2012-2013 Overall Rank: #32
Conference Rank: #2 West Coast Conference
Brigham Young Team Page
BYU’s debut season in the West Coast Conference went quite well. The Cougars tallied a 12-4 record in conference play and reached the NCAA Tournament. They had to beat Iona in the First Four before facing Marquette in the Round of 64, but a trip to the tournament was a nice accomplishment for a team that was still dealing with life after Jimmer Fredette. The ghost of Jimmer will still linger as everybody compares every guard that suits up for BYU to the former star. With every season that will go away a little bit and another trip to the big dance will help this group move forward.
2011-12 Record: 26-9, 12-4
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Dave Rose
Coach Record: 185-54 at BYU, 185-54 overall
Moving forward will be a bit tougher without the services of Noah Hartsock. The 6-8 forward averaged 16.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks during his senior season. Hartsock shot 56.5 percent from the floor and he did not just stay in the paint and take easy shots all of the time. Hartsock could step outside and knock down some three-pointers. Hartsock is a big loss, but so is Charles Abouo. The wing was fourth on the team in scoring with 11.0 points per contest, but he did so much more. He was one of the few somewhat consistent shooters on the squad and ranked second on the team in both rebounds and assists. Versatility like that is always tough to replace. Damarcus Harrison and Nick Martineau have opted to transfer after seeing limited action last season.
Coach Dave Rose hopes to fill a couple holes with junior college transfers. Agustin Ambrosino is a versatile forward who should immediately be an upgrade over Hartsock in the rebounding department. Redshirt freshman Ian Harward adds a little more size to the lineup. BYU hopes that Raul Delgado can help fill the shooting void that the Cougars never filled after Fredette left. The Cougars obviously had success without shooting particularly well from long range, but this team can take the next step if Delgado, who is best known for his defense, can knock down open looks. Cory Calvert, Kyle Rose and Cooper Ainge should all have plenty of time to develop their games. The return of Tyler Haws will make it tough for any freshmen guards to crack the regular rotation. Haws averaged 11.3 points per game as a freshman back in 2009-2010 before heading out on his LDS mission. At 6-5 Haws is more of a slasher than a shooter so a player like Delgado will still be asked to at least help shoot from the bench.
Who to Watch:
Haws is a proven scorer, yet there will be plenty of competition for minutes on the wing. Brock Zylstra has the size and experience to be a dynamic scorer during his senior season. He averaged 8.3 points last year and proved to be a capable shooter. Zylstra’s 6-6 frame and athleticism also make him a very good rebounder and he will be valuable piece to the puzzle even if his scoring output does not improve. Anson Winder earned 15 starts as a freshman despite his inconsistent shooting. Stephen Rogers is a big 6-8 wing who can play multiple positions. He was limited to just 18 games last year due to injuries, but he could emerge as a quality shooting option off of the bench. While the fighting for minutes on the wing could go on for a while, Matt Carlino will run the point. Carlino became eligible in December last season after transferring in from UCLA. He immediately took over the point guard duties and ended the season averaging 12.2 points and 4.6 assists. Carlino does a lot of good things and is extremely talented, but he does need to work on his shot selection and overall decision making. That will come with time as he is just a sophomore and was thrown into the fire as soon as he was eligible. When things got too out of control with Carlino, BYU could always call on walk-on Craig Cusick. He had a great sophomore season, dishing out 2.1 assists per game and committing fewer than one turnover. He is not flashy, nor will he score, but he is a great alternative to Carlino.
With Hartsock gone, BYU will depend on the wings to do more scoring. They will also rely on Brandon Davies to continue to score in the paint and open up space and shots for the rest of the team. Davies has done just that for a few years now and he will do it again during his senior season. Coming off another great campaign in which he averaged 15.2 points and 7.7 rebounds, the 6-9 senior should have no problem equaling those numbers. Sophomores like Josh Sharp and Nate Austin will need to step up and help Davies continue to dominate the paint. Austin was very productive during his limited playing time as a freshman and should be a fine rebounder and complimentary interior scorer as long as he can stay out of foul trouble. Austin averaged just 12.9 minutes per game but often found himself in foul trouble anyway. Depth from Ambrosino will be extremely important if Austin is limited due to foul trouble. Overall this is a talented team that should make a run for a WCC title and an NCAA berth. If a shooter or two steps up, the Cougars could get past the round of 64 this year.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Matt Carlino, Sophomore, Guard, 12.2 points per game
Tyler Haws, Sophomore, Guard, DNP last season
Brock Zylstra, Senior, Guard, 8.3 points per game
Nate Austin, Sophomore, Forward, 4.1 points per game
Brandon Davies, Senior, Forward, 15.2 points per game