BYU Will Move On Without Matty Basketball
BYU guard Matt Carlino is moving on. He’s taking his highly-erratic game elsewhere for his final year of eligibility.
The BYU basketball caravan will move on as well.
Whether Carlino’s departure was completely his own choice will likely never be known publicly. Head coach Dave Rose was dealing with a scholarship crunch for next year and so a scholarship player was bound to go.
There is no question that Matty Basketball is a talented player, but his wild inconsistency was the reason he lost his starting job midway through his junior season and was relegated to coming off the bench.
Skyler Halford originally replaced Matt in the starting lineup and had a few good games before fading down the stretch and eventually giving way to Anson Winder late in the season.
As a starter, Carlino never quite figured out how to make his teammates better when his shot wasn’t falling. When he was hot, few guards in the country were any better than Matt, but when he was cold he often hurt his team by continuing to jack up ill-advised shots.
As a player coming off the bench during the second half of the season, his decision making improved and he actually ended up averaging a career-high 13.7 points per game. He leaves Provo in the top 10 in program history in both steals (6th) and assists (7th).
With his departure, and Kyle Collinsworth rehabbing a torn ACL suffered in the WCC tournament championship against Gonzaga, there are some definite question marks surrounding the guard line for the 2014-15 season.
The Cougars are hoping and expecting that Collinsworth will make a full recovery by November. If he does, Kyle and Anson would likely be the starters in the backcourt to begin the season. Winder showed improvement in his three-point shooting, averaging just over 40 percent from the arc this past season. He’s also the best perimeter defender on the team.
The coaches also hope to see Frank Bartley continue to develop as he enters his sophomore season next year. The youngster showed some flashes of brilliance at times in his first year in a BYU uniform. While the 6-foot-3 true freshman shot just 37 percent from the field and averaged just under four points per game, he’s an athletic, high energy guy who has the ability to slash to the rim, rebound and play good defense.
The Cougars are set to get some shooting help for next season in the form of former Wake Forest transfer Chase Fischer. The 6-foot-3 junior played in 62 games for the Demon Deacons in his two years in Winston-Salem, starting six. He shot 42 percent from three while at Wake and is thought to be the best deep threat in the program. His primary role next season may be to provide some scoring punch off the bench and the hope is that he’ll be a more consistent shooter from range than Carlino was.
Rose will also receive the services of incoming freshman Jordan Chatman.
The former Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Washington, and the son of former BYU great Jeff Chatman, returned home from his mission to Taiwan this past Saturday. Chatman was very polished as a high school player and will vie for meaningful playing time the moment he steps on campus. He’s a versatile and mature athlete who can man either guard spot on the floor.
Jordan could end up being the backup to Collinsworth at the point during his freshman season, or Rose could choose to play him alongside Kyle at times. He can handle the rock, sees the floor well and has range out to the NBA three-point line. As a senior at Union High School in Vancouver, he averaged 20.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.9 steals.
Both Chatman and Fischer could steal Halford’s time on the floor next year.
Skyler came to BYU from SLCC with the reputation of being an outside scorer. However, the junior averaged just 31 percent from the three-point line last season. In fact, some thought that he might be the odd-man-out in BYU’s scholarship shuffle. He (along with forward Josh Sharp) could still find himself on the outside looking in if the Cougars decide to sign a junior college post player during the offseason.
With the loss of 6-foot-10 post Eric Mika to a mission, BYU faces the prospect of becoming a perimeter-oriented team. 6-foot-11 forward Nate Austin isn’t an inside presence on offense and neither is 6-foot-10 freshman-to-be Isaac Neilson. That leaves 6-foot-10 Luke Worthington, a work in progress, and 6-foot-6 UNLV transfer Jamal Aytes as the only players with any real ability to play down low offensively.
As it looks right now, the loss of Mika in the middle will mean that the BYU guards will have to carry more of the load next season. And they’ll have to do that without the help of Carlino.