BYU men’s basketball star Alex Barcello announces he will return next season, giving Cougs an immediate boost

Senior guard was BYU’s scoring leader last season, averaging just over 16 points per game

For months, people have been waiting on Alex Barcello to make a decision — to either return to Provo for one more season or choose to end his collegiate career.

On Friday evening, that question was answered.

BYU’s star guard announced during BYU’s Fathers and Sons Camp in the Smith Fieldhouse that he will, in fact, play another season for the Cougars.

The opportunity to come back was made possible by the NCAA’s blanket waiver that froze eligibility for fall and winter sport athletes during the pandemic year. BYU’s two other seniors, Matt Haarms and Brandon Averette, had previously announced they won’t be taking advantage of the extra season.

Barcello made his way to Provo in 2019, transferring from Arizona, where he played his first two seasons for the Wildcats.

The Chandler, Ariz., native was granted a transfer waiver and immediately became part of the Cougars’ rotation, starting in every game he’s played in the last two years.

During the 2019-20 season, Barcello averaged 9.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Those numbers all improved over the last season as Barcello also took a bigger leadership role with the Cougars on and off the floor.

Barcello was the team’s leading scorer, averaging 16.1 points, while also averaging 4.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists.

The return of Barcello will help provide stability to a team that lost more than a handful of players to graduation and transfers. Barcello will most likely be joined in the backcourt by Wisconsin transfer Te’Jon Lucas, who recently announced his commitment to BYU.

Caleb Lohner and Gavin Baxter seem like obvious choices to plug into the Cougars’ starting five, possibly rounded out by Gideon George.

With the return of Barcello, BYU is back on stable ground and poised to continue the success it’s found over the last couple of seasons under coach Mark Pope.