BYU a Great Fit for Carlino

Matt Carlino's early college career has seen a lot of changes, as he's struggled to find the right fit for him. He firmly believes that he's found that right fit at BYU, however, and chose to sign with the Cougars over St. Mary's, Butler and UNLV. The hope is that he'll fill in immediately at the point guard position when he becomes eligible to play.

Matt Carlino is a 6-foot-2-inch, 170-pound point guard/shooting guard from the Phoenix area in Arizona. He signed with UCLA out of high school, but transferred from the school during his first season, as he didn't feel it was a good fit for him in both a basketball and social sense.

BYU wasn't the school on top of his mind or even in his mind following his departure from the Bruins, but that soon changed.

"My dad is great friends with Brad Clark, who played football at BYU," Carlino said. "We went up to go see BYU play Arizona, and it was really my first time seeing BYU or learning about their program and I immediately liked what I saw."

Following the game, Carlino took time to see BYU up close and visit with head coach Dave Rose. He immediately took to Rose and how he runs his program.

"He's just a great guy and a great coach," said Carlino. "I really felt comfortable with him from the second I met him. He's just a cool guy and a great person. He's obviously done a great job coaching and I really felt soon after meeting him that I wanted to be a part of his program."

While BYU was a good fit for him basketball-wise, it's the social environment inherent with BYU that non-LDS athletes such as Carlino can struggle with, or at least have to make a big adjustment to. Having grown up around many LDS social influences, Carlino feels he's well accustomed to BYU's unique environment.

"Just about all of my friends were LDS growing up and I never felt uncomfortable around them, so being at BYU won't be much different, I think," he said. "Just about all of my dad's close friends are LDS too, a lot of them went to BYU, so we're well aware of what BYU is and we like it. I like it as a school and I think it's the best place for me to grow as a person and as a basketball player."

It's no secret that BYU will be losing two of its top players at the end of this season. Replacing both Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery won't be an easy task to be certain.

While Carlino can play either guard position, he'll be looked at to fill in for the departing Fredette, which will obviously be an daunting task.

"He's such a great player and I'd be lucky to see even close to the success that he has," Carlino said when asked about replacing Fredette. "All I can do is my best. I've done nothing at the college level so far, so I just need to work as hard as I can so I can contribute to the team. In becoming the next Jimmer Fredette, there's no way I can even think about that yet, as I'm yet to do anything in college."

Regardless of the humble approach he's taking, Carlino has a very good pedigree coming in. He was widely considered one of the top guards in the country out of high school and was met with a boatload of offers from some of the top programs in the country.

He considers his strength as a player to be how well-rounded his game is.

"I know how to win, I think that's my biggest asset as a player," he explained. "I've worked very hard on all areas of my game, so I feel that I can do multiple things well. I just don't focus on one thing."

In joining with fellow commit DeMarcus Harrison, among other current and incoming Cougars, Carlino feels that BYU's program is in good position to continue its success and even reach new heights.

"BYU is a well-respected program and it should be," he summed up. "It's a huge opportunity for me to be a part of their program and I'm very excited to help contribute to their success. I really liked all the programs that recruited me, but I felt that BYU was just the whole package. They had more to offer me than just basketball, which I loved. BYU is the best place for me and I have no doubt about that."

Carlino will enroll at BYU this next month, but will be forced to miss the first month of next season due to transfer stipulations.


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