BYU recently finished an up-and-down 22-win season, which the saw the Cougars beat top-ranked Gonzaga, and lose to 5 teams ranked 100+ in the KemPom rankings.
BYU’s season-ending rotation had just one player (junior Davin Guinn) that was not either a freshman or sophomore.
While Eric Mika’s NBA status is still up in the air, and we hear of a transfer or two in the coming weeks, here is what BYU’s scholarship outlook looks like for the 2017-2018 season. BYU is allowed 13 scholarship players.
Departed Players: LJ Rose (graduation), Kyle Davis (graduation), Colby Leifson (LDS mission), Corbin Kaufusi (focused on football, was a walk-on this past season)
Incoming Players: David Nixon, Ryan Andrus, Luke Worthington
Scholarship Players: (italics indicates player has used a redshirt)
Backcourt/Wings: Davin Guinn (senior), Nick Emery (junior), Elijah Bryant (junior), TJ Haws (sophomore), Steven Beo (sophomore), Zac Seljaas (sophomore), Dalton Nixon (sophomore)
Frontcourt: Jamal Aytes (senior), Eric Mika (junior, TBD), Braiden Shaw (junior), Luke Worthington (junior), Yoeli Childs (sophomore), Ryan Andrus (sophomore), Payton Dastrup (sophomore)
Walk-on: Zach Frampton (sophomore)
If you’re counting, that would be 14 scholarship players for next season, which would put BYU at one over the limit. Of course, that would change if Eric Mika leaves for the NBA.
Zac Seljaas’ early-mission return to have shoulder rehab filled an unexpected scholarship spot for the upcoming season.
Bishop Gorman guard Christian Popoola jr committed to BYU last August, but all indications point to him not playing at BYU. BYU also signed Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year Kolby Lee, but he will be serving a mission before enrolling at BYU for the 2019-2020 season.
BYU could also see some transfer announcements in the coming weeks. Jamal Aytes is reportedly close to graduating, meaning he could play immediately at another school for his final season of eligibility if he chooses. Davin Guinn was supposed to be a walk-on this past season, but the staff gave him a scholarship after having availability. If Guinn were to get his scholarship pulled to make room for someone else, sources close to Guinn have indicated to Vanquish the Foe that he could also take the grad transfer route and finish up his career somewhere else.
Will BYU add anyone else? Hundreds of college players have already announced transfer decisions, with hundreds more still likely on the way. Last year, there were over 700 transfer players on the market. BYU added one in LJ Rose, and has added transfer players in the recent past (Elijah Bryant, Kyle Davis, Chase Fischer).
Judging by Tim Lacomb’s recent twitter followers, he is actively recruiting transfers, namely graduate and JUCO transfers. I spoke to one JUCO player from California, and he indicated that Lacomb reached out to him and gauged his interest in BYU. No formal scholarship offer had been made yet.
With Eric Mika’s NBA status still unknown and some potential transfers out of BYU’s program, don’t be surprised if BYU adds at least one player to come in and play right away for the upcoming season. Here is a list of some graduate transfers on the market that could come in and play right away. Judging by BYU’s depth struggles at the end of the season and willingness to bring transfers into the program, at least one new face seems likely to sign with BYU in the coming months.