After just one season playing for the Utah Utes men’s basketball team senior Princeton Onwas announced on Sunday, April 27 that he was leaving the Utes program. A 6-foot-5-inch guard from Houston, Onwas was a role player at Utah, averaging five points and three rebounds per game last season.
He transferred to the Utes program last year via Navarro College in Texas and was an immediate hit on ESPN SportsCenter, where he wowed television viewers with highlight reel dunks on two separate occasions.
Despite television acclaim on a national stage, Onwas never played big minutes at Utah. He did appear in 31 games for the Utes and was known for his length as well as his ability to come in and give some minutes at wing. He did crack the 10-rebound plateau twice last season, most notably in the Utes’ biggest preseason win of all, an 88-69 win over Ball State.
His departure likely came on the heels of the arrival of Chris Reyes, a 6-7 wing who gives the Utes some serious punch on the inside and outside. Reyes is also good at snatching down rebounds, having averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds for Citrus College of California last season.
The other likely factor for Onwas departing Utah has to do with the arrivals of Isaiah Wright, a point guard out of Borah High School in Boise and small forward Kyle Kuzma -- who along with Austrian center Jakob Poeltl and Roy High phenom Brekkott Chapman gave the Utes too many players on scholarship.
The news must have come as a bit of a shock to Ute fans. They flooded his Twitter page with well wishes after he tweeted a simple statement on his feed Sunday regarding the matter.
“You live and you learn. New beginning. God bless,“ he tweeted.
Whether he had planned to leave Utah -- or was forced out due to scholarship limits -- is still unclear. Guard Ahmad Fields, another role player, had just transferred to Drexel -- and that left Onwas as the 14th scholarship player on a 13-man roster limit which is mandated by the NCAA.
Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak had little to say about Onwas decision. But he did issue a statement after the fact.
“We wish Princeton nothing but the best in his future endeavors,” Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak said in a statement.
With Onwas’ departure, the Utes now have exactly 13 scholarship players on their roster, the NCAA-mandated maximum.