The BYU men’s basketball program, or possibly just the WCC in general, is starting to gain a reputation for getting players to its program the second time around.
One recent example is Gonzaga and Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer. The five-star forward out of Jesuit High School in Portland, Ore. was rumored to be the Bulldogs priority target for the class of 2011. Wiltjer ended up at Kentucky, committing to the Wildcats despite never even visiting the campus.
When Wiltjer announced a transfer from Kentucky was a possibility, the Zags seized the opportunity to nab him the second time around.
A similar case happened with BYU and class of 2014 forward Payton Dastrup.
Dastrup originally committed to Ohio State, even though it was speculated that he would pick BYU. About a week later, Dastrup flipped over to BYU, allowing the Dave Rose and the Cougars to snag one of the better west coast big men the second time around.
The Jamal Aytes is the most recent player to transfer or flip to the WCC after pledging to another school prior.
For those that are not aware, Aytes was a class of 2013 forward that both Gonzaga and BYU were considering. He ended up committing to UNLV in mid-August, but announced he was leaving the program earlier this week.
This morning, news broke that Aytes would be joining the BYU basketball team. Most BYU fans will tell you regarding Aytes “better late than never,” much like Gonzaga and Wiltjer.
Aytes will provide frontcourt depth for the coming years, something that BYU needed moving forward. By the time Aytes is eligible in the latter half of the 2014-2015 season, Nate Austin will be in his last year of eligibility, Eric Mika will be gone on his mission, Luke Worthington will be in his sophomore season. Braiden Shaw, Jacob Hartstock, and Dastrup will on be on their missions as well. Walk-on Graham Pingree will be a sophomore. Aytes will provide great depth to a front court that is severely lacking it in the near future.
As reference before, Aytes will be eligible after the fall semester in the 2014-2015 season. He will have 2.5 years of eligibility.