BYU

BYU Basketball Summer Update

It may be the offseason, but that hasn’t stopped a number of BYU men’s basketball news items from getting out in the last couple of weeks.  I’m here to summarize the latest team news and what it means for BYU moving forward.

  • Gavin Baxter commits to BYU: Baxter, the #35 small forward in the class of 2016 out of Timpview High School in Provo, represents a recruit who will help the Cougars out a lot on some talented teams at the end of the decade.  When Baxter first suits up for BYU in 2018 after his 2 year LDS mission, he will be surrounded by a lot of talented players including Eric Mika, Nick Emery, TJ Haws, Zac Seljaas, Payton Dastrup, and many others on a team has the potential to make a deep run into the NCAA tournament
  • Nate Austin officially granted his medical redshirt by the WCC: Nate Austin will be back at BYU for a 5th season and if healthy, will compete for minutes at the center position with Corbin Kaufusi.  While it seemed very likely that he would get his hardship over the past few months, it only became official a couple days ago.  As of right now, there is an open scholarship for Austin, but BYU is still pursuing 5th year Kennesaw State transfer Willy Kouassi.
  • Alan Hamson to walk-on for BYU this season: Hamson is a 7’4 center and will be a return missionary player this season.  His sister Jennifer was a member of the BYU women’s basketball team.  Hamson is a very long term project for several reasons: He won’t return from his mission until August 26th (giving him little time to get in basketball condition), and he has had scoliosis problems in the past which limited his high school career.  He probably won’t make a huge impact for the Cougars this season, and it will be able to see if he can ever keep up with BYU’s fast pace of play.
  • Hartsock and Shaw return from their missions: Forwards Jakob Hartsock (younger brother of Noah) and Braden Shaw will be returning from their LDS missions this week, and will now begin the process of getting in shape for the college basketball season.  Both should be contributors for the Cougars down the road, neither might get much time if Austin and Jamal Ayres are healthy in the frontcourt.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or both of them redshirt this season.
  • BYU to play at Utah on Wednesday, December 2nd: While there hasn’t been much BYU scheduling news lately, Utah released their non-conference today and the Cougars will travel to the Huntsman Center on December 2nd in their rivalry clash wit the Utes.  BYU is also in the Diamond Head Classic (December 22-25), and likely has home contests against in-state foes Utah State and Weber State.
  • Marriott Center Annex begins construction: BYU basketball’s new practice facility (affectionately known as the YMCA) has begun construction in anticipation for a Fall 2016 completion.  In addition, the interior of Marriott Center is having the blue chair-back seats installed in the entire lower bowl, and the video boards are getting upgrades as well.  Both of those projects will be complete in time for the 2015-16 season.
  • Tyler Haws works out for NBA teams: In pursuit of being a late second round draft pick and getting the attention of NBA scouts and GMs, Haws has worked out for the Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, and the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.  In the Suns workout, Haws set their workout record by running 28 and 3/4 court lengths in three minutes, showing what great shape he is in.  Whether or not he gets drafted, Haws will likely play in the NBA Summer League in July.
  • Frank Bartley announces transfer definition: Former BYU guard Frank Bartley announced that he is transferring much closer to home and will play for Louisiana Lafayette.  Isaac Neilson had previously announced that he is following former BYU assistant Mark Pope to Utah Valley.