Fun times in the recruiting world, as BYU has begun official visits and has others lined up. Below is the latest in in BYU hoops recruiting based on things I’m hearing, seeing, and projecting on.
The Charlotte big man completed his official visit over the weekend. All indications were that the visit went great, including those close to Aly who told me he loved his time in Provo. Right now it’s still between BYU and Florida unless someone else swoops in. Aly is scheduled to visit Florida starting Thursday. Florida did just get a commitment from Marshall big man Micah Handlogten, and is in the final two with Wake Forest for Seton Hall transfer Tyrese Samuel. Keep an eye on Samuel — if he commits to Florida then that could seal things for BYU. If he goes to Wake Forest, the door remains open for Khalifa to Florida.
Florida is a tough opponent for BYU to hold off, but coaches have done everything right up to this point. Sources tell me that Fouss and Dallin Hall are even texting Khalifa since his visit to try to get him to commit. The Florida visit will be one to keep an eye on, but I like where BYU stands. I wouldn’t be shocked if Khalifa decides to wrap it up the next few days and just commit to BYU.
Khalifa is a true 5, and his passing and shooting complement really well offensively to what Fouss and Atiki provide. He can also rebound and score in the paint. His lateral foot speed is a concern, but Atiki mitigates some of that and Aly’s other strengths would really help BYU and be a great addition to the team.
Here is my initial write-up about Khalifa and some highlights.
I wrote last week that BYU, Duke, and Utah were three early schools to keep an eye on for Ashworth. You can cross Utah off that list. Ashworth played for Craig Smith a season at Utah State, but local sources tell me that Ashworth and Smith don’t have the best relationship. Duke has not made much of a push yet as far as I know, and I’m not sure if they will. They have two 5-star guards coming in, return starter Tyrese proctor, and other starter Jeremy Roach declared for the NBA Draft while maintaining his eligibility. I believe Duke would appeal to Ashworth, but the Blue Devils may not feel the need to pursue Ashworth.
As of today, I would consider BYU or Creighton the two most likely destinations. Creighton just lost starting point guard Andrew Nembhard to the transfer portal, and Ashworth could step right in to a team that may return the rest of its starting five and made the Elite 8. Creighton is also pursuing other high end point guards, so keep an eye on if they sign anyone else.
BYU is not a lock to get Ashworth, but there are a lot of things that point to BYU. He grew up in a BYU family, he’s local, he would start right away, he could be the face of the program as they head to the Big 12, he should get good NIL money, and if he wants to live in Utah once his playing career is done, being the face of BYU’s basketball program would give him a lot of connections. Sources tell me that Ashworth stopped by BYU campus Saturday and talked with coaches.
Still a ways to go and BYU will need to be persistent to hold off very good schools, but there are a lot of things in BYU’s favor that make them one of the favorites, if not the favorite, to land Ashworth.
Dawson told me Sunday night that he intends to visit BYU, Utah, Utah State, and Boise State. I detailed Dawson last week when he entered the portal — he is a 15 ppg scorer and a returned missionary. My thought all along is that BYU adds a 5 man, point/combo guard, and then a guard or wing that can score. Aly Khalifa and Steven Ashworth would check off the first two boxes, and someone like Dawson Baker could be the third guy. BYU is also talking to other guards, but Dawson is one that is for sure in the mix since there are fewer barriers with honor code, culture, etc to get him to consider BYU.
Wrote about Trey yesterday, which you can reference for a more in-depth read on him, but he has BYU in his final three along with TCU and Western Kentucky. I would consider TCU the favorite now, but if BYU gets him on campus for a visit they’ll have a shot. He’s a terrific shooter and would give BYU some extra scoring punch.
BYU is still in the mix for Girard, but with Ashworth in the portal now I think BYU has a better show at Ashworth than Girard. The Jimmer connection is there, but there are fewer connection with Girard than BYU has for Ashworth, and Girard still has a lot of schools after him. I’m monitoring this, but not as closely as I was a week or two ago with Ashworth an option.
I know of two frontcourt players scheduled to visit this week, one five man a four man. Both are P6 transfers. If Aly were to commit, I think he would be BYU’s preference between the other five man, especially since you’d already have a guaranteed commit in hand. I’ll hold off now but may report later in the week on the visits depending on how things shake out. Both are private players and don’t like a lot of their recruiting plans in the public.