BYU coach Dave Rose was asked this week about replacing the players he'll lose going into the season, and Michael Loyd Jr. was such a big loss that when a reporter left him out of the conversation, Rose made sure to mention him and expand on his contributions.
Loyd's transfer was one of the more stunning ones of the offseason. As a redshirt sophomore, he played well backing up Jimmer Fredette and also scored a career-high 26 points in an NCAA tournament win. That wasn't enough to keep Rose from announcing by press release later in April that the two "mutually decided" on him playing elsewhere.
Now at Division II Midwestern State in Texas, Loyd said in an interview with the Times Record News, that he is no longer at BYU at least in part because of religious reasons.
"The Mormon thing wasn't for me," said Loyd, who was born and raised in Las Vegas before living in Provo, Utah, for three years while playing basketball at BYU.
"The church was heavily involved with the school, and obviously, if you live anywhere for a long period of time, they are going to open your mind to what they believe. They had a problem with me not being LDS (Latter Day Saints), but I couldn’t get my mind around their concepts," said Loyd, who calls himself a Christian.
Months earlier in an interview in the Salt Lake Tribune, Loyd said he did not want to leave and that, while he had not run afoul of the school's honor code, he was actually released from his scholarship.
Regardless of the reasons behind Loyd's transfer, BYU ultimately lost a talented backcourt player and is moving on.