BYU Basketball: The Immediate Future for the Cougars

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 05: Dalton Nixon
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 05: Dalton Nixon /
BYU Basketball LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 05: Nick Emery
BYU Basketball LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 05: Nick Emery /

There is still a lot of questions heading into next season, but if BYU Basketball wants to find success they need to start preparing now.

Provo, UT – Prepping for next season came much earlier than usual for BYU as this is the first time in the Dave Rose era that the Cougs are not playing in a postseason tournament of some kind. With no invitation from the NIT, the Cougars are having to evaluate the team that they will put together next season. There is a lot of looming doubt over the Cougars and the expectations for the Cougs are mixed at best.

There are a few looming questions for me that need to be answered sooner than later if I am going to get on the hype train for the Cougars going forward.

Is Yoeli Childs staying or going?

This is the question that all BYU basketball fans have on their minds. Yoeli finished the 2018-2019 season with averages of 21.2 points per game and 9.7 rebounds. He was named to the WCC All-Conference First Team. He was named to the U.S. Basketball Writers Association All-District VIII Team for the 2nd straight year and the National Association of Basketball Coaches 2018-19 NABC Division I All-District 9 First Team. Childs has a much-improved jump shot and can consistently hit the deep shot which was the subject of criticism from NBA scouts.

Now why mention all that? After last season, Childs tested the NBA waters without an agent. This year, as noted by the long list of awards, he is much improved. This is where I have to pull out the ole crystal ball and speculate but my thought process is that Yoeli is taking the leap. Like Elijah Bryant and Eric Mika before him, he is going to cast his lot into the fray.

Now if I am wrong (I hope that I am) and Yoeli comes back, then the Cougars become an instant contender in the WCC to challenge Gonzaga.

How will the new recruits contribute?

New blood can change a program. If you have any doubts about that just look at Duke this season. BYU has some incoming recruits that could become instant contributors. Now, I’m not saying the next Zion Williamson is coming next year, but solid contributors for sure.

Jesse Wade could be a huge factor. Former Mr. Basketball here in Utah started his college career in Spokane with Gonzaga but transferred last year and due to NCAA rules had to sit out this season. He is a sharpshooter that has a good ability to get to the rim on his own. He did have a shoulder injury that plagued him during the 2017-18 season and didn’t get much playing time. We haven’t seen much of what Wade can do but hopefully, he can be a spark for the offense.

Two other incoming recruits that I am most interested in are Shengzhe Li and Bernardo Da Silva. From China and Brazil originally, they played their high school and prep ball here in the United States. Li is a 6’11 center with a soft touch around the rim. Not much of an outside game but he gives the Cougars some good size in the middle. Da Silva is 6’9 but has a 7’2 wingspan and is rated by ESPN as the 4th best prospect in the state of Utah. His athleticism and length will be a great addition for the Cougars.

With Jashire Hardnett and Rylan Bergerson both transferring from the program and Cannon and Worthington both graduating the Cougars will need to play by committee for this upcoming season to avoid another disappointing ending to a season.