Looking Ahead: Who is the future for BYU Basketball?

Jamal Aytes will look to play significant minutes for the Cougars in 2014 - Ethan Miller

A top 25 recruiting class in the nation will prove exciting for BYU, but not until 2016.

While the current Cougars are sweating out a potential bid to the NCAA Tournament, future Cougars are looking at their plans to take BYU to new heights. Dave Rose signed a 2014 recruiting class that ranked 22nd in the country and first in the WCC. With five players consisting of two 4-star, two 3-star, and a 2-star recruit planning their futures at BYU the Cougars will be set for a few years. In fact, due to mission plans from all of them, we could be seeing them through 2021. With the unique circumstances the the Cougars deal with, the fan interest will continue to grow while the players hit the court, or the mission field, and strive to reach their potential.

As some of the players will head out right away, other players will be returning from their missions or transferring from different schools and may make an immediate impact for the Cougars in 2014. As they look at being key contributor next year or in 2016, fans will follow them closely to see how they help the Cougars reach the top. Below is a breakdown of those that will be here next year and those that will join in 2016.

2014/15

With the current bunch of Cougars at the helm, it may be tough for some of these players to get large minutes but look for them to provide minutes off the bench and maybe position themselves for starting roles in 2015.

Jamal Aytes

Aytes could be the top contributor of this group in 2014. The 6'6 forward out of San Diego, California comes to BYU via UNLV. Due to transfer rules he will be eligible to play with the Cougars in December of 2014. With a big body that will assist in the low post, Aytes can embrace the task of playing physical and scoring inside. With Nate Austin and Luke Worthington likely getting the bulk of the minutes, Aytes can keep himself on the floor with his offense. If he can make his presence known to the opponents, it will open up the floor for the Cougar shooters and leaving him with opportunities for one on one battles and second chance points. Take a look at some highlights of Aytes below.

Ryan Andrus

Andrus will most likely be the only player from the 2014 recruiting class that will step foot at BYU before 2016. The 6'10 center from American Fork, Utah will play his freshman year for the Cougars before serving his two-year LDS mission. He will look to shore up some of the holes that will be left when Mika leaves after the season, and if he can find a way onto the court he could really cause damage. In high school he was the leading scorer on his team but he will look to make a difference with his big body on both ends of the court. If he can rebound and score on second chance points, he could very easily make a difference before and after his mission.

Jordan Chatman

Coming out of the state of Washington, and off his two year mission, Chatman is looking to add to the already strong offensive shooting team that is placed on the court. Many will recognize the name because his dad Jeff is one of the Cougars all-time greats. Jordan will be trying to make a name for himself as he works on breaking the line-up for the Cougars but will most likely be a spark off the bench his first year. He is know to have a good mid-range game as well as the ability to hit a shot off the screen. If given the opportunity, he can and will shoot from anywhere on the floor and will give the Cougars another shooter that can light up the scoreboard.

Chase Fischer

A transfer from Wake Forest, Fisher is a shooting guard that will look to boost the Cougars three-point shooting. Due to transfer rules he sat out the 2013/14 season and will have two years to play with BYU. At Wake Forest he was able to play in 62 games while starting six times. His sophomore year he shot over 42% from the three point line and was named a captain of the team. Known as a scorer out of high school, the West Virginia native was named the states best player his senior year and ended with over 2,200 points which was good enough for 10th all-time. With the inconsistent three-point shooting from the Cougars this year, look for Fischer to work on carving out a niche as the gunslinger that Rose will turn to when the Cougars need a spark from the bench. It will be hard for him to take playing time away from the current group of guards but if he can continue to improve and catch the coaches eyes, he will get time on the floor.

Isaac Neilson

The center out of Mission Veijo, California will look to make an immediate impact for the Cougars. With Nate Austin and Luke Worthington returning next year., Neilson will have to work hard but will already know the system as he used his redshirt this year. With a long wingspan, rumored to be around 7'3, and his 6'10 height he will look to replace the mission bound Mika and could make his mark in the rebounding game. As a senior in high school he averaged over 11 rebounds a game and will need to make this a staple of his game as there will be a plethora of scorers on the floor with him. His ability to score will be beneficial but it likely won't be a focus for Coach Rose and his team.

Nick Emery (2015/16)

As a two-time high school player of the year in Utah, Emery had a number of offers from powerhouse schools like UCLA, Kansas, and North Carolina. Not only did Emery choose BYU, but he also chose to leave on his mission as soon as he graduated which means he will be available to Coach Rose during the 2015/16 year. As a teammate of current center Eric Mika and future Cougar T.J. Haws, Emery was on a Lone Peak team that ended the season 26-1. Emery was ranked in the top 50 players in his recruiting class and will be a tremendous addition to the Cougars as he tries to fill the holes left by Tyler Haws and Matt Carlino. Emery is known to be an extremely accurate shooter and due to his extended shooting range, he is able to open up the floor for his teammates. He also has the ability to finish after contact and make it look easy. If this all sounds familiar, it should because ESPNHS compared him to Jimmer Fredette. He may not be the next Jimmer but if he can become the first Nick Emery, then Cougar fans should be excited.

2016/2017 Contributors

As recruits and players return from missions, the Cougars are looking to be very strong in 2016/17 as the bulk of the 2014 recruiting class will hit the floor for the first time as Cougars. With the talent that will be available to Dave Rose, expectations will be high and fans will look for great things in 2016 and beyond.

Payton Dastrup

The power forward from Mesa is one of the prize recruits for the Cougars. After verbally committing to Ohio State, Dastrup changed his mind five days later and committed to BYU after feeling like "something was missing". Dastrup is rated as a four star player by 247 Composite. Dastrup is known to work hard on the boards, has a mid-range shot and is very physical on and off the ball. Since he is planning on serving an LDS mission before he plays at BYU, watch for him to start contributing in 2016 as he joins a solid class of recruits. Take a look below at the video to see him in action and for an in-depth breakdown click here.

TJ Haws

Another four start recruit, out of Lone Peak High School, will join a the hot shooting core of the 2016 Cougars. Haws showed that he can score from anywhere on the court and against any defender. Along with the ability to shoot, he can also penetrate and finish at the rim with, or without, contact. He doesn't have a lot of size at 6'3 but makes up for that with his shooting and passing ability. Like his brother Tyler, he will need to have defenders all over him which will then showcase his passing ability. He is the type of player that could lead the Cougars in points and assists over the course of the season. Look for him to make an immediate impact after his mission and he will make his teammates better as he leads a potent offense.

Eric Mika

Mika will be returning from his LDS mission and should look to pick up where he left off this year. Cougar fans have seen what he can do on the floor as a freshman and will look to him to take over the center position and terrorize opponents even more than he did as a freshman. With three years of eligibility left he will work on leading a team that will have offense from the inside and the outside.

Dalton Nixon

Nixon is a 6'7 small forward out of Orem, Utah and was rated as a three star recruit by 247sports composite. Nixon led his team to the state championship game his senior year and could make an immediate impact for the Cougars. As a scorer in the post, and a threat from the three, Nixon could become a staple off the bench in his first year back and breaking the starting line up for most of his Cougar career.

Jake Toolson

The three star recruit out of Gilbert, Arizona will come in and look to be a top shooter for the Cougars. With a strong mid-range game and a deadeye three point shooter, Toolson will look to earn time at both shooting guard and small forward. The Cougars will be stacked with shooters but if he can prove consistent and add some defensive presence to the team, he could find time on the court sooner rather than later.

Conclusion

With the talent that the Cougar staff is bringing on board, the BYU future looks bright from 2014 all the way through 2021. Some players will make a difference next year while others will carry the torch for years to come. The exciting brand of BYU basketball should continue on and will provide fans a great experience each and every year.

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