Only two days after BYU basketball guard Jahshire Hardnett reportedly quit the team, Dave Rose told the media that Hardnett has returned to practice and will be available to play on Thursday night against Portland. The unexpected departure reportedly happened after a long standing dissatisfaction about Hardnett’s role on the team boiled over into a verbal confrontation with the coaching staff during the Saint Mary’s game.
BYU coach Dave Rose said Jahshire Hardnett practiced with the team on Wednesday and will be available to play against Portland.— Jay Drew (@drewjay) January 9, 2019
According to multiple sources close to the situation Monday, Hardnett was set on leaving the team after Saturday’s loss. After talking with administrators and some of the coaches, sources indicated that Hardnett changed course after learning of potential outcomes.
Hardnett is on track to graduate in April, meaning he would be eligible to transfer and play immediately at another school for his final season upon graduation. Had he transferred now, he would be forced to miss the rest of this season and the first half of next season at his new school under NCAA transfer rules. His scholarship could have also been in jeopardy had he elected to stay in school but leave the basketball team.
Hardnett started the season as the starting point guard and has been a pivotal member of the Cougar offensive attack as he has averaged 10.9 points per game despite losing playing time as fellow guard Nick Emery has returned to action after a season off and serving a nine game suspension.
Even with reduced minutes and shot attempts, this turnaround could prove to be critical for the Cougars as they are not as deep on the guard line as years past. Hardnett also offers skills that some of the other players do not, namely his quick first step and his ability to guard athletic players on the defensive end. He will help the team as they gear up to try and make a run through conference play in order to qualify for the post season.
Be sure to check out how the team performs after a slightly drama-filled week as they take on Portland on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Cougars have not played a home game for about a month, and this could be an important game in order to pick up a conference win and some confidence.
Hear all of Rose’s comments on the Hardnett situation and the state of the team from Wednesday evening, below: