OREM — Utah Valley head coach Mark Madsen is somewhat of a rookie as a head coach. However, in just his second year in Orem, the former Los Angeles Laker is showing that he is a very capable recruiter. Madsen received a commitment from perhaps the top recruit in the state of Utah on Wednesday afternoon.
Utah State Class 6A Player of the Year Ethan Potter announced his commitment to Madsen and the Wolverines via his Twitter account.
— ethan potter (@ethan_potter35) September 9, 2020
Potter is a 6-8 power forward with a 7-foot wingspan who led the Layton Lancers to the semifinals of the 6A State Tournament in 2020 as a junior. His 22.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists earned him 6A MVP honors by the Deseret News.
Potter is also a member of the Utah Prospects who compete in the high-level Adidas 3SSB circuit during the summer. However, due to Covid-19 and other restrictions, there was no summer circuit. It didn’t stop Madsen from offering and Potter from committing.
“I was really impressed with how all the coaches at Utah Valley were reaching out to me,” Potter said. “I felt like I connected the most with that staff. My brother is up there, as well. He’s a walk-on up there so this will be his first year there and that kind of helped with my decision, as well.”
According to Potter’s AAU coach Tim Davis, similar personalities played a big part in the commitment.
“I think their relationship was so genuine and their personalities were so similar,” Davis said. “I think that is the reason he committed to Utah Valley. He just felt a bond to Mark (Madsen).”
“He would give me some stuff I could work on,” Potter said. “But, he would also tell me lots of things I was good at. I really appreciated him being honest with some of the things I could work on. The last time he called, we talked for about 45 minutes. He’s just really easy to talk to and I’m glad that we were able to build a relationship.”
Davis also made a comparison of Potter to another big-name power forward who had recent success in the state of Utah.
“Outside of Yoeli Childs, I don’t know if you have another kid with that kind of touch around the hoop,” Davis said. “I really believe that Utah Valley is getting a high-major basketball player. If there would have been a summer circuit, he would have had many more offers.”
And according to his head coach, Potter is also a great finisher around the rim. Here is a quote from the Standard Examiner in January, 2020.
“I just feel that hands down he’s the best finisher in the state. I mean he scores from different angles, angles that most guys wouldn’t even think about taking a shot, he scores. Fifteen feet and in, he’s next to unstoppable and he still has things to work on. He’s only a junior,” Layton head coach Kelby Miller said.
Potter also had an offer from Nebraska, and Utah, Utah State, BYU and Boise State had all shown interest. Upon graduating in May, Potter intends on serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Potter will enroll at Utah Valley for the 2023-24 season and has some big plans for the Wolverines.
“By the time that I’m back, I really feel like the coaching staff is setting things up to be really successful,” Potter said. “By the time I get there, I am looking to make the NCAA Tournament. I really feel like that can happen with this staff. Hopefully get some new recruits, as well, and with the coaches leading us towards that (WAC Championship).”