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Utes add 3 players as signing period opens

Published: Wednesday, April 17 2013 6:50 p.m. MDT

Larry Krystkowiak instructs his team during Utah basketball practice at the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah on Friday, October 13, 2011. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News) Larry Krystkowiak instructs his team during Utah basketball practice at the Huntsman Center at the University of Utah on Friday, October 13, 2011. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah bulked up its roster Wednesday — adding Ahmed Fields (Washington, D.C.), Kenneth Ogbe (Germany) and Princeton Onwas (Katy, Texas) to the fold as the basketball signing period opened.

“These three players all bring an outstanding skill set to our program,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said in announcing the signings. “They are both similarly blessed with great offensive and defensive attributes and are the types of players that can fit right into the Pac-12 style of play.

“What’s also impressive about these young men is their character,” continued the released statement. “They will all fit in nicely with the type of student-athlete we currently have in the Utah program.”

Fields, who is 6-foot-5, chose the Utes over Colorado, Drexel, Miami, Ole Miss, St. Joseph’s and USC. As a senior at Massanutten Military Academy in Virginia, Fields averaged 17 points per game. He also played for DC Assault, one of the top AAU teams in the nation.

“Ahmad is a playmaker — plain and simple,” Krystkowiak said. “He’s a slasher with the ability to get to the bucket and earn points at the free-throw line. He will excel in our transition game and adds to our depth and rotation of skilled, athletic players on the roster this upcoming season.”

Ogbe, who is 6-foot-6, favors the perimeter. He’s from Ehingen, Germany, and played for the German national team in the 2011 Nike Global Challenge. Ogbe recently earned MVP honors in leading the first international team to a championship in the 30-year history of the Arby’s Classic tournament in Tennessee.

“Kenneth will be a valuable player in the backcourt,” Krystkowiak said. “His size on the perimeter will help immensely on the defensive end of the court. He matches a high-level skill set with a great knowledge for the game.”

Onwas, a 6-foot-5 wing who earned all-region recognition at Navarro College in Texas, averaged a team-high 11.5 points per game last season — leading his squad to a 32-7 record and a berth in the regional finals.

“Princeton will be asked to step in and play the role of a Cedric Martin-type player, tough with a defensive mindset,” Krystkowiak said. “He has good feet which allow him to defend high-level wing players that we see nightly in this conference. His passing skills add another dimension to our offense and he is another athlete in our class that can play above the rim."

The latest signees join four players Utah signed during the early period in November — center Marko Kovacevic (6-11, Western Nebraska Community College), guard Brandon Miller (6-2, Brighton High School), guard Parker Van Dyke (6-3, East High School) and guard Delon Wright (6-5, City College of San Francisco).

The Utes went 15-18 last season and reached the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.

STOREY SIGNS: Former Utah point guard Kareem Storey, who played for the Utes in 2011-12 before transferring to the College of Southern Idaho, has signed with Morehead State in Kentucky. Storey averaged 8 points and 3.4 assists at CSI last season.

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