BYU men’s basketball position preview for next week’s games

(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
Mark Pope addresses the media during his first press conference as head coach of the BYU men’s basketball team. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

The Brigham Young University men’s basketball team will tip-off their season next Wednesday against Westminster college.

Mark Pope’s Cougars have revamped after last year’s magical season and are poised to make another run. Here is how each position looks heading into the first game.

The point guard position features a two-headed monster, with leading returner Alex Barcello and transfer Brandon Averette. 

Barcello is the top returning scorer from last season and is looking to be the leader this year. When asked about the potential of the team, Barcello said, “I think we have a lot of potential. We have a stacked roster. A lot of different pieces that, when it comes together it’s going to be pretty scary, in my own thoughts.”

Other guards on the team include returners Connor Harding, Trevin Knell and highly regarded transfer Jesse Wade.

Mark Pope bolstered the forward positions after the loss of both Yoeli Childs and Jake Toolson. The forwards have great depth after adding transfers Matt Haarms and Gideon George with returners Kolby Lee and Gavin Baxter.

Baxter likes what the forwards bring. He said, “Like you said, we have a big team. We have a lot of bigs that can run the floor, get up and down, play defense. So, I think having that many bodies to rotate through, we’re just going to be able to keep guys fresh and push the pace like we do.”

The lone center on the roster is former transfer Richard Harward, who will make his first appearance in a BYU jersey this season. Harward is ready to contribute and looking forward to this season. During media availability, he said, “I feel like this year’s team can go just as far or farther than last year’s team. Last year we kind of didn’t get to see, we got gypped because of the [COVID-19] situation. But this team has, like, we have amazing chances, and I’m really excited.”

After finishing last season 24-8, Coach Pope’s team is reloaded and ready to make noise. The Cougars start their season next week with three games in four days. You can catch all the action on BYUtv.

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