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BYU Basketball Recruiting/Transfer Update

UCLA v BYU Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The BYU Basketball recruiting front has been largely quiet since Milwaukee transfer Te’Jon Lucas committed to BYU a little over 3 weeks ago on May 19. BYU was pursuing Minnesota transfer Both Gach, but he decided to transfer the Utah, the school where he spent his first two seasons.

BYU coaches are in the midst of summer camps and taking a bit of time off, but the roster is still likely not 100% complete. BYU has one scholarship available to use for the upcoming season. Schools have a 13-scholarship allotment and BYU currently has 13 scholarship players, although Alex Barcello will not count against the limit since seniors returning to their school do not count.

One question for me is how coaches will look at the last scholarship as it pertains to the 2022-2023 roster. After this next season, Te’Jon Lucas is technically the only scholarship that will come off the books and BYU will add Dallin Hall, Richie Saunders and Tanner Toolson off their missions. That doesn’t include 2022 prospects BYU is pursuing such as Jaxon Kohler, Collin Chandler and Richard Isaacs Jr. Isaacs is a borderline 5-star recruit and likely won’t come to BYU, but Kohler and Chandler are legit prospects. Chandler is the only one expected to serve a mission among the two, meaning 4-star big man Jaxon Kohler would join the team in 2022.

All that said, BYU is currently scheduled to add at least three players and only Lucas will come off the books. Harward, Baxter and Gideon George were all supposed to be seniors this year before the NCAA gave the COVID waiver, so they all will technically be juniors this season. I expect George to for sure remain a junior and possibly Baxter due to time missed from injury, so it will interesting how they and coaches decide to handle their eligibility moving forward.

With a likely scholarship crunch after next season, I could see BYU pursuing a senior with one year of eligibility remaining to give scholarship relief after the season.

Nate Hansen will join BYU on scholarship this year as he returns from his mission. He was part of the last signing class with Dave Rose, so his status will be one to watch in future years.

I believe BYU coaches are comfortable with the roster they have now as one that could advance in the tourney. Since one scholarship is still available, I still expect coaches to fill that last spot. Coaches aren’t really heavily pursuing anyone right now, but they have reached out to guys.

KC Ndefo; Forward, St. Peter’s University

Let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of Ndefo. He’s a 6-foot-7, 195 pound forward that played the 3-5 positions for St. Peter’s. He’s incredibly athletic and was the MAAC defensive player after leading the nation with 3.6 blocks per game. That is INSANE for someone that is not a center and his size. Ndefo was also first team All-Conference and averaged 13.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals on 50.4% shooting.

Ndefo’s Achilles heel is his outside shooting. He was 2-17 on threes this season and is not a threat from the outside. His biggest assets are his defense, athleticism and ability to attack the basket. BYU coaches have spoken with Ndefo, but I am not sure they’ll offer him a scholarship. Ndefo has a lot of desirable traits, but he doesn’t really have a true position and his lack of shooting will give teams pause. Ndefo entered the transfer portal in late April and still hasn’t committed, meaning other high-major schools also have questions about him.

BYU coaches are way smarter than me, but I’d add Ndefo in a heartbeat. He’s an incredible defender and would add so many unique skill sets to this team. You could put him at the 3-4 positions or at the 5 position if you wanted to go small ball. He can guard all 5 positions and would really boost BYU’s defense and athleticism. He doesn’t give you any outside shooting, but he has the ability to attack the basket and impact the game in so many ways. He has big question marks, but he does certain things at an elite level and in my mind would be a huge addition for BYU. It’s rare to find guys that can truly impact the game without the ball in their hands, and Ndefo is one of those guys. Ndefo was a junior this past season and would have up to two years of eligibility remaining.

Take a look at the below highlights and you can see his athleticism in the first 20 seconds.

Others

BYU has casually reached out to other guys. Joe Petrakis is a 6-foot-9 junior that was a bench warmer for Kansas State, so I don’t expect BYU to pursue him any more than initial contact.

Players can enter the transfer portal before July 1 and still be eligible to play this upcoming season, so we could see additional targets that enter the portal over the coming weeks.