One of the greatest questions of this basketball season is going to be "Who fills the roles of the departing seniors?" While it is greatly expected that Kyle Collinsworth and Chase Fischer will be the focal points of this year's team, taking over for the graduated Tyler Haws, there were other valuable players that also graduated or transferred.
Interestingly enough, almost all of the departing players were guards. Guys like Anson Winder and Skyler Halford proved very valuable to the Cougars season a year ago and new players will have to take their roles. One of the players who has a good chance to do that is Jordan Chatman.
Jordan, whose father is BYU great Jeff Chatman, left on his mission right after graduating high school in 2012 and then had surgery last summer that caused him to redshirt last season. Because of this and his ankle injury in this season's Cougar Tip-off, we haven't actually been able to see much of the 2012 Washington Gatorade Player of the Year.
So, what exactly does Jordan bring to the table? Chatman is a classic combo-type guard. He is listed at 6-foot-5, 195 pounds. While not an explosive athlete, he is athletic and moves well.
He also inherited some of his dad's length, which allows him to take up more space on defense and gives him some extra tools to use all over the court. This type of length will be an advantage as BYU is moving more towards a Pack Line style of man-to-man defense. (This means the team will focus more on keeping teams out of the paint and forcing teams to take contested jump shots.) Those long arms become harder to shoot over as he is closing out to you on the perimeter.
He is also a deceptively quick jumper — if you watch his high school highlights, they are filled with players who don't realize how long his arms are and try to throw over the top of him, which he promptly steals.
Offensively, there are no comparisons to be made to his dad. Jeff was a post player who utilized his strength and length to become BYU's 8th all-time leading scorer and an honorable mention All-American. Jordan is a guard. He is a good spot-up shooter, a skill very important in BYU's offense. He can also create off the dribble for himself and for his teammates. He has great body control and was able to finish through contact in high school. (I specifically mention that was in high school because the bodies in college are more developed and we'll see if that is a trend that can continue at the next level.) He is very skilled and has an opportunity to use those skills to carve out a role on this team.
Hopefully, he can recover from his recent ankle injury and get a chance to showcase what he can do once he is fully healthy. Playing time may be hard to come by as he will be competing with Jake Toolson, Cory Calvert, Cooper Ainge, and Zac Seljaas for the same minutes.