BYU new basketball class ranks No. 22 nationally

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With the late addition of Payton Dastrup, a 6-foot-10 forward from Mesa, Ariz., BYU’s newest basketball recruiting class jumped up to the No. 22 recruiting class in the nation, according to 247Sports.com.

Other high school seniors who committed to play for the Cougars include American Fork High’s Ryan Andrus, Lone Peak High’s TJ Haws, Orem High’s Dalton Nixon and another Arizona product, Jake Toolson.

In addition to the committed prep players, head coach Dave Rose announced that Jordan Chatman and Isaac Neilson will return from two-year missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and play for BYU in 2014-15.

“We are very excited about this group of signees,” Rose said. “The commitments from these players mean a great deal to our staff and to our basketball program. This group is comprised of great players that will be terrific teammates. We are looking forward to the opportunity to coach each one of them.”

National Letter of Intent Signees

Ryan Andrus

Ryan Andrus

Ryan Andrus
6-10, 220, Forward
American Fork, Utah / American Fork

  • As a junior averaged 19.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals as American Fork finished 17-9 overall and 7-3 in region play and advanced to the 5A state semifinals

“Ryan is a complete post player,” Rose said. “He can score with his back to the basket, runs the floor very well and is an excellent defender and rebounder. He’ll be a great fit in our system.”

Payton Dastrup

Payton Dastrup

Payton Dastrup
6-10, 230, Forward
Mesa, Ariz. / Mountain View HS

  • As a junior averaged 18.1 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 blocks

Dastrup plays for Gary Ernst at Mountain View High School and is considered one of the nation’s top 100 recruits. The 6-foot-10 forward averaged 18.1 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 blocks last season. He was named second-team Division I All-Arizona by AZcentral.com and first-team All-Tribune by the East Valley Tribune. Nationally, ESPN.com and Scout.com have him ranked No. 12 and No. 18 among power forwards.

“Payton has a very special gift of size and skill,” Rose said. “He can score with his back to the basket, and can stretch the defense to the 3-point line. He is a great passer in the post and can put pressure on defenses in so many ways.”

TJ Haws

TJ Haws

TJ Haws
6-4, 170, Guard
Highland, Utah / Lone Peak HS

  • As a junior averaged 17.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.9 steals and hit 64 threes as Lone Peak finished 26-1 overall and 10-0 in region play

Haws’ accomplishments place him among the best all-time in Utah high school basketball history. The 6-foot-4 guard has won three state titles playing for Quincy Lewis at Lone Peak and helped the Knights win the 2013 MaxPreps.com National Championship.

A second-team all-state honoree as a freshman, Haws has earned first-team honors in each of the last two seasons and was the 5A MVP in 2012-13. He was also the MVP of the 2012 5A state tournament. Haws averaged 17.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.9 steals last season. He is ranked 57th and 67th nationally among all prospects by Scout.com and ESPN.com.

“TJ has enjoyed great success at Lone Peak,” Rose said. “He has the ability to score in so many ways and is relentless in his approach. TJ is a winner in every way. He is very competitive on both ends of the floor. He comes ready to play in our attacking offense, and will be perfect for us.”

Dalton Nixon

Dalton Nixon

Dalton Nixon
6-7, 220, Forward
Orem, Utah / Orem HS

  • As a junior averaged 17.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 steals and hit 21 threes as Orem finished 20-4 overall and 13-1 in region play

Nixon is a two-time first-team all-state honoree out of Orem High School playing for Golden Holt. The 6-foot-7 forward averaged 17.5 points and 8.2 rebounds last season as Orem finished 20-4 overall and 13-1 in region play. As a sophomore in 2011-12, he led the Tigers to the 4A state title and was named the tournament MVP.

“We’re very excited about Dalton,” Rose said. “He has a great feel and understanding for the game. Dalton has the ability to score in a variety of ways, is a strong rebounder and brings toughness and a great physical presence.”

Jake Toolson

Jake Toolson

Jake Toolson
6-5, 205, Guard
Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland HS

  • As a junior averaged 18.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks and hit 34 threes while Highland finish 18-10 overall and 11-6 in league play

The 6-foot-5 guard from Gilbert, Ariz., did it all last season playing for Derrick Donaldson at Highland High School, averaging 18.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks while earning All-Arizona honors from AZcentral.com. He put up similar numbers his sophomore season when he averaged 18.4 points and 6.3 boards.

“We love Jake’s game,” Rose said. “He has a great basketball IQ and helps his team win in so many ways. He is a great shooter, can drive the ball, is a very good rebounder and really understands the game. He’s a natural fit for us.”

While all five have signed National Letters of Intent, Dastrup, Haws, Nixon and Toolson plan to serve two-year missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prior to enrolling at BYU in the fall of 2016. Andrus plans to play for the Cougars next season.

Returned Missionaries

Jordan Chapman

Jordan Chapman

Jordan Chatman
6-4, 195, Guard
Vancouver, Wash. / Union High School

  • As a senior averaged 20.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.9 steals while Union finished 21-8 overall, 10-1 in league play and took third in the 4A state tournament

Rose will also welcome the return of Chatman and Neilson from LDS missions. Chatman, a 6-foot-4 guard who originally signed in November 2011, is currently serving in Taiwan and will return in April. The son of former Cougar great Jeff Chatman, Jordan Chatman was the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Washington his senior season when he averaged 20.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.9 steals at Union High School.

“Jordan will be a great addition to our team next year,” Rose said. “His size, skill set and versatility give him the ability to play multiple positions. He can really score, and is a physical defender. We’re looking forward to having Jordan in our program.”

Issac Neilson

Issac Neilson

Isaac Neilson
6-10, Center
Mission Viejo, Calif. / Mission Viejo HS

  • As a senior averaged 15.3 points, 11.3 points and 5.0 blocks while Mission Viejo finished 29-3 overall and 7-1 in league play

Neilson, a 6-foot-10 center, averaged 15.3 points, 11.3 points and 5.0 blocks as a senior while leading Mission Viejo High School to a record of 29-3. He originally signed with BYU in November 2010. Neilson earned second-team all-state and All-CIF honors. He will return from his mission in Alabama in December and enroll at BYU for the 2014 winter semester.

“Isaac is a winner and a very skilled big man,” Rose said. “He runs the floor very well, and is an excellent shot blocker. He’ll give us a great presence underneath the basket on both ends of the floor.”

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