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BYU Basketball: Cougars in the Pros, Part 1

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While Jimmer Fredette became a sensation in China after putting up numbers that exceeded his senior year at BYU, other former Cougars also had solid seasons on the hardwood in places all around the world.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at New York Knicks Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

There are no former BYU basketball players currently in the NBA, but over ten former Cougars played professionally overseas or in the NBA D-League this past season. In this two-part series, we will take a look at how some of the more notable BYU alums fared during the 2016-17 season.

Jimmer Fredette (2007-2011)

Team MPG FG% 3P% FT% APG RPG SPG PPG
Team MPG FG% 3P% FT% APG RPG SPG PPG
Shanghai Sharks 40.0 .474 .396 .933 4.2 8.2 1.6 37.6

If you thought Jimmer Fredette’s senior season at BYU was impressive, his first year playing overseas in China was mind-blowing. Fredette led the Shanghai Sharks to a 32-11 record and a first round playoff appearance in the Chinese Basketball Association, a 14 win improvement over last season. The league has featured many ex-NBA players over the past decade including Tracy McGrady, Gilbert Arenas, Stephon Marbury, Metta World Peace, and many other well-known names. Jimmer’s 37.6 points per game led the league in scoring, and he managed to haul in over 8 rebounds a game, which is far more than he ever did during his BYU career. Fredette became a major celebrity in China, boosted the Sharks’ home attendance numbers, and was even profiled on ESPN’s Outside the Lines last month. Here is the feature if you haven’t yet seen it:

Chase Fischer (2013-2016)

Team MPG FG% 3P% FT% APG RPG SPG PPG
Team MPG FG% 3P% FT% APG RPG SPG PPG
Givova Scafati Basket 33.8 .388 .292 .812 1.9 3.3 1.3 14.5

Chase Fischer was known for his three-point shooting at BYU, but struggled to convert from beyond the arc in his brief stint with the team Givova Scafati Basket in the second-tier Italian league Serie A2 Basket. Fischer ended up playing only 8 games with the club, and returned home to the United States in mid-December according to a release on the team’s official website. He did play one game against former Cougar Jonathan Tavernari’s team on October 9, 2016. Fischer (19 points, 4/7 on 3-pointers) outplayed Tavernari (7 points, 1/5 on 3-pointers), leading Givova Scafati to an 84-71 victory.

Jonathan Tavernari (2006-2010)

Team MPG FG% 3P% FT% APG RPG SPG PPG
Team MPG FG% 3P% FT% APG RPG SPG PPG
Mens Sana 1871 Siena 29.2 .363 .289 .805 1.0 4.7 0.9 10.3

Similar to Fischer, Tavernari had a tough year shooting the basketball while playing for Mens Sana 1871 Siena in the Italian League Serie A2 Basket. JT played in all 30 games for the team, which finished with a 14-16 record and did not qualify for the playoffs. Tavernari led the team with 56 made three point field goals, and his 4.7 rebounds per game were the most he’s had in any season of his 7-year professional basketball career.

Matt Carlino (2010-2014)

Team League Games MPG FG% 3P% FT% APG RPG SPG PPG
Team League Games MPG FG% 3P% FT% APG RPG SPG PPG
Vanoli Cremona Italian Serie A 21 16.4 .374 .333 .824 2.1 3.1 1.1 6.7
Magia Huesca Spanish LEB Gold 5 26.4 .379 .316 .750 1.8 4.0 1.2 14.2

Matt Carlino, who spent time at UCLA, BYU, and Marquette during his five years of college, has continued his nomadic ways as a professional basketball player. He began the season playing for Magia Huesca in a second tier Spanish basketball league. After a successful five games, he signed with Vanoli Cremona in the top tier Italian league. He was teammates in Italy with fellow Marquette alum Darius Johnson-Odom, and played a prominent role off the bench despite his struggles shooting both inside and outside the arc. Unfortunately, the team finished in last place in the league, and will be relegated from Serie A down to Serie A2.