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On the same day BYU lost assistant hoops coach Mark Pope to the head coaching post at Utah Valley University, the Cougars added a player to their stable of future talent, as Richland (Wash.) HS combo guard Steven Beo verbally committed to head coach Dave Rose.
Beo, who set the Richland single-game scoring record with a 49-point effort during the 2014-15 season, will sign for BYU in November of this year and start his Cougar playing career in 2016-17.
A 6-foot-3-inch, 175-pound backcourt scorer who averaged 27.7 points per game during his junior season, Beo helped Richland to the state 4A quarterfinals as a junior; he also appeared in the state playoffs as a freshman (quarterfinals) and sophomore (championship game).
Beo said today that BYU assistant coach Terry Nashif expressed interest "pretty early" in the recruiting process. "I was pretty interested (in BYU)," said Beo, "in what I have seen and heard about them and the way they play."
In addition to BYU, Beo received scholarship offers from Washington, Boise State, Utah State, Eastern Washington and Central Washington; Gonzaga and Washington State also had strong interest. After unofficial visits to Washington, Washington State and Boise State, he took only one official visit--to BYU.
Beo told me that his trip to the Provo campus "blew me away...the program was pretty amazing, and the guys were super-nice. The (players') work ethic really impressed me a lot."
Of his Tuesday commitment call to Rose, Beo says the BYU coach was "excited to hear it"; of his projected role with the Cougars, Beo says Rose expects him "to create shots for other people, and knock down shots when I am open."
"I feel super-good about the choice; I can't wait to go to BYU. It looks super-fun to play there; it looks like you can enjoy yourself and do what you love."
Beo is well acquainted with BYU's current and future players; of the crop of Lone Peak High School products slated to join or re-join the program (Nick Emery, TJ Haws, Eric Mika), Beo says "I'm actually really excited to play with all of them; I have watched them play on TV and thought they were really good."
Beo noted that BYU's NCAA-tournament pedigree under Rose was a consideration in making his college choice.
"Every kid grows up dreaming of playing in the NCAA tournament," said Beo, "and it's almost like a guarantee that BYU will be in it, so I am looking forward to that."
Beo is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and has a sister currently serving a church mission in Albuquerque; he told me as of today that he does not have mission plans.
By the time Beo appears on campus in 2016, Marriott Center renovations will be complete, and BYU's planned practice-facility annex is scheduled to open. Of the improvements, Beo said he is "super-excited...it sounds really awesome. I love the Marriott Center. I feel good about my choice, and I can't wait to go to BYU."