How will BYU coach Kevin Young manage the Cougars’ embarrassment of riches?

Eye on the Y: Let’s take a look at potential starting lineups for BYU this season.

With how good things are going for Kevin Young, the new BYU basketball coach’s first major hurdle might not be on the recruiting trail.

Instead, it could be deciding how to divvy up minutes.

Young’s tenure in Provo started with possibly the best recruiting class the Cougars have ever seen. He reeled in two NBA draft prospects in Egor Demin and Kanon Catchings. He added two other ESPN top 100 recruits in Brody Kozlowski and Elijah Crawford.

Beyond that, Young retained key pieces, Dallin Hall and Richie Saunders. Then he brought in Rutgers transfer Mawot Mag and Utah center Keba Keita.

It leaves BYU with an unfamiliar problem.

Last year, the Cougars were simply looking to find enough quality players in their rotation. Their frontcourt depth was extremely thin and the guard line could have used more help.

Now, Young will have multiple options. Here are a few possible rotations, and some notes on each.

Possibility 1

Starters: Dallin Hall, Egor Demin, Richie Saunders, Mawot Mag, Keba Keita

Off the bench: Trevin Knell, Kanon Catchings, Dawson Baker, Fousseyni Traore, Elijah Crawford, Brody Kozlowski

Hall returned to BYU this offseason after listening to several high-major schools, including Creighton. But now that he is back in Provo, Young has a proven Big 12 guard who can be a primary ball handler and run an offense.

Hall could pair well with Demin, a 6-foot-9 scoring threat who had several 20-point games playing internationally at Real Madrid. He shot the three at around 36%. He is a projected lottery pick and figures to be one of the more unique talents in the Big 12.

Where this lineup can get interesting is what BYU does with players like Mag, Keita and Saunders. Saunders came off the bench last year. But maybe Young leans on his experience and likes to pair his defense with that group. He could always bring Trevin Knell’s shooting off the bench and Dawson Baker could spell Hall. Hall probably logged too many minutes over the last two years anyway.

Keita in the starting lineup gives BYU a rim protector and Mag, a four-star transfer from Rutgers, gives the Cougars a little more flexibility on offense and defense. Traore is good in stretches, but is an unorthodox starting center in the Big 12. He is too small to play the five, but isn’t consistent enough as a perimeter shooter to slot him in the four.

Catchings can come in off the bench as a potential NBA draft pick. He is still growing into his frame, but is a natural scorer who can provide more offense off the bench.

Possibility 2

Starters: Dallin Hall, Egor Demin, Kanon Catchings, Mawot Mag, Keba Keita

Off the bench: Trevin Knell, Richie Saunders, Dawson Baker, Fousseyni Traore, Elijah Crawford, Brody Kozlowski

This lineup would go all-in on BYU’s youth and talent. Catchings and Demin are projected NBA draft picks. They are both 6-foot-9 and can score.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars guard Trevin Knell (21) and Brigham Young Cougars guard Dallin Hall (30) celebrate the win as BYU hosts University of Central Florida, NCAA basketball in Provo on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024.

Hall would anchor the group with experience and Mag, Catchings, Keita and Demin would make BYU one of the longer lineups in the Big 12 (all are 6-foot-9 or taller).

Saunders would come off the bench where he thrived last year. Knell could give the group some shooting. He struggled at times last year in the Big 12 (but he wasn’t fully healthy). BYU would be less reliant on him as a main scoring option.

Possibility 3

Starters: Egor Demin, Trevin Knell, Richie Saunders, Kanon Catchings, Keba Keita

Off the bench: Dallin Hall, Mawot Mag, Dawson Baker, Fousseyni Traore, Elijah Crawford, Brody Kozlowski

This lineup would still give room for Demin and Catchings to grow — BYU’s two best young talents. It would put in a healthy version of Knell, who is bound to get some easy catch-and-shoot threes from kickouts with Demin and Catchings. Saunders balances out the group defensively and as a slasher.