BYU basketball was on cloud nine last season. The Cougar fans got to follow BYU legend Jimmer Fredette on his journey to the NBA. It hadn't been since Danny Ainge played at BYU that fans filled the Marriott Center like they did last year. It was truly an amazing ride for everyone that follows BYU basketball.
Unfortunately, Jimmer-palooza is over and he is on his way to the NBA. Fredette's running mate Jackson Emery is also gone and pursuing a professional basketball career in Europe. The Cougars are left without two of the most exciting players in the history of the program.
But Cougar fans still have reason to be excited. Brandon Davies is likely to return to the team next year. Chris Collinsworth will be returning from injury. Matt Carlino and Anson Winder look to take over the point guard position, both are very solid players. Charles Abouo emerged as a scoring threat and a lock-down defender toward the end of last season.
All of these players are reason to be excited.
The player that I'm most excited about that will be wearing the blue and white is freshman DeMarcus Harrison.
The 6'4" guard turned down the likes of Clemson, Florida State and Marquette to come play for BYU. As far as many experts can tell, Harrison looks to be the real deal. Harrison has excellent athleticism and looks to be explosive with the ball in his hand.
Not only can Harrison get to the rim, he has a good shot from beyond the arc. No, he's not going to pull up from the insane "Jimmer range" that we've grown accustomed to seeing at the Marriott Center, but he looks to be a decent three-point threat.
Perhaps the most exciting part of Harrison playing for BYU is the fact that he'll be playing alongside Carlino. Carlino is a true point guard that can score when needed but can distribute the ball with the best of them. Harrison should relish the idea of a good point guard that can get him the ball in space.
There is no question that Harrison is the future of BYU basketball. He is the kind of recruit that BYU usually only dreams of getting, and he can make an instant impact as the Cougars move to the West Coast Conference.
Look for Harrison to have a big year and a big impact as BYU battles Gonzaga for a conference championship.