BYU basketball got a huge lift for next season as senior Alex Barcello announced he will return to BYU. The NCAA gave this season as a “free” year — meaning it did not count against eligibility — and also said all returning seniors will not count against the scholarship allotment. Barcello made the announcement during BYU’s Fathers and Sons camp Friday evening and on his social media.
Alex Barcello was first team All-WCC and an AP All-American Honorable Mention. He averaged 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists on 52.3% shooting from the floor and 47.7% shooting from three. This will be Barcello’s fifth season after two seasons at Arizona and two at BYU.
Barcello returning really helps the outlook of next season’s team. Brandon Averette and Matt Haarms are gone, but I expect big leaps from Gideon George and Caleb Lohner in their second years at BYU. Gavin Baxter will also be back from a ACL injury and BYU will add some freshmen and add at least two impact transfers. If Lohner and George take leaps there is no reason this team can’t improve on the 6 seed they received in the NCAA Tournament.
Since Barcello doesn’t count against BYU’s 13-scholarship allotment, BYU has at least two more scholarships to use on incoming transfers. One of those was used on guard Te’Jon Lucas and BYU will add at least one more guy. Barcello will team with Lucas to form one of the most experienced starting backcourts in the nation. Barcello is a 5th-year senior and Lucas is a 6th-year senior and have 222 games of college experience between them.
In the meantime, BYU coaches and fans can breathe easier knowing their senior point guard and team leader will around in Provo for one more season.