UCLA transfer guard Matt Carlino has verbally committed to play for Dave Rose and the Cougars starting next season.
Carlino today released a statement about his transfer, the text of which reads:
"I'm very excited to announce my transfer to Brigham Young University. I firmly believe that this next step in my personal and athletic life will help me grow as an individual as well as a player.
Since deciding to transfer out of UCLA a few weeks ago, I've visited a number of universities and feel that BYU offers the best fit for me on many levels. The standards I saw while visiting BYU are very much in line with my own.
I'll start attending classes at BYU in January, will begin formally practicing with the team immediately upon my admission to BYU, and expect to be eligible to play for the Cougars in December of next year.
I'm thrilled for the opportunity to play for Coach Rose, and help move the team forward."
Carlino will be used as a point guard for BYU in its first year after Jimmer Fredette's departure, with Carlino able to practice with the team but not play until the third week of December 2011.
Carlino told coaches at UNLV, Butler and St. Mary's of his decision on Wednesday, having visited all three of those campuses in the last week.
Carlino is a not a member of the LDS faith, but is well-acquainted with the church. I understand that a close Carlino family friend is a former BYU football player, and that Carlino associated with many members of the LDS Church while a student at Highland High School in Gilbert, AZ.
Among Carlino's high school highlights:
averaged 13.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game while leading Bloomington South HS (Bloomington, Ind.) to a 23-1 overall record as a junior in 2009-10 ...played his first two seasons at Highland High School in Gilbert, Ariz, where he was coached by his father, Mark Carlino ... while starting his first two years at point guard, he led the Highland Hawks to a 29-4 mark in 2008-09 (sophomore season) and a 24-6 record in 2007-08 (freshman campaign) ... as a sophomore, he averaged 19.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.7 steals per game... scored 30 or more points six times in 2008-09... as a freshman, he averaged 16.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.9 steals per game...scored 20 or more points eight times and 30 or more three times on the year.
As to any Cougar fans who might be concerned about Carlino's recent transiency, it goes without saying that Dave Rose is quite convinced Carlino is a great kid and will be a considerable asset to the BYU Basketball program.
Having observed Rose up-close for almost 15 years, I can also tell you that there isn't a player that Dave Rose has not been able to coach; he's as good as there is in college basketball, and he has the trust of every player and parent who has been associated with the BYU program.
I think it's great that Matt Carlino wants BYU, and that BYU wants Matt Carlino. Look for this move to pay significant dividends in 2011-12 and beyond.