BYU men’s basketball star Alex Barcello announces he will return next season, giving Cougs an immediate boost

The senior keeper was BYU’s leading scoring leader last season, averaging just over 16 points per game.

(Isaac Hale | Tribune Special) Brigham Young University guard Alex Barcello (13) looks to pass the ball as it is guarded by St. Mary’s College goalie Logan Johnson (0) during a game between the Cougars BYU and Saint Mary’s College of Les Gaels in California were held at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, February 27, 2021.

For months, people have been waiting for Alex Barcello to make a decision – either return to Provo for one more season or choose to end his college career.

This question was answered on Friday evening.

The BYU star goaltender announced at BYU Fathers and Sons Camp at Smith Fieldhouse that he would actually play another season for the Cougars.

The opportunity to return was made possible by the NCAA blanket waiver that froze the eligibility of fall and winter sports athletes during the year of the pandemic. The other two BYU seniors, Matt Haarms and Brandon Averette, had previously announced that they would not take advantage of the extra season.

Barcello traveled to Provo in 2019, transferred from Arizona, where he played his first two seasons with the Wildcats.

The Chandler, Ariz. Native got a transfer waiver and has immediately been on the Cougars’ rotation, starting in every game he has played in the past two years.

During the 2019-20 season, Barcello averaged 9.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Those numbers have all improved over the past season as Barcello also took on a bigger leadership role with the Cougars on and off the floor.

Barcello was the team’s top scorer, averaging 16.1 points, while averaging 4.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists.

Barcello’s return will help bring stability to a team that has lost more than a handful of players due to graduation and transfers. Barcello will most likely be joined in the backcourt by transfer from Wisconsin Te’Jon Lucas, who recently announced his commitment to BYU.

Caleb Lohner and Gavin Baxter seem like obvious choices to tap into the Cougars’ starting five, possibly completed by Gideon George.

With Barcello’s return, BYU is back on stable ground and ready to continue the success of the past two seasons under coach Mark Pope.

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