Rogers Commits to BYU

Mesa Community College standout and Arizona Community College Player of the Year Stephen Rogers committed to BYU on Wednesday, choosing the Cougars over Utah State. The 6-foot-8-inch, 190-pound small forward also had offers from Utah, New Mexico, Colorado State and UC Santa Barbara. He will have three years to play three, having already used a redshirt year following his mission to Cleveland.

Regarding what led him to choose BYU over the competition, Stephen Rogers said it was "everything." He specifically cited BYU's great year last year, its overall success as a program, and the fact that he enjoyed being around the Cougar coaches and players. Rogers took his official visit to BYU this past weekend.

Also not lost on Rogers is the fact that the Cougars lose a lot at the three and four spots with Jonathan Tavernari graduating and Tyler Haws leaving for a mission.

"With my size and shooting ability I think I'll be able to contribute from both spots, really," said Rogers.

Another enticing aspect of BYU for Rogers was the Cougars' up-tempo style of play, which is similar to what he ran at Mesa.

"Huge, huge," Rogers replied when asked if BYU's up-tempo system played a role in his decision. "I love to run. That's something I've always enjoyed doing. I like getting out on the break and making plays in the open court."

Rogers actually has a number of connections to BYU, and he and the Cougar program have crossed paths before.

Prior to transferring to Mesa and playing there last season, Rogers first redshirted at Arizona State in 2008-09 following his mission. That season the Cougars lost a heartbreaker to the Sun Devils down in Arizona when Charles Abouo's game-winning shot at the buzzer was waved off after a lengthy replay.

Though the Cougars lost the game, Rogers said that was when BYU started to stand out a lot to him.

Rogers' parents both went to BYU, and his uncle Brent Stephenson even played forward for the Cougars during the 1986 and 1987 seasons after transferring from Dixie.

In addition, Rogers is familiar with former Cougar fan-favorite Lee Cummard.

"I know Lee real well," said Rogers. "When I was a sophomore in high school he was a senior and we went to rival schools, so I've known Lee for a while, and actually throughout this whole recruitment process I was able to talk to him."

Rogers has actually drawn some comparisons to Cummard when it comes to body type. Though Rogers is about an inch or two taller than Cummard, he shares his slender frame.

That fact isn't lost on Rogers, who said that "something I definitely need to improve is I need to get some more meat on my bones, and my goal is to be able to guard a three and a four just as effectively."

Rogers said he is nevertheless confident in his defensive game, noting that he's pretty quick on his feet.

But where Rogers really made his mark as he helped Mesa to a 23-6 record and an appearance in the District I Championship was on the offensive end of the floor. He averaged 21.3 points per game and shot 49.9 percent from the field, 42.7 percent from beyond the arc and 81 percent from the free-throw line.

"I love to score the ball," said Rogers, who also averaged 5.3 rebounds per game. "I can shoot pretty well for my size, and I'm quick for my size as well, which [if] you put a smaller three-man on me … I can go down to the low block, or if they put a bigger guy on me I can get around him."

Rogers certainly isn't shy when it comes to shooting, as he attempted 199 three-pointers (made 85) during his one year at Mesa. That's more attempts than anyone on BYU's roster made last season despite playing more games.

Rogers, who is majoring in business, said he hopes to arrive at BYU in time for summer school. He just has to finish his associates degree before he can transfer.

"I'm extremely excited. It's been a long recruitment process and [it's] nice to have [the chance to] settle down and know where I'm going, and I'm really excited to get there this summer and start working."


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