Evaluating a freshman class at BYU can be extremely difficult. The Cougars, unlike nearly every other Division I program, frequently recruit prospects who undergo two-year Mormon missions.
And now, after a rule change allowed players who are 18-years-old to embark upon a mission, rather than 19, a Cougar signee no longer must wait until after his freshman year to fulfill his spiritual obligation.
That new rule enabled top-100 signee Nick Emery to undertake his mission beginning this year, and thus fans must wait until the 2015-16 season to watch the sharpshooter compete.
Emery comprised one half of the club's four star signees, the other being top-40 center Eric Mika. A 6-10, 230-pound big man, Mika has played in superb fashion thus far for Dave Rose's program. Through eight games, Mika has started each contest and ranks third on the team in scoring with a 13-point average. He also contributes five rebounds per contest and is shooting an efficient 57 percent from the field.
He will depart after this season for a mission of his own, thereby depriving BYU of its most talented 2013 prospects next season. He'll return in 2016-17 as a sophomore, joining Emery for the first time that year. Such is the way of life for the Cougars, who despite the regularly scheduled roster fluctuations have enjoyed some very strong teams over the years.
The other rooking drawing meaningful minutes is spring signee Frank Bartley. The shooting guard is scoring eight points per game in 16 minutes per contest, and he demonstrates significant promise as a three-point shooter.
Center Luke Worthington lacks Mika's polish and is playing a reserve role this season. The other signees, Jakob Hartsock and Braiden Shaw, opted to undergo missions and will join the program along with Emery in two years.