How Kevin Young secured the commitment of 4-star prospect Brody Kozlowski

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PROVO — New BYU men's basketball coach Kevin Young brings a wealth of NBA experience with him, and with the bold prerogative of making Provo a prime proving ground for the top level of professional basketball.

Young said as much during his opening press conference at BYU on April 17, shortly after he was announced as the program's new head coach, filling the vacancy left by Mark Pope, who accepted the head coaching job at Kentucky just a few days prior.

It's a statement that played well in the minds of many Cougars fans, but more importantly played at least as well for one top-flight recruit.

"One of the things that stood out to me is that he wants to make BYU an NBA pipeline," recruit Brody Kozlowski said during an interview on my radio program. "So I think that's really awesome for players coming in … that he's going to be able to help you get to the NBA, and that he wants to get you to the NBA."

Kozlowski is a 6-foot-7 forward from Draper who previously signed with USC before opting to look elsewhere in the wake of the Trojans coaching staff leaving for SMU after last season. The Corner Canyon product is rated as a four-star prospect and is the No. 93 recruit nationally, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

Young reached out to Kozlowski almost immediately following his press conference, laying out more specifics regarding his methods of development, along with every other pitch he made during his press conference. All of it was taken in positively by Kozlowski, as evidenced by his commitment and subsequent signing with BYU soon thereafter.

"He was a super genuine guy," Kozlowski said. "I connected with him right away, and I know he has some really good experience from the NBA. … I know that he can improve my game in a way that other coaches can't."

Along with Young's genuine nature is a vast NBA coaching resume that he's credibly touting to players throughout the initial retention and recruiting process of players such as Richie Saunders, Dallin Hall and Kozlowski, among several others.

Recently, Young invited all of his players to attend a Phoenix Suns playoff game to get an up-close look at the game process at the NBA level. It was an invitation snatched up enthusiastically to everyone granted the unique opportunity with the hope of seeing further benefits from the head coach's pedigree.

"He's going to translate all of it to college," Kozlowski said. "Him having those connections — I just think that's amazing to have."

Corner Canyon’s Brody Kozlowski shoots over Lone Peak’s Luke Fotheringham in a high school boys basketball game in Highland on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023.
Corner Canyon’s Brody Kozlowski shoots over Lone Peak’s Luke Fotheringham in a high school boys basketball game in Highland on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. (Photo: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

Defensive mindset

Kozlowski brings many attributes with him to BYU's program; and while many tend to focus on his offensive skills, it's the defensive end of the court where he takes his initial pride.

"I've always been told that to get your time on the court that you've got to be able to defend, even coach Young said that," Kozlowski said. "So I've kind of taken that to heart as I developed my game. … It's not just offense, but defense is a big key, as well."

As for Young, while almost all of his NBA coaching experience comes from coaching the offensive side of the ball, he's watched firsthand the development of top NBA defensive systems and wants to formulate the same at BYU.

"Defensively — that's where I get really excited because I've been on the offensive side so much in the NBA — you see how elite defenses guard. ... So I look forward to being able to scheme and get creative here on that side of the ball," Young said during his press conference.

Of course, Kozlowski brings a lot of skill and versatility to the offensive end, as well. After being sidelined for a good portion of his senior season with injury, he shined after rejoining his team, averaging 20.5 points per game, 3.3 makes from behind the arc, and tallied 8.6 rebounds per game.

"I'm a versatile player. ... I'm a shooter and a great rebounder," said Kozlowski, who can play at both forward and guard. "I'm physical and I'm a really good defender, and I want to defend the best player on the court and lock him up. I'm working on creating off the dribble and my post game, and just trying to get better at filling the post."

As for being forced to sit out due to injury, Kozlowski believes the experience benefited him and his future on the hardwood.

"When sitting out, you just see it differently than when you're on the court," Kozlowski said. "I think that's what helped me come back — having that different perspective. So I just came back hungry and ready to work. I was excited to get back on the floor."

Future plans

Kozlowski plans to join BYU's program immediately upon graduation from Corner Canyon, and is excited for the prospect of playing with those already in the program, as well as those coming in. Most notable among his future teammates is fellow 6-foot-7 forward and top prospect Isaac Davis from Idaho Falls.

"Isaac brings tremendous athleticism," Kozlowski said, while noting that he's already close friends with Davis. "He's big, physical, and he has a really good post game. He can shoot from outside — he's developed that, and he's a good midrange shooter. I think that, defensively, he's an underrated shot-blocker. He's also one of the best passers I've seen. So bringing that all to BYU is really good."

BYU's entire package is attractive to Kozlowski, who is locked in to bring his best to the Marriott Center after entertaining a bevy of other college offers — at the top of that from USC.

"I'm super excited for the opportunity," Kozlowski said. "It feels amazing to have the recruiting over, and it feels great to commit to Kevin Young. And I'm really excited to be coached by him, as well."

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Ben Criddle


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