By: Jay Yeomans
Published: October 24, 2019
Before we head into a new era of BYU basketball, I thought it was the perfect time to relive what started out as a dominant decade for BYU basketball.
While things never quite lived up to the hype after some unbelievable recruiting classes, Dave Rose and his Cougars still delivered nine postseason appearances in the 10 years from 2009-10 to 2018-19, including five NCAA Tournament trips and four years in the NIT.
During the decade, the Cougars won 71.3 percent of their games (NCAA sanctions not included), took home four wins in the Big Dance and delivered some of the biggest victories in school history.
The decade also produced some of the best players to ever wear a BYU basketball uniform, including a triple-double king, a national legend and the two highest scorers in school history.
With that in mind, here is my BYU basketball all-decade team.
It is key to note when putting together the all-decade team that I only factored in what a player did from 2009-10 through 2018-19.
Just missed the cut: Kyle Davis.
Note: I debated for a month whether to have Nick Emery on the team but since his stats no longer count in the eyes of the NCAA I decided to leave him off. With that said, he was definitely good enough to deserve a mention. He was a second-team all-conference guard as a freshman and just the fourth player in school history to reach 1,000 points during his sophomore season.
All stats are from Sports-reference.com.
Winder took some time to find his footing on the court in Provo, but once he did, he was a very important part of some quality teams. He was at the top of his game as a senior when he garnered All-WCC honors after averaging 12.7 points on 38.5 percent shooting from distance in 25.5 minutes a night coming off the bench.
Abouo was a dynamic wing athlete who was a key piece to three NCAA Tournament teams. He was at his best during a strong senior season where he finished in the top 10 in the WCC in assists, rebounds while setting career highs in scoring, rebounds, assists, and steals.
Even though Tavernari only played one season this decade, his great shooting touch made him impossible to overlook. JT was a huge contributor to a team that won 30 games. He led the second unit in scoring, did excellent work on the backboards and did a great job in the defensive passing lanes.
Hartsock is one of the most underrated Cougars ever. He was a knockdown mid-range shooter who was deadly at the foul line and a fantastic rim protector. He took control of the Cougars as a senior and produced a season where he led the WCC in points and blocks per game while carrying a balanced team to 26 wins.
While Fischer didn’t put up the scoring numbers that some of the other great Cougar guards did, he was one of the purest outside shooters to ever play in Provo. He was at his best during his senior season when he took home first-team All-WCC honors after connecting on 112 3-points shots and leading the Cougars in scoring with 18.2 points per game.
We only saw Bryant at full strength for one season in Provo, and that season was special. He took home first-team All-WCC recognition after leading the Cougars in scoring with 18.2 points a night while shooting 49.4 percent from the field, 41.5 percent from 3-point land and 85 percent at the foul line.
Despite playing just two and a half seasons in Provo, Carlino is a player that few BYU fans will forget. He averaged double figures in scoring all three seasons while finishing in the top five in the WCC in assists and steals in each of his two full seasons on the floor. That was good enough to garner all-conference recognition twice.
The BYU years with Haws on the roster haven’t exactly reached the lofty expectations that many anticipated, but that has little to do with how good he has actually been while on the floor. He is a terrific lead guard with great court vision and a silky-smooth outside jumper. Just ask opposing coaches who have watched him score more than 1,400 points so far while taking home All-WCC recognition all three seasons.
Emery was the perfect Robin to Jimmer Fredette’s Batman. He was a defensive stopper who was a ridiculously efficient offensive player and a deadeye 3-point shooter. His two seasons on the court this decade produced two MWC All-Defensive team selections, a defensive player of the year award and a spot on the All-MWC second team twice. Add in the fact that he recorded 192 steals and hit 177 threes and you could see why he was the ultimate 3-and-D Cougar.
A starting spot would easily have been in the cards if he stayed on campus for four years, but Mika took his talents to Italy after a record-breaking sophomore campaign. But the early departure doesn’t take any of the shine off of a tremendous 2016-17 season where he averaged 20.3 points and 9.2 rebounds while leading the Cougars to a stunning win over an undefeated and No. 1 ranked Gonzaga in the Kennel.
It would take a book to accurately describe all of the things that Fredette was able to accomplish during his last two seasons in Provo. He had an undeniable swagger and an effortless jumper that always seemed to find the bottom of the net during the biggest moments. He delivered some of the most electrifying scoring performances in recent memory, including unforgettable outings against Utah, San Diego State, Arizona, and New Mexico while gaining a national following never before seen at the college level.
His senior year finished with a trip to the Sweet 16 after leading the nation in scoring and taking home every major national player of the year award.
Buckets, buckets, and more buckets. That’s exactly what Tyler Haws produced while wearing a BYU jersey. In fact, he was so good at getting buckets that he averaged more than 21.7 points a game in each of the three seasons he played this decade and was named an All-WCC first-team selection all three times. He added a conference player of the year award to his trophy case as a junior and left Provo as the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Collinsworth’s trophy case from BYU looks very similar to Tyler Haws but he achieved those awards in a completely different way. While Haws was filling it up, Collinsworth was hitting the backboards, locking up tough offensive players and sharing the ball better than any other Cougar before or since. He smashed the school’s all-time marks for assists and rebounds while taking home a conference player of the year award and three first-team All-WCC selections.
Childs has been one of the biggest bright spots on some underachieving teams. He is a double-double machine who is known for his skills around the basket and his highlight-level dunks. With one year left to improve his numbers, he has already amassed more than 1,600 points and 700 rebounds.
Davies went from a solid contributor to a redemption story to one of the most well-rounded big men to ever suit up for the Cougars. He shot better than 50 percent from the floor each season while improving his scoring, assist and rebounding totals every year. He was at his best in 2012-13 when he averaged 17.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks in 29.3 minutes to earn first-team All-WCC for the second year in a row.