July 18, 2024

Kevin Young Sees Each Assistant Bringing an ‘Expertise’ to BYU Basketball

PROVO, Utah—On Thursday, BYU basketball head coach Kevin Young addressed the media for the first time since his introduction in April.

The event, which saw a larger media turnout than usual for a summer BYU basketball update, was held inside the Marriott Center Annex. The media observed former Utah player Keba Keita practicing free throws in BYU gear, along with Richie Saunders and Dallin Hall, who had returned after brief stints in the Transfer Portal.

BYU Basketball Coach Kevin Young Finalizes His Coaching Staff

Thursday marked Young’s first full day with his officially announced assistant coaches. The staff includes former G-League head coach Will Voigt, Tim Fanning from Overtime Elite, Saint Joseph’s assistant John Linehan, former Utah assistant Chris Burgess, and former Stanford assistant Brandon Dunson. Young believes each coach brings a unique expertise to the program.

“In the college space, there’s recruiting expertise and on-court expertise. Each assistant has a specific niche in the recruiting world, whether geographic or network-based,” Young explained.

Kevin Young Lays Out Priorities To Begin BYU Head Coach Tenure

Recruiting Expertise

Young’s transition from professional basketball has been effective in recruiting. Since his hire, BYU has added four-star recruit Brody Kozlowski from Corner Canyon High School, who had ties to Chris Burgess. Burgess also played a key role in bringing Keba Keita from Utah. Additionally, BYU secured four-star point guard Elijah Crawford, initially committed to Stanford and recruited by Brandon Dunson. The highlight of the 2024 recruiting cycle was landing Egor Demin from Real Madrid, thanks to the international connections of Young, Voigt, Fanning, and Burgess.

On-Court Expertise

“On the tactical side, I’ll assign roles similar to a football staff with offensive and defensive responsibilities, player development, and special projects,” Young said. Though he has often served as an “offensive coordinator” in the NBA and G-League, Young has not yet assigned specific roles for offense or defense. Will Voigt, known for his defensive success with the “Peel Switch” defense for the Angola National Team, is expected to play a significant role.

“It’s still a work in progress,” Young noted. “I prioritized people first. Will is an excellent coach, not just defensively, and I’ll lean on him a lot there. But regardless of their specific expertise, I want these guys to be well-rounded.”

Assembling the Staff with Patience

Young, who was hired in mid-April, took his time to announce his staff by early June. He deliberately chose to be patient in forming his team. “Everything starts with the people; personality fits, being a good person—that’s the number one thing,” Young said.

“Then within that, I looked at what boxes they could check for me—college expertise, international expertise, or tactical expertise. That’s why I didn’t rush to hire five guys immediately. It was a thorough process to ensure we got the right people, with a good vetting process, involving some of the administration here to vet these guys with me.”

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