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BYU Basketball News: Cougars to play Cal in scrimmage, update on transfer waiver requests

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 09 Pacific at BYU Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’re right in the middle of football season, but don’t forget about basketball season starting up!

BYU had its first Midnight Madness under Coach Pope Tuesday night, and we’ll get our first glimpse of the team next Friday, November 1 in an exhibition versus UT Tyler.

Below is an update on some of the current happenings in the BYU Hoops world.

Secret Scrimmage

BYU will play Cal tomorrow in Provo for a scrimmage, according to Jeff Goodman of Watch Stadium. Mark Fox is new the head coach at Cal; Pope was an assistant under Fox at Georgia, which is the connection between the two programs. Cal was one of the worst power conference teams last year, finishing 8-23 and last in the Pac 12. Details of the scrimmage won’t be publicly released, but there will likely be details leaked out afterwards.

Transfer Waiver Requests

Alex Barcello, Richard Harward and Wyatt Lowell will have to sit out this year due to NCAA transfer rules unless they receive a waiver. Below is what we’re hearing in regards to each player.

Wyatt Lowell - We can confirm that Lowell did not apply for a NCAA eligibility waiver. Lowell will sit out this season and be a redshirt sophomore in 2020-2021.

Richard Harward - The other UVU big, Harward did apply for a waiver. Lowell’s and Harward’s situations seem very similar on the surface, but Harward’s case is apparently different enough from Lowell’s that he felt it worthwhile to apply for a waiver. With Kolby Lee the only true big eligible for the first 9 games, getting Harward for this season would be huge.

The NCAA has granted a majority of college basketball waiver requests so far, but Harward’s situation seems different than those. Most of the waivers being granted so far seem to be for guys whose scholarships were cut or health/family reasons. We should find out in the next week on the status of the waiver, but I would bet against Harward getting a waiver for this season.

Alex Barcello - Barcello’s chances of getting a waiver are looking good. Sources close to the program tell Vanquish The Foe that they’re optimistic Barcello’s waiver request will be granted. Barcello wouldn’t solve the size problem for BYU, but the 6-foot-2 junior would be a major contributor on this year’s team. He may not start, but he would be in the top 5 or 6 in minutes played. Barcello can shoot and has good court vision and handles, so he would be another piece in BYU’s up-tempo attack. BYU is going to go all in on small-ball and up-tempo pace, and having Barcello would be a nice piece for this season’s team.