SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah men's basketball team signed five players who will join the Utes for the 2012-13 season, head coach Larry Krystkowiak announced Wednesday. The signing class includes high school seniors Josh Hearlihy, Jordan Loveridge and Justin Seymour, along with Southern Utah transfer Dallin Bachynski and returning LDS missionary Jeremy Olsen.
"All five of these players are championship people," said Krystkowiak. "These are the kinds of kids we want here to rebuild this program. They are 'program kids' who will come here and represent Utah proudly. They are great students and great people from terrific families who will really boost our basketball team."
Here's a quick summary on the five newcomers:
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Southern Utah (Sir Winston Churchill HS)
Bachynski recently returned from a two-year LDS mission in Croatia and will join the Utes in the summer of 2012 as a transfer from Southern Utah. Bachynski averaged approximately 10 minutes per game in 29 appearances as a freshman at SUU, averaging 3.6 points and 2.6 rebounds, including 1.0 offensive boards per contest. He also blocked 11 shots, made six steals and also had 10 assists.
High School: Bachynski's high school teams recorded a 95-5 record over three years ... helped lead the Bulldogs to two consecutive top-tier Calgary City Championships and two births to the Provincial final fours, earning a bronze medal in his senior year ... averaged 22.3 points, 14.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 4.1 blocks per game as a senior ... scored 34 points, grabbed 22 rebounds, dished out 11 assists, made six blocks and three steals in his final game as a senior ... competed for silver medalist Team Alberta in the 2008 Canadian 17-Under Championships ... in 2009, was one of 20 players in Canada to be invited to the All-Canada Classic where the coaches awarded him the Top Post Player award ... widely considered one of the nation's top post players coming out of high school in 2009.
Krystkowiak on Bachynski: "Dallin is a very skilled and agile big man. He is a legitimate 6-foot-11 and runs very well. He is a tough kid who can shoot the ball well also. Between him and Olsen, we will have two skilled guys at 6-foot-10 and above coming in, which is terrific because it is difficult to find quality bigs in the country right now."
North Hollywood, Calif.
Hearlihy averaged 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds as a junior, second on his team in both categories ... named an all-CIF Division 3A selection ... received first-team all-Mission League honors ... helped Harvard-Westlake to a sectional championship ... named the 2010-11 Desert Heat Classic MVP ... selected to the all-tournament team at the 2010-11 Pacifica tournament ... his mother Melissa is among the top-10 all-time winningest girls basketball coaches in California.
Krystkowiak on Hearlihy: "We feel Josh could be a real diamond in the rough for us. He is long and skilled at 6-foot-7, who could be at 6-8 and still growing when he gets here ... What stands out is his skill level and ability to make the right play. He is a good passer and has a great feel for the game. We think he will do far better in a system as opposed to AAU ball, where he has the possibility of being overlooked. He should fit really well in what we want to do at the 'two' or the 'three'. He is a great student and a great kid."
West Jordan, Utah
West Jordan HS
Loveridge is ranked among the ESPNU 100, which lists the top 100 recruits in the nation ... also ranked No. 28 among the ESPNU Top 50 small forwards in the country and listed at No. 27 by Scout.com ... ... the top-rated recruit from the state of Utah ... led West Jordan HS to the 2011 region championship as a junior, earning league MVP honors, and a state finals appearance ... named first-team all-state as a junior in 2011 after earning second-team honors as a sophomore ... owns two of WJHS's top-10 season records in scoring, rebounding and blocks, including the school record in each category .... coming off his school record-setting junior season that saw him average 23.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game ... also posted the schools fifth all-time best steals average at 2.04 ... led his AAU team, Utah Pump-N-Run, to a surprise semifinals appearance at the Adidas Super 64 tournament in Las Vegas over the summer.
Krystkowiak on Loveridge: "In my opinion Jordan was the best player in Utah this year and it really makes a statement that we could keep him here. He had as good of a summer as anyone in the country and he epitomizes what we are looking for in several different facets. Jordan has great toughness, excellent motor and great leadership skills as well. In the time I have been here, his work ethic has been very impressive. He addresses his weaknesses tirelessly and he is a very driven player. We love his skill level and versatility at the 'three' or 'four' positions and he worked really hard on that this summer. He can be tough and strong at the 'three' and a skilled shooter at the 'four'. Jordan and all of our signees will be terrific building blocks for this program."
Collins Hill HS
Olsen was extended an offer of financial aid, allowing him to rejoin the Utes after originally signing an NLI with Utah in November of 2008. He joined the team as a true freshman for the 2009-10 season and redshirted, prior to serving a two-year LDS mission in London, where he is currently. Olsen will rejoin the Utes in the summer of 2012.
Olsen holds numerous career and single-season records at Collins Hill ... career-leader in points scored (1,409), rebounds (898), field goals made (566), blocked shots (244), games played (109) and games started (97) ... single-season record holder in points (548), rebounds (308), field goals made (211) and blocks (77) ... also holds single-game records for field goals (13) and rebounds (19) ... highly decorated player, was a McDonalds All-American nominee, Gwinnett County Player of the Year, Region 7AAAAA Player of the Year, 1st-team All-Gwinnett County and All-Metro Atlanta ... maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school and was named an Honor Graduate with Distinction.
Krystkowiak on Olsen: "We watched a lot of practice video on Jeremy and thought he had a great redshirt year. He is tough and skilled with a high basketball IQ. He is a humble guy and reminds me of Loveridge in that way. Neither of them are big talkers, they let their actions speak for them. Jeremy could have quite an impact here. Coming off his mission he will be more physically mature and ahead of the game mentally. Knowing we have him for four years here puts a smile on our faces."
Seymour averaged 20.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists as a junior at Campbell before transferring this year to Wheeler HS ... earned honorable mention 5A all-state recognition and was first-team All-County (Cobb) as a junior ... ranked among the top 60 high school shooting guards in the nation by ESPNU ... named Campbell's best all-around player in 2010-11 ... led his team in steals his sophomore and junior years ... also posted the squad's best free throw percentage ... eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau as a junior ... led CHS to the sweet sixteen of the state tournament as a junior ... spent three years with the Georgia Stars AAU team, leading them to the final four of the Peach Jam in 2011 after winning the tournament in 2010 ... Stars made an elite eight appearance at the 2011 17-under AAU nationals ... led the team in scoring his first two years ... named the AAU state MVP in 2009 in addition to earning MVP honors of the 2009 Memorial Day Classic ... was a two-sport athlete his freshman and sophomore years at Campbell, playing football as well as basketball ... was the varsity starting quarterback as a sophomore ... gave up football to concentrate on his basketball career.11 comments on this story
Krystkowiak on Seymour: "Like all of our signees, Justin is an incredible kid. He is a good combo guard who can play both the point and shooting positions. When we watched him this summer, there were times when we felt he was the best player at the entire event. Justin could be a key piece for us and the backcourt player of the future. He has a knack for scoring, is an excellent defender and is another player with a high basketball IQ. He always seems to make the right play. The fact that Justin is coming to Utah in combination with our other four signees is huge."