What is Kevin Young's recruiting pitch?

Kevin Young is luring top basketball talent to play at BYU. What does Provo have to offer the nation's best players?
Kevin Young courtside with the Phoenix Suns
Kevin Young courtside with the Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Since the premature departure of Mark Pope and the installation of Kevin Young into the BYU basketball program, the narrative surrounding BYU basketball has shifted dramatically. After an unanticipated level of success followed the Cougars into their first season in the Big 12 hoops gauntlet, Coach Pope's exit seemed to be a death blow to the delicate balance of BYU basketball.

With top players entering the transfer portal (I will always love you, Aly Khalifa), and a void in the head coach position, BYU hoops seemed primed for a long and painful rebuild. Then, the greatest move in the program's history changed everything.

Kevin Young arrived in Provo after years of rising through the ranks of the NBA--coaching overseas and in the G-League until he became the highest-paid assistant in the league garnered respect for Coach Young across the basketball world. When he landed in Provo, Young shared his intention to make BYU the best place for players to prepare for an NBA career.

He's making good on his promise.

In his short time at the helm, Young has delivered 3 of BYU's highest-rated basketball recruits--ever. Brody Kozlowski, Elijah Crawford, and international sensation Egor Demin will all be joining Kevin Young's roster for the 2024-25 season. On top of that, BYU is offering the top players in the 2025 recruiting class, including the top overall prospect: AJ Dybantsa at Utah Prep (who will be visiting BYU today).

With legitimate NBA talent now in the barracks, BYU is looking stronger than ever.

One question has nagged in the minds of even the most optimistic Cougar fans during this onslaught of positive news: how is Kevin Young convincing young players to come to BYU? While we don't have the map through Young's mind, we can speculate on what could entice young talent to commit to Provo, Utah.

When Kevin Young fires up the PowerPoint presentation, what could he possible say that would draw these players to Provo, Utah? Here are some possible points in Kevin Young's recruiting pitch for the best available recruits.

NBA Preparation at BYU

Coach Young has a unique background among his NCAA peers. Though he's largely untested at the NCAA level, he's able to draw comparisons and examples from his NBA experience to show recruits how he can prepare them for the professional levels of basketball.

We can't be certain as to exactly how Young delivers his pitch to BYU's top targets, but Robby McCombs at Vanquish the Foe shared a bit on how Coach Young pitched his NBA experience to transfer target, Chaz Lanier.

"Sources tell me BYU is competitive with NIL for Chaz, and Kevin Young’s NBA background and offensive acumen are enticing for Chaz whose goal is to make the NBA. Kevin Young has shown Lanier what he did with Devin Booker and envisions Lanier having that type of role at BYU."

Vanquish the Foe

Kevin Young has been touted as one of the best offensive minds in basketball, and has plenty of experience coaching some of the best players in the world. Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Chris Paul all worked with Young in Phoenix, and are effusive in their praise of their former coach. Booker, specifically shared how he wished he could have played for a coach like Young in college.

Limited Distractions

Being a private university owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young University holds its student body to a very strict code of conduct. Essentially, it means that even non-LDS students are held to the same standard as LDS students.

Noah Waterman, Darius Johnson
The Marriott Center was full for the in-conference matchup between BYU and UCF / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

From the right perspective, BYU's greatest weakness in recruiting non-LDS players to Provo is one of its greatest strengths. If incoming prospects are serious about putting in adequate work to become the best players possible, the honor code puts players in a great position to avoid distractions and focus on developing their talents.

Young's pitch likely goes along these lines: "if you are serious about becoming an NBA-ready player, you need to hold yourself to a higher standard. At BYU, we can cut away some of the outside noise to help you focus on your game. You're in a controlled environment at BYU, and your potential for growth will be much higher when you put yourself into the bubble."

In addition to state-of-the-art training facilities and a national stage provided courtesy of BYU's membership in the Big 12 Conference, Provo boasts one of the nation's best home-court advantages in the ROC.

For many reasons, BYU is becoming a desirable destination for the best players in the nation. We don't know how high the program can reach, but suddenly we have greater hope than ever in a program that seemed dead in the water months ago.

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