14 for 13

BYU Hoops: Rose believes scholarship crunch will work itself out, one way or another

2014-04-01T08:30:00Z 2014-04-15T16:08:54Z BYU Hoops: Rose believes scholarship crunch will work itself out, one way or anotherJason Franchuk - Daily Herald Daily Herald
April 01, 2014 8:30 am  • 

It's such simple math, even a sportswriter can figure it out.

BYU basketball coach Dave Rose expects BYU's potential scholarship crunch for next season to "work itself out."

Rose, after recently wrapping up his ninth season, did "exit interviews" Monday with reporters, a day before he'll meet with players. The hot topic over the next month is going to be: Who's going to go?

"I believe that these kinds of things work themselves out," Rose said. "If it gets to the point where there are 14 players for 13 scholarships, that will be a tough decision."

Right now the Cougars lose no seniors, and only freshman center Eric Mika is departing to serve an LDS mission.

BYU had just 10 available scholarship players last year, and Rose commended the relatively young (only one married player; rare by BYU standards) and inexperienced group for achieving a 23-12 record and a return to the NCAA Tournament bid amid arguably the toughest non-conference schedule in Rose's tenure.

But looking ahead, there will be some genuine intrigue. Rose is scheduled to meet with players individually Tuesday before heading off for some work responsibilities at the Final Four in Dallas.

Rose said he anticipated frank, honest discussions with every player about perceived roles and futures — nothing out of the ordinary from other Aprils. And he also expected nothing to be settled until around early May, at the end of the school semester.

"If you anticipate one thing happening, something else usually does," Rose said. "It's been quite a while since we haven't had some kind of move because of attrition."

Recent years have included players like Chris Collinsworth and Stephen Rogers being forced into retirement because of injuries. Or after last season, a couple of junior-college transfers only lasted a year in Provo and didn't appear to be the best on-court fits.

This may have been one of Rose's tighter-knit teams, bonded over similar ages and social camaraderie. There figure to be six seniors next winter, and Rose figures a more-seasoned team will fare well based on this year's lessons learned.

Getting to a point of the year with an 8-7 record, overcoming a Rose era-worst four-game losing streak, and rebounding all the way to a No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament was something Rose holds dearly.

"To watch guys dig in and change the course of this team in the middle of the season — that was very gratifying to watch," he said as he sat in his Marriott Center office during a 30-minute conversation with the Daily Herald.

Rose said advancing in the NCAA Tournament is the obvious next step.

Getting there, he added, starts with individual development. It will be a 180-degree change of course from last summer, when the Cougars spent a lot of time in small groups learning team-concept systems and rules.

Rose said as a whole, he wants to find a balance between becoming a more effective 3-point shooting team, while at the same time not losing the verve that had BYU as one of the top free-throw producing teams in the country.

Rose pointed this team took fewer threes than any he's coached. He notes the addition of incoming freshman (after an LDS mission) Jordan Chatman and Wake Forest transfer Chase Fischer (who spent the season as a practice player) as positive factors. (BYU will also bring in post players Isaac Neilson and Ryan Andrus, plus Jamal Aytes, whose versatility could pay dividends in a variety of spots after his brief start this season at UNLV).

"But I don't want to go too far off," Rose said of being a more active team from the arc. "We were good at being aggressive, getting the ball to the rim and getting fouled. We need to be better at capitalizing on those opportunities. But I think we can improve."

Mika, despite a season story line of foul trouble, was a regular at the foul line. So was Kyle Collinsworth, who Rose said is very optimistic about his rehabilitation from knee surgery the same day as the Cougars wrapped up their season in Milwaukee, Wis., with a loss to Oregon.

Redshirting is not a topic right now, even though Collinsworth could theoretically stand to be away from basketball the next 4-5 months as he strengths his ACL.

"It will take time, but he'll be ready when it's time to go," said Rose, adding he spent some time with Collinsworth last week.

∫Commendation: Haws was named an Associated Press honorable-mention All-America on Monday afternoon. That means at least one of about 65 voters — who also handle weekly team rankings during the season — selected BYU's junior guard somewhere among the top 15 players (first, second or third team) in the country.

He's the first BYU player to make the list since Jimmer Fredette won national player of the year honors in 2011.

Haws, who also was named the West Coast Conference's top player, finished sixth nationally at 23.2 points per game.

Rose pointed out that he's eager to see how Haws' senior year goes. He's on pace to become the school's best scorer, passing Fredette.

How about Haws-mania? It could depend on the kind of start BYU gets, Rose surmised. He pointed out that Jimmer-mania didn't really take off until the middle of the season, at the start of conference play.

∫Of note: Rose said BYU has just four dates remaining for next year's schedule. The opponents also haven't been determined for the three-game set at the Maui Invitational right before Thanksgiving. One could be former Mountain West Conference colleague San Diego State, which advanced to the Sweet 16.

-- Jason Franchuk covers primarily BYU football and basketball for the Daily Herald. You can connect with him by email at jfranchuk@heraldextra.com or by following him on Twitter at

Read more from  Jason Franchuk here.

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