer away from Minnesota. "I've recruited Both at each stop and you know what they say, third times a charm!"

While at Utah, Gach was a starter for the team and improved from his freshman to sophomore season where he averaged 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game his sophomore season. Gach will add some necessary depth to a roster that lost former starting guard Rylan Jones, who decided to commit to Utah State once Larry Krystkowiak was let go as the team's head coach.

Gach joins a handful of other players that have transferred to Utah since Craig Smith took over as the team's head coach in March, including former Utah State players Marco Anthony and Rollie Worster, as well Cincinnati's Gabe Madsen, UNLV's David Jenkins Jr and Coffeyville Community College's Bostyn Holt.

Gach comes back to Utah as a junior with two seasons to play, in part because the NCAA passed legislation in May to allow players to have one free transfer and to have one extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic impacting the 2020 season.

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