BYU men’s basketball to honor Barcello, Haarms and Averette on Senior Night
The BYU men’s basketball team will honor seniors Alex Barcello, Brandon Averette and Matt Haarms Saturday evening in the final home game of the season.
“These are extraordinary young men. We’ve all been blessed,” head coach Mark Pope said. “It’s been special to watch these guys lead and represent BYU.”
The seniors have certainly spoiled BYU fans this season, each in their own unique way. To make matters more interesting, each began their collegiate careers at schools other than BYU.
Alex Barcello made the switch from the University of Arizona two seasons ago. Since then, fans have watched him improve with every game. In the Feb. 25 game against the San Francisco Dons, Barcello’s scoring ability was on full display with 29 points, including a BYU record seven consecutive 3-pointers made.
“Alex is gnarly, dude,” teammate Caleb Lohner said. “Seeing him put in extra work shooting the ball, being in practice with him, and seeing that stuff translate to the game. The dude’s a stud, love that dude. He’s a great leader and a great teammate.”
Brandon Averette transferred from Utah Valley University just a year ago. Prior to that, he played at Oklahoma State. When the BYU coaching staff acquired Averette last year, Jake Toolson, former Cougar and former teammate of Averette at UVU, had nothing but good things to say about him.
“He’s a great teammate,” Toolson said. “He’s a proven winner and he competes. He’s a quiet killer. He doesn’t say much. He’s not very loud or emotional but he’s a killer. He has it all. He was the hardest worker on our team and the best player, I would say, by far.”
Last is the 7-foot-3 Matt Haarms, who committed to BYU from Purdue last April. Ranked the No. 1 graduate transfer by CBS Sports, many basketball fans had high expectations for him, and he did not disappoint.
Haarms’ breakout game was undoubtedly at home against Portland, when he went a perfect 9-for-9 from the field en route to 23 points. He also dominated on defense, tallying three blocks against the Pilots.
Despite it being a COVID year, the big man could not be more satisfied with his BYU experience.
“This is a year that I’m going to look back on for the rest of my life as being really special,” Haarms said. “That’s why I’m so committed to making sure that we go as deep as possible in the postseason. I’m really committed to this team and to BYU. I’m really happy to be here.”
It is expected that this will be the seniors’ last home game, although each could elect to stay for an additional year due to the NCAA’s pausing of eligibility this season.
“If any of these guys decide to come back, there’s not going to be a single person in the entire BYU Cougar Nation family that feels anything but sheer joy and exhilaration,” Pope said. “If what’s right for them is to leave, then we’ll be forever indebted with gratitude for what they’ve done to represent BYU.”