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Report: BYU, Utah State among teams that have reached out to Both Gach

Utah Utes guard Both Gach (11) successfully shoots three free throws after being fouled in the last second of overtime with the Colorado Buffaloes up by one point at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 7, 2020.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s been nearly a week since the first report that Both Gach would transfer from Utah if he withdrew his name from consideration for the NBA draft.

On Tuesday, the national basketball writer who broke the news that Gach would transfer from the Utes program, Jeff Goodman, reported that two other local schools have already reached out to the 6-foot-6 wing player: BYU and Utah State.

The Cougars and Aggies are two of 13 programs Goodman identified as reaching out to Gach, as well as the Pac-12’s Oregon and other Mountain West schools Nevada and New Mexico. He’s also garnered interest from a multitude of schools in power conferences, per Goodman, including the Big Ten’s Illinois, Maryland and Minnesota, the SEC’s Arkansas, Auburn and Vanderbilt, and the Big East’s Creighton and Georgetown.

Gach averaged 10.7 points per game — second-best on the team — for the Utes last season, while also averaging 3.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per contest as a sophomore. He declared for the 2020 NBA draft in April.

Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said he was surprised by Gach’s intention to transfer.

“Although the decision by Both to leave was not something we had planned or hoped for, our program continues to move forward with our players who are driven and excited to be a part of our Utah Basketball family,” Krystkowiak said in a statement on May 14.

ESPN’s Jeff Borzello ranked Gach No. 30 among transfers who must sit the 2020-21 season, per NCAA rules.

“Was an inconsistent scorer in Pac-12 play, but started 25 games for the Utes and had a 28-point performance against Colorado late in the season. Averaged 10.7 points and 2.9 assists,” Borzello wrote of Gach.

Gach, a native of Austin, Minnesota, had a triple-double against Mississippi Valley State (12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists) last season, and his 28 points against Colorado in the regular-season finale was a career high. In the overtime win over the Buffaloes, Gach shot 9 of 15 from the field, hit a game-tying basket to force the extra session and then made three straight free throws with 0.6 seconds left in OT to clinch the 74-72 victory. That performance earned him Pac-12 Player of the Week honors.

During his sophomore season, though, Gach saw his shooting percentages dip. After shooting 47.2% from the field and 31.6% from 3-point range as a freshman, Gach shot 39.7% from the field and 25% from 3 last year, including 19% during Pac-12 play.

Gach was ranked a four-star wing prospect coming out of high school. At Austin High in Minnesota, he led the Packers to a 29-3 record in 2016 before helping them win a state title the next year. He wrapped up his prep career at Arizona Compass with one season in Phoenix.

Minneapolis Star Tribune writer Marcus R. Fuller confirmed Minnesota’s interest in Gach.

“#Gophers are reaching out for sure on this in-state product,” wrote on Twitter Monday.