COUGAR TRACKS

BYU Basketball Roster Inventory: Current Personnel, Signees, Missionaries

Nov 11, 2020, 1:58 PM
Mark Pope - BYU Basketball...
LAHAINA, HI - NOVEMBER 26: Head coach Mark Pope of the BYU Cougars applauds his players as he calls in a play during the first half against the Kansas Jayhawks at the Lahaina Civic Center on November 26, 2019 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah  – There has been a lot of personnel additions to the BYU basketball roster since head coach Mark Pope took over the program.

A total of 10 players on this year’s BYU basketball roster were recruited by Pope and the current staff. Last season’s 24-8 team that finished No. 18 in the national AP Top 25 poll, had six seniors. Leaving Pope’s program to plug the gaps on their 2020-21 BYU Basketball roster with a bunch of new faces and transfers.

Here’s an overview of all the personnel currently part of the program, along with missionaries and players that are signed to play for the Cougars in the future.

BYU Basketball Roster 2020-21 (Current Personnel)

Brandon Averette, Senior*

BYU desperately needed another experienced ball-handler in the backcourt to pair up with Barcello. Averette’s skills with the basketball are top-notch. One of the best ball-handlers BYU has acquired since Jimmer Fredette and to go even farther back Matt Montague.

Matt Haarms, Senior

Haarms arrives at BYU from Purdue as the tallest player the Cougars have had since Shawn Bradley 30 years ago. At 7-foot-3, Haarms will have the ability to shut down the paint on the defensive end and showcase his versatility on the offensive side. This year, he has the potential to be one of the best big men in college basketball, and he loves what the BYU coaching staff has to offer in elevating his game.

Alex Barcello, Senior

One of the nation’s top three-point shooters last season at 48.6 percent from beyond the arc. Barcello steps into the role of being BYU’s most experienced leader within the program. “The Bulldog,” as players and coaches refer to him, will now have plays designed for him within the offense, along with being one of the Cougars’ top defensive players.

Kolby Lee, Junior*

Lee took a huge step forward in his development last season and made many BYU fans “Kolbelievers” with his improved play. Lee averaged 7 points and pulled down 3 rebounds per game while shooting a blistering 62.5 percent from the field, thanks in large part to those “quickie” shots he mastered a year ago.

Jesse Wade, Junior*

Wade is working to return from the knee injury that forced him to miss all of last season. A former Player of the Year here in the state of Utah, Wade has the ability to fill it up in bunches. But it has been years since Wade has had a consistent role with a team. If healthy, Wade adds another player who can flat out shoot.

Richard Harward, Junior*

Last year, the media watched all two hours of practice on days selected for media availability. There were a couple of guarantees with every practice. Mark Pope was going to throw a football around to players during stretches, and Richard Harward was going to get on someone’s nerves. Harward is BYU’s enforcer in the frontcourt, and he could find himself in the starting lineup this season.

Spencer Johnson, Junior*

One of the top players for SLCC this past season, Johnson has had a long, winding road towards ending up at BYU. A former Weber State signee out of American Fork High School, Johnson is a combo guard who has made significant leaps forward on the defensive end.

Gavin Baxter, Junior

Last season Baxter sacrificed a year of eligibility, but he gets it back this year with a free season. A former four-star recruit, Baxter made a quicker than expected recovery from a torn labrum injury to return late in the season for a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament with his teammates. The COVID-19 pandemic took away the chance to play in the Big Dance last year, but now Baxter looks poised for a big bounceback. At 6-foot-9, Baxter has the ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor.

Connor Harding, Junior

Could Harding become BYU’s next Jake Toolson? It’s possible. Harding was a sharpshooter burying 44 percent of his three-point attempts last season coming off the bench. Only entering his junior season, Harding could play some point guard, or the two and three spots. He’s a versatile player like Toolson was, and now he has an opportunity to take a big leap forward in his game.

Gideon George, Junior

A talent like Gideon George highlights the depth on BYU’s roster. A 6-foot-6 wing who still has his best days of basketball in front of him. George moved from Nigeria to play basketball in America, where he played at New Mexico Junior College for two years. Now he will look to find his role in year one at BYU. He has three years to play two in his collegiate career.

Wyatt Lowell, Sophomore*

The former WAC Freshman of the Year at UVU, Lowell, has endless potential. A former four-star recruit by some outlets coming out of Williams Field High School in Arizona. Has the athleticism to play out on the wing and be a three in a given lineup. During the off-season, Lowell suffered a torn labrum that would keep him out for four to six months.

Trevin Knell, Sophomore

One of the best shooters in the program, Knell, played in only 19 games in his first year back after serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Knell was making strides on the defensive end before suffering a freak thumb injury in the pregame warmup line.

Hunter Erickson, Freshman

After two years away, it can be easy for fans to forget about a player’s talent coming back from serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hunter Erickson is one of those guys that people are sleeping on. Watching Erickson’s highlights at Timpview, he reminds me a little bit of former BYU guard Michael Vranes because of how athletic they are.

Caleb Lohner, Freshman

There might not be a better fit offensively for what Pope is doing with his offense than adding Caleb Lohner. Checking in at 6-foot-9 with shoes on, Lohner has an old-school feel to his game and one of the purest shooting forms you’ll find from a true freshman. Lohner has the potential to be in the conversation for a starting role, but how quickly does he pick things up on the defensive end?

Cameron Pearson, Sophomore (Walk-on)

Part of the program last year appearing in 13 games.

Townsend Tripple, Freshman (Walk-on)

Was going to serve a mission, but due to COVID-19, the mission has been delayed, and will walk-on this season.

Brandon Warr, Senior (Walk-on)

Warr transferred from Westminster College, where he has two years to play one. Expected to redshirt this season.

For more on the current BYU basketball roster, subscribe to the Cougar Tracks Podcast on the KSL Sports app.

Signees (Class of 2021)

Jake Wahlin | Timpview High School | ***

(Wahlin is expected to sign)

Wahlin is a 6-7 combo guard who could play some point guard for BYU after returning home from serving his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2023.

Missionaries

Returning for 2021-22 season

Trey Stewart | American Fork High School

Mark Pope has used the word “explosive” to describe Trey Stewart. Stewart took off in his senior year and he’s viewed as a prospect who has endless potential. He was serving a mission in England before the novel Coronavirus pandemic. Stewart is now serving his mission in Kennewick, Washington, where he is spreading the gospel through impressions slam dunks.

Nate Hansen | Timpview High School

Hansen signed with BYU over offers from UC Davis, Portland, and UC Davis. He’s currently serving his mission in Arkansas.

Jeremy DowDell | Olympus High School

DowDell led the state of Utah in scoring as a senior with 29.6 points per game. A sharp-shooter from beyond the arc, DowDell knocked down 43 percent of his three-point attempts as a senior.

Casey Brown | Pleasant Grove High School

Brown is a three-year varsity player at Pleasant Grove. Averaged 16.8 points per game in his final year with the Vikings.

Returning for 2022-23 season

Richie Saunders | Wasatch Academy

A top 250 prospect according to the 247Sports Composite, Saunders turned down offers from Utah and Creighton to sign with BYU. Saunders is currently serving a mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Madagascar.

Dallin Hall | Fremont High School

Donovan Mitchell called Hall a “hooper” for his play during the Utah High School State Tournament. Hall has earned praise from Mark Pope for his leadership and “Hollywood caliber charisma.” Hall left this summer to serve a mission in the Philippines.

Tanner Toolson | Union High School (WA)

The son of former BYU player Andy Toolson, Tanner, was the Washington State Mr. Basketball last season. Toolson picked BYU over Utah, Utah State, and Boise State. He’s serving a mission in Jacksonville, Florida.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

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BYU Basketball Roster Inventory: Current Personnel, Signees, Missionaries