Runnin’ Utes snag talent, take names

By By Cody Brunner

By Cody Brunner

The list just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Only a month has passed since the U men’s basketball team was knocked out of the Mountain West Conference tournament, but new Utah head coach Jim Boylen is wasting no time filling his roster with new talent.

The Runnin’ Utes’ latest pickup is 6-foot guard Tyler Kepkay, who signed a National Letter of Intent to play at the U on Wednesday. The guard, a native of Vancouver, B.C., was named a first-team juco All-American last season. He led the junior college ranks in scoring, averaging 27.9 points per game. Kepkay was also fifth in the country in free-throw percentage (88.2) and three-point field goal percentage (47.4).

“Coach Boylen really made the difference in me becoming a Ute,” Kepkay said. “The way he wants to run his program, the structure of his system, his knowledge of the game and his enthusiasm really sold me. I think Coach Boylen is going to get Utah basketball back to the level of success people are used to in a short period of time.”

Other suitors to Kepkay included St. John’s, San Diego State and Duquesne.

“Tyler (Kepkay) is a highly skilled player, a great shooter, an excellent ball handler and has a high basketball I.Q.,” said CEU head coach Bryon Zollinger. “But the thing that sets him apart from other players is his work ethic.”

Kepkay joins an extremely gifted recruiting class at the U, as Boylen has already lured three other players in during the early signing period.

Also joining the Utes next season will be Carlon Brown, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard from Riverside, Calif.; Nemanja Calasan, a 6-foot-9, 245-pound post player from Midland (Texas) Junior College and Morgan Grim, a 6-foot-9, 205-pound forward from Riverton, Utah.