#40 BYU Men's Basketball 2021-2022 Preview

BYU Cougars
2021-2022 Overall Rank: #40
Conference Rank: #2 West Coast
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BYU has had a couple very good seasons under Coach Mark Pope. The Cougars reached the NCAA Tournament last season and they would have the previous year as well. However, this could be his best team yet. Three starters are gone, including double-digit scorers Brandon Averette and Matt Haarms, but this is still a very deep and talented roster that will look to push Gonzaga to a West Coast Conference title.
2020-21 Record: 20-7, 10-3
2020-21 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mark Pope
Coach Record: 44-15 at BYU, 121-71 overall
Key Departed Players:
Brandon Averette, Guard, 11.7 ppg
Matt Haarms, Forward/Center, 11.3 ppg
Connor Harding, Guard, 5.4 ppg
Kolby Lee, Forward, 3.7 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Alex Barcello, Senior, Guard, 16.1 ppg
Caleb Lohner, Sophomore, Forward, 7.0 ppg
Gavin Baxter, Senior, Forward, 6.5 ppg
Trevin Knell, Junior, Guard, 6.1 ppg
Richard Harward, Senior, Center, 6.1 ppg
Gideon George, Senior, Forward, 5.4 ppg
Spencer Johnson, Junior, Guard, 5.1 ppg
Hunter Erickson, Sophomore, Guard, 0.4 ppg
Key New Players:
Atiki Ally Atiki, Freshman, Forward
Casey Brown, Freshman, Guard
Jeremy DowDell, Freshman, Guard
Nate Hansen, Freshman, Guard
Seneca Knight, Junior, Forward, Transfer from LSU
TeJon,Lucas, Senior, Guard, Transfer from Milwaukee
Trey Stewart, Freshman, Guard
Fousseyni Traore, Freshman, Forward
Paora Winitana, Freshman, Guard
The return of Alex Barcello gives Coach Pope a proven leader in the backcourt. The senior averaged 16.1 points, 4.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds last season. He also shot an impressive 47.7 percent from beyond the arc. An experienced newcomer figures to join Barcello in the backcourt. TeJon Lucas comes from Milwaukee where he averaged 14.9 points, 5.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds a season ago. He spent two years at Illinois before moving to the Panthers and has had success on every stop. That will not end now. Trevin Knell should again add another quality shooting option off the bench. Caleb Lohner started 13 games as a freshman and averaged 7.0 points and 7.1 rebounds. He will lead a frontcourt that has plenty of options. Gavin Baxter is an experienced senior who will likely split minutes with fellow senior Richard Harward at the five spot. Gideon George and LSU transfer Seneca Knight should find plenty of minutes too. Knight spent most of his collegiate career at San Jose State where he averaged 17.1 points and 5.7 rebounds in 2019-2020. If he is eligible to play, BYU will be an exceptionally deep team all across the court. That depth may not lead to a WCC title, but their talent should lead to an NCAA Tournament berth.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.1 (36th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.6 (123, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.3 (20, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.1 (53, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.7 (50, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.3 (32, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.5 (115, 6)
Rebound Margin: 6.7 (22, 3)
Assists Per Game: 16.1 (25, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.2 (180, 8)