No one can put into words how great the Jimmer Fredette era was at Brigham Young University. Now as he is set to work out with NBA teams for pre-draft workouts, one may wonder what BYU will do now. How do you replace the best player at BYU since Danny Ainge if not the best? How do you replace someone who holds just about every scoring record at BYU? (He has 4 of the top 5 scoring performances in BYU history). The answer is you don’t. You can’t. You just have to move on and do your absolute best to get the best possible team on the floor you can.
That is exactly what head coach Dave Rose is doing. Some returners from last years sweet sixteen team include Charles Abouo and Noah Hartsock. Brandon Davies, who was suspended for violating the schools honor code is also expected to be back before the 2011-12 season tips off. BYU fans are ecstatic for that first home game of the year. Watch out for one of the biggest ovations the Marriott Center has seen when Davies name is called.
Other returners for the Cougars are a couple of guys who didn’t play at all last season. Anson Winder used his redshirt last season, so he’ll be returning as a freshman guard. It’s said that he can play both guard positions if needs be. Another player who sat was UCLA transfer Matt Carlino. He’s said to be the starting point guard but he isn’t eligible to play until December due to transfer rules. So he’ll miss a few games.
Earlier this week it was reported that BYU will also land an athletic wing, Josh Sharp. Sharp has recently returned from his mission and initially committed to play for the University of Utah. However as we learned from Greg Wrubell, BYU’s play-by-play announcer, yesterday via twitter and Cougar Tracks, Sharp has committed to BYU. Add another athletic wing man. At 6’8, he will be very serviceable in the BYU lineup and will be available for this upcoming season due to big man James Anderson graduating as a junior. Also, big men Nate Austin and Ian Harward both return from their missions and will join the team for the 2011 season.
Which brings us to the last (but most definately not least) new comer to the Cougars. A 6’5 Shooting Guard out of South Carolina, DeMarcus Harrison chose the Cougars over schools like Clemson and Marquette. Harrison can shoot and slash to the basket as seen in his recruiting video by ESPNU. Harrison “…boasts a level of athleticism that is rarely seen in Provo” as reported by rivals.com. DeMarcus will have an opportunity contribute to this team from the get go as Coach Rose has said. Harrison could be the next great thing for BYU fans to see at the Marriott Center.
So here is a look at what the 2011-12 lineup could look like for the Cougars.
*PG Matt Carlino 6’1 Fr.
SG DeMarcus Harrison 6’5 Fr.
SF Charles Abouo 6’5 Sr.
PF/C Brandon Davies 6’9 Jr.
^PF/C Chris Collinsworth 6’9 So.
*PG/SG Anson Winder 6’3 Fr.
^PF Noah Harstock 6’8 Sr.
SF Stephen Rogers 6’8 So.
SF Josh Sharp 6’8 Fr.
G/F Brock Zylstra 6’6 Jr.
PG Nick Martineau 6’0 Jr.
# PF/C Nate Austin 6’9 Fr.
# C Ian Harward 6’10 Fr.
*Winder is likely to be the starter before Carlino is eligible to play in December.
#Both have a redshirt available. It’s likely one of them will.
^Either could start or be first big man off the bench.
With guys like Rogers, Sharp and Hartsock/Collinsworth coming off the bench this could be the most athletic roster Dave Rose has had. There are a handfull of guys who can shoot the ball which will open up the inside for guys like Davies and Collinsworth. Depending on the success of this team, most everyone should return for the following season. Keep in mind that starting shooting guard Tyler Haws returns from his mission for the 2012-13 season.
The future of the post-Jimmer-era for BYU in the West Coast Conference looks very bright.