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Morning links: Utah Utes a sleeper in the Pac-12 South; Jazz get high marks for offseason moves

SHARE Morning links: Utah Utes a sleeper in the Pac-12 South; Jazz get high marks for offseason moves

While the Utah Utes have made great strides in the Pac-12 since joining the league, they still haven't made a trip to the conference championship game. That could change this is season.

In an Athlon Sports & Life article, Steven Lassan gives five reasons why the Utes are the Pac-12 South's sleeper team. After talking about their strengths as a team, he breaks down the upside in the passing game as his fourth reason.

"The passing attack is the biggest question mark surrounding Utah’s offense in 2016. However, the Utes haven’t finished higher than ninth in the Pac-12 in passing offense over the last five seasons, so this team can contend without an elite aerial assault. Travis Wilson finished his career by throwing for 2,095 yards and 13 scores last year, leaving a three-man battle for the starting nod in 2016. Junior Brandon Cox is the team’s most-experienced option in a Utah uniform (three career pass attempts), but the other quarterbacks on the roster — junior college recruit Troy Williams and freshman Tyler Huntley — bring a lot of upside to the passing game. Williams started his career at Washington and transferred to Santa Monica College for an opportunity to start in 2015. He threw for 2,750 yards and 31 scores last season and ranked as a four-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite. Huntley enrolled in time to compete in spring practice and impressed in his first semester on campus. The passing game certainly has question marks at quarterback and receiver, but Utah can lean on its ground attack and defense until this position is settled. While Williams and Huntley are unproven at the FBS level, both players have a lot of upside and could help spark a passing game that connected on only 12 passes of 30 yards or more in 2015."

Utah Jazz grade high for summer moves

Another set of grades is in for each NBA team's 2016 offseason moves and the Utah Jazz are once again receiving high praise.

This time, it comes from Bleacher Report's Adam Fromal who writes, "Utah could've been content to hold tight, re-signing Trevor Booker and doing nothing more as the many young pieces developed. Instead, it took risks, and each one looks like it could pay off in a big way. This was a perfect offseason for the up-and-coming Western Conference contenders."

Jay Yeomans is a sports writer for DeseretNews.com. Contact him at jyeomans@deseretdigital.com.