Bartley IV gives Cougars a shot in the arm

During the Utah State game, Coach Rose needed to give his team a boost. So, he turned to his bench and looked to Frank Bartley IV to provide the antidote, and that's exactly what Bartley did.

When the game against Utah State became stagnant, Coach Rose turned to his freshman guard Frank Bartley. The result was a 14-point outing with five rebounds as Bartley directed the Cougars on an 11-2 run to put the Cougars up with a 74-63 lead.

"It's been fun and I've been playing with a lot of confidence lately," said Bartley. "I've just been coming off the bench and playing my role – come in the game and make plays and provide the support we need."

For a true freshman, Bartley's confidence and on-court demeanor is beyond his years.

"Both my parents are confident and I'm confident," Bartley said. "Coach wants me to play with a lot of confidence and he reiterated that when he recruited me. So, he's helped me to play with a lot of confidence and he's helped me to come out of my shell."

Bartley isn't about to rest on his early successes. He believes he still has more to accomplish despite his early showing of being a possible big contributor this season.

"I still would say I have a ways to go," Bartley said. "I'm just still a freshman and I'm just getting better every day. I'm just working hard and just getting better."

Bartley hasn't been caught off guard by the amount he has been able to accomplish so far.

"I'm not surprised," he confidently said while smiling. "I know what I can do. It's just the beginning."

How this gem of a basketball talent was discovered was sort of by accident. The coaches of BYU were recruiting a different player at his school when Coach Rose spotted something in Bartley.

"I was at a prep school in California last year, and they recruited our point guard," Bartley said. "Coach Terry and Coach Pope came out to see him, and Coach Rose never came out. But when he did, he said he wanted me."

It wasn't long before the recruiting process began with Coach Rose and BYU. Bartley didn't know much about BYU, but he did know one thing.

"Jimmer!" Bartley quickly said. "That's all I knew, Jimmer. When they played in the Sweet 16 against Florida, that's all I knew."

So Jimmer Fredette indirectly recruited Bartley, so to speak?

"Um, somewhat," he said while laughing.

So he went to work. He hopped on the internet and began researching and doing some homework to find out more about the privately owned university located in Utah.

"I never knew it was a Mormon school," said Bartley. "I didn't know that before. It's a big arena, so, yeah, when I came out here on my visit I fell in love with it."

Deciding BYU was the place for him, Bartley committed to Coach Rose. Coming from the Deep South of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he had to do a little selling of BYU to his parents at first. After that it was smooth sailing.

"At first they were like unsure, but then when I told them about BYU they were so excited for me and to come out and see me play," Bartley said. "It's a great academic school first of all. For me to come out here and play at Brigham Young is a great opportunity."

Despite being non-LDS, Bartley has really enjoyed his time in Provo so far.

"It's been fun," he said. "It's nothing new really because we had the same rules in high school. The people, I love the people here. I love the fans here. It's just a great feeling to be here."

The highlight of his experience as a Cougar basketball player has been seeing the court a little quicker than most might have expected.

"I mean, the minutes I'm getting right now, I'm kind of happy with that, so I just keep grinning from that."

While he's close to all of his new teammates here at BYU, the players he's that he's the closest to are his roommates, which only makes sense.

"Eric [Mika] and Luke [Worthington], I always hang out with them," said Bartley while smiling. "I mean, they're my roommates. Other than that, everybody. We're all close."

Bartley has grown close to Mika. Off the court, the two seem to have a lot of fun together.

"He is a clown. I mean, look at him," said Bartley while laughing. "He is a clown. We hang out all the time. Me, him and Luke are always together."

And off the court?

"He's crazy," Bartley said. "We're all crazy."

While standing nearby, Mika heard the question and butted in.

"We're hilarious," Mika said.

"See?" Bartley responded quickly. "You guys should catch us in the locker room."

Only a true freshman, Bartley has many more games this season to improve his craft. As of now, the 6-foot-3-inch, 200-pound guard has the short-term goal of continuing to make plays on both sides of the court.

"I just want to keep making plays for my teammates," Bartley said. "I come out and just want to keep making the hustle plays, keep getting defensive stops, and provide that spark when we need it."

He sees his role expanding in the near future, but right now he's fine with being a role player off the bench.

"Oh yeah, I mean, right now we have scorers, so I don't need to score right now," he said. "I score when I have to or when I can. Right now I'm just doing everything else to keep me on the floor."

Driving from the key against Utah State, Bartley made a left-handed dunk that wowed Cougar fans and made Aggies cringe. While the dunk was an incredible play, Bartley doesn't feel that will be his signature play of the season.

"No, there's more to come," he said. "There's so much more. I think a lot of people were sleeping on me. They didn't know I could do that, so there's a lot more to come."

On Tuesday night the Cougars host North Texas at the Marriott Center. Fans should expect a fast-paced game after tipoff.

"They're a good team," said Bartley. "They're very physical and like to get up and down the court. Hopefully that plays to our advantage because we like to run too. They'll get a little winded with this altitude, coming from Texas, but they're physical and they're going to come at us."

Maybe Bartley will have the opportunity to come off the bench and dazzle Cougar fans with those "more to come" moves. Stay tuned!


Total Blue Sports Top Stories