When Utah resumes Pac-12 play on Thursday against UCLA at Pauley Pavilion down in in Los Angeles, it will be with one less player on the bench.
According to Utah spokesperson John Vu who confirmed the news, redshirt freshman Brendan Wenzel has left the Utes basketball program after entering his name into the NCAA Transfer Portal.
The move came at some point last week as Utah returned to practice over the weekend to prepare for their trip down south to face both UCLA and USC.
His decision to transfer doesn't come completely out of the blue as the 6-foot-7, 215-pound guard from San Antonio, Texas had appeared in just two games this season for Utah (4-1).
He played in just four minutes in Utah's season opener against Washington, a 76-62 victory in which Wenzel finished with a rebound and an assist. He then logged a career-high seven minutes in the Utes' 79-41 win over Idaho after he grabbed two rebounds despite going 0-for-2 from beyond the arc.
As to why Wenzel wasn't getting much action on the court, head coach Larry Krystkowiak had this to say the day before the game vs. Idaho on Dec. 18.
“Some other guys are ahead of him (in the rotation),” Krystkowiak said. “… He can shoot the ball and he’s got some size, but there is some stuff behind the scenes we need to work out that I would just rather not (get into). He has a good understanding of what it is going to take (to play more). I wouldn’t bet against him.”
Wenzel will still have four more years of eligibility remaining. After he redshirted last season, the NCAA granted all fall and winter athletes a "free season of eligibility" this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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