‘Solid Chance’ BYU Forward Baxter Won’t Play This Season

Oct 3, 2019, 12:58 PM | Updated: 1:16 pm
Brigham Young Cougars forward Gavin Baxter (25) defends during a game with the Gonzaga Bulldogs in ...
Brigham Young Cougars forward Gavin Baxter (25) defends during a game with the Gonzaga Bulldogs in Provo on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY – BYU basketball head coach Mark Pope spoke at West Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Media Day on Thursday and discussed the health of Cougar forward Gavin Baxter.

Earlier this week, KSL Sports reported that Baxter suffered a shoulder injury after getting tangled up with a teammate during two-a-days at BYU basketball practice. After suffering the injury KSL Sports also reported that Baxter was consulting with three doctors to get differing opinions on the chances of him returning to the court this season.

Pope isn’t optimistic about the prospects of Baxter returning to play this season. The Cougars new head man said the following at the West Coast Conference Tip-Off.

“Gavin Baxter did come on strong (last year). He’s an extraordinarily long and gifted athlete. He can get end to end as fast as anybody. Looks like right now, there’s a solid chance we’re not going to see that until a year from now,” said Pope. “He tore a labrum and while we’re still seeing some experts I think there’s some solid chance that he’ll have to have that repaired right now. So we’ll miss him. So the other guys are going to have to step up.”

Losing Baxter is a major blow to BYU’s chances of returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2015 season.

As a true freshman, Baxter averaged 4.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, and shot 64-percent from the field a season ago. With Yoeli Childs suspended the first nine games due to a violation of NCAA rules, Baxter was expected to have a huge role in BYU’s rotation.

Snapshot at BYU Basketball’s depth without Baxter

Without Gavin Baxter for potentially the entire 2019-20 season, BYU is currently down to eight scholarship players that are expected to be available on opening night against Cal State Fullerton. BYU will be without Baxter, Childs due to suspension, and possibly without forward Zac Seljaas who’s still recovering from a foot injury. BYU coaches have been optimistic about Seljaas being available on opening night, but the senior forward from Bountiful has yet to practice in camp.

The Cougars are still waiting on waiver decisions for transfers Alex Barcello from Arizona and Richard Harward from Utah Valley University. Both of those players are currently on scholarship and would boost the Cougars’ depth that will be available to open the season if they receive a waiver.

Preferred walk-ons Colby Leifson, a returned missionary from Georgia and junior college transfer Blaze Nield will factor into the rotation as well.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

Kaleb Hayes, BYU Football, NFL Draft...
Mitch Harper

BYU’s Kaleb Hayes Has Elite Athletic Profile Among Draft Hopefuls

Former BYU cornerback turned heads at Pro Day. It was a historic showing for cornerbacks.
17 hours ago
BYU Football, Aidan Robbins, Transfer Portal...
Mitch Harper

BYU Football Boasts Top Transfers In Big 12 For 2023 Season

BYU has two of the top transfers in the Big 12 Conference for the 2023 season.
17 hours ago
Jaren Hall, BYU Pro Day, NFL Draft...
Mitch Harper

Jaren Hall Runs 40-Yard Dash At BYU Pro Day

Former BYU QB Jaren Hall goes through the 40-yard dash at Pro Day in Provo.
4 days ago
BYU Pro Day, NFL Draft, Results...
Mitch Harper

BYU Pro Day 2023 Results: QB Jaren Hall Goes Through Drills

Live updates and results from inside the Indoor Practice Facility at BYU Pro Day.
4 days ago
BYU Football, Isaiah Glasker, Spring Practice...
Mitch Harper

Seven BYU Football Players Whose Stock Is Rising During Spring Practice

If BYU football players were a stock market, buy now on these players heading into the 2023 season.
6 days ago
BYU Football, Jay Hill, Defensive Coordinator...
Mitch Harper

BYU Continues To Install Jay Hill’s ‘Complicated’ Defense During Spring

BYU defensive coordinator Jay Hill is putting together one of the nation's toughest defensive schemes.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
‘Solid Chance’ BYU Forward Baxter Won’t Play This Season