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Who stays and who goes as Craig Smith rebuilds his squad?

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Craig Smith as Utah hosts Bellarmine, NCAA basketball action, in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023.

It has been eight years since the Utah men’s basketball team last appeared in the NCAA tournament.

Last season, head coach Craig Smith and the Runnin’ Utes finished 22-15 overall and ended the year with a 100-90 loss to Indiana State in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament.

In the offseason, after Smith went 9-11 in the Pac-12, he saw five players enter the transfer portal while Branden Carlson and Cole Bajema exhausted their eligibility. As the Utes enter the Big 12, which has hosted two of the last four national champions since 2021, Smith is looking to secure his first March Madness berth at the U. His last appearance was with Utah State during the 2020-21 season, when the Aggies lost in the first round to Texas Tech.

And even though the NCAA transfer window closes on May 1, Utah is still active, securing its latest signing, young forward Mike Sharavjamts from San Francisco on June 3. In 34 games last season, the Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia native averaged 7.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists, along with 32 steals and 15 blocks.

Sharavjamts is Smith’s sixth addition to the Runnin’ Utes in the transfer portal, leaving three more spots open on the roster.

Follow the rest of Utah’s offseason transfers here:

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