BYU Men's Basketball Preview: Thirteen guys gunning for five spots

Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

BYU's depth appears to be better than ever heading into the 2012-13 season

With the BYU Men's basketball season just around the corner, now seems like a good time to preview the 2012-13 hoops team. Dave Rose has continued to recruit well and as a result this BYU team has a lot of players who will be competing for minutes on the floor this season. Here is a very early breakdown of the squad based on various reports and interviews to date:

Point Guards

  • Matt Carlino -- Carlino returns to the starting point guard job for his sophomore season. So far Dave Rose has raved about Carlino's progress so fans have reason to be excited. Early reports are that BYU is hoping Carlino won't be required to score as much this season but will be more focused on assists.
  • Craig Cusick -- Cusick returns for his senior season and hopes to continue to be a major contributor. Last season Cusick was a steady hand at the wheel for BYU and a high percentage shooter.

Wings

  • Tyler Haws -- Haws was a tremendous high school player and a major contributor as a freshman at BYU before his Mormon mission to the Philippines. While "mission legs" are a potential problem, Haws has been back for more than six months now and is primed to be a big time player for BYU again.
  • Anson Winder -- While Winder plays some point guard he is mostly a 2 guard for BYU. His defense is solid but his shooting has been spotty. If he can fill it up more consistently he can be in the mix for a lot of floor time as a sophomore.
  • Brock Zylstra -- Zylstra was a big contributor for BYU last season and looks to be the same this season. Big Z is not particularly quick but he is a tremendous outside shooter and a surprisingly good rebounder. If his shot is on he'll see a lot of minutes again as a senior.
  • Raul Delgado -- Delgado is a new face on the team. He comes in as a JC transfer with a reputation as a fast, aggressive defender and a dead-eye shooter. If he lives up to his billing he will be hard to keep off the floor. A recent elbow injury might slow his early progress though.
  • Cory Calvert -- Calvert enters his true freshman season with a reputation as a prolific scorer. He'll have a lot of competition for minutes but Dave Rose has said he has no doubt Calvert can fill up the hoop.
  • Stephen Rogers -- A nagging knee injury has significantly slowed Rogers since last winter. But just this week Coach Rose said the knee is responding much better and not swelling. If Rogers can stay healthy his length and shooting skill will be very helpful to BYU at the 3 and 4 spots.

Frontcourt

  • Brandon Davies -- Davies is primed to be The Man this year for BYU. If he stays focused and aggressive he should have a huge year for BYU and improve his shot at playing in the NBA.
  • Nate Austin -- Austin is recovering from off season shoulder surgery but says he is good to go. He is a tremendous jump shooter for a 6'11" guy and a good athlete. Hopefully Coach Pope will help him improve on all the other big man techniques so he can have a breakout sophomore season.
  • Ian Harward -- Harward is almost as big as Austin but prefers the more traditional back to the basket big man style of play. It is hard to predict how freshmen will perform but BYU coaches and players have high hopes for Harward as the backup center this season.
  • Josh Sharp -- Sharp is an undersized 4 man who continues to draw praise from Coach Rose. Reports are that Sharp hit the weights this off season and is coming in stronger and more explosive than he was last season. If so, he could muscle his way into some minutes as a defender and rebounder in the low post this season. If he develops an offensive game it could mean even more minutes.
  • Agustin Ambrosino -- "Auggie" is a junior college transfer that is touted as a deadly shooter. If he can replace even a little of what Noah Hartsock gave BYU last year that will be valuable.

Those are the top 13 guys that will all be fighting for minutes this season. The squad is rounded out by two walk on guards, Kyle Rose and Cooper Ainge, who will likely not see many game minutes but will add depth.

Who will see the most minutes this season? Well barring injury I'd say Davies, Carlino, Haws, and Austin are locks as starters. Zylstra will likely get the early nod at the 2 spot but will face stiff competition for minutes there as the season progresses. Hard to predict which 9-10 guys will find themselves in the regular rotation as the season progresses. But that is a good problem for Coach Rose.

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