BYU COUGARS

BYU Basketball Assembled Another Versatile Roster For 2021-22 Season

Aug 22, 2021, 6:24 PM
BYU Basketball - Mark Pope...
BYU Basketball head coach Mark Pope speaks to members of the 2021-22 roster during a summer practice. (Nate Edwards/BYU Photo)
(Nate Edwards/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – Everyone is thinking about football right now, but don’t forget we’re just a little over 10 weeks away from the start of the BYU basketball season. The third year of the Mark Pope era has the potential to be another exciting one as the Cougars look to make a return to the NCAA Tournament.

The Cougars ‘ versatility on the roster makes BYU an exciting team to watch in the upcoming season.

When filling their final scholarship spot, they wanted to add a versatile player who could play many different spots. They ended up landing LSU transfer Seneca Knight, a versatile athlete who could play any spot from the one to the four.

“I’m all about versatility. …We feel really good about our ball handlers in Barcello, Te’Jon, Hunter Erickson, and Spencer Johnson playing some two,” said BYU assistant coach Chris Burgess to KSL Sports in July. “I love versatile players like a Gideon George, Trevin Knell, and Spencer Johnson. Their hybrid, right? They can play three, four, or they can play two or three. So I’m all about depth and versatility.”

To look at the versatility of BYU basketball’s roster a little further, I took on an exercise to compile many different lineups. If Mark Pope and his staff want to use feel free.

My Projected Starting Five for BYU in 2021-22

PG: Alex Barcello

SG: Te’Jon Lucas

3: Seneca Knight

4: Caleb Lohner

5: Gavin Baxter

The waiver for Seneca Knight is a big piece to this projected starting five. If the NCAA clears Knight to play this season, he’s an immediate starter. In addition, this lineup would give BYU three different players that could handle the ball. That’s a unique luxury that very few BYU basketball teams, if any, have ever had.

Alex Barcello returning for another year is massive for the BYU program. With Barcello back in the fold, the Cougars have the chance to finish ranked in the final AP Top 25 for the third consecutive year. Something that hasn’t happened in the history of the program. Barcello’s leadership alone will help bring the new faces on the team up to speed in a hurry.

Next five off the bench for BYU Basketball

G – Hunter Erickson

G – Spencer Johnson

G – Trevin Knell

F – Gideon George

C – Richard Harward

These five players have a look and feel of many BYU starting fives over the years. Hunter Erickson is an explosive guard who tore it up at the Powder League over the summer. Trevin Knell is an emerging voice in the locker room. Gideon George made significant leaps forward in his game and was critical in some big wins last year. Richard Harward is a true five who has no problem mixing it up down low in the post.

All-Newcomer lineup

G – Te’Jon Lucas

G – Trey Stewart

G – Jeremy DowDell

4 – Fousseyni Traore

5 – Atiki Ally Atiki

Te’Jon Lucas comes to BYU entering his sixth year in college basketball. Trey Stewart is an explosive guard who originally signed with Pope when he was at UVU. Jeremy DowDell is a sharp-shooter who rewrote the record books at Olympus High. Fousseyni Traore played forward and center on national powerhouse Wasatch Academy. And Atiki Ally Atiki was one of the best-kept secrets on the recruiting trail during the 2021 cycle (had offers from Oklahoma and San Diego State).

Three-point shooters

G – Alex Barcello

G – Spencer Johnson

G – Jeremy DowDell

4 – Trevin Knell

5 – Caleb Lohner

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Trevin Knell (@trevinknell)

Alex Barcello has shot 48.6% and 47.7% from beyond the arc in his first two years at BYU. Trevin Knell finished third in the WCC from three at 45.3%. Caleb Lohner missed his first 13 three-point attempts as a freshman, but then he began to find his touch from deep. In Lohner’s final six regular season games, he was 11-of-16 from three.

Slam Dunk lineup

G – Hunter Erickson

G – Trey Stewart

F – Seneca Knight

F – Caleb Lohner

F – Gavin Baxter

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Caleb Lohner (@caleb.lohner)

When you go to a BYU game, and you’re looking for the guys who can make a highlight reel slam dunk, these are your five best picks. Gavin Baxter –when healthy– is one of the freakiest athletes on BYU’s roster. He boasts a 7-foot-2 wingspan and hovers around a 40-inch vertical jump.

Caleb Lohner brings the power in his dunks.

Hunter Erickson and Trey Stewart are explosive guards who can fly from the guard line.

Defensive lineup

G – Alex Barcello

G – Te’Jon Lucas

F – Gideon George

F – Caleb Lohner

F – Gavin Baxter

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Te’Jon Lucas (@_tjl3_)

Last season, BYU was 30th in adjusted defensive efficiency metrics from Ken Pomeroy. The best finish since 2012. This team has the potential to be a top 30 defensive unit again. Te’Jon Lucas was number one in steals for Milwaukee last season. If Gavin Baxter can stay healthy, he isn’t anywhere as tall as Matt Haarms, but Baxter could be a top-notch rim protector on the backend of BYU’s defense this season.

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 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Basketball Assembled Another Versatile Roster For 2021-22 Season