Eye on the Y: How does new basketball transfer Aly Khalifa fit into BYU’s Big 12 roster vision?

The Tribune’s weekly roundup of news and notes from around the Big 12 conference.

(Michael Woods | AP) Charlotte forward Aly Khalifa (15) shoots against Arkansas during an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, in Fayetteville, Ark.

The laundry list of needs for BYU basketball’s offseason overhaul included two main priorities: more shooting and front-court depth.

And the first player the coaching staff came back with from the transfer portal was Aly Khalifa — a 6-foot-11 sophomore from Charlotte who shot 38 percent from three last year.

Khalifa begins to fill both needs for this staff almost immediately. On the shooting side, he has a large body of work at the Division I level (65 games) of being a proven shotmaker.

He finished in the top 100 nationally last year in effective field goal percentage (59 percent). In Conference USA, which produced a Final Four team this year, he shot over 38 percent from three the last two seasons. Pair that with shooting over 60 percent from inside the arc and you get an efficient scorer. C-USA does have a track record of producing pure-shooting transfers. One that comes to mind is Trey Murphy III, a former Rice guard who went on to be a good scorer for Virginia and is now on the New Orleans Pelicans.

But beyond the shooting, Khalifa has the potential to streamline BYU’s front court by bringing a different skill set to what was already there. BYU was going into the Big 12 with only Fousseyni Traore and Atiki Ally Atiki. Both are still developing, particularly on offense and expanding their game outside the paint.

Now, BYU brings in a playmaker who can stretch the floor. His assist rate was one of the best in C-USA last year, although his turnover rate was high too.

Moving forward, BYU could still add another big. It also needs more shooting from guards. But Khalifa is the first step to addressing two major needs.

Quick hits

Around the Big 12

Baylor — Former BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes is raving about his newcomers.

UCF — Thomas Castellanos hopeful to be UCF’s QB1 sooner rather than later

Cincinnati — Just landed a top-200 recruit out of Georgia.

Houston — Analyzing the Cougars’ wideouts after spring ball.

Iowa State — Cyclones turn to revamped staff to get their offense going again.

Kansas — Has been experimenting with its offensive linemen.

Kansas State — Just won an in-state recruiting battle.

Oklahoma — Will have its spring game on Saturday.

Oklahoma State — Mike Gundy has some thoughts about a new BYU transfer.

TCU — Jamel Johnson used the spring to make a name for himself.

Texas — Adrian Peterson threw some shade at the Longhorns.

Texas Tech — The Red Raiders will have an unusual setup for visiting teams this season.

West Virginia — Has some transfer needs as spring ends.