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PROVO — Alex Barcello got some good news Friday afternoon.
So, too, did the beleaguered BYU basketball fanbase.
The 6-foot-2 point guard from Arizona received a notice from the NCAA approving a waiver for immediate eligibility, giving Barcello two full seasons with new coach Mark Pope.
Unbelievably grateful, and so excited for season to start!! pic.twitter.com/uAB8XSRP4N— Alex Barcello (@AlexBarcello23) October 25, 2019
Barcello played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Arizona, averaging 3.3 points with 26 rebounds, 15 assists and 10 steals in 30 games as a sophomore for the NCAA Tournament-bound Wildcats.
A two-time Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year at Corona del Sol High School in Chandler, Arizona, Barcello was a four-star recruit in high school, but watched his minutes plateau with Sean Miller’s team before he elected to transfer.
As a senior at Corona del Sol, Barcello averaged 24.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.9 steals while shooting 54.8 percent from the field, 39.5 percent from 3-point range and 89.3 percent from the free-throw line. He concluded his high school career with 2,254 points.
That transfer coincided with Pope’s hire at BYU from nearby Utah Valley, and Barcello became one of the coach’s prized transfer pickups in the offseason.
Barcello was one of three redshirt transfer candidates for the Cougars in 2019-20, joining Utah Valley’s Richard Harward and Wyatt Lowell. No approval has been granted — at least for now — for the former Wolverines, though.
The decision gives BYU another point guard, in addition to incumbent starter TJ Haws, and allows Pope to play multiple guard-oriented lineups — particularly during the first nine games of the season, when Yoeli Childs will be serving an NCAA-mandated nine-game suspension.
During those nine games, the Cougars will be limited to two full-time forwards — presumed starter Dalton Nixon, and sophomore Kolby Lee. The 6-foot-9, 210-pound sophomore forward Gavin Baxter recently underwent shoulder surgery and will be out for several months, with the possibility of a redshirt season in tow.
BYU faces Division II UT Tyler in an exhibition game Nov. 1 before opening the season Nov. 5 against Cal State Fullerton in the Marriott Center.