Eugene, Ore. • Lacking depth inside and playing perhaps the most ambitious nonconference basketball schedule in more than 40 years, the BYU Cougars really could have used 6-foot-6 Jamal Aytes, the freshman from UNLV who announced last week that he is transferring to BYU.
BYU coaches recruited Aytes heavily last summer, but he chose UNLV at the last minute.
Coach Dave Rose said Thursday that Aytes will join the team in January when winter semester begins at BYU, but won't be eligible to play until Dec. 20, 2014. He will have three years of eligibility remaining.
"He is in the transfer process right now, and we will get him then," Rose said.
When he announced he was leaving UNLV, Aytes noted in a school release that "I have enjoyed my time at UNLV, but transferring gives me a better opportunity for playing time sooner in my career."
BYU coaches obviously took Aytes with open arms, but his addition for the 2014-15 season creates a scholarship crunch. Ironically, after playing this season with just 11 of the NCAA-allowed 13 scholarships being used, the Cougars will be one over the limit in 2014-15 unless somebody is asked to leave early.
"We will figure that out in the spring," Rose said. "The spring is always an interesting time. There are a lot of options, and usually you go into the spring and you might have no scholarships, and then you have a scholarship or two available. Sometimes you go into the spring and you think you have two or three and you end up with three or four. So we will just see how that kind of works out in the spring, and go from there."
Carlino wants more
Of all the woeful offensive stats that indicated how poorly the Cougars played in last week's 81-64 loss at Utah, the one that showed the Cougars got zero assists from their starting point guard was perhaps the most telling.
Matt Carlino played just 20 minutes, but failed to register a dime after getting 11, 6 and 7 in his previous three games. He also struggled from the field, missing 12 of 15 shots.
"I just have to get better. I mean, it is always a learning process. I just have to get a lot better. I have a lot of room to improve. I think the more I improve, the more I can help the team," Carlino said of the performance.