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BYU Hoops Mailbag: Recruiting, Roster Turnover, Current Roster, and More

The latest on what is happening in the world of BYU Basketball.

NCAA Basketball: Brigham Young at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Eventful week for BYU basketball, huh?

Many BYU fans proclaimed the sky was falling after Caleb Lohner, Gideon George, and Gavin Baxter all announced their intentions to transfer earlier in the week. Turns out that was probably premature. Gideon George announced Thursday that he would return to BYU and 4-star big man Fredrick King arrived to Provo Thursday night for his official visit.

Many BYU fans have questions like “What is going on?!”, “Who are we bringing in?”, among other questions, and I get to many of those below in my latest mailbag.

Here’s my question regarding the last week or so: What the hell?

I got this question Wednesday before the George and King news hit Thursday — a lot of people reacted this way! But we can all back off the ledge now, right?

I wrote two weeks ago that the only players I would be shocked if they transferred are Fouss and Atiki. Multiple sources close to them and BYU have told me that they are locked into BYU and Pope. Those are the two players I wanted least to lose. They have multiple years of eligibility remaining and have tremendous upside. Fouss averaged nearly a double double and both are Big 12 players. I think we could see one more transfer with Gideon back, but just about all the remaining players are locked in at this point.

Outside of the graduating seniors, one rotation player transferred from last year’s team (two if you count Gavin). Caleb Lohner absolutely has the ability to be a great college basketball player, we just didn’t get the consistency from week to week. Caleb’s offense regressed this last season after turning a corner in WCC play as a freshman. He could never quite find his confidence it seemed like, although the effort was consistently there. I initially thought Caleb would end up at Utah, which is still a possibility, but I think it’s more likely he heads out of state for a fresh start.

Gavin Baxter suffered his torn ACL and will be on a minutes restriction. I hope he absolutely crushes it at his next school because he deserves a clean bill of healthy, but BYU hasn’t expected back for the whole season.

Nate Hansen and Hunter Erickson could absolutely do great at their next schools, but they weren’t consistent rotation players at BYU. I wish all those players the best!

So for me, I don’t really get the whole meltdown that happened. If Chris Burgess had gone to some other Pac-12 school and Caleb wasn’t tied to Utah, I don’t think people would have cared as much. The rivalry does weird things to our brains!

Now, Mark Pope has to deliver. We saw that BYU needs a talent upgrade, and he is and will absolutely work the portal to upgrade BYU’s roster. I will withhold judgement for about another month or so until we know what the roster looks like.

What is your CB for upcoming transfers and recruits?

Any other big names in the portal coming over? Or at least visiting?

As it stands right now, BYU has three scholarships to fill. BYU will get at least one point guard and one big. Ideally I think the staff wants at least 4 open scholarships to work with so they can add two bigs and one point guard and another guard/wing, but we will see.

Coastal Carolina point guard Rudi Williams is visiting Provo April 27th. BYU was in his top 8, but a source close to Rudi told me BYU is in his top 3.

Rudi started his career at the JUCO ranks, played a season at Kansas State, and transferred last year to Coastal Carolina.

The 6-foot-2 point guard averaged 14.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists last season on 51% shooting from the floor and 45% from three. His 3-point shooting ranked 12th nationally, according to KenPom. Prior to Coastal Carolina, Williams played one season at Kansas State where he was a rotation player averaging 5 points in 18 minutes per game.

Rudi is friends with Gideon George from their time at the JUCO level. He has only one year of eligibility remaining, but he would absolutely step in as the starting point guard next season if he were to commit. He has All-WCC potential.

In addition to Rudi, Detroit Mercy Guard Antoine Davis is visiting BYU next week. Davis is one more BYU fans have got familiar with the last few days.

Davis is one of the best scorers in college basketball history. In four seasons at Detroit, he’s averaged 24.6 points and 4.3 assists on 41% shooting from the floor and 36% from three. He has four games with 40+ points in his career, including a career high 48 points. He is number 22 on the all-time list of points scored in college basketball and could be #2 after this season behind only Pete Maravich.

Davis has only one year of eligibility left and is small at 6-1, 165 pounds, but he is absolutely the type of player you go after. He can score at any level of college basketball and will be a huge performer wherever he lands next. He can score from all three levels and can get to the rim or shoot from three.

Sources close to BYU feel like they have a real shot, but I think Kansas State is the favorite at the moment. Their staff has long-standing ties with Antoine’s father and are hosting him for an official visit today (Friday). Davis already visited Maryland Wednesday and Georgetown on Thursday.

If Davis came to BYU, he would be the most exciting player since Jimmer.

One other player I was keeping an eye on is Mizzou transfer Sean Durugordon. The 6-foot-6 wing told me he was planning to visit BYU in the next couple weeks, but with Gideon George coming back I think both sides mutually back off.

There will be other transfers visiting. Players have until May 1 to enter the portal and be immediately eligible, but they can commit after that date. There are a few players with BYU ties that have yet to enter the portal that I am keeping an eye on.

Would Fredrick King be more impactful as a frosh than Atiki or similar? Which transfer portal player does BYU have the best shot at, Detroit mercy transfer? Coastal Carolina transfer? Can Dallin Hall play the 2 or is he strictly a PG?

I’ll mainly address the Fredrick King question, but between Williams and Davis BYU has a better shot to land Williams. Dallin Hall’s future is at point guard in my opinion, but he can play both guard spots.

In case you haven’t heard, 4-star big man and former Louisville signee Fredrick King is on his official visit to BYU. I wrote about the backstory Thursday, including his connection to BYU and how Pope got on that semi-sketch plane to fly to Mexico to visit Fred.

Fred is raw, but he isn’t Atiki raw. Atiki had played less than 30 games of organized basketball in his life and has his senior year in Canada cancelled due to COVID. King has prepped at the NBA Academy in Mexico with top-notch facilities and trainers. He would have closer to a Fouss impact year one. He would be a great rebounder day one, and can score inside with the ability to hit the three. King is still 17 and has so much room to grow, but he will have an impact wherever he goes day one.

King visited Georgia Tech before his Creighton visit, but I believe it is down to BYU and Creighton. King just finished an official visit at Creighton, and all indications are that it went really well. King wouldn’t start there, but he would be a rotation player for a potential top 10 team in the Big East. That’s a big sell.

BYU could offer King an immediate starting job, and his coach at NBA Academy Walter Roese — a former BYU assistant coach — has been in his ear about BYU. BYU also plays in the Battle 4 Atlantis November 23-25, which takes place in King’s home country of the Bahamas. Collin Chandler is on BYU campus to help recruit King.

It will be extremely close between BYU and Creighton. If I HAD to choose right now, I would say he goes to Creighton. But ask me again after he finishes his BYU official visit. I expect him to make a decision in early May.

Also are we going to see anyone else transfer out?

I don’t expect much more attrition. The one thing I will say — does BYU want Seneca and Gideon both on the roster as guys that have one year of eligibility remaining? Does Seneca want that? I know Seneca had his tweets before the Gideon news came out, but I’ll be keeping an eye on this the next week or so.

What do we know so far about our OOC schedule next season, and what can we expect it to look like once we’re in the Big 12?

I wrote a piece earlier this month detailing what we know about next year’s schedule. BYU will have some good tests with The Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, Creighton in Vegas, and others.

When BYU gets in the Big 12, I think they’ll pull back a little big on the strength of schedule. Virtually every Big 12 game will be Quad One or Quad Two, so BYU doesn’t need to load up as much on those. They will play Utah every year, but I’m curious to see how they schedule other in-state teams. The Big 12 also has the SEC-Big 12 and Big East-Big 12 challenges, so that could be two other quality non-conference games if both of those challenges continue.