Utah surprised everyone this season by pushing toward the bubble, although the Utes' non-conference schedule kept them from getting in on Selection Sunday.
Next season, things could be different -- the optimism rose on Sunday when guard Delon Wright announced he was returning for his senior season.
Beat writer Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune subsequently confirmed the news.
Can confirm delon wright tweet. Utah guard will return to the utes for his senior season on the hill— Tony Jones (@Tjonessltrib) March 23, 2014
Wright was one of the most underrated point guards nationally this season, with his all-around production placing him among the Pac-12's best players. He averaged 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists, boosting his NBA stock considerably.
With nearly everyone returning next season -- most notably Wright and sophomores Jordan Loveridge and Brandon Taylor -- Utah should be back in the NCAA Tournament hunt. Moreover, Larry Krystkowiak brings in top-75 recruit Brekkott Chapman, who could make an immediate impact.
Utah finished 21-12 overall, 9-9 in the Pac-12. The Utes lost to Saint Mary's in the NIT.