BYU basketball 2014 preview


To see the complete spread, please obtain a copy of The Universe in print from Nov. 4, 2014, or visit


Key games this season for BYU basketball:

Chase Fischer pressures the Oredigger's defense during Saturday night's matchup verse the Colorado School of Mines. (Sami Williams)
Chase Fischer pressures the Oredigger’s defense during Saturday night’s matchup verse the Colorado School of Mines. (Sami Williams)

Dec. 2 @ Utah State: The last time BYU won in Logan was in 2000. The Cougars will enter this game looking to end their recent woes in The Spectrum. CBS Sports Network, 7:00 p.m.

Dec. 10 vs. Utah: Both BYU and Utah need to make the most of the dwindling opportunities to play against each other in this rivalry. Last year, the Utes blasted the Cougars 81-64 in Salt Lake City. ESPNU, 7:00 p.m.

Dec. 20 vs. Stanford: BYU posted a 112-103 win over Stanford during last season’s  “ESPN Tip-Off Marathon.” The Cardinals ended up reaching the Sweet 16, making this game another prime opportunity for the Cougars to boost their tournament résumé. ESPNU, 9:00 p.m.

Feb. 28 @ Gonzaga: The road to the West Coast Conference championship runs through the Zags. Since joining the West Coast Conference, the Cougars are 0-5 against Gonzaga in games away from the Marriott Center. ESPN or ESPN2, TBA.

Projected Starters:

Anson Winder, senior PG: Winder enters his senior season as a career sixth man. His career has been inconsistent overall, playing great at times and struggling mightily at times. He should get the starting nod throughout this season if he can stay healthy and play consistently.

Chase Fischer, junior G: Fischer transferred to BYU in 2013 after playing his freshman and sophomore seasons at Wake Forest. After sitting last season because of NCAA transfer rules, the Cougar team captain will look to make a splash with accurate perimeter shooting. Fischer averaged 5.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg in his two years as a Demon Deacon.

Tyler Haws, senior SF: Haws is projected to lead the NCAA in scoring this season and will surpass Jimmer Fredette as BYU’s all-time leading scorer, barring injury. He is a model of consistency, scoring in double-figures in 48 consecutive games. Haws will be the leader of this squad in every way.

Kyle Collinsworth, junior F: 2013–2014 All WCC guard Kyle Collinsworth looks to rebound from off-season surgery to treat a torn right ACL. Collinsworth averaged 14.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 4.6 apg and 1.7 spg last season.

Nate Austin, senior C: Returning center Nate Austin’s increased average of 3.8 points and 7.9 rebounds from last season make him one of BYU’s greatest assets. His rebounding average has increased every year since he started, and BYU expects that to continue.

Key backups:

Frank Bartley IV, sophomore G: Bartley enters the season hoping to continue to make an impact off the bench. As a freshman, Bartley reached double-digits in points five times.

Jordan Ellis, junior G: A transfer from Portland State, Ellis will add further depth to this Cougar squad. Ellis turned heads in the Cougar Tipoff scrimmage, where he scored 13 points.

Skyler Halford, senior G: Halford transferred from Salt Lake Community College following his sophomore season and made an impact with the Cougars last year, replacing Matt Carlino in the starting lineup midway through the season. Halford averaged seven points and one assist last season and will improve on those stats this season.

Josh Sharp, senior F: Sharp played productively in his sophomore season before falling off the map his junior season. He played inconsistent minutes last season and only averaged 1.4 points, only scoring in double-figures once. He should get more consistent minutes and contribute to the team this year.

Luke Worthington, sophomore F: Worthington averaged one point per game last season, but saw action in 31 of a possible 35 games. His role should expand this season to more than a big man with five fouls to give.

Jamal Aytes: UNLV transfer student Jamal Aytes may be new at BYU, but he’s not new at playing the court. He will be starting in December on behalf of a mid-season transfer, but he’s got a great shot and an inside presence that fans are excited to see.

Isaac Neilson, freshman C: Neilson redshirted last season after returning home from his mission in Alabama. He is a sharpshooting big man who will get plenty of opportunities to make an impact inside for the Cougars for the next four years.

Corbin Kaufusi, freshman C: Maybe one of BYU’s biggest surprises of the season, Corbin Kaufusi averaged 11.6 points while helping Timpview High School to a record of 19-6 his junior year. He initially planned to play football, but ultimately made the decision to play BYU basketball. What he doesn’t have in experience he makes up for in domination on the court and expert passes.


BYU basketball quick facts:

Coach Rose currently holds a 232-78 overall record, the second all-time BYU basketball coach in wins. He holds a .748 winning percentage at BYU.

Rose has 185 victories through seven seasons, making him the fourth all-time fastest to reach that number of wins in NCAA history.

BYU has made seven trips to the NCAA tournament under Coach Rose, six of those consecutive trips from 2007 to 2012.

He coached BYU to the Sweet 16 in 2011 for the first time since 1981.

What the fans are saying:

“I think what I’m most excited about are all the returning players,” sophomore Connor Christensen said.

“Hard work and dedication that the boys have put into the off season just to capitalize from where they left off,” said BYU basketball fan Jett Scrimsher.

“I’m expecting for us to at least make the tournament,” said BYU basketball fan Jett Scrimsher.

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