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Way-Too-Early Look At BYU Basketball For 2024-25 Season

Mar 25, 2024, 11:44 AM | Updated: 7:11 pm

BYU Basketball, Dallin Hall, 2024-2025 Personnel...

BYU basketball starting guard Dallin Hall projects to be one of the top players for the Cougars in the 2024-2025 season. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball found its footing during its inaugural season in the Big 12 Conference.

The Cougars finished fifth place in a Big 12 that produced eight NCAA Tournament teams.

But moving forward towards the 2024-25 season, the challenge will be finding a way to advance in the Big Dance.

“We understand what a multi-year process it is. From year one last year to year two was epic growth and progression,” said BYU coach Mark Pope. “I think our program is hungry to continue getting better. We’ve made massive strides in that area. And at some point, we’ll be progressing in this [NCAA] Tournament.”

These days, it’s always risky to take an early look at a college basketball roster. Change is inevitable in this sport.

BYU head coach Mark Pope is making it a top priority to retain the current players in the program and bring them back for the 2024-25 season.

“In terms of the [transfer] portal, that will always be a space in what we do,” said Pope. “But our number one priority in terms of forming our roster for next year is to retain our guys.”

The transfer portal is open until May 1, and coaching carousel activity continues to churn. Then there’s the upcoming NBA draft deadline, which BYU is monitoring for once.

But as BYU settles into the offseason, here’s a way-too-early look at the personnel who have eligibility remaining and could be back on the BYU roster for the 2024-25 season.

BYU basketball will be waiting on an NBA draft decision from Jaxson Robinson

BYU guard Jaxson Robinson put together the best game of his two years with the Cougars in the NCAA Tournament loss to Duquesne. Robinson scored 25 points off the bench and showed an ability to attack the rim with physicality, along with his smooth jump shot from beyond the arc.

What felt like a foregone conclusion he was going to leave for the NBA, Robinson gave hope of a potential return after the NCAA loss.

The early entry deadline for the NBA draft is April 27.

In his latest mock draft, ESPN’s NBA draft analyst Jonathan Givony selected Robinson as the 55th pick out of 60.

Getting Robinson, the Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year, to return would be a big splash for BYU.

Super Seniors

Trevin Knell | Guard

Knell has been part of every BYU team since Mark Pope took over in 2019. He has one year of eligibility remaining. At times this past season, Knell looked to be the best shooter in the Big 12 Conference. But after suffering a foot injury during league play, he only had four games in conference action where he knocked down 40% of his three-pointers.

Noah Waterman | Forward

Waterman told KSL Sports at the NCAA Tournament that he received his medical waiver from his time at Niagara. That gives him an extra year of eligibility to play in the 2024-25 season. Waterman started 33 games this past season for BYU.

Aly Khalifa | Center

The 6-foot-11 Khalifa has one year of eligibility remaining, thanks to the free year of eligibility caused by the COVID-19 season in 2021. Khalifa played through a knee injury that needs surgery. He was the best passing big man in the country.

Khalifa finished sixth in assist/turnover ratio at 3.59 per game.

Fourth Year for Fouss

Fousseyni Traore | Center/Forward

It’s hard to believe that Fousseyni Traore has already completed three years in his college basketball career. The fan favorite has been a mainstay for BYU in the frontcourt.

Traore navigated a hamstring injury that kept him out for most of nonconference play. He was one of the strongest big men in the Big 12 when he was fully healed from the injury around February.

The key for Traore heading into his final season will be extending his range. If he can knock down shots from 15 feet, he could be an All-Big 12 player next year.

What’s next for these BYU basketball seniors?

Atiki Ally Atiki | Center

Trey Stewart | Guard

It will be interesting offseasons for Atiki Ally Atiki and Trey Stewart. On the surface, these would be players you might think would consider the transfer portal because their roles were limited and inconsistent during Big 12 and postseason play.

However, both guys have been at BYU for three seasons and signed with the program after high school. Both have one year of college eligibility remaining.

Atiki played through a broken thumb injury that will require surgery this offseason. Stewart was seldom used as a backup point guard to Dallin Hall.

Junior standouts

Dallin Hall | Guard

Hall was one of three BYU players who appeared in every game during the 2024 season. The 6-foot-4 guard earned Honorable Mention All-Big 12 honors, averaging 9.0 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

Hall will be one of the stars of the program entering next season.

Richie Saunders | Guard

Saunders was a relentless energizer off the bench for BYU in 2024. He finished averaging 9.6 points and 4.1 rebounds. It will be interesting to see if Saunders earns more consideration as a potential next season instead of a spark plug on the second unit.

Coming back from an injury

Dawson Baker | Guard

BYU’s need for more depth on the guard line might already have an answer. The former UC Irvine transfer was a standout in training camp, but a foot injury derailed his potential impact this past season.

Mark Pope has said previously that BYU expects Baker to have two years of eligibility remaining in his college career.

Wild Card

Editor’s Note: Marcus Adams Jr. entered the NCAA Transfer Portal

Marcus Adams | Forward

Adams was a heralded Top 50 addition to BYU basketball’s roster after they returned home from their summer tour in Italy and Croatia. His story is well-documented: he signed with Kansas, then transferred to Gonzaga, and after a brief stay in Spokane, he ended up at BYU.

Entering the year, there was talk of an NCAA waiver, which seemed unlikely. Then, the floodgates opened as a judge put a restraining order on the NCAA’s two-time transfer rules, opening the door for Adams to play in 2024.

Adams appeared in one game against Bellarmine. He dealt with injuries in training camp that lingered throughout the season.

It will be interesting to see how BYU basketball uses Adams moving forward. This past season, during practices, he lined up as a four, and there was a learning curve for a player who could still have been in high school.

Heralded Freshmen

Collin Chandler | Guard

Isaac Davis | Forward

BYU brings in the highest-rated recruit they’ve signed in the internet era and the No. 14 overall prospect next season.

Collin Chandler returns home from his two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this spring. Then BYU also adds Isaac Davis, who completed his prep career at Hillcrest High in Idaho this past winter.

Chandler was the No. 37 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite in the 2022 recruiting class. Expectations will be high for him, and for good reason. He’s got the talent to be an instant impact player for BYU next season.

Davis’s skillset reminds many of former BYU basketball star Yoeli Childs. We will see how it materializes in year one, but Davis will bring some physicality to BYU’s frontcourt next season.

Walk-on Returning Missionaries

Adam Stewart | Center

Paora Winitana | Guard

BYU adds some size to the frontcourt with the preferred walk-on Adam Stewart returning home from a mission. Stewart, a 6-foot-11 center, picked BYU basketball over his hometown Rice Owls out of high school.

Winitana competed in BYU’s program during the 2021-22 season before leaving to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Walk-ons

Townsend Tripple

Jared McGregor

Tanner Hayhurst

BYU’s three walk-ons from the 2024 season have eligibility remaining for next season.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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Way-Too-Early Look At BYU Basketball For 2024-25 Season