(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
2012-13 Preseason Prospectus
Coming off a program record third-consecutive season with an NCAA Tournament victory, BYU basketball enters the 2012-13 season with a deep and talented roster poised to challenge for the West Coast Conference title and make some noise in the postseason.
Despite entering last season with just three experienced players, Dave Rose led BYU to a sixth-consecutive season with 25-plus victories and a sixth-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament — both streaks are team records. Playing in the First Four in Dayton, Ohio, the Cougars set an NCAA Tournament record by climbing out a 25-point hole to defeat Iona 78-72 and advance to the second round.
The Cougars return three starters from the 2011-12 squad including seniors Brandon Davies and Brock Zylstra and sophomore Matt Carlino. Sophomore Tyler Haws, who started 33 games in 2009-10, returns after serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines. Rose also has five other players with starting experience and a talented recruiting class to help ease the burden of replacing All-WCC honoree Noah Hartsock and BYU’s iron man Charles Abouo, mainstays in the Cougar lineup the past four seasons.
Davies is coming off one of the better seasons for a BYU big man in recent history as he averaged 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.5 steals while shooting .516 from the field. His season of averaging at least one of everything — only the third in BYU history — earned him All-WCC and second-team all-district honors. With another strong season he should receive consideration for WCC Player of the Year honors.
After Carlino sat out the first 10 games of last season due to NCAA transfer rules he emerged as BYU’s starting point guard and averaged 12.2 points, 4.6 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.4 steals. Carlino scored a team season high 30 points at San Francisco, and in WCC games he was fourth in assists and third in assist/turnover ratio. The league’s coaches named him All-WCC honorable mention and to the WCC All-Freshman team.
Zylstra emerged last season as Rose’s utility player with action at both guard and forward spots. He posted averages of 8.3 points, 4.3 boards, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals while finishing the year as BYU’s most reliable 3-point shooter, hitting 50 threes on 37.6 percent shooting.
Haws became a starter in the third game of the 2009-10 season and averaged 11.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting .498 from the field, .368 from three and .917 from the free throw line that season. His free throw percentage is the second-best single-season percentage in BYU history and Haws ended the season with 48-consecutive attempts without a miss, a BYU record. Haws earned third-team All-MWC honors.
Sophomore Anson Winder and senior Craig Cusick add depth and experience to the guard line. Winder started 15 games last season and averaged 4.3 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists. Cusick played in all 35 games, started three and averaged 3.1 points and 2.1 assists while shooting .379 from three. Senior Stephen Rogers, who is coming off a knee injury, will add depth on the wing. Through the first 10 games last season he was averaging 9.9 points and shooting nearly 40 percent from three before tearing the meniscus in his right knee.
Returning post players include sophomores Nate Austin and Josh Sharp. Austin averaged 4.1 points and 3.8 boards while shooting .542 from the field after returning from his two-year mission for the LDS Church just weeks before school started last fall. Sharp had also recently returned from a mission prior to last season and averaged 1.2 points and 1.4 rebounds.
Several newcomers will look to add depth to the point guard and wing positions, including Cooper Ainge, Cory Calvert, Raul Delgado and Kyle Rose. Ainge, son of Danny Ainge and brother of Austin Ainge — both former Cougars — comes to BYU from Wellesley High in Wellesley, Mass., where he averaged 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists.
Calvert was the 5A MVP in Colorado and led Chaparral High to the state title while averaging 22.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists. Delgado played the last two seasons at Western Nebraska Community College and will be a junior this upcoming season. He averaged 18.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game while shooting .485 from the field and .433 from three last season. Rose redshirted for the Cougars in 2009-10 prior to serving an LDS mission in Salt Lake City.
In the post Rose welcomes Agustin Ambrosino from Salt Lake Community College and will have the services of Ian Harward, who redshirted at BYU last season. Ambrosino averaged 9.6 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting .498 from the field, .438 from three and .778 from the free throw line as SLCC went 22-9. Harward averaged 14.0 points per game as a senior at Orem High School before serving an LDS mission in San Antonio.