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Runnin' Utes sign guard Wilguens Exacte Jr., get commitment from center Keba Keita

Utah coach Craig Smith calls out to players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022.

Utah coach Craig Smith calls out to players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oregon in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. (Thomas Boyd, Associated Press)


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SALT LAKE CITY β€” As Craig Smith's first season at the University of Utah got underway last year, he secured a prized commitment from guard Wilguens Exacte Jr.

On Wednesday, Exacte signed his name to paper to make his commitment official as part of the NCAA's signing day period. Exacte's signing was the first step in a long road for Smith to improve his roster in a competitive Pac-12 Conference.

Smith called Exacte a "tenacious player," who is "very strong and athletic."

"He competes with great force on both sides of the ball and brings great versatility to our team," Smith said. "With his size and skill, he can play any perimeter position on the floor. Wil has also played at a very high level over the last couple years as a member of the NBA Academy."

The 6-foot-6, 225-pound shooting guard comes to Utah from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, but last spent time with NBA Academy Latin America where Arizona star Bennedict Mathurin also attended. Prior to that, Exacte went to school at College Notre-Dame in Montreal and recently played in the All-Canadian Boys Basketball Game.

The news of Exacte's signing comes shortly after Smith hired BYU assistant Chris Burgess to his staff and then hours before Wasatch Academy big Keba Keita committed to the university β€” a busy day up on the Hill. Keita, who is a 6-foot-9, 225-pound center, is a four-star 247Sports Composite recruit that is expected to join the program in the coming months.

Keita had narrowed his decision down to Utah and UNLV but eventually decided upon Utah in the end. With the hiring of Burgess on staff and his development of bigs at Utah Valley University and BYU, it was an easy sell for Keita to see a future at the hometown program.

Earlier this month, Utah welcomed Cincinnati transfer Mike Saunders Jr. to the program. Saunders plays point guard and will provide added depth to the roster.

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Josh is the Sports Director for KSL.com and beat writer of University of Utah athletics β€” primarily football, men’s basketball and gymnastics. He is also an Associated Press Top 25 voter for college football.

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