According to Verbal Commits, BYU men's basketball guard Connor Harding has entered the transfer portal. Harding, who originally signed with BYU under Dave Rose, played a diminished role under head coach Mark Pope. Harding started 14 games as a true freshman under Coach Rose, he came off the bench as a sophmore under Coach Pope, and he was demoted from a starter to a role player during the 2020-2021 season.
Through three seasons at BYU, Harding averaged 5.9 points per game, 2.9 rebounds per game, and 1.3 assists per game.
It's important to remember that entering the transfer portal does not mean that Harding will be leaving BYU. He could still return to BYU after exploring his options in the portal.
Last, we took an early look at BYU basketball's 2021-2022 roster. Without Wade (who entered the portal last week) and Harding in the fold, the Cougars might be in the market for a ball hander and shot creator. Here is a look at the Cougars' returning players, incoming signees, and more:
- #25 Gavin Baxter
- #0 Hunter Erickson
- #5 Gideon George
- #42 Richard Harward
- #20 Spencer Johnson
- #21 Trevin Knell
- #40 Kolby Lee
- #33 Caleb Lohner
- #1 Wyatt Lowell
- #15 Cameron Pearson
- #24 Townsend Tripple
- #2 Brandon Warr
BYU has some young talent returning next season, namely Caleb Lohner, Gideon George, and Gavin Baxter if he can get healthy. In this author's opinion, however, BYU is clearly lacking ball handlers and shot creators from this group.
BYU's top recruiting targets this offseason are Alex Barcello and Brandon Averette. It appears, however, that Averette will not return to BYU next season. Even if the duo returns, I would expect Mark Pope and staff to be very active in the transfer portal. Mark Pope has already expressed interest in Cincinnati transfer Mike Saunders Jr. Saunders prepped at Wasatch Academy with fellow BYU signees Richie Saunders, Caleb Lohner, and Fousseyni Traore. He was a four-star recruit out of the 2020 recruiting class. He visited BYU virtually on Monday morning.
- Fousseyni Traore (F)
- Atiki Ally Atiki (C, not officially signed yet)
- Nate Hansen (PG)
- Trey Stewart (G)
Atiki Ally Atiki has the potential to be a very good player for BYU, but he might need a few years to develop. Traore is in a similar situation - high ceiling but he might need some time to develop. Nate Hansen will be returning home from a mission. Trey Stewart was a late addition to the 2019 class.
- #13 Alex Barcello
- #4 Brandon Averette
Matt Haarms has already stated that he won't return to BYU for another season. Due to COVID-19, Alex Barcello and Averette could return for one more season - they will likely announce their decisions the next few weeks.
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