For BYU men’s basketball coach Dave Rose, the month of May came with the announcement of three athletes’ commitment to play for the Cougars in the coming seasons.
The Cougars announced the signing of Frank Bartley on May 13. Bartley, who signed a National Letter of Intent to begin his BYU career in the 2013–14 season, is coming from Future College Prep in Carson, Calif., where he played one season after having a successful career at Christian Life Academy in Baton Rouge, La.
The team also landed a commitment from transfer student Chase Fischer just days before Bartley on May 10. Fischer is transferring from Wake Forest and will be forced to redshirt the 2013–14 season because of transfer rules. Fischer will have two years of eligibility beginning the 2014–15 season.
Skyler Halford signed a National Letter of Intent to play for BYU on April 17. Halford will begin his career for the Cougars this upcoming 2013–14 season. Halford just completed his career at Salt Lake Community College, where he played after having prepped at local Timpanogos High School.
All three players are guards looking to help the Cougars’ well-established backcourt. Both Bartley and Fischer stand at 6-foot-3-inches, and Halford at 6-foot-1-inch.
Bartley will have four years of eligibility left because he attended a prep school rather than a junior college. While at Future College Prep last season, Bartley averaged team highs of 19.0 points, 3.3 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. Bartley led the team to a 52–13 overall record and the West Coast Prep Championship.
“We’re excited Frank is coming to BYU,” Rose said in a news release. “He’s a great competitor who works really hard on both ends of the court. He’s an excellent defender and on offense he can create for himself and for his teammates.”
Fischer was a three-star recruit coming out of high school, according to ESPN. While at Ripley High School in Ripley, W. Va., Fischer proved he could light up the scoreboards with his great shooting. During his junior year at Ripley, Fischer averaged 32 points per game, and as a senior averaged 37 points per game. Those averages led the state of West Virginia both seasons, and Fischer finished his high school career with 2,210 points, good enough for 10th all-time in the state. Fischer was named a first-team Parade All-American in 2011 along with the likes of current NBA players Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers.
As a freshman at Wake Forest, Fischer averaged 6.3 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. As a sophomore, his averages in minutes, points, rebounds and assists all went down, but his shooting percentage went up. Fischer shot 40 percent from the field and 42 percent from beyond the three-point line as a sophomore.
“Chase will bring a lot to our team,” Rose said in a news release. “He has deep range and a great ability to score the basketball. His knowledge of the game and his leadership abilities will help make us a better team. We’re excited to have Chase in our program for the next three years.”
Halford was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association All-America First team after his sophomore season. Halford was named the Region 18 MVP and led his team to a 29–5 record. After leading his team to both conference and region titles, Halford led SLCC to the round of 16 in the NJCAA Tournament.
Halford averaged 17.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game. As a sophomore, Halford shot 46 percent from the field, 39 percent from beyond the arc and 91 percent from the free throw line.
“We’re happy to announce that Skyler will be joining our program,” Rose said in a news release. “He’s coming off a superior sophomore season in which he was named an All-American and led his team to conference and region titles. We’re excited for the versatility he brings to our guard line. He’s a great scorer and shooter and also has the ability to run a team. He’s a fantastic teammate and someone who’s been a proven winner at every level. We feel that his abilities as a basketball player and his attitude will be a perfect fit with our returning group of guys.”
After high school, Halford redshirted for one season at Utah State before serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil.
Neither Fischer nor Bartley are members of the LDS church, but they have both expressed how they are strong in their faiths and are excited to be around other students who are also strong in their faiths.
These three additions to the team leave Coach Rose with one more open scholarship for next season that, if used, could go to a center or forward.