June 14, 2024

What Does Egor Demin’s Commitment Mean for BYU Basketball?

Egor Demin’s commitment is a significant boost for a BYU basketball program that appears ready to make a splash. Historically, BYU has had moments of brilliance with legendary players like Jimmer Fredette, Danny Ainge, and Shawn Bradley, but the program has often been a middle-tier presence in NCAA basketball.

Although BYU frequently reaches the NCAA Tournament, they haven’t advanced past the Round of 64 since 2011, when they made it to the Sweet 16. They hold the record for most NCAA Tournament appearances without a Final Four appearance and haven’t been to the Elite Eight since 1981.

The Cougars joined the Big 12 last season after a lukewarm period in the West Coast Conference. Under Mark Pope’s dynamic offensive strategy, they quickly became a competitive force in one of the nation’s toughest basketball conferences.

Hopes were high for BYU following a successful 2023-24 season, reminiscent of Jimmer Fredette’s 2011 Player of the Year campaign. However, a series of unexpected events—including the departure of coach Mark Pope to the University of Kentucky—plunged the program into uncertainty. Several key players entered the transfer portal, leaving the team in disarray.

Fortune smiled on BYU when Kevin Young, the highest-paid assistant coach in the NBA, took the reins of the basketball program. Young promised to turn BYU into a prime destination for NBA prospects.

Egor Demin – Eurospects

Egor Demin’s commitment to BYU is a testament to Young’s vision. Demin, a 6’9″ guard from Moscow, Russia, is seen as a potential NBA lottery pick and a likely one-and-done player. His arrival signals a major shift for BYU basketball, which historically focused on recruiting top LDS talent and under-the-radar players rather than high-profile prospects.

Demin’s decision to join BYU sets a new precedent, suggesting that the program can attract top-tier talent from around the world. If Demin is drafted early in the 2025 NBA Draft, it could elevate BYU’s reputation among elite recruits.

Coach Young has been proactive in his recruiting, offering scholarships to top national prospects, including 5-star and 4-star players. This aggressive approach has garnered attention from high-ranking recruits, indicating a potential shift in BYU’s recruiting success.

While the true impact of Kevin Young’s tenure will be seen once his teams take the court, Demin’s commitment has already sparked unprecedented optimism. The excitement among Cougar fans is palpable, with the belief that anything is possible for BYU basketball.

Egor Demin’s commitment may not guarantee a Big 12 title or a Final Four appearance, but it has brought a new wave of hope and excitement to BYU hoops. It’s time to believe in BYU basketball again.

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