The Jabari Parker sweepstakes has BYU fans wondering what the current scholarship situation is for the basketball team. Head Coach Dave Rose only needs one scholarship to land the best player in the country, and it’s looking like he just might have it by the time Jabari makes his decision. However, it’s taking an odd series of events for that to happen.
The Cougars will be without power forward Chris Collinsworth, who is undergoing career-ending ankle surgery. According to sophomore forward Nate Austin, it’s the off-court abilities of Collinsworth that will be missed the most.
“Chris obviously brought a lot to the table. He was pretty large in stature, he was a big physical guy, he could step out, he could shoot it; he was really good with rebounding. He was one of the best leaders on our team,” said Austin.
Another loss to the lineup is shooting guard Damarcus Harrison. He planned on serving a mission this year but had to postpone those plans. Coach Rose was anticipating Harrison leaving for the mission and had already given his scholarship spot to someone else, causing the guard to transfer to Clemson. Senior guard Brock Zylstra said the Cougars will miss Harrison’s raw talent.
“He’s a great player. Clemson should be grateful they have him, but we miss him because he’s a great player and he could have brought a lot to us. His athleticism is probably what we’ll miss the most,” said Zylstra.
Collinsworth’s career-ending injury opens up a scholarship spot, and the most likely candidate for the position is walk-on point guard Craig Cusick.
“Craig would be a good candidate for someone to have a scholarship because of his work ethic, because he’s played a few years,” said Zylstra. “He went from the scout team which is not a glamorous job at all and worked his way up and he played significant minutes for us last year and was a big part of our team.”
Because Cusick is a senior, he would only fill that scholarship for one year if he does end up getting it. That means Coach Rose can still offer a spot on the team to Jabari Parker for next year.