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Runnin' Utes offer 2015 G Jake Lindsey, son of Utah Jazz GM

Published August 6, 2014 1:37 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jake Lindsey has long felt he's had an "understanding" with the Runnin' Utes' Larry Krystkowiak. It just took a while to get both of them in a room with his parents and his high school basketball coach.

But the meeting happened Tuesday afternoon, and over the course of a few hours, Krystkowiak and assistant Tommy Connor offered the 2015 guard a scholarship and talked about how they feel he fits into their future plans.

With six offers on his plate already with more likely on the way, the three-star-rated Lindsey said he likes what he sees when it comes to the Utes.

"It's a high level basketball school," he said. "Coach Krystkowiak has done a great job creating a culture there. I've played with a lot of their players in open gyms and things like that, and I feel like they've recruited good guys and hard workers."

Lindsey may well be one of the next hard workers in that fold.

A 6-foot-5 guard, Lindsey has been turning heads since he arrived at Olympus High two years ago. He moved from San Antonio when the Utah Jazz hired his father, Dennis Lindsey, as general manager of the team, and has thrived since. He was an all-state player this past winter, averaging 18.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists for the Titans.

Lindsey played this summer with the Utah Basketball Club alongside Utes commit Noah Togiai, who has already been making a play for Lindsey to join him in the program. Though Lindsey has the build of a 2-guard, Utah is interested in putting him at point guard.

That was where Lindsey shined these last few months, UBC coach Todd Phillips said. Beyond making strong plays for UBC, he also went to LeBron James Skill Academy last month. The Utes said they would use the summer to evaulate whether they wanted to offer Lindsey, and Lindsey didn't give them much choice.

"He's a big, strong point guard, and he can do a lot of things," Phillips said. "He can get to the basket when he needs to, and he's got a nice shot. One of the biggest things he can do for us, too, is he can guard a couple positions."

Lindsey said he's received offers from Harvard, Columbia, Baylor, St. Mary's, Tulsa and Louisiana Lafayette. Other Pac-12 programs are reported to be interested, including Stanford and Colorado.

Having an NBA front office man for a father helps quite a bit when evaluating basketball organizations. Lindsey said his dad gives him some pretty honest opinions about schools and what style and strengths they have.

But ultimately, the college decision is Jake's to make: "He gives me the background, but he trusts me to make the decision."

There could be a scholarship snafu depending on how commitments unfold. Utah has two scholarships already committed for 2015 to Togiai and returning missionary Brandon Miller. With three guys graduating next year, that would leave only one scholarship for Granger big man Makol Mawein and Lindsey, both players the Utes want. The coaching staff assured Lindsey they would work to find a solution if he chooses to commit.

That decision, Lindsey said, will likely come this fall before the start of basketball. He's the only returner on his Olympus team, but he has confidence in his coach, Matt Barnes, to help the Titans get in the 4A mix.

One advantage Utah has over the other schools: Salt Lake City has become home in the last two years, a factor that shouldn't be taken lightly.

"It definitely was an adjustment at first, but things have worked out," he said of moving to Utah. "It's been an unbelievable experience. If I wanted to stay close to home, I don't think I'd have any problems doing that."

Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon