With the signing of Kajon Brown last week, BYU filled its 13th and final scholarship for the 2017-2018 season. BYU also added Weber State transfer McKay Cannon, who will be a walk-on and redshirt this season.
Even with the return of four starters, BYU welcomes in a big group of new faces and returned missionaries to the roster. BYU will have zero seniors on its roster for the 2017-2018 season.
Buckle up, sit back and get the details on BYU’s 2017-2018 roster.
With the departure of Eric Mika, BYU will once again be a guard-oriented team. Dave Rose’s best teams have often come with a guard-centric attack. BYU returns the main core of its backcourt, as well as some intriguing pieces that will boost the depth and athleticism.
TJ Haws (SO) — While the loss of Eric Mika has dominated the BYU basketball conversation, many seem to forget that TJ Haws was a first team all-WCC performer this past season. Despite a shortened offseason due to his LDS mission to France, TJ lived up to much of the hype his freshman year. Haws was BYU’s second leading scorer at 13.8 ppg, and was one of the best 3-point shooters in the WCC at over 40 percent. Haws had some highlight-reel worthy assists, but will need to up his 3.2 apg number if he wants to get the BYU offense to another level. If he gets that number up, his 2.5 turnovers per game won’t be as much of an issue. With Mika now gone, look for Rose to let TJ loose and hand him the reins to the team.
Nick Emery (JR) — After having one of the best freshman seasons in BYU basketball history, Nick Emery saw a dip in his numbers across the board this past season — points, assists, rebounds, shooting percentages, everything.
Emery’s skill level didn’t decrease, but his role on the team changed. Emery was no longer the 3rd best guard on the team (after Kyle Collinsworth and Chase Fischer), and subsequently was more of a focus of opposing teams’ defense. Emery also played more of a role as a defensive stopper, which likely took away some of his energy from the offensive end.
Going into last season, Emery was listed as one of the top 100 players in college basketball. With Mika now gone and the focus shifting to be more guard-oriented, look for Emery to get closer (or surpass) his freshman year accolades when he was an all-conference performer.
Elijah Bryant (RS JR) — The Elon transfer battled nagging injuries throughout the year during his first season at BYU. Bryant shot was inconsistent at times, especially at the beginning of the year, but he turned things around and was one of the main factors in BYU’s upset at Gonzaga.
The 6-foot-5 guard is still battling nagging knee issues, but it looks like he will be full go when the season rolls around. If Bryant can stay healthy and become more consistent from beyond the arc, he adds a physical presence to the guard line that is sorely needed.
Jahshire Hardnett (RS SO) — The Chipola College (MS) JUCO transfer will be counted on to be an immediate impact player for BYU. The 5-foot-11 point guard’s game can be best described as efficient. This past season at Chipola, Jahshire averaged 13 points and 4 assists while shooting 56 percent from the field and 43 percent from 3-point range.
Hardnett has a unique recruiting story. An ESPN 3-star recruit out of high school, Hardnett had offers from UConn, Clemson, Ole Miss and Penn State, among many others. He ultimately committed to Fordham, a Division 1 school, after some of the recruiting buzz wore off his senior year with eligibility issues.
Hardnett may not start, but he will at least get heavy minutes off the bench and be part of BYU’s main core.
Kajon Brown (JR) — After stops at Tulsa University and Lee College, Brown finds himself in Provo after committing last week. Brown will be counted on most for 2 things: 1) athleticism and 2) defense. The 6-foot-5 guard won’t be asked to score much, but he will provide some highlight worthy dunks and be counted on to get after it on the defensive end. If Brown can provide 10-15 minutes a night of rebounding, defense, hustle, and high-flying dunks, he’ll be a valuable member of the team
Rylan Bergersen (FR) — The 6-foot-5 guard committed to BYU this past April. Bergersen played a year at a Missouri prep school last year, and likely won’t be counted on to play much this season. With his length and 3-point shooting ability, Bergersen is a developmental player that coaches can afford to be patient with. With his frame and genetics (his dad was a star player at Boise State and in European pro leagues for manly years), Bergersen could develop into a nice defender and shooter during his BYU career.
Zac Seljaas (SO) — Seljaas is back after a year off to serve an LDS mission. The 6-foot-7 wing will be one of the cornerstones of this BYU basketball team with his length and 3-point shooting prowess.
Seljaas had an historic freshman season at BYU. His 50 percent 3-point mark set the BYU single-season record (minimum 50 makes), and was top five in the nation. He averaged 7.6 points per game while averaging just under 20 minutes per contest.
Seljaas has been rehabbing his shoulder, but has participated in BYU’s summer workouts and looks like he will be 100 percent when the season rolls around.
With no Eric Mika, Seljaas’ versatility will give some different looks this season. Seljaas played primarily at the 3 his freshman season, but his 6-foot-7 frame allows him to play a stretch 4 in spurts. Putting him there would really space the floor for BYU and give a more analytics-driven and 3-point-heavy approach that is becoming commonplace in the NBA.
Dalton Nixon (SO) — Nixon is back in the program after taking the last two years off to serve an LDS mission. The 6-foot-7 forward adds more length to BYU, something that was sorely lacking this past season. As a freshman, Nixon averaged 10 minutes per game while putting up 2 points and 2 boards per contest. If Nixon can show the 3-point shooting ability that he showcased in high school, he’ll see minutes for this BYU team.
Yoeli Childs (SO) — With much of the spotlight focused on Eric Mika, Childs often flew under the radar. With Mika now gone, Childs will now be the premier post player. BYU likely will space the floor with shooters, giving Childs more room to operate down in the post.
Childs averaged 9 points and 8 boards per game, and did so while shooting 55 percent from the floor. He was also in the top 100 nationally in total rebounds and rebounds per game, and ranked 105th in total blocks.
With Mika now gone, expect Childs to average a double-double and start receiving NBA Draft buzz. His athleticism and skill level will be on full display this year.
Braiden Shaw (JR) — Shaw’s playing time was up-and-down all season as Dave Rose experimented with rotations. He started in BYU’s upset over Gonzaga as Childs was dealing with a nagging ankle injury.
Shaw hasn’t shown much to think that he’ll be a big piece of BYU’s roster, but his experience could give him a spot in the regular rotation. Shaw did grab 11 rebounds in last year’s game at Portland, and if he can rebound consistently, he’ll find a spot on the floor.
Payton Dastrup (SO) — Dastrup may be the biggest wild card on this year’s team. Dastrup had some big offers coming out of high school, including Kansas and Ohio State (to whom he was committed before BYU).
Dastrup got home from his mission a little later, preventing him from having a full offseason to get back in shape.
With a full offseason now under his belt, Dastrup could be poised to live up some of the promise he had coming out of high school. BYU envisioned Dastrup as a stretch big man when they recruited him (a la Noah Hartsock), and he still may be counted on to provide that. He made three 3s last season, but will need to get more consistent from there if he wants to take shots away from BYU’s other gunners.
With Yoeli Childs as the only proven big man, Dastrup has the opportunity to push for playing time and change BYU’s preseason outlook. Go get ‘em, Payton.
Luke Worthington (JR) — After starting 21 games his sophomore season, the 6-foot-10 big man is back after a two-year LDS mission. Worthington’s not going to put up big numbers, but he is a big body that can hold his own in the post. Worthington gets a lot of flack from fans, but he was put into a tough position in BYU’s second season as the primary big man with freshman Corbin Kaufusi. Without as much pressure on him to play big minutes, Worthington now has the chance to find his niche on the team as a big body that can be physical in the post.
Ryan Andrus (SO) — Andrus is also back on the team after two years off to serve an LDS mission. Andrus and Worthington are lone players on BYU’s team that have played in an NCAA tournament game. They both played in the First Four game versus Ole Miss (which we will not talk about).
The 6-foot-11 big man played in 21 games his freshman season, and shot 3-for-8 from beyond the arc. Rebounding is always a prerequisite for big men to get minutes, but a consistent 3-point shot is a skill that would set Andrus apart in a crowded BYU frontcourt. With three years left to play, Andrus has some time to carve out a role in his BYU career.