The return of Alex Barcello makes BYU Basketball a tournament contender once again
Last year, BYU got the unfortunate draw of playing UCLA in the first round. This year, they lose two key guys in Brandon Averette and Matt Haarms but still return Barcello their leading scorer, and two key transfers.
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PG: Te’Jon Lucas (6-2, 180, Gr-Sr.)
2021 stats: 14.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.1 steals (Milwaukee)
Projected stats: 11.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.9 steals
SG: Alex Barcello (6-2, 180, Gr-Sr.)
2021 stats: 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.0 steals
Projected stats: 18.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.2 steals
SF: Seneca Knight (6-7, 215, Sr.)
2021 stats: 9.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals
Projected stats: 10.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals
PF: Caleb Lohner (6-8, 230, So.)
2021 stats: 7.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.7 steals
Projected stats: 9.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.9 steals
C: Richard Harward (6-11, 255, Sr.)
2021 stats: 6.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.2 blocks
Projected stats: 7.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 blocks
6: Gavin Baxter (6-9, 210, Sr.)
2021 stats: 6.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.5 blocks
Projected stats: 7.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 blocks
7: Trevin Knell (6-5, 190, Jr.)
2021 stats: 6.1 points, 2.0 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.3 steals
Projected stats: 6.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals
8: Gideon George (6-6, 190, Sr.)
2021 stats: 5.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.3 steals
Projected stats: 5.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.5 steals
Team MVP: Alex Barcello
HE'S BACK 😎 pic.twitter.com/BMnZ8vd2Ql
— BYU Men's Basketball (@BYUMBB) May 29, 2021
Barcello plays such an important role for this BYU basketball team. He’s a great scorer and all-around player, but what really sets him apart is his three-point shooting. Barcello shot an outstanding 47.7% from three-point range last season on relatively good volume, meaning that if the defense gives him a three-point attempt, it’s going in. He makes the shots when needed and is a leader on the court. He will have to really put the team on his back this year with some of their crucial guys from the past leaving.
Make or Break Player: Caleb Lohner
— BYU Men's Basketball (@BYUMBB) February 26, 2021
Lohner put up a decent freshman year campaign, averaging 7 points and rebounds again as the second big man. Now, with a year of experience under his belt and Matt Haarms gone, it will be up to Lohner to step up and become an elite player. Their big man depth is a little weak, so if Lohner can make up for that then BYU will be in a great situation, but if he stays par with last year or worse, then that could be a major problem for the team.
Bench Rating: 4/10
BYU’s bench isn’t their strong suit this year. Gavin Baxter is the best scorer off the bench, and will probably see good minutes throughout the season. Knell and George both provide good experience off the bench and could do a little of everything. BYU will be relying mostly on their starters though, as those are the clear top guys and the gap takes a big hit after the top 5.
Analytic to Know: AdjO
According to KenPom, BYU had the 23rd best AdjO in the country. This put them ahead of teams like Purdue, Creighton, and Texas. Brandon Averette and Matt Haarms were the second and third-leading scorers last season for BYU, so this team will have to figure out how to keep up the efficient offense without the same guys.
WAIVER APPROVED✅! LETS GOOOOO😎😆❕
— Seneca Knight (@sen_13_) September 24, 2021
BYU basketball has positive vibes before the season, especially after their transfer Seneca Knight was cleared to play this season. Knight and Lucas will have big roles, and both of them could fit them well based on what we’ve seen from the two the last few seasons.
BYU basketball has a few important non-conference games this season. A few to watch are Oregon on November 16th and in-state rival Utah on November 27th.
The dilemma that BYU faces every year will pertain once again in this one; how can we beat Gonzaga? Barring a surprise it’s most likely we’ll see the familiar scenario in which Gonzaga wins the conference, and they and BYU make the tournament.