When the Utah State Aggies basketball program opened its doors this week to its impressive Wayne Estes Basketball Center and allowed the general public inside, out the door went yet another player -- this time to an in-state rival.
In a rather surprise move, Utah State basketball forward Kyle Davis will transfer to BYU effective immediately, according to KSL reporter Greg Wrubell who first broke the news on his Twitter site on Thursday, May 15.
This Davis transfer marks the third defection of a high-profile player from the Aggies basketball program in two months. (Danny Berger was the first, Jordan Stone the second.) Does it signal a possible issue at Utah State, a program once among the best in the state?
It’s hard to say with the talent USU has coming in, but you can’t argue against the theory. The Aggies were expected to contend for a title in their first year in the Mountain West Conference -- yet went 18-14 overall and 7-11 in conference, its worst record in years.
Davis reportedly had already started visiting other schools -- including San Francisco and Hawaii -- before he settled on BYU after a visit to the campus. Getting Davis, a 6-7, 255-pound forward who started the entire season for USU and averaged about 10 points per game in scoring for Utah State is a big grab for BYU.
Not only do the Cougars get a player who played significant minutes at Utah State, they get him at the most opportune time. The Cougars are poised to lose six players to graduation before the 2015-16 season, the time at which Davis will be eligible to play for BYU.
Davis, a graduate of Alta High in nearby Sandy, started his collegiate career at Southern Utah University before deciding to transfer to Utah State after serving a church mission. His decision to now transfer to BYU -- where he’ll have two years of eligibility left -- means he’ll have to sit out the next season due to NCAA transfer rules, according to Wrubell.
“Davis on transfer: ‘It was a hard decision, but it was a no-brainer in the end—it just seemed like a perfect fit for me at BYU.’” Wrubell tweeted.
The other problem for Davis is, upon learning of Davis' desire to leave, Utah State had restricted his immediate eligibility to include “non-MWC schools and schools outside of the state of Utah.” Davis did appeal USU’s decision but it was denied.