#41 BYU Cougars: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season.  We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Since moving to the West Coast Conference two years ago, the BYU Cougars have finished in third place back-to-back seasons.  Depth will be an issue which makes it difficult to try and dethrone Gonzaga off the top of the WCC mountain but Dave Rose’s squad should be improved from last year.

BYU COUGARS
Last Season: 3rd, 10-6 in WCC, 24-12 overall
Predicted WCC Finish: 2nd

Projected Depth Chart
C: Eric Mika (Fr)
PF: Nate Austin (Jr)/Luke Worthington (Fr)
SF: Kyle Collinsworth (So)/Josh Sharp (Jr)
SG: Tyler Haws (Jr)/Anson Winder (Jr)/Frank Bartley (Fr)
PG: Matt Carlino (Jr)/Skyler Halford (Jr)

Gone: PF-Brandon Davies, G/F-Brock Zylstra, SG-Craig Cusick

2013-2014 Outlook:
The spark for BYU will be talented shooting guard Tyler Haws who averaged nearly 22 points per game after returning from his two year mission.  He is a terrific scorer and will undoubtedly be the focal point of every opposing defense.  That adds pressure onto the shoulders of point guard Matt Carlino who has been a two year starter since arriving in Provo.  He is a capable scorer in his own right and solid distributor as well.

Haws and Carlino should see a heavy dose of playing time due to a lack of depth at guard.  Anson Winder played sparingly last season and will compete for playing time with JUCO transfer Skyler Halford and versatile off guard Frank Bartley.  Halford will see some minutes at the point while Bartley was a stat sheet stuffer in high school who could steal whatever minutes Winder is in line for.

Kyle Collinsworth returns after spending the past two years on his mission in Russia.  Collinsworth’s versatility will be vital for BYU this season since he can do a little bit of everything on the floor while playing and guarding a few different positions.  He figures to replace Josh Sharp as the starting small forward but expect Sharp to still see a major role off the bench as he can play either forward spot.

That versatility from Sharp is needed since BYU only has three true frontcourt players on their roster and two of them are freshmen.  Nate Austin was primarily used in a reserve role but should move into the starting line-up.  His length and height help him on the boards and he is also capable of knocking down mid-range jumpers.

The real key for the Cougars could be highly regarding newcomer Erik Mika.  He was a top 50 recruit in the 2013 class and will be asked to play a major role from the opening tip of the season to help replace the departed Brandon Davies.  Luke Worthington is the other frontcourt freshman and provides a little more physicality down low than Mika or Austin.

Rose also picked up a transfer in Wake Forest guard Chase Fischer.  He is a capable outside shooter who must sit out this season per NCAA transfer rules.

Player to Watch: Tyler Haws
Haws finished 7th in the nation in scoring last season and he can stroke it from deep while also using his size to cause mismatches against smaller guards.  His younger brother, T.J. is committed to BYU for the 2014 class but Tyler will be the main attraction in Provo for the next two years.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/11 at Stanford
11/20 vs. Iowa State
11/25 vs. Texas (CBE Classic)
11/26 vs. Wichita State/DePaul (CBE Classic)
11/30 at Utah State
12/7 at UMass
12/14 at Utah
12/21 at Oregon

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#42 Pitt
#43 California
#44 Iowa State
#45 Providence
#46 Cincinnati
#47 UNLV
#48 Purdue
#49 LSU
#50 Illinois
#51 Xavier
#52 Boston College
#53 Ole Miss
#54 Missouri
#55 Washington
#56 Saint Mary’s
#57 Maryland
#58 Butler
#59 Minnesota
#60 Florida Gulf Coast
#61 Akron
#62 Temple
#63 Alabama
#64 Florida State
#65 Arkansas
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#68 Davidson
#69 Dayton
#70 Miami FL
#71 SMU
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#74 UMass
#75 Northwestern
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#78 Oklahoma
#79 Richmond
#80 Manhattan
#81 Belmont
#82 Texas
#83 Houston
#84 Washington State
#85 Iona
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#88 Towson
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#91 Rutgers
#92 Drexel
#93 USC
#94 Charleston
#95 Seton Hall
#96 Vanderbilt
#97 George Mason
#98 Clemson
#99 Penn State
#100 Nebraska
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#104 DePaul
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#107 TCU
#108 Virginia Tech
#109 Georgia
#110 Utah
#111 Auburn

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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