And then...

And then...

Save Story

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

As in, only one more roster cut to make before Brazil's senior national men's team is finalized. And BYU's Jonathan Tavernari (with hand on head in photo) is all but a lock to make the final 12-man team.


National team coach Moncho Monsalve made two more cuts on Wednesday, leaving only 13 players on the current roster, with nine of those players already assured of berths on the squad. That leaves four players competing for three spots, and all indications are JT will earn one of those three vacancies.

It is my belief Tavernari will be selected to travel to Puerto Rico for the Tournament of the Americas, and I truly hope BYU fans can appreciate just how significant an achievement that really would be.

Brazil has a very, very good basketball team (featuring NBA stars Leandro Barbosa and Anderson Varejao, along with Spurs draftee Tiago Splitter), and is one of only two nations to qualify for every World Basketball Championship (the U.S. is the other). For Tavernari to be counted as one of the 12 best players in Brazil as a collegian on a team with 11 professionals would be an honor the likes of which few BYU players have ever earned.

The Brazilian team will leave Sao Paulo Saturday for San Juan, and then take part in a tuneup tourney there from August 18th through 20th (Canada, Argentina and Puerto Rico are the other teams involved). The ten-team Tournament of the Americas tips off on August 26th, with the top four teams qualifying for next summer's World Championship in Turkey.


Tavernari's BYU teammate Charles Abouo has helped his national team to a quarterfinal berth at the African Basketball Championship in Libya. While Cote d'Ivoire's basketball-playing history and prowess does not match that of a country like Brazil, Abouo deserves similar commendation for his achievements.

CIV will be an underdog in this afternoon's quarterfinal game against Senegal, but regardless of the outcome, Abouo has gained invaluable experience that can't help but pay off for BYU this coming season.

Abouo has seen inconsistent floor time at "Afrobasket," but in his most recent outing, he led CIV with 15 points off the bench. While his role at BYU for the coming season is yet to be determined, Abouo is going to help stack the deck for Dave Rose.

In no particular order, this year's BYU team will have two players who played for their countries in FIBA continental championships, one of whom was an all-MWC performer last season (Tavernari).

One other player (Jimmer Fredette) was an all-conference first-teamer, while another (Jackson Emery) was an all-defensive team selection. BYU's three MWC honorees are the only all-league picks returning to their teams in the upcoming season.

Add to those players two of the most-highly recruited players in the west from last year (Tyler Haws and Brandon Davies), and BYU will be deeper than at any time in at least the last 15 years.


Once again, congratulations to Tavernari and Abouo--and best of luck on their continuing international journeys. BYU supporters have every reason to be proud of their achievements, and excited for the Cougars' prospects.


Most recent Sports stories


From first downs to buzzer beaters, get’s top sports stories delivered to your inbox weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast