Kevin Young is aiming for high-level recruits

In his early recruiting efforts, Kevin Young has been offering highly ranked prospects.
Kevin Young gives Chris Paul a sideline chat
Kevin Young gives Chris Paul a sideline chat / Justin Tafoya/GettyImages

The best thing for BYU's program just happened: the Phoenix Suns got swept. Of course, the results of an NBA Playoff game may seem unrelated to anyone who hasn't been paying attention at all, but those of you who have been keeping up with the playoffs--and aren't Suns fans, of course--were silently cheering for an early exit for Phoenix.

With the Suns going out early, their top assistant coach will now become BYU's full-time head coach. Many expressed concern about his recruiting ability or how his talents may not transfer seamlessly to the college game, but now that he can focus 100% on BYU basketball he's aiming scholarship offers towards the Beehive State's top hoopers.

If recruiting is like using a garden hose, most would expect a new head coach to employ a bit of caution--spray a little here, and a little there. Make an offer to a 3-star here, and avoid players X, Y, and Z. Young is making his approach very obvious to onlookers: he's not here to delicately water different recruiting grounds--he's blocking the opening with this thumb and unleashing a super spray of offers.

The first order of business--as he shared in his introductory press conference--was to retain the current roster and maintain some continuity from last season's expectation-shattering squad. Mission accomplished, as talented guards Dallin Hall and Richie Saunders rejected interest from some of the nation's top schools to buy into Young's program.

Up next, find talented players who expect to play NBA basketball and build an NBA pipeline through Provo. With an early offer to 4-star guard, JJ Mandaquit and flipping USC commit, Brody Kozlowski, Young got the ball rolling on his recruiting efforts. Taking that momentum and running with it, two more high-profile recruits received offers from BYU: Wasatch Academy's Isiah Harwell and Los Lunas, New Mexico's Jalin Holland.

If I can start by highlighting Isiah Harwell, he would easily be the highest-rated recruit in Cougar history (a title that recently opened up). A 5-star shooting guard from Pocatello, Idaho, Harwell stands at 6'6" and 200 lbs. He's the 247 Sports' 7th-rated prospect in the 2025 class, and the top recruit in Utah, followed by another BYU recruit in JJ Mandaquit.

Harwell is fast, strong, and athletic with the drive to score on any defense. He's happy to play above the rim and has incredible lift off the ground. Harwell boasts a beautiful shooting stroke from long range and is more than capable of creating his own offense--a skill that was largely absent from last season's team.

Obviously, a skillset like Harwell's doesn't go unnoticed across the college hoops landscape, and he's racked up a lengthy list of offers from programs like Gonzaga, Kansas, Baylor, Houston, and so many more. Yet, according to On3 Sports, BYU is firmly in the running, with the second-highest likelihood of landing Harwell's talents.

You can see some of his highlights here:

Despite the obvious star power of Harwell, you'd be a fool to overlook the other star prospect Young recently offered: Jalin Holland.

Holland is a 4-star shooting guard out of Los Lunas, New Mexico, but plays on the AAU circuit with the Utah Prospects team that has housed Harwell and Mandaquit in recent years. Holland stands at 6'5" and weighs in at 190 lbs.

The top recruit from New Mexico and a top 100 recruit nationally, Holland is a terrific shooting guard with a great shooting stroke. During his high school career in New Mexico, he often looked like a man among boys. Though he's capable of pulling up for long-range shots over the defense, he's more than happy to bully his way into the paint to finish through contact.

BYU is early to the party for recruiting Holland, as his list of offers is still growing. He's been offered a scholarship from some power programs like Texas, Washington State, Cincinnati, and San Diego State, with no clear frontrunner at the moment.

You can see his highlights here:

We all know how the recruiting world works, though. As players receive offers from top-level programs, BYU historically fades into the background and becomes a footnote in a player's career. Yet, with Kevin Young at the helm, an unprecedented sense of optimism surrounds BYU's program. Young's hopes are centered around luring significant talent to Provo, Utah, and his recent efforts reflect the goal of building a legitimate basketball power through BYU.

Keep your expectations low, as high-level recruits commonly haven't decided to attend BYU, but change is in the air surrounding Brigham Young University. Let's see what our new head coach can do.

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