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BYU basketball: Five reasons guard Matt Carlino did not pan out as expected

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Coming into a program and being expected to follow Jimmer is one thing -- doing it is another. But that’s what BYU Cougars basketball fans expected out of guard Matt Carlino: the impossible.

Carlino changed his jersey number several times. He changed his hairdos more often than most Elvis impersonators. But he never changed his attitude -- and that’s why he’s gone.

Now that Carlino has transferred out of the BYU program as of Tuesday, April 1, it’s time to look at reasons why he left.

Carlino already had more frequent flier miles than most haggard computer salesmen before he even arrived at BYU. First, he transferred from a high school in his home state of Arizona to one in Indiana. From Indiana -- he then played at UCLA.

Then he decided he didn’t like UCLA as much as he hoped -- and transferred to BYU in the 2010-11 season. See a pattern developing?

Once Carlino arrived at BYU he was required to sit out the 2010-11 season -- Jimmer’s last - -- and the first 10 games of the 2011-12 season before he’d be allowed to play.

Once Carlino played at BYU, he looked like he might fulfill the prophecies of every hopeful Cougar fan who dared believe they might be right about a kid who was daring, skilled and deadly accurate from deep.

But for every great game Carlino played reminding you of Jimmer, there were five others that had you, as Cougar fans, ripping out your hair from your scalp and cursing at the TV.

Here are five reasons Carlino did not pan out as expected at BYU.

Shot selection
Shot selection Jonathan Daniel

Shot selection

Like the great Jimmer, Carlino never met a shot he didn’t like. For his career he shot 40 percent from the field and 33 percent from three-point land -- a number that was less than three of five starters this season.

Early on, his bold approach seemed like it might be a good thing. Later on, it seemed to grate on the nerves of BYU fans -- and most important, head coach Dave Rose.

By the time his junior year rolled around, Carlino’s shot selection had all but alienated him from his fans -- driving him to a sixth-man role on the bench.

Handles
Handles Ethan Miller

Handles

Carlino’s assist-to-turnover ratio at BYU was 2-to-1, not a horrible number by any means.

However, the real reason he was expendable to some extent was that his back-court mate, “point-forward” Kyle Collinsworth -- a sure-fire NBA Draft pick next year -- had more assists.

When Collinsworth went down, Carlino had to step up in the championship game of the WCC Basketball Tournament and NCAA Tournament round of 64 game against Oregon -- and he simply couldn’t fill those big shoes. 

Tyler Haws
Tyler Haws Jonathan Daniel

Tyler Haws

One thing Jimmer could do in his career at BYU was get his own shot. Carlino did everything he could to be the next Jimmer -- but it was clear from the beginning that he could never fill Jimmer’s shoes.

Carlino didn’t have the never-say-die mentality that Jimmer had -- so that role was passed on to Tyler Haws. Carlino never stood a chance of getting in Haws’ way.

Tyler came from BYU basketball royalty; his dad is Cougar great Marty Haws and it was a foregone conclusion that Carlino would be an afterthought once Tyler arrived.

History
History Ethan Miller

History

History preceded Carlino. Transferring high schools probably sent up red flags to begin with -- and painted a negative picture in the school’s psyche -- but transferring to three Division I programs before your freshman year is even complete?

Then compound Carlino’s shooting woes as a freshman and sophomore, the fans’ irritation at his shot selection throughout and Rose’s benching in year three of the “Carlino Experiment,” and here's someone with the odds stacked against them from the outset.

But even that wasn’t at the root of it all.

Jimmer
Jimmer Ethan Miller

Jimmer

That name alone meant Carlino never had a chance at BYU. If he did, it was during the year after Jimmer left. Carlino had Brandon Davies to pass to -- and a cast that was solid.

But 12 points per game and a trip to the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32 as a freshman were not good enough in anyone’s eyes to fathom that he would ever be as good or better than Jimmer himself.

Then Tyler Haws came on the scene the next year when Carlino was a sophomore -- and the rest is now history. In sum, Carlino never proved he could be the top dog in BYU’s system, and how could he be? He was following in Jimmer’s footsteps.

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