After Jake Wahlin officially committed to Utah, BYU has one open scholarship to fill for the upcoming season. I expect BYU to add a forward/front court player with the remaining spot. BYU’s front court players consists of Fousseyni Traore, Atiki Ally Atiki, Noah Waterman, and Aly Khalifa. Khalifa and Fouss are probably your two starters at the 4 and 5 and can complement well each other offensively, but I worry about how they pair together on the defensive end. Neither moves well laterally and would struggle against mobile fours.
With the last spot, I would like BYU to target a four man that can move well and rebound the ball — someone that can play the 3 and 4 or 4 and 5 spots. Shooting ability on top of that would be ideal, but BYU needs someone that can guard next to Fouss/Aly and rebound the ball.
The dead period officially ended Friday night — which prohibits in-person and on-campus recruiting — so BYU can begin hosting players on visits again.
BYU is talking to several front court players, mostly from the transfer portal and international prospects, but below are just a few that I’m keeping an eye on.
Tae Davis, Seton Hall
The 6-foot-9, 204 pounds forward entered the transfer portal in late April. A member of the 2022 class, Davis was a rotational player for the Pirates as a true freshman, averaging 13 minutes in 32 games and starting 2. Davis averaged 3 points and 3 boards and brings positional versatility. He was a 3-star prospect out of HS and ranked #153 according to 247’s composite rankings.
Why include Davis in here? Tae was initially committed to Louisville when Kahil Fennell was there and de-committed when the Louisville coaching staff was let go. Kahil was one of the main recruiters for Davis when he was at Louisville. Tae’s older brother, Dre Davis, played for two seasons at Louisville under Kahil. Dre entered the portal last offseason and committed to Seton Hall with his brother. Dre averaged 9.6 points on 41% shooting for Seton Hall last season. I was watching for Dre and Tae as a potential combo package for BYU last offseason, but Kahil wasn’t officially hired at BYU in time for the Cougars to have a chance.
BYU is recruiting Tae, but entered the picture for late due to a scholarship not officially opening up until Tanner Toolson transferred. At this point I think he ends up in his home state of Indiana at a school like Notre Dame or Butler. He’s still in the portal though, and if BYU can get him on a visit then they would give themselves a shot. Tae can play the three or four spots and would give BYU great front court versatility with three years of eligibility remaining.
Malcolm Dandridge, Memphis
Dandridge is more of a five man at 6-foot-9, 260 pounds. A four-year rotational player for the Tigers, Dandridge hasn’t put up eye-popping numbers but is a physical forward that can protect the paint. This past season he averaged 5.7 points, 3.6 boards, and 1 block in 14.5 minutes per game. He had a impactful NCAA Tournament game versus FAU, grabbing two blocks and 5 boards in 14 minutes.
Malcolm told me earlier in the week that BYU is “for sure” one of the schools he is considering. Malcolm isn’t a perfect fit on the roster because he is predominantly a five, but he would give BYU additional size and an experienced body down low with proven college experience. BYU was listed as one of his final six schools he is considering, but Malcolm told me he does not have a list of final schools yet.
Yaak Yaak, NBA Global Academy
BYU is recruiting at least four international 2023 kids that I’m aware of. Cody Fueger spearheads a lot of BYU’s international recruiting efforts, especially in Europe. BYU is recruiting a handful of European players, but I’ll highlight one player that has prepped in Australia.
Yaak Yaak is an intriguing prospect at 6-foot-11 that has played the last couple seasons at NBA Academy in Australia. He took a visit to Iowa State last October and has been courted by several schools. He has no visit set up to BYU, but Yaak Yaak told me that BYU is one of the top schools he is considering.
Yaak is an athletic big man that would give BYU some good versatility. There’s really not much footage of him out there, but scouts have seem him and remarked that he has played well.
Providence— Carl Berman (@carlberman) February 2, 2023
National Prep School Invitational Game 4 - NBA Global Academy (Australia) 53 Fort Erie (Canada) 48 Player of the Game: Yaak Yaak (NBA) 4 points but dominant inside #NPSI @NBAAcademyPR @FortErieMBB pic.twitter.com/LxAdzy2IkN
Due to weather cancellations, I was only able to see a limited number of games at #NPSI.— Josh Codinera (@JoshScoutEm) February 5, 2023
Here at the standouts from those games:
- 23’ 6’6 G Thierry Darlan (NBA AF)
- 23’ 6’8 F Churchill Abass (NBA AF)
- 23’ 6’10 C Yaak Yaak (NBA GLB)
- 23’ 6’9 F TJ Power (Worcester) pic.twitter.com/d2B01YWc06