AP ranks BYU men’s basketball in the Top 25 after hot start

The Cougars are ranked No. 18 after winning four straight games to start the season, including a blowout over Oregon.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars forward Gavin Baxter (51) and Brigham Young Cougars guard Alex Barcello (13) celebrates a lead in the final minute as BYU hosts San Diego State, NCAA basketball in Provo on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.

The BYU men’s basketball team started the season with four straight wins. Those first three were against opponents that made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament last March, and one of those three was a ranked Oregon team.

After the hot start, the Cougars got some national recognition Monday as the Associated Press ranked them No. 18 in the country.

BYU beat its first four opponents by an average of 21 points. Those for wins were against Cleveland State, San Diego State, Oregon and Central Methodist.

Senior guard Alex Barcello is tied for 39th in the country in points per game, averaging 20.5. The team as a whole is ranked 31st in field goal percentage, shooting 50.4%.