BYU hoops had an eventful couple days. The program first got some good news on Saturday when Coastal Carolina guard Rudi Williams committed. Rudi averaged 15 points last year while shooting 45% from three. He has only one year of eligibility remaining, and can hold down the point guard spot before BYU heads to the Big 12.
BYU was right in the mix for Antoine Davis, but he decided to stay at Detroit Mercy and continue playing for his dad and brother.
Unless something unforeseen happens — such as a last minute transfer (which is unlikely since the May 1 immediately eligible deadline passed) or a current scholarship player accepting a walk on offer — BYU has three remaining scholarships. Below are the 10 scholarship players.
- Rudi Williams (G)
- Gideon George (F)
- Trevin Knell (G)
- Spencer Johnson (G)
- Trey Stewart (G)
- Fousseyni Traore (F/C)
- Atiki Ally Atiki (F/C)
- Richie Saunders (RM, G)
- Dallin Hall (RM, G)
- Tanner Toolson (RM, G)
I feel confident in saying BYU will add two frontcourt players. They want to add a 5 man and ideally a stretch 4. Getting a four man that can stretch the floor gives a different skill than what Fouss and Atiki can do now. And BYU needs another 5 man to shore up the front court and give adequate depth. BYU needs at least one front court player that can spread the floor to open up the offense. Last year, opposing teams were able to double Alex Barcello when he came off screens or received the ball on dribble handoffs — having a stretch four would make this harder since teams couldn’t just pack the paint when the bigs rolled to the basket without a threat of popping out.
Two transfers are currently visiting campus who I reported on earlier — Eastern Michigan big man Mo Njie and Kansas City forward Josiah Allick. BYU is firmly in the mix for both of these players, but I’ll have a better idea of where BYU stands after the visits.
Njie is a 6-foot-10 big man that made the MAC All-Freshman team. He has three years of eligibility remaining and would form a nice nucleus with Fouss and Atiki heading into the Big 12.
Josiah Allick is a 6-foot-8 four man that can stretch the floor and averaged 15 ppg as a sophomore. He has two years of eligibility remaining. I detailed both players in the links above.
BYU also had another transfer visit this past weekend, but I’m refraining from sharing his name at this point since he has not given me permission to share publicly. His recruitment overall has been very tight lipped. He is a former All-Conference player.
If BYU adds two front court players, what will they do with the third available scholarship? I have a few thoughts. When BYU was recruiting Antoine Davis, sources told me the goal was to a 2/4/5. Davis would’ve filled the 2 spot (he can also play point), and BYU wouldn’t added two front court players. With Davis off the board, the staff may look at another position.
BYU has a bunch of guards — 7 of the scholarship players are guards. I wouldn’t be surprised if BYU puts Rudi at the point, starts Trevin/Spencer at the two, and then gives the young guys a bunch of run. Coaches have raved about Trey Stewart, and Dallin Hall and Richie Saunders were big additions out of high school. Playing them now would be a great time to get them ready for the Big 12.
In the end, I think BYU will get the best available player they can for the last scholarship, whether that be in the portal or an overseas guy. Gideon is really the only player with perimeter length, so I could see them adding a long wing with some versatility. There are guards with whom coaches have been in touch, so they could try to add another scorer to pair with Rudi in the backcourt. Front court depth would be thin with an injury, so maybe they get a fifth guy that can play there. Ultimately, I think we see a guard, or a wing that play the 3 and even the 4 in spurts.
Would that make BYU better than last year? It depends who they get. None of the guards are better than Alex Barcello, although I believe Rudi is an upgrade over Te’Jon. Fouss and Atiki should improve — Fouss will likely start the season as Preseason First Team All-WCC. Gideon showed a lot of promise the last two months. You lose Caleb and Seneca as rotation players, but I think BYU could get more productive transfers than them. If they add productive frontcourt players, I believe that would make BYU more balanced than they were last year and not so reliant on one player.
We should have more clarity in the next couple weeks. Mark Pope still has work to do.