1 of 2
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Utah Utes center Jayce Johnson (34) celebrates a Ute basket in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah center Jayce Johnson, who played in 29 games and made 25 starts last season, has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.

Utah basketball confirmed that Johnson has taken such action. However, head coach Larry Krystkowiak is not commenting on the matter at this time. He does, though, have media interviews scheduled for later in the week.

Johnson averaged 7.1 points last season and led the Utes with 7.7 rebounds and 33 blocks. In Pac-12 play, the former Santa Monica, California prep star was fifth in rebounding with 9.1 per game.

“I try to leave it all out there because you don’t want to know at the end of the game you didn’t give it everything you’ve got,” Johnson told the Deseret News in February. “I give it everything I’ve got.”

Johnson’s play has improved each season he’s been in the program. He averaged 4.0 points and 4.3 rebounds as a freshman and 5.5 points and 5.4 rebounds as a sophomore

“I feel like I’ve gotten better,” Johnson said late in his junior season. “I feel like I’m getting more minutes and more playing time has really helped me get my confidence and the ability to get the ball and get good shots, get open shots.”

Johnson, who is 7-foot and 235 pounds, overcame a foot injury and stitches in his head as a junior.

47 comments on this story

“Jayce has been doing a good job rebounding, one rebound every three minutes roughly. He’s finishing better, slowing down, providing a great presence for us in the post,” Krystkowiak said before the Utes defeated Arizona on Feb. 14. “I think his conditioning has improved, too. Earlier I don’t know that he could play those number of minutes, but he seems to be getting up and down the floor and staying real locked in.”

Johnson helped the Utes earn a first-round bye in the Pac-12 Tournament. They finished 17-14 overall after losing to Oregon in the quarterfinals.

At season’s end, Johnson earned academic all-conference honors from the Pac-12 with a 3.53 GPA in psychology.

Earlier this month, guard Charles Jones Jr. entered the transfer portal. He averaged 2.6 points in his lone season at Utah.

Both Johnson and Jones have one year of eligibility remaining.