NCB On The Trail: Brigham Young Cougars

Roundtable: Future Giant Killers 

March, 25, 2014
It was a memorable first four days of the 2014 NCAA tournament, with a combination of dramatic finishes and Cinderella stories.

Archie Miller and Dayton knocked off perennial powerhouses Ohio State and Syracuse en route to a spot in the Sweet 16, while Harvard and North Dakota State scored similar upsets on the first day of the tournament.

Perhaps the most shocking result, though, came on Friday when Mercer coach Bob Hoffman led his No. 14-seeded Bears to a hard-fought win over Mike Krzyzewski and the No. 3-seeded Duke Blue Devils.

While these programs aren’t necessarily regulars on our national recruiting page, their postseason success can be attributed, at least in part, to successful recruiting. With that in mind, we once again turned to our team of experts at RecruitingNation to ask them which programs could emerge as potential “Giant Killers” in future years based on recent recruiting efforts:

Recruit and return: BYU 

March, 20, 2014
In order to return to the NCAA tournament, a team needs contributions from both returning players and incoming recruits. Here's a look at BYU and its chances of dancing again in 2015.

Quick references:
2013-14 roster
2014 recruiting

Projected Starters:
G: Tyler Haws
G: Kyle Collinsworth
G: Matt Carlino
G: Skyler Halford
F: Payton Dastrup

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Making jump shots is one of the most important skills in basketball. It might look easy, but it’s hard to become a consistent shooter with range.

Taking open shots is a big part of becoming a great shooter, as well as moving without the ball. High-level shooters are ready to shoot the ball as soon as it’s passed to them.

There are many outstanding jump shooters in the Class of 2014, but here are my top five.

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#AskCoachB: Four on the rise

November, 21, 2013
Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.

From Twitter (@james_peden9): Who are some young teams that we should be keeping and eye on that you think are on the rise? #AskCoachB

Besides the Kentucky Wildcats, who have to be the youngest team in the NCAA this season, there are a few teams to keep your eye on.

Take a look at the Clemson Tigers, who have no seniors and will be led by junior K.J. McDaniels, who is one of the best athletes in the ACC. They are picked near the bottom of their league, but after watching them practice and calling their game against South Carolina, I believe they could be much higher in the standings.

The Boston College Eagles have a very promising and young team returning, led by junior Ryan Anderson and sophomore Olivier Hanlan, who was the ACC freshman of the year.

Out west, BYU has no seniors and is loaded with skill and the impactful guys are juniors Matt Carlino and junior Tyler Haws.

A program on the rise is SMU, as their top three scorers this season are all underclassmen: sophomore Nic Moore, freshman Ben Moore and freshman Keith Frazier. Looking ahead to next season, they add the No. 5 prospect in 2014, point guard Emmanuel Mudiay.

Watch for these four programs to make a move this year and be strong in the future.

Dastrup headlines BYU's class

November, 14, 2013
BYU head coach Dave Rose announced the signing of five student-athletes on Wednesday evening, including ESPN 100 center Payton Dastrup (Mesa, Ariz./Mountain View) who switched his commitment from Ohio State earlier in the day.

The Cougars also added ESPN 100 shooting guard T.J. Haws (Highland, Utah/Lone Peak), three-star small forward Dalton Nixon (Orem, Utah/Orem), two-star small forward Jake Toolson (Gilbert, Ariz./Highland) and center Ryan Andrus (American Fork, Utah/American Utah).

"We are very excited about this group of signees," Rose said. "The commitments from these players mean a great deal to our staff and to our basketball program. This group is comprised of great players that will be terrific teammates. We are looking forward to the opportunity to coach each one of them."
ESPN 100 center Payton Dastrup (Mesa, Ariz./Mountain View) has decommitted from Ohio State and committed to BYU only a week after originally pledging to the Buckeyes.

[+] EnlargePayton Dastrup
AP Photo/Damen Jackson via Triple Play New MediaESPN 100 center Payton Dastrup decommitted from Ohio State and is now headed to BYU.
Why he made the decision: "Payton came to me and said he had a very unsettling feeling in his stomach about the decision that he couldn't get rid of," Dastrup's father, David, said. "After a very deliberate vetting process, we made the call to Thad Matta, and Payton decided to go to BYU. Thad Matta handled the decision with class, and I assured him there was no outside influence by BYU."

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BYU lands 2015 SF Zac Seljaas

August, 5, 2013
Small forward Zac Seljaas (Bountiful, Utah/Bountiful) ended his recruitment on Monday with a verbal pledge to BYU's 2015 class, according to the Deseret News.

Seljaas chose the Cougars over Utah, Utah State and San Francisco.

"It was a tough decision and every school had a lot to offer, but BYU fit me best," he told the paper. "I live the style of play at BYU, the coaches are awesome and the school is a great place."

Seljaas averaged 15.0 points and 4.0 rebounds as a sophomore last season. He is the first commitment for BYU in the 2015 class.

Junior SF Jake Toolson picks BYU 

February, 20, 2013
According to a report in the Deseret News, 6-foot-5 swingman Jake Toolson (Gilbert, Ariz./Highland) gave BYU a verbal commitment on Tuesday night.

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Biancardi’s Breakdown: Jabari Parker 

December, 19, 2012

Senior small forward Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon) has been a national name on the recruiting trail since his freshman year. On Thursday at 4 p.m. ET (live on ESPNU and WatchESPN), the wait will finally be over when the No. 2 prospect in the ESPN 100 makes his college announcement, choosing from a final list of BYU, Duke, Florida, Michigan State and Stanford.

Before we find out which lucky college is going to land Parker, let’s examine what has made him special over his career and break down five major factors to consider with his game.

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Jabari Parker continues in-home visits 

September, 18, 2012
According to Sonny Parker, father of ESPN 100 No. 1 recruit Jabari Parker, the in-home visits for Jabari are going well with some elite programs coming in this week.

On Tuesday, North Carolina's Roy Williams is in the Windy City. Coach Williams has many accomplishments to discuss, but expect one topic of discussion to be how the Heels are planning to showcase Parker in the Carolina fast break.

Thursday, Michigan State's Tom Izzo will be in the Parker home. Coach Izzo will talk style of play and how the Spartans have been a mainstay in the Final Four. Don't be surprised if they also discuss a player by the name of Earvin "Magic" Johnson. That just might come up.

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Parker has three in-home visits this week 

September, 12, 2012
I just had a great conversation with Sonny Parker, father of Chicago Simeon small forward Jabari Parker, who said his son is excited about the home visits, which started Tuesday night when Florida coach Billy Donovan stopped by. They continue with DePaul coach Oliver Purnell visiting on Wednesday and Kansas coach Bill Self making the trip on Friday to the top-rated senior, while other programs are working on dates to visit the Parkers.

Once the in-home visits are complete, Sonny said that Jabari could be ready to trim his list of 10 -- Brigham Young, DePaul, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, North Carolina and Stanford -- down to five.

"I am looking for how the coaches explain their style of play to Jabari," said Sonny, who was drafted No. 17 overall in the 1976 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors. "I want to see how the coaches are going to set up a player of Jabari's size (6-foot-8, 220 pounds) and talent so he can handle the ball on the break and in the half court. Jabari needs to be allowed to make plays."

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