Utah isn’t often thought of as a hotbed of high school basketball talent, but anybody that has seen the Utah Reign play on the club circuit knows that there are some serious players in the region. The one catch regarding the Utah Reign is that all of the members attend the same high school, Lone Peak, and the top three members are all committed to BYU.
The Cougars have already locked up 2013 prospects Nick Emery and Eric Mika. In the backcourt, Emery has the possibility of drawing some Jimmer Fredette comparisons as his shooting range starts when he passes half court, and he is a consensus top-100 prospect. Meanwhile, Mika is lesser-known following sitting out the last high school season after a transfer, but he’s a 6-9 post that has skill and can bang inside. Meanwhile, 2014 shooting guard TJ Haws has made an early commit, and he’s a ball wizard who can score.
BYU’s in-state recruiting prowess may not stop at the three stars from Lone Peak, though, as they served up several scholarship offers this week to players that could be a part of building an extremely strong college team. The Desert News reported that BYU tendered scholarship offers to three 2014 big-men with Utah ties, as well as a 2013 center in Luke Worthington of Wisconsin.
The three 2014 post players all have the potential to be special. 6-7 Dalton Nixon and 6-9 Brekkott Chapman have impressed on the traveling circuit for Utah Pump N Run and Utah Hoops, respectively, while Arizona-native Payton Dastrup, a 6-9 center, has worked his way into the national top-50 following his tremendous play for Utah Select. If BYU can add Dastrup and one or more of the other players to Emery, Mika and Haws, they should be extremely strong years to come.
In terms of in-state recruiting, BYU is getting it done with a particularly strong recent crop of prospects. The moribund Utah program could also benefit from sharing the wealth in Utah, but beyond incoming freshman wing Jordan Loverridge, they seem to be trailing BYU and focusing elsewhere.