Sunday, August 28, 2011

Brandon Davies Returns To BYU

"Brandon Davies? Wasn't he that guy who was suspended for sleeping with his girlfriend? He's back?"

That's what you're going to hear from a bunch of casual fans this season because, yes, BYU very quietly re-instated Brandon Davies this week. This was expected, honestly, as I said in my WCC preview back in April (remember: BYU has moved to the WCC). With Brandon Davies back that confirms that BYU's frontcourt should actually be even better than they were last season. Davies returns along with Noah Hartsock, Stephen Rogers and Chris Collinswoth. The return of Collinsworth from injury is particularly important because his younger brother, Kyle, has gone off on his mormon mission and is not expected back until the 2013-14 season. They also add 2011 recruit Nate Austin. They have another good big man recruit in Isaac Nielson, though he's going to go on a mission before joining the team, and will not begin his BYU career until the 2013-14 season.

But while the frontcourt is coming into form for BYU, the backcourt is a gigantic question mark after the graduations of Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery. Charles Abouo is more of a small forward, but he's a quality returner who can play shooting guard (he's only 6'5", 215 pounds). But the two best guards after Abuou haven't played a minute yet for BYU. Anson Winder was a quality recruit from Dave Rose's 2010 recruiting class who redshirt the 2010-11 season. Matt Carlino is a transfer from UCLA. The top recruit in Rose's 2011 recruiting class is DeMarcus Harrison.

Because Charles Abouo can play shooting guard, the bigger backcourt concern for Dave Rose is point guard. Matt Carlino is probably the leader in the clubhouse to start at the point. The backup? I think it's actually Nick Martineau, who played 5.8 minutes per game in 2007-08 and 4.8 minutes per game in 2010-11, with a two year mission in between.

Since I already expected Brandon Davies back, this news doesn't affect my projection of BYU. I have them finishing second in the WCC behind Gonzaga, and earning a 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

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