How Runnin’ Utes fared when All-Pac-12 men’s basketball awards were handed out on eve of conference tournament
Utah’s Branden Carlson earns all-conference honors for second straight season after leading Utes to seventh-place finish in regular season
Senior center Branden Carlson’s time at the University of Utah has been marked by steady improvement, as he’s increased his scoring and rebounding averages every year on the Hill.
He’s also garnered some impressive Pac-12 honors as the seasons have piled up.
Tuesday, the 7-footer was named to the All-Pac-12 first team, after he was a second-team all-conference pick in 2022.
Also, Utah’s Marco Anthony garnered honorable mention honors on the All-Pac-12 Defensive Team.
No other Utes were honored Tuesday as the league announced a 10-member first team, a five-member second team, a five-member all-freshman team, a five-member all-defensive team, and a handful of individual awards.
UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez is the Pac-12 Player of the Year, while Bruins’ coach Mick Cronin is the Pac-12 Coach of the Year. UCLA’s Adem Bona is the Freshman of the Year, UCLA’s Jaylen Clark is the Defensive Player of the Year, Arizona’s Oumar Ballo is the Most Improved Player of the Year, and USC’s Reese Dixon-Waters is the Sixth Player of the Year.
The Utes, who finished 10-10 in league play (17-14 overall) were perhaps on track for more honors, but they stumbled late in the regular season, losing their final five conference games.
Seventh-seeded Utah will meet No. 10 seed Stanford (13-18) at 7 p.m. MST Wednesday in a Pac-12 tournament first-round game at T-Mobile Arena.
The matchup will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
Carlson met expectations in 2022-23, after having been picked to the Preseason All-Pac-12 first team last October. The Utes were picked to finish 10th in the league, so they exceeded expectations.
Runnin’ Utes on the air
No. 7 Utah (17-14)
vs. No. 10 Stanford (13-18)
Wednesday, 7 p.m. MST
At T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: ESPN 700
Carlson has started in 30 of 31 games for the Utes this season. He missed the Utes’ big loss at No. 4 UCLA in January due to a stomach bug.
He goes into the conference tournament averaging 16.0 points and 7.4 rebounds, leading the team in both categories. He’s also blocked 63 shots, posted 46 assists and made nine steals.
Carlson told the Deseret News last week that he has not decided whether he will move on to the professional ranks when the season is over, or return to Utah.
Although he has played four seasons, he can take advantage of an “extra year” of eligibility granted by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic altering the 2020-21 season.
Carlson is currently 18th on Utah’s career scoring list with 1,234 points, having recently passed Kelvin Upshaw and Greg Deane. Kenny Gardner is No. 17, with 1,291 points from 1968-71, and Jerry Chambers is No. 16 with 1,400.