Utah Tech Men’s Basketball Hosts Stanton in Exhibition on Wednesday
Can you believe it's time for college basketball already? Why does football season go by so fast?
Utah Tech was picked to finish last in the WAC this year which means the Trailblazers will have a shot to clownsuit the whole conference this year. They have a ton of new players so we'll see what happens.
Here's the press release about their upcoming matchup against Stanton by UT Athletics Media Relations: (Link to Full Article)
(St. George, Utah – Oct. 30, 2023) With the start of the 2023-24 season just over one week away, Utah Tech men's basketball is set to host the Stanton Elks for a preseason exhibition. Tip off at Burns Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday and admission is free.
"This has been the busiest spring and summer I've had since I got into coaching. We added 10 new guys but we've got some really good players and I'm really excited about the season," Head Coach Jon Judkins said. "I love how things are going right now and I just can't wait to throw the ball up and see where we're at."
Wednesday's game marks the first time that fans get to see the 2023-24 Trailblazer squad, a team that was overhauled in the offseason with the addition of 10 new players.
Beon Riley (Hawai'i) and Trey Hall (Evansville) both transferred to Utah Tech from fellow Division-I institutions. Riley made 65 appearances as a Rainbow Warrior and was a three-time Big West All-Academic selection who averaged 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game last season, while Hall made 19 appearances as a Purple Ace and posted a career-high nine points against Louisville in his career debut.
The Trailblazers added five players from the junior college ranks, with Jaylen Searles (Southeastern CC – Iowa), David Elliott (Garden City CC), Larry Olayinka (Garden City CC), Unisa Turay (Scottsdale CC) and Sammy Howlin (Fullerton College) joining the program over the summer.
Searles is coming off a 2022-23 season that saw the Everett, Wash., native average 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game while shooting over 47% from the field, while Elliott posted a line of 11.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists during his lone season at Garden City; fellow Broncbuster teammate Larry Olayinka posted 7.5 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while finishing with six multi-block performances.
Turay played two seasons at Scottsdale Community College, making 62 starts across 64 total appearances. The Phoenix, Ariz., posted 29 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in a win over Glendale Community College during his first season before finishing with 16 assists in a win over Arizona Sol during his second year. The 6-11 Howlin joined Utah Tech after anchoring a Fullerton College defense that won the CCCAA championship, averaging 5.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.
Demings won multiple national championships as a Duncanville Panther (Duncanville, Texas), playing alongside players like Texas guard Jackson Prince and Ron Holland, who now plays for G-League Ignite and is widely projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. Angelo Kambala, who played at Liberty High in Las Vegas, averaged 17.4 points per game as a senior and holds the program record for three-pointers made in a game, once draining 17 in a single contest.
Rainwater was a WIAA 2B State Champion after leading the Davenport Gorillas (Davenport, Wash.) with 28.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.1 steals during his senior season en route to a 27-2 record; he finished with 24 points in the title-winning contest.
Gonsalves, a junior from Lehi, Utah, shot over 40% from deep last season while averaging just under nine points and three rebounds per game across 27 starts. Christensen led the team in rebounding with exactly seven per game, adding 9.5 points and 1.6 assists per contest while starting every single game.
As a unit, Utah Tech is coming off a 2022-23 campaign that finished with a 14-19 record and the team's first postseason victory, defeating sixth-seeded Stephen F. Austin in the first round of the 2023 Hercules Tires WAC Men's Basketball.
The Trailblazers' regular season will tip off with a road game against Santa Clara next week, and information about season tickets will be made available soon.
AP's Top 25 in College Basketball 2023
Gallery Credit: Noah Haynes