Utah men’s basketball coach Craig Smith’s program has been impacted by several players reportedly entering the NCAA transfer portal this offseason.
Thursday brought about the biggest name yet, though.
Serbian guard Lazar Stefanovic, who was a sophomore this season and started in nearly half of the team’s games, has reportedly entered the transfer portal, according to both ESPN’s Jeff Borzello and Verbal Commits.
Stefanovic, who was named to the All-Pac-12 freshman team during the 2021-22 season, was one of three players this year to average double-digit points (10.3). That included three games with 20 or more points, led by a career-high 26 in a loss to Stanford in February.
The 6-foot-7 Stefanovic started 15 of the Utes’ 32 games during the 2022-23 season — he was reinserted into the starting lineup when Utah was dealing with injuries along the guard line later in the season — and averaged 28.3 minutes per game, along with 3.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals per contest.
He becomes the fifth Utah player to reportedly enter the transfer portal since the portal window opened — the others include guards Mike Saunders Jr. and Jaxon Brenchley, as well as forwards Bostyn Holt and Hunter Mecum.
This also comes the same day that news broke that Utes star center Branden Carlson is entering his name in the NBA draft, while keeping open the option he could return to school.