Loyal Cougars

Matt Carlino’s transfer leaves BYU with major guard-line questions

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

BYU announced guard Matt Carlino would graduate and transfer away from BYU for his senior year on Tuesday. The announcement appears to have answered questions about how BYU was going to trim next year’s basketball roster from 14 scholarship players to the allowable maximum of 13.

Carlino had transferred to BYU after playing part of his freshman campaign at UCLA. Before playing for the Bruins, he had verbally committed to the Indiana Hoosiers and had also moved high schools to be closer to that team.

NCAA rules allow players who have graduated but still have eligibility remaining to transfer without restrictions, as long as the destination school offers a graduate program that isn’t available at the former school.

Statistically, Carlino’s departure leaves a huge hole to fill for BYU. He and Tyler Haws were BYU’s only two “major contributors,” or players used in 24-28% of a teams’ possessions, according to statistician Ken Pomeroy.

Last year, Carlino averaged 13.7 points, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals. Carlino’s defense was perhaps underappreciated as his 61 total steals lead the team in a category where the Cougars struggled. Other than Kyle Collinsworth, who had 57, the rest of the team averaged less than one steal per game.

Carlino said in a statement announcing his release, “I’m grateful for the opportunity Coach Rose and his staff have given me. I’m also grateful for my teammates, professors and advisors for making my time at BYU such a great experience and for helping me grow so much as a person. Thank you to the fans that have given me so much support. I feel very blessed that I was able to represent BYU.”

Dave Rose added “We’re really grateful for Matt’s contribution to the success of our program over the last three years. We wish Matt and his family the very best in their future endeavors.”

Some have wondered if there is a possibility that the announcement is an April Fool’s prank, but that seems very out of character for BYU’s media relations team. BYU hoops life without Matt Carlino starts now.

The departure leaves some big questions to be answered about the guard line for BYU next year. If Frank Bartley IV moves to shooting guard, as coach Rose indicated would happen in his Monday meeting with the press, the Cougars potentially have six players to fill the point and shooting guard positions.  Along with the soon-to-be-sophomore Bartley, the team would have just-returned missionary Jordan Chatman, along with returning players Skyler Halford and the recovering Collinsworth. Anson Winder could also be asked to play point guard, and Wake Forest transfer Chase Fischer rounds out the group.

BYU’s roster seems particularly shaky early in the season, with UNLV transfer Jamal Aytes not available until December 20, and because Collinsworth may not be fully recovered — although the team hopes he will be.

Dave Rose did speak highly of Chatman yesterday, telling KSL’s Greg Wrubell, “Right now, I think he’ll come in as a combo guard, to get minutes at both positions. Great size, really good skill level.” While Chatman certainly has a lot of potential, the prospect of trading an experienced, senior back up point guard for a true freshman directly off his mission is probably not a trade BYU fans should be excited to make.

Dave Rose has proven he is a skillful tactician with his rosters. He had also given a series of very optimistic interviews to local media members over the last few days. Carlino’s departure will certainly shake up some of the staff’s plans, but at least the staff now knows what they will be working with for next year.

3 Comments

  1. Justin Whiting

    April 2, 2014 at 7:51 am

    So bummed Carlino is leaving, but pretty easy decision for him. He is smart. Can graduate now and start work on a Master’s Degree somewhere else. Hope he finds a place where he can show his talents. I don’t think his talents were fully utilized this year, especially with our lack of depth. I think he took too much blame for the team when they struggled, but things weren’t working and Rose was smart in making the changes he did.

    Coach Rose is great at working with what he has. Best of luck to Matt and thanks for a TON of very exciting moments the past three years. Favorite player on the team and he will be missed!

  2. Kevin

    April 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I certainly don’t believe the Guard-line cupboard is bear for next season. While Matt has acted with extreme class both on and off the court, his streaky shooting and passing (brilliant when on … problematic when not) may quite well be supplanted with a bit more consistency. Bartley is fearless. Collinsworth is a beast – if his knee holds-up he’ll be incredible (assuming he can buy a free throw stroke). Winder is quite consistent. Haws – what can one say about an All-American? And with the two new gentlemen … no, the Guard cupboard will be quite deep enough.
    The real question will be whether the Bigs can be utilized in a manner more befitting a full team effort, rather than concentrating the half-court offense on long-range shooting.

  3. Rick Wood

    April 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I am waiting for a few more days, or even weeks, before deciding what to think about this move by Mr. Carlino. I think we only have part of the story.