BYU basketball: Emery, Rose, Davis named captains

With BYU basketball season just around the corner, head coach Dave Rose announced the Cougars’ three captains for the 2016-17 campaign.

The BYU basketball team will host Princeton on Nov. 14 as part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon. It marks the first game in a new era of Cougar basketball, and Provo is buzzing.

When the Cougars and Tigers tip off in just over a week, Rose announced that sophomore Nick Emery and seniors Kyle Davis and L.J. Rose will lead BYU basketball onto the Marriott Center floor as captains.

“I’m looking forward to the leadership our captains can provide to our team,” Rose said in a press release. “These three guys were selected by the players, and bring a lot of experience and passion.”

Emery is BYU basketball’s leading returning scorer. Last season he put up 16.3 points per game and set the BYU basketball freshman record for 3-pointers made in a season with 97. Emery was streaky last season (12 games scoring 12 points or less), but that’s to be expected with a true freshman. He showed flashes of brilliance, especially in a two-game road stretch against San Francisco and Santa Clara where he scored a combined 68 points in the two contests. Now he’s reunited with his former Lone Peak Three teammates TJ Haws and Eric Mika, two players he’s got a ton of chemistry with. I expect Emery to be a Top 100 player this season.

Davis started all 37 games for the Cougars last season, averaging 11.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. He struggled scoring consistently around the basket and was a less-than-stellar defender last season, but he was also the only viable post threat on the roster. With Mika returning from his LDS mission, defenses won’t be able to constantly double Davis in the post, so he might be able to regain some of his offensive potency. Plus, with Mika patrolling the paint, Davis won’t have to be a rim protector. He may be primed for a big senior year in Provo.

L.J. Rose is a graduate transfer from Houston. Rose struggled with injuries throughout his collegiate career, but led Houston in assists as a sophomore and junior. When healthy – which he is for the first time in nearly two years – he’s a 10 points per game and five to six assists per game type of player. His experience running the point will allow the Cougars to spell Emery and Elijah Bryant when necessary.

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The Cougars are projected to finish third in the West Coast Conference, behind both Gonzaga and St. Mary’s.

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