‘A really special duo’: BYU pushing play on ‘ABBA’ point guard backcourt

Brigham Young Cougars guard Alex Barcello (4) drives around Loyola Marymount Lions forward Ivan Alipiev (35) on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020; Utah Valley guard Brandon Averette drives to the hoop against Grand Canyon on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News; Katy Herrin, UVU

Cougar seniors Alex Barcello and Brandon Averette are a pair of fast-paced, hard-nosed playmakers

One, Alex Barcello, is known as “AB.” The other, Brandon Averette, is called “BA.” Both are seniors on BYU’s basketball team and they play the same position — point guard.

Some Cougars fans are referring to the pair as “ABBA,” like the name of the Swedish pop group that produced huge hits in the 1970s, such as “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me” and “The Winner Takes It All.”

“One of the directions that I think we’ll spend a lot of time going in is playing two point guards. You see several teams in the league that are doing that now. It’s so difficult, especially when you have playmakers that are as lethal as they are.” — BYU coach Mark Pope

Coach Mark Pope is definitely hoping this talented, and experienced, backcourt leads his team to plenty of winning in 2020-21.

“Alex Barcello and Brandon Averette are going to be a really special duo,” Pope said after BYU’s first official day of practice Wednesday. “One of the directions that I think we’ll spend a lot of time going in is playing two point guards. You see several teams in the league that are doing that now. It’s so difficult, especially when you have playmakers that are as lethal as they are. You saw that all night long.”

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Barcello joined the program during the summer of 2019 after transferring from the University of Arizona. About a year ago, he received a waiver from the NCAA, which allowed him to play last season. BYU’s leading returning scorer averaged 9.3 points and shot 48.6% from 3-point range.

A year ago, the Cougars had other proven offensive options like Yoeli Childs, TJ Haws and Jake Toolson. This season, Barcello will have more opportunities to have the ball in his hands and score points. And he’s more familiar with Pope’s system.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
Brigham Young Cougars guard Alex Barcello (4) drives to the hoop ahead of Loyola Marymount Lions forward Jordan Bell (23) and guard Erik Johansson (20) during the game at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020.

“I feel extremely comfortable. Last year we had a lot of playmakers on the team. A lot of them have left but we still have a lot of great players on this team,” Barcello said. “I’ve put in the work that I’ve needed but I have more work to put in.

“You can never be complacent. I’m trying to walk into this gym every day and give it everything that I have. It’s my last season of college and I want to …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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