Former Ute Both Gach heading back home to suit up for Minnesota

Ryan Kostecka

The Both Gach saga has officially come to an end as he announced on Twitter that he is returning home and committing to the University of Minnesota.

Gach, who also entered his name into the NBA draft prior to announcing his intentions to transfer, is expected to withdraw his name from the draft and suit up for the Golden Gophers beginning with the 2021-22 season.

It's been nearly two months since Gach announced that he was entering his name into the NBA draft, a decision that was originally met with widespread speculation. 

It was expected that Gach was only entering his name to test the draft waters and get back speculation regarding his game. Only then did news begin to emerge that scouts were letting Gach know that he would thrive in a fast-paced offense and needed to prove his overall play-making ability, while obviously becoming more consistent.

With this news beginning to surface, the transfer rumors began to heat up. 

Utah and head coach Larry Krystkowiak play at a much more composed and slower pace that doesn't necessarily adhere to Gach's skillset. Also, the Utes already have a budding point guard in Rylan Jones, who could become an all-Pac-12 performer in the next few years, thus blocking Gach's ability to play the No. 1 spot.

Then one month and one day ago, news broke that Gach was indeed planning to transfer from Utah if he pulled his name from the NBA draft. 

Basketball analyst Jeff Goodman was the one who broke the news, claiming he spoke with Gach, who informed him of his decision. 

Krystkowiak then responded to the news of the impending transfer by releasing his own statement, saying... 

“We have been very supportive of Both entering the NBA Draft to obtain valuable evaluations from team personnel these past two months so this comes as a surprise to myself and our staff after learning of Both’s intentions 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.
Sometimes one’s individual desires and goals don’t always align with the program they are a part of. However, our focus is and continues to be the players who are fully committed to our program, including our incoming recruiting class.”

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There will now always be "what if" questions about Gach's career in a Utah uniform.

There were certain points this past season where he looked like an all-conference performer. He started 25 games this past year, averaging 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 30.4 minutes of action. He was also named the Pac-12 player of the week at the end of the conference season when he scored a career-high 28 points in leading the Utes to an upset victory over Colorado in the regular season finale.

With Gach gone, Utah will rely primarily on an expected starting backcourt of Jones and Alphonso Plummer, a sharpshooter who really came on at the end of the season. Jaxson Brenchley and incoming freshman Ian Martinez are both players who could make a big impact this season as well.

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