Matt Haarms, Alex Barcello Ponder Returns To BYU Basketball For One More Year

Apr 6, 2021, 3:02 PM
Matt Haarms - Alex Barcello - BYU - NCAA Tournament...
BYU basketball seniors Matt Haarms and Alex Barcello. (Photos courtesy of Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photos courtesy of Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – Could BYU basketball get Matt Haarms and Alex Barcello back for one more year?

The talented senior duo has made it clear they have some tough decisions ahead of them. Despite completing their senior year this past season, the NCAA has granted every winter sports athlete a free year of eligibility this past season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Creating a unique opportunity for Barcello and grad transfer Haarms to run it back at BYU for one more season.


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A post shared by Matt Haarms (@matthaarms)

Matt Haarms shared on his personal Instagram account a post of him in his BYU uniform that had a caption, “Weighing my options…..” Haarms, on a handful of occasions, has stated that this past year would be his final season playing college basketball. After an NCAA Tournament loss to UCLA, he said, “That was my college career.

Guard Alex Barcello posted a picture on Instagram as well and wrote, “Decisions Decisions…” An honorable mention All-American this past year for BYU, Barcello has become a fan-favorite since he transferred from Arizona.


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A post shared by Alex Barcello (@alexbarcello)

In two years at BYU, Barcello has appeared in 59 games for the Cougars and he’s started in all 59. He took on an unofficial captain role this past season to show the “Best Locker Room in America” mantra that the program has embraced under Mark Pope.

Barcello made significant strides in his per-game averages for points, assists, rebounds, and field goal shooting percentage in his senior season.

On senior night back in February, BYU coach Mark Pope didn’t hide his enthusiasm about the chance to recruit all three of his seniors Barcello, Haarms, and guard Brandon Averette back for one more year. Pope even challenged the fans that were in attendance at the Marriott Center to recruit the seniors back for one more year.

“I actually should not do this. But it’s one of these unique times where this is 100 percent legal. I’m not allowed to talk to anybody about recruiting ever, except for these three guys. I’m telling you right now; I’m asking every single one of you guys, let’s recruit these dudes back, let’s go!”

Pope sent Matt Haarms a puzzle last week that once put together, had a message that read, “#ONEMOREYEAR.”

If BYU gets Haarms and Barcello back it would be two of the top players in the WCC returning to the Cougars lineup next season. Haarms was the WCC Defensive Player of the Year and Barcello was a First Team All-WCC selection.

The guard line is a top priority for BYU this off-season as they piece together their 2021-22 roster. Barcello would give them the leader and captain that they need in hopes of making a run back to the NCAA Tournament.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for 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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