Three for the road: Hawkins, Calvin, Schmidt will not return to Runnin’ Utes

The 2005/2006 edition of the Runnin’ Utes will look a bit different from this year’s Sweet 16 squad.

Coach Ray Giacoletti announced Tuesday that Justin Hawkins, Jermaine Calvin and Jake Schmidt will not return to the team next fall.

“We appreciate the contributions Justin, Jermaine, and Jake made to the Utah program over the past year,” Giacoletti said in a press release Tuesday. “We wish them nothing but the best.”

Giacoletti would not comment on the reasons for the players’ departure, but out of the three, Hawkins’ departure has to be viewed as the most surprising. The sophomore forward averaged 8.5 points and 4.2 rebounds a game, earning honorable mention All-Mountain West Conference honors. He had the best game of his career in the NCAA tournament, notching 20 points and 14 rebounds in Utah’s second-round win over Oklahoma.

Calvin, a 5’9″ point guard, appeared in 28 games, scoring 25 points and handing out 33 assists as a true freshman.

Schmidt, also a true freshman, played 14 scoreless minutes on the season. The forward had two rebounds.

Hawkins was slated to be the Utes’ starting power forward next season, a position that is now vacant.

“It’s way too early to speculate [about next season]” Giacoletti said. “When [training camp] gets here, there will be opportunities for a number of different people.”

With a highly touted recruiting class coming in and some young returning talent, Giacoletti has several options.

Luke Nevill, a 7-footer, is coming off a redshirt year and figures to be in the mix at center and power forward. Junior Jonas Langvad has the size to move to the four spot but so far has been more of a perimeter shooter.

Of the incoming freshmen, Olympus High’s Shaun Green has a good chance at filling Hawkins’ vacancy. The 6-foot-7-inch all-state player is viewed as having the shooting ability to play in Giacoletti’s up-tempo system and the strength to play inside.

The Utes are also expected to announce the signing of another post player later this month, but NCAA rules prohibit them from releasing any information before the player is admitted to the university.

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