With official practices set to begin on Tuesday — 6 weeks before BYU tips off the regular season November 9 versus Cleveland State — BYU released its official basketball roster for the 2021-2022 season.
There were no personnel surprises and the roster is the same as when we previewed it back in July, but there are some interesting notes around class designation and other things.
17 players are on the roster and 14 of them are scholarship players. Teams are normally allotted 13 scholarships, but the NCAA granted an exemption and allowed seniors returning to their teams to not count against the limit. Barcello is the 14th guy and the three walk-ons are Paora Winitana, Jeremy DowDell and Casey Brown.
One interesting note is that the basketball team didn’t freeze eligibility with the COVID year, unlike the football team. Last year didn’t count against players eligibility due to a blanket NCAA rule in the COVID year. Some players may elect to use the additional COVID year, but for the purposes of the roster BYU advanced everyone a year.
Below are class designations.
Seniors (5) — Alex Barcello, Te’Jon Lucas, Gavin Baxter, Richard Harward, Gideon George
Juniors (3) — Seneca Knight, Spencer Johnson, Trevin Knell
Sophomores (2) — Caleb Lohner, Hunter Erickson
Freshmen (7) — Atiki Ally Atiki, Fousseyni Traore, Nate Hansen, Trey Stewart, Jeremy DowDell, Paora Winitana, Casey Brown
BYU will be smaller than last year as only three players — Richard Harward, Atiki Ally Atiki, Gavin Baxter — are 6-foot-9 or taller. BYU has a bit more size than Mark Pope’s first BYU team, but they will likely go smaller at times this season. Caleb Lohner can play the 4 or even 5 at times with his chiseled 6-foot-8 frame, and 6-foot-6 Fousseyni Traore has some Yoeli Childs in him and is 254 pounds, only two pounds less than Richard Harward.
- BYU has 4 international players on the roster, including 3 from Africa. Fousseyni Traore, Gideon George, and Atiki Ally Atiki are from Africa and Paora Winitana is from New Zealand. 9 players are from Utah.
- Gavin Baxter is the lone player on the roster that played under Dave Rose.
- Atiki Ally Atiki is listed at 6-foot-9, but one source close to the program told me that he has a 7-foot-3 wingspan with a 9-foot-2 standing reach. BYU held a NBA-style combine last week and his vertical measured out right around 40 inches.
- BYU lists 1 center, 6 forwards, and 10 guards on the roster. Positions are fluid, so many guys will play multiple spots.
- Te’Jon Lucas and Casey Brown are the shorts players at 6-foot-1. Richard Harward is the tallest at 6-foot-11.
- Harward is the heaviest player at 256 pounds and Jeremy DowDell is the lightest at 174 pounds.