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Ute center Matt Van Komen plans to enter basketball transfer portal

The University of Utah’s pair of 7-foot centers Branden Carlson, left, and Matt Van Komen battle as the team scrimmages during Night with the Utes at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019.
The University of Utah’s pair of 7-foot centers Branden Carlson, left, and Matt Van Komen battle as the team scrimmages during Night with the Utes at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. Van Komen plans to enter the transfer portal, according to several sources.
Steve Griffin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Matt Van Komen, a 7-foot-4 freshmen center on the University of Utah basketball team, plans to enter the transfer portal, according to several sources.

Van Komen was a backup center behind fellow freshmen Branden Carlson and Lahat Thioune this season. He played in just nine games and averaged 1.7 points and 1.7 rebounds.

An all-state player for Pleasant Grove High School, Van Komen earned first-team all-state honors after averaging 16.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.0 blocked shots per game in 2017-18.

Early in the season, coach Larry Krystkowiak praised Van Komen at the annual “Night With the Runnin’ Utes” in mid-October, saying, “Maybe two weeks ago I was more inclined to think Matt might be a redshirt guy, but he just keeps getting better in practices.”

However, Carlson and Thioune were ahead of him all season, and the fact that all three are freshmen made Van Komen not hopeful about getting more time in the future.

His most extensive action came in the 94-point win over Mississippi Valley State when everyone on the team got extensive minutes and he scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds in 13 minutes of action. He also had four blocked shots in a win over Central Arkansas. He only scored three points the rest of the season, and his last action came on Feb. 8 in a home win over California.

Earlier this week, Krystkowiak said his team was “at the magic spot” in terms of scholarships with 13, but if Van Komen decides to transfer, the Utes will have an extra one to possibly fill for next season.