Freshman Frank Bartley IV is listed as a guard on the roster, but the clue to where he'll play is better found in his name rather than the position column. Bartley has seen time at both guard spots, as well as the small and power forward positions in practice recently. Four different spots, four different responsibilities and differing skills required for each spot.
"I'm pretty versatile," Bartley said, "so I can play multiple positions. I guess coach recognizes that, so he's trying to get me on the court."
Bartley is listed at 6-foot-3, 200, and played in high school as a combo guard. It wasn't until last year at Future College Prep in California that Bartley moved out of the backcourt. He averaged 19 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and one block over a 65 game season in prep school.
"I've always been called a combo guard," Bartley said. "Since prep school last year, I've been playing multiple positions. I learned to play and be good at it, so now I just play everything."
The Cougars roster has big guys who can run, lengthy guys who can handle the ball and plenty of players who can play multiple positions. Adding someone else to the mix only deepens what head coach Dave Rose can do and how many different lineups he can throw at teams.
"I think Frank is a guy who brings us a lot of different looks," Rose said. "He's not just a knock-down 3-point shooter, but he's a really versatile player on the perimeter and physically he's really strong. We'll try to play different lineups and create match-ups and opportunities."
At the moment, Bartley likes the time he's getting at the four. If Bartley can handle the opposing team's power forward, a four-guard lineup might be an exciting combination on the floor. His defense may be the determining factor, but he's confident he can handle it.
"I feel like I'm a mismatch on offense," Bartley said. "I can guard the four better. It's just staying strong defensively. I know I can guard bigger players. I'm not the biggest obviously, but I just keep fighting and do everything I can."
The tenacity he brings on defense is some reflection of who he likes to watch play. Bartley said his favorite player is Russell Westbrook because he's so explosive and strong. Westbrook is "strong-minded and nobody can get him out of his game," Bartley said. The effort he feels like is necessary to play defense down low is all part of staying on the court and getting on the court as much as possible.
"We know what we have to do," Bartley said. "It's just you get it or you don't, you watch film or you don't and coach is going to put who knows it out on the court."
That's another reason he's happy to be playing four different positions.
"I actually like playing most of them because it's more playing time for me," Bartley said cracking a smile.
Bartley will be participating in the dunk contest in Friday's Boom Shakalaka and can't wait for his taste of a Marriott Center crowd next week in the Cougar Tipoff.
"I've never been to a BYU basketball game," Bartley said. "I've heard it's crazy."