It’s likely that BYU’s Alex Barcello won’t play much on Saturday against NAIA school Central Methodist.
After opening the season with three games against teams that participated in the 2021 NCAA tournament (Cleveland State, San Diego State and Oregon), the Cougars got a break in the schedule, as did Barcello, who averaged 32.7 minutes per game.
In those first three games Barcello has been spectacular, posting numbers like he’s not shooting against any defense.
Barcello’s offensive rating is an astronomical 164.4, scoring 66 of 12 of 14 at 2 points, 8 of 13 from distance and 18 of 18 from the free throw line.
He was also eye-catching, hitting big shots late in wins over Cleveland State and San Diego State. In Tuesday’s 81-49 loss to No.12 Oregon, Barcello made his first eight shots from the field and finished with 25 points.
“I’m out of words for this guy,” BYU coach Mark Pope then, as you might expect, started to find some. “It’s Alex Barcello. That’s what he does. He goes on the road against the nation’s No.12 team and comes out 9 of 11 on the pitch and he does it 100% in the context of how we play. He doesn’t force punches and he’s become a master of what we are trying to do.
“Someone said Alex Barcello is one of the most underrated guys in the country, or an All-American dark horse. I don’t understand that. Who in the country did what he did in the first three games? The guy is amazing. He’s the star of a star. And he does it well. Everything fits into everything we do. The young man is amazing. He’s a really young man. special. And that’s not even the best thing he does. The best thing he does is do our dressing room well. It’s spectacular. “
Against Oregon, transfer Te’Jon Lucas had the best game of his young BYU career: 12 of 5 of 8 points from the field (2 of 3 from the 3-point line), six assists and a single number business against the Ducks in full. judicial press.
“I’m not that smart,” Pope said, “but our backcourt was ridiculous. They’re just Yin and Yang right now. There’s what Alex did and then T’Jon was really special tonight. He just has the balance and experience of a veteran.
Last year, the highest BYU reached in KenPom odds was No.20. After beating Oregon on Tuesday, the Cougars dropped from 39 to 20. On Thursday, BYU was at No.23.
The Cougars received a few votes in the AP poll last week (26) but are expected to enter the Top 25 after defeating Oregon.
That should do
BYU’s Gideon George from Nigeria recently sponsored a shoe drive in collaboration with Timeout for Africa and BYU Global Supply Chain Management. Fans were encouraged to bring lightly used or new shoes, along with other school supplies such as backpacks, to last week’s game in San Diego state. According to reports, the event brought in more than 5,000 pairs of shoes to donate to needy children in Africa.
Central Methodist, an NAIA school in Fayette, Missouri, started the season 7-0 with wins – and these are real basketball teams – like Central Christian College of the Bible and the University of Health Sciences and pharmacy.
The Eagles are coached by Jeff Sherman, who is now in his 36th season. He is currently seventh all-time among active NAIA coaches (653 wins). Central Methodist is averaging 83.6 points per game and has five players averaging better than nine points per game, led by guard Jonathan Brown (17.9).
“We knew the first three games were going to be extremely tough,” Pope said after beating Oregon. “The guys are excited to come home and get back to work. “
Men’s college basketball
Central Methodist (7-0) at BYU (3-0)
Saturday, 7 p.m. MT
Marriott Center, Provo
Radio: BYU Radio, Sirius XM 143 / BYU Radio App, KSL 1160 AM / 102.7 FM
Live Statistics: byucougars.com
Word: Central Methodist at an NAIA school in Columbia, Mo.… Eagles coach Jeff Sherman is currently ranked No. 7 all-time in NAIA wins (653). … The Cougars just lost 81-49 to No. 12 Oregon at the Phil Knight Invitational. … BYU was outside the Top 25 AP last week with 26 votes.