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BYU basketball: Cougars' 2017-18 roster still in flux due to transfers, retirings, Mika's decision

Published April 29, 2017 12:21 am
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While outlining what will be going on within the BYU basketball program the next few months, coach Dave Rose said Tuesday that "the most important thing for us is to finalize our roster for next season, and put that together."

He said it will be "an interesting process" because coaches don't know yet whether star center Eric Mika will return to the team or stay in the NBA draft.

"You kinda have to hold a space for him until he makes a decision exactly what he is going to do," Rose said.

Friday morning, the program made official via a news release what Rose told reporters on Tuesday — that guards Steven Beo and Davin Guinn and forward Jamal Aytes won't be on the roster in 2017-18.

"It makes you a little more anxious, thats for sure," Rose said, when asked about all the transferring that is taking place in college basketball these days. "I think what has always been a real staple for us are what we consider to be program guys, guys who have kinda worked their way through and then you get to their junior or senior year and they are really ready to help you and you really rely on them to help you. And it seems like if the success or opportunity isn't given early now then it is hard to keep those program guys here. Through this process, this year, we have a couple guys that we lost to graduation."

Aytes is one of those guys. The 6-foot-6 junior who transferred from UNLV, is transferring again and will be immediately eligible because he is a fifth-year graduate transfer.

"Jamal is going to graduate in April, and his role on next year's team, he wants it to be a little bit bigger than the role I think he would serve for us, so he is going to try to finish his eligibility somewhere else as a fifth-year graduate senior," Rose said.

Guinn is probably the biggest loss, based on how he played in all 34 games last season and averaged 2.2 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. The defensive specialist will graduate this spring and has been admitted to the BYU Law School.

"It was a really tough decision for both of us to try to figure out how that was going to come down. Law school and basketball don't go together," Rose said, alluding to how Jordan Chatman's father, Jeff, tweeted last summer that his son was not being allowed by BYU's Law School to enroll as a first-year law student and still play basketball.

Oddly, Jordan Chatman transferred to Boston College, but is working on his MBA at that ACC school.

"It is funny that we go two years in a row now with the law school issue and a player," Rose said, seemingly backup up Jeff Chatman's 2016 claim. "But Dav really wants to attend law school, so that is what he is going to focus on."

It appears that Beo was asked to vacate his scholarship — the one he was awarded last spring after originally coming to the team as a walk-on — when Zac Seljaas returned home early from his mission in Iowa with shoulder problems.

Beo will seek to transfer, according to the BYU release Friday. He will have to sit out a year, due to NCAA transfer rules, and will then have three years of eligibility remaining.

"It puts seven scholarship guys in one [sophomore] class, so we had discussions about how we could fix that, adjust it, make it work a little bit better, and Steven was one that we had discussions with, and after initial discussions, the next visit we had he decided he wanted to transfer," Rose said.

Beo has not responded to requests for an interview or clarification from his perspective.

Will there be more transfers?

"I don't think so," Rose said with a subtle laugh. "But we still got five months before we tip it up, you know?"

One player won't be arriving as early as originally expected. Connor Harding, a four-star recruit (ESPN) from Pocatello, Idaho, who signed with BYU in November of 2015 and then departed on a church mission, won't be available until the 2019-20 season.

Harding returned from his mission, but has gone back out again and, thus, won't be arriving in Provo for awhile.

"I am not really interested in talking about individual guys, and individual situations, but that's different. We've never experienced that here," Rose said.






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