UVU menÕs basketball vs. Cal Baptist 29

Utah Valley University guard Brandon Averette (11) congratulates guard Isaiah White (0) on his and-one opportunity during a game between the Utah Valley Wolverines and the California Baptist Lancers held at the UCCU Center on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, in Orem. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

Like some 6-foot-10 mad scientist in Nike gear, BYU men’s basketball coach Mark Pope keeps making explosive moves.

It’s been a very busy offseason for the Cougars and it continued on Friday evening, when BYU announced the signing of former Utah Valley guard Brandon Averette as a graduate transfer.

“Brandon Averette is one of the most explosive, cat-quick, clever playmakers in college basketball,” Pope said. “We feel so blessed to have him join our locker room. He is universally beloved by his teammates for his competitive spirit and playmaking ability. It’s going to take about two seconds for Cougar fans to fall in love with his quiet charisma and winning charm.”

Averette entered the transfer portal last week and speculation began immediately that he would look at joining Pope, who recruited him from Oklahoma State to UVU in 2018. Averette will graduate from Utah Valley in University Studies this summer and be eligible to play as a senior in 2020-21.

Averette played his junior season at Utah Valley (2018-19) and his freshman and sophomore seasons (2016-18) at Oklahoma State. Last season at Utah Valley he averaged 12.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists while adding 27 steals. He was second on the team in points, assists and steals and posted season highs of 23 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Averette earned a spot on the All-WAC Newcomer Team.

As a freshman in 2016-17 at Oklahoma State, Averette averaged 5.2 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists. He played in all 33 games, helping the Cowboys finish 20-13 overall and earn an at-large bid in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Averette’s season highs in 2016-17 were 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals.

In 2017-18, Averette improved his averages to 6.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and a team-best 2.9 assists per game. He played in all 36 games and made six starts on an Oklahoma State team that finished 21-15 overall and advanced to the third round of the 2018 NIT. Averette’s season highs in 2017-18 were 22 points, four rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

Averette prepped at Richardson High School in Richardson, Texas, where he led all Dallas-Forth Worth area 6A players in scoring as a senior in 2015-16 at 22.6 points per game. He joins fellow graduate transfer Matt Haarms (Purdue), freshman Hunter Erickson (a returned missionary from Timpview High School) and junior college transfers Gideon George (New Mexico Junior College) and Spencer Johnson (Salt Lake Community College) as newcomers to the 2020-21 BYU men’s basketball roster.

The Cougars have also signed Dallin Hall (Fremont High School). Richie Saunders (Wasatch Academy) and Tanner Toolson (Evergreen High School) from the class of 2020. They all plan to serve missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before enrolling at BYU.

BYU fans are also awaiting word on Wasatch Academy guard/forward Caleb Lohner, who has reportedly asked for his release from the letter of intent he signed with Utah. The four-star recruit is expected to also join the Cougars.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!