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A Look at New Cougars for 2011-12

4 April 2011 Mike Rose 24 Comments

BYU basketball recruit Nate Austin

First off, let me congratulate Jimmer Fredette for be named as BYU’s first ever winner of the Naismith Award.

A fitting recognition for one of the most electrifying college basketball players to come down the pike in many years!

He certainly made the right decision to come back for his senior year.

Now on to today’s topic:

I’d like to give a shot out to my brother Greg for helping write this article, he is always the one to notify me of new Cougar signees and keeps me up to date on who we are recruiting, sends me clips, etc.

Aside from being well informed, I’m going out on a limb to say he’s the best left-handed shooter ever to grace the floor of the RB! We had many good driveway battles growing up in Houston.

Thanks also to former BYU center Derek Dawes for the Ian Harward breakdown. He coached him for a year at Orem High School and if Ian ever makes it big, he better remember his high school big man coach! If he fails, well then he must not have been coachable. :)

With the season coming to a close, we’ve already taken a look back at the best ride in recent memory: http://deepshadesofblue.com/top-10-moments-of-the-byu-basketball-season-2/.

As we lose three seniors to graduation and Vladimir Collinsworth to a mission, it’s time to look ahead to next year and break down the new faces.

Matt Carlino (6’2″ PG)

Final year HS stats: 13.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists

Projected freshman year stats: 9.3 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists

Player he most reminds us of: Acie Law (Warriors)

Other potential comparisons: Marcus Williams (UConn), Goran Dragic (Steve Nash back-up), Drew Neitzel (Michigan State)

Sorry to disappoint Jazz fans by leaving off former great John Crotty.

Best youtube links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq1ANn0M6a0 (Freshman year)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7683pRYXIpg (Jimmer and Carlino comparison)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQvAEVrYnAA&feature=related

Commentary:

By now, many Cougar bball fans know his story.  He played two years for Highland High in Gilbert, Arizona and one year for Bloomington High in Indiana.  All three teams were ranked #1 in the state and racked up the wins.  He committed to Indiana early, then re-opened his recruitment and signed with and graduated early for UCLA.  After one semester at UCLA he decided to transfer, and the Cougars welcomed the equivalent of “point guard manna” into the fold to resolve the biggest concern for 2011-2012.

What we like about Carlino is his ability to shoot and score. Carlino will continue in the “new wave” BYU point guard mold as one who is a threat from 25 feet and puts pressure on the defense off of ball screens through aggressive penetration.  His freshman year, particularly because he joins the team in December, he will likely look to distribute, run the offense, and knock down open looks.

But as he grows in his role, Carlino should be a star in the WCC and a catalyst to BYU remaining nationally ranked and relevant in the coming years.  He’s been practicing with them team since January, learning from Jimmer. That will pay HUGE dividends. The word from the coaches is he’s been shooting the ball really well and has impressed. Apparently he has an aggressive, confident mindset and that is critical for a point guard.

Anson Winder (6’3″ SG/PG)

Final year HS stats: 17 points, 7 rebounds

Projected freshman year stats:  5.2 PPG, 2 rassists

Player he most reminds us of: Chase Tapley (SDSU)

Other potential comparisons: Sam Burgess (with alley-oop ability), Pooh Williams (Utah State)

Best youtube links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYAaxJUPd3A
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H46ZiorreW0&feature=related (alley oop reel)

Commentary:

Anson is an athletic combo guard with a good 3-point stroke. He’s a solid defender, and should fit in nicely in BYU’s transition offense- his high school coach Grant Rice likes to push the ball as well, so the system is similar. He should contribute initially at PG while Carlino sits out, then will battle for playing time at the wing with Rogers, Abuo, and Harrison when Carlino returns. I hope he stays at BYU if Coach Rice leaves, he can really help our team over the next few years. Seems like a good kid, too.

Damarcus Harrison (6’5″, SF/SG)

Final year HS stats: 12.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists

Projected freshman year stats: 8.7 PPG, 4 rebounds

Player he most reminds us of: JR Giddens

Other potential comparisons: Lee Cummard with more penetration ability, Jeremy Lamb (UConn)

Best youtube links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c6fHNVeDaI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbjqvZlTVX0&feature=related

Commentary:
Long, athletic wing with a nice shooting touch and a great feel for the game. His high school coach said he’s the best all around player on that team, and it’s a nationally ranked squad. Not a big time scorer in HS because of the system.  I think he will contribute significantly right away, but freshman year expectations may need to be tempered.

Remember what other recent BYU stars have done in their freshman campaigns (Lee, JT, Jimmer). Haws was the exception who came in with big scoring games right away. That being said, he does have a great chance to start right away. He has long term potential to be WCC player of the year.

Watch the clips, his athleticism is exciting. He’ll put people in the stands. Many people compare him to Mike Hall, but Mike was a strong, aggressive type player who tried to overpower you. That’s why we called him “The Beast”. DeMarcus is a more skilled, smooth-type player who will slash when someone is closing out, but can really stroke it and it looks like he prefers to do so. I hope he is an aggressive penetrator in college, I’m not sure yet.

Ian Harward (6’10”, PF/C)

Final year HS stats: not available

Projected freshman year stats: likely redshirt, then 4.5 PPG, 3 boards per game in his first year

Player he most reminds us of: a less skilled Tyler Zeller (UNC)

Other potential comparisons: Alex Kirk (redhead on New Mexico), a shorter more mobile David Foster

Youtube links: n/a

Commentary: From his High School coach, Derek Dawes
STRENGTHS
– Soft touch around the basket; pretty good hands
– Range extends to about 15 feet
– Great big man moves ( drop step, jump hook, up and under,)
– Really hard worker
– Runs the floor well for his size
– His leadership skills really developed throughout the year. He is not afraid to stand up for what is right for the team. I really admire that about him.

THINGS TO IMPROVE
-The most obvious one is strength. He needs to spend alot of time in the weight room with Justin McClure. One of the biggest problems Ian had at Orem was that he got pushed around by guys. Opposing coaches would put their strongest guys on him, who most of the time were significantly shorter and they would push right off the blocks.

– He needs to spend some time with guards working specifically on posting up, catching the ball and “chinning it” while keeping his position. Ian had a hard time with getting correct post-entry passes from the guards at Orem. They didn’t really know how to throw a great pass to a post player so that he doesn’t have to give up his position to get the ball. Once he spends time with someone who knows what they are doing, I feel that he will improve dramatically in this area.

– Footwork. BYU involves their bigs in a lot of offensive movement which I think is great. Ian needs to work on the correct footwork such as setting a screen and rolling to the basket and using a wide base to post up.

– Staying big. Ian got in a lot of foul trouble by not keeping his arms straight up on defense, coming down on the ball and by swatting at the ball.

Ian is a great kid and will be successful at BYU. He was by far the hardest worker on the team. I do feel however, due to the returning post players, that it might be in his best interest to red shirt when he gets off his mission. That way he can spend a year in the weight room and in practice watching and guarding the veterans and will have that experience when it comes time for him to play.

One thing that I can’t stress enough is how good of a kid Ian is. As mentioned earlier, he works really hard and is not afraid to be critiqued and do the things necessary to be better. It was my pleasure to have spent a year with him and to watch him develop from a kid who had very little D1 interest to a guy who had quite a few D1 scholarship offers by the end of the year. He is of high character and will put in the work necessary to develop into a very reliable big man for BYU.

Nate Austin (6’10” PF)

Final year HS stats: not available

Projected freshman year stats: likely redshirt, then 2 points 2 boards first year playing

Player he most reminds us of: Eric Nielsen (BYU)

Other potential comparisons: Jesse Pinegar (BYU/Pepperdine), a thinner Chris Collinsworth

Youtube links: n/a

Commentary:
The biggest mystery of the group as not much is available on him. Anyone who has seen him play, please comment. Scouting report says he can run the lane and extend the D with range.  Decent leaper, shot blocker, and rebounder but also doesn’t possess much interior presence or strength.  Should fit BYU’s style and find ways to contribute, but wasn’t recruited to be a big time star and wasn’t a big scorer in high school. These guys are needed on a roster to complement others.

All these recruits come from winning programs (a Dave Rose trait), and in many cases their personal statistics were reduced from playing with multiple D1-bound teammates. By all accounts, all are hard workers. Carlino and Harrison come in as two of the most highly recruited BYU basketball players in the modern era, Winder was a really good high school player, and the other two are more under-the-radar late bloomer type guys who can become solid contributors.

The potential this nucleus has to grow together and play four years straight at BYU is exciting. It will be fun to see these guys grow under the bright lights of ESPN.

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24 Comments »

  • NYCoug said:

    I’m really excited about a back court of Carlino and Harrison. I think it could be the next great cougar back court. Boy, that game was ugly tonight…41 points!!

  • Mike Rose said:

    NYCoug,

    Yes that was probably the ugliest national championship ever! So frusterating to watch if you were rooting for Butler, or just rooting for good basketball. It’s too bad that’s what casual fans tune into and it is the lasting image of college hoops now for the year….good defense though I guess.

  • John said:

    The problem that I see with Howard an Austin is they are two more in the long line of skinny post players at BYU that will not have the ability to be forces in the paint. Your comment that they need to hit the weight room is absolutely a must. If they are going to become solid contributors they need to bulk up and be able to finish at the rim. In game after game in the NCAA tournament you see post players that finish strong and flush the ball when they get close. In tonight’s championship game you saw two players for Butler who could not finish at the rim because they are not jumpers. By that I mean they are not quick off their feet and this has been a problem for BYU for many years.

  • Seasider said:

    If Davies is able to come back next year and hopefully we don’t lose anyone else, the pieces are in place for BYU to have another good year. I actually wouldn’t be that surprised if the team picks up where they left off and makes another impressive run. We won’t have Jimmer or Jackson but we’ll have other guys who will step it up.

  • Mike Rose said:

    John,

    Yes, those 2 have some work to do, especially coming off missions. Luckily we will have Brandon(I’m confident), Noah, and Chris Collinsworth next year at post so that’s a really good front line, giving them the time do develop.

  • justin said:

    you can add one more player to the 2011 roster: Jaren Sweeney out of Mountain View High School in Mesa, AZ.

    he’s a legit 6’5″ 195lb SG/SF. he played 4 as a Junior and has developed a very polished post game. he’s very smart and crafty with the ball inside 12 feet. this year he also played a lot of PG and is very versatile. he averaged about 18/9/4 last season.

    he led his team to the most dominant run in AZ playoff history winning the 5-A State Championship by beating every team by at least 20 points. (to give you an idea of how dominant they were defensively the team they beat 50-29 in the finals scored 90+ the night before against Mesa High).

    BYU has had their eye on him for a while but after he dropped 14 points, 12 boards, 6 steals, 4 assists and 1 block on the #1 team in AZ on the road, at a game coach lecomb specifically came down to watch him at…BYU was sold. he does not have a formal scholarship (yet). he will RS this season and go on a mission and be back for the 2014-2015 season. but coach rose liked him enough he decided to do something he’s only done once before…offer him a “preferred walk on” spot. he’s guaranteed a spot on the team, etc, he just won’t get a scholarship until possibly after his mission.

    strengths:
    – versatility – he can play 2, 3 or 4.
    – shot – great 3-point shooter, especially for his size. very good spot up shooter from anywhere.
    – post game – coaches love this about him…very good footwork and fundamentals down low.
    – HUSTLE – he takes charges, gets steals, dives on the floor, whatever it takes to win. he’s the ultimate team player that coaches love.

    weaknesses:
    – scoring off the dribble. both jumpers and taking it all the way to the rack.
    – consistency – always gave just what team needed but at times lacks that “killer instinct” to just put a team away.

    a few clips (his senior year highlight is not finished):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GujwKh0uylo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ienFIQdPrMI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LkJsfcbTMo&feature=related
    http://www.azfamily.com/sports/high-school/Mountain-View-Mesa-pulls-away-from-Brophy-for-5A-I-boys-title-117460968.html

    i am one proud older brother! :)

  • Mick said:

    Mike, thanks for the information. My concern is that your description of these two guys is comparable to what I’ve seen from James Anderson. Sometimes he might get a block or two, but his offensive output is non-existent, and it sounds like more of the same from Harward and Austin. I really hope not.

    BYU has the foundation over the next few years to continually make it back to the Dance, and possibly go into the Elite Eight (Harrison, Carlino, Haws (Tyler-1 more year), Collingsworth, Davies, and possibly Nick Emery and TJ Haws in a couple of years. That would be the making of a great team, but they have to have some low post scoring or we will have to live and die by the long ball. Big men aren’t really that integral if they aren’t an offensive threat because the defense can cheat off on the scorers.

    I hope that these big men develop or it is a continuation of what we have seen once Davies leaves the game. Nevertheless, I always have confidence in Coach Rose and his ability to produce winners and the team concept. Go Cougars!

  • Brandon said:

    Mike (and Greg) –

    Thank you for the write up and collection of links. I really like the Jeremy Lamb comparison for Harrison and actually thought of that when watching UConn earlier in the tournament. I think the future is bright for BYU basketball, but I am less optimistic than some of the other posters for next year. BYU may not have Davies until the end of Fall semester (and they won’t have Carlino until then.) Best hope is that BYU gels as the season goes along and wins the WCC tournament to garner an NCAA bid.

    The biggest concerns center around leadership. Who are the guys going to be that stop the opposing teams runs when the opposing crowd is going crazy, who is going to get the big defensive stops? Jimmer and Jackson had unique ways of leading the team, and both were needed. Jimmer’s ability to go on a 10-0 run crushed the opponents’ will. Jackson’s ability to get big deflections or steals that led to fastbreak 2’s or 3’s were killers. While the base talent and athleticism of next year’s team may be as good or better, it will take time for Carlino, Winder, etc. to learn how to make “winning plays.” Charles, Noah, and Brandon can help, but college basketball is a guard’s game. Glad to see Dave continue to bring in some good ones…..what makes me optimistic is that 2012-2013 could be a great year. Carlino, Harrison (not likely to go on a mission from what I hear,) Haws, Chris Collinsworth, and Davies could make a really, really solid starting 5.

  • Jared said:

    I remember when Harward and Austin first came on the scene as far as the D1 recruiting went. They were getting interest from some big name programs. Early commitments for BYU slowed the list of schools, but they apparently did well in their turnys where schools were surprised at how good they were playing. They were both late bloomers, but really impressed between their jr and sr years. I think with a mission and red shirt year, these guys will be more than “the other players on the floor”. If they continue to develop at the rate they have the last few year, they will be forces to reckon with on their own. We won’t need the live and die by the 3 to win. We will have both options.

  • Mike Rose said:

    Brandon,

    I agree with you, I think it will be similar to this years football team. Struggle early, then start to gel and play good ball towards the back end of the season. The problem is that we will face the tough part of the schedule without Carlino and potentially Davies(depending on when he can play). The schedule is front loaded so hopefully we can get enough wins early to keep us in the tourney hunt. But you can’t lose a backcourt of Jimmer and Jax with no adjustment period.

  • CougFaninTX said:

    Next year’s BB team reminds me of last years FB team. Everyone’s excited about the level of talent coming in, but anyone who does not see it as a rebuilding year is not seeing it clearly. Losing three starters of the caliber of Jimmer, Jax, and Collinsworth is not easy to replace.

    I do think Carlino, Winder and Harrison will be impressive during their time at the Marriott Center, but give them a year or two before you put the expectations of a run to the Great Eight on their shoulders.

    I can’t imagine that Davies would not be back at the beginning of next season. Davies, C. Collinsworth, Hartsock and Abouo are the keys to next years success.

  • steve said:

    Wow! That was a pretty nice run down of next years team. Thanks Mike! I noticed you mentioned Rice possibly leaving but you didnt say anything about Rose leaving. Do you know something we dont know about your uncle? Ha ha I sure hope we have both Daves and a Davies here next year. We need them all!

  • Mike Rose said:

    Justin,

    Great info on Jaren, thanks for the comment. So he is coming for sure then? Looks like a good additon

  • Mike Rose said:

    Steve,

    No insider info here. Just no good jobs left out there and a pay raise coming from BYU, so I think he stays. He really is very happy in Provo, doesn’t really see BYU as a stepping stone. He wants to get the team to a final 4. Rice is favored to get the UNLV job, I think he will get it. Will be interesting to see who they get to replace Rice.

  • LanceWArchibald said:

    One dominant big man can really change the game. I see Davies being the WCC player of the year next year, and if he is back for the beginning of the season then I expect us to be successful. Whatever games he isn’t available for we will struggle in however. Whether he comes back at the beginning of the season or in January I do see us really being a good team by the time the tourney rolls around. If Davies doesn’t get back till January then we’ll have to win the WCC tournament to get in (I would say we should be the favorite to win the tournament at that point, but you never know). I actually think that if Davies plays the entire season I think we’ll be successful enough to get into the tournament with or without a conference championship. The bad news is that if it takes us too long to get rolling then we could end up being a pretty low seed and have a hard time getting past the first round.

  • Taylor said:

    I watched Austin play a fair amount in high school and I would compare him to James Anderson ability-wise, but far more athletic. His athletecism is similar to Chris Collinsworth, but Austin has nowhere near the offensive ability that Chris has (or had in high school). Austin is a good defender and he moves well for a big guy. I don’t know that he’ll ever be a real offensive threat, but with some bulk I could see him being similar to Chris Miles in that he will be a good defender and a solid rebounder. If Austin can develop more of an offensive game he could be very good. He’ll (initially) probably get most of his points off of dunks and offensive putbacks. Hopefully he has put on some weight while in the mission field.

  • justin said:

    @ Mike…yes he’s coming. he’ll be enrolled in spring/summer and work out with team and obviously be with them in the fall/winter.

    it’s kind of a unique situation. i guess your uncle’s only done this with one other player, but they liked him enough to guarantee him a spot which was enough to persuade him to drop other offers, BYU just didn’t have scholarship to offer right off the bat. hopefully he can work his way into a schollie after the mission.

    PS he went to BYU’s junior/senior summer camp last year and competed against some players who have subsequently been offered scholarships and the coaches awarded him with camp MVP and his team won 3-on-3 and 5-on-5. that is what first sparked their interest and he had a good enough year to get onto the team. he’s very excited!

  • Sean said:

    A couple of thoughts on being competitive next season and incoming players.

    I suppose it’s fine for Jaren Sweeney to RS, since we should have a strong frontline with Noah H, Davies (if back), CCollinsworth, James Anderson (if he sticks around, and Harward or Austin if needed, plus Rogers at 6’8″. Would be nice to have him as an option though – guess we’ll see how he competes when he comes in. I like the all-around game and utility player potential, likely with more long-term upside than Logan Magnusson.

    We could use another shooting guard to play up-tempo and give us experience – I suggest seeing if Jet Chang at BYU-Hawaii would come for his senior year – he could transfer and play immediately. Good size, scoring ability, proven player. Only 1 year.

    We really need depth on the guard line and leadership in the back court. We’ll be young but with solid potential. I’d be pretty surprised if Abouo does not start at the 2 spot next season, since he is more seasoned, and then we’ll have to go with Martineau and Winder at PG till Carlino gets eligible. Any thoughts on Martineau from you guys – we don’t need him to be a scorer – just run an offense, hit open shots occasionally, play decent D, and get assists. Winder would give us some scoring ability at the PG spot.

  • Seasider said:

    CougFaninTX, I would call next season more of a retooling than a rebuilding year. The football team last year was full of so much youth and inexperience, it was the youngest team BYU had had in years. This is not the case for the basketball team. We’ll have 3 seniors, 5 juniors (if Davies is back). Both Winder and Carlino have spent a year learning the system and should have productive seasons with a supporting cast of veteran players. Jimmer and Jackson are impossible players to replace but Coach Rose will readjust the lineup and get the best out of the talent he has available as he always does. It’s realistic to expect a dropoff in performance but it’s not gonna be anywhere near the dropoff that the football team had from the 2009 to 2010 team.

  • Mike Rose said:

    Sean,

    I think Martineau can come in and run the offense, similar to Ben Murdock a couple years ago. If he limits turnovers and guards his guy we will be alright there. My concern is who comes off that’s high ball screen at the end of the shot clock that we like to run. Maybe Harrison or Winder can be that guy

  • Hunter said:

    Mike,

    Why doesn’t Dave go after Jet Chang as an opportunity to play big time ball and play in a similar system that he plays in at BYU Hawaii?? I’m dead serious, that dude can average 17 PPG and really help as a 2 guard next year. And he won’t have to sit for the one year. Don’t think he’s LDS and maybe the transition from Hawaii to Provo would be too much but I think he’d enjoy the move. Even a possibility?

    Martineau and Zylstra need to lose scholarships and be given to someone else. Both are walk-on talents.

  • Mike Rose said:

    As it stands now, assuming nobdody leaves, I don’t think we have any spots for either walk-ons or scholarship players…..I think Jet could help, he’s a pretty good player

  • Geoff J said:

    Those two big guys sound like real projects… they make me nervous. BYU certainly doesn’t need more tall stiffs on the bench. I hope they aren’t that.

  • CaseyA said:

    No offense intended since you have not seen Nate Austin play but I disagree on the Austin report.

    The only knock on Austin is that Austin is big but he doesn’t have a big man’s game. He is a face up player with range to 3 and shoots the 3 better than Chris Collinsworth. He lacks Chris’s ability off the bounce but is a cleaner shooter. He has good athleticism and feet. He is substantially larger on his mission and will come back weighing in the mid 200s (lets say 240-260). He has played guard and wing positions until late in his HS career and was on the team with Haws so there weren’t a lot of shots available but his instincts and athleticism made him a rebounding and defensive force. His ability to shoot the 3 altered defenses in his AAU games because he could high ball screen and then spot up for a 3 while his man doubled Haws. I agree that Nate will need to learn to guard like a college big and play with his back to the basket but I also think he can contribute more as a big 4 (a la CC) than Harward will ever be able to do.

    Prediction: If Davies doesn’t play next year, Austin will be the freshman big who gets PT and he will play at the 4. He has the athleticism and skill set for it.

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