College Basketball Nation: Michael Loyd Jr.

Michael Loyd Jr. speaks out on BYU transfer

October, 15, 2010
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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.

Fredette likes San Diego State's chances too

July, 21, 2010
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San Diego State returns nearly its entire Mountain West Conference tournament championship team, earning a No. 24 national ranking from Andy Katz and even respect coming from a rival player who Aztec fans love to taunt.

BYU star Jimmer Fredette told the Las Vegas Sun's Ryan Greene that if he couldn't pick his own team to win the MWC, he'd go with San Diego State.

There's certainly reason to be high on the Aztecs. Steve Fisher's team has an emerging star in conference freshman Kawhi Leonard while returning all five starters and eight of its top nine scorers.

San Diego State has won at least 20 games in each of its past five season and might very well be the best bet to return to the NCAA tournament as it plays in what's expected to be a strong conference once again.

Defending regular-season conference champion New Mexico behind the strength of point guard Dairese Gary should get better as the season goes along, having to incorporate transfer Drew Gordon and Emmanuel Negedu while losing player of the year Darington Hobson to the NBA draft.

BYU has conference scoring champ Fredette leading the way, but backcourt sidekick Tyler Haws is off to serve his Mormon mission and once-emerging guard Michael Loyd Jr. is stunningly expected to transfer to a Division II school.

UNLV has a major question mark as well as star guard Tre'Von Willis faces a felony battery charge (one other charge has been dropped).

All that quite possibly leaves San Diego State as the team to beat in the MWC.

Academics cause Washington State transfer

June, 8, 2010
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James Watson had quite a life story to tell during his time at Washington State, and unfortunately for the freshman, his basketball career will now be taking a detour because of academics.

Watson, a 6-foot-7 forward who appeared in 29 of the Cougars' 31 games this season, was declared academically ineligible for the fall semester and will transfer to a junior college rather than sit out during that time.

"We wish James nothing but the best," Wazzu coach Ken Bone said in a statement.

Here's the updated list to all the West Coast transfers from this offseason.

Arizona: D.J. Shumpert

Arizona State: Demetrius Walker, Taylor Rohde, Brandon Thompson, Victor Rudd

Boise State: Tyler Young

BYU: Michael Loyd Jr.

Cal: D.J. Seeley , Omondi Amoke (dismissed)

Cal State Bakersfield: Marcus Hall

Fresno State: Brandon Sperling, Taylor Kelly, Mychal Ladd

Gonzaga: Grant Gibbs, G.J. Vilarino

Hawaii: Jeremy Lay, Aleksandar Milovic

Loyola Marymount: Kevin Young

Montana State: Austin Brown, Colt Idol

Nevada: London Giles

New Mexico: Nate Garth, Will Brown (dismissed)

Oregon: Drew Wiley, Matthew Humphrey, Josh Crittle

Pacific: Royal Edwards, Sterling Carter, Everson Lacerda

Pepperdine: Andy Shannon

San Francisco: Kwame Vaughn , Nikola Stojiljkovic

Santa Clara: Troy Alexander

UC Davis: Julian Welch, Adam Malik

UCLA: J'mison Morgan (dismissed), Mike Moser

UC Riverside: Lateef McMullan, Konner Veteto

USC: Leonard Washington (dismissed), Davis Rozitis

Utah: Carlon Brown, Marshall Henderson, Jordan Cyphers, Matt Read

Utah State: Anthony DiLoreto (dismissed), Modou Niang, Tyrone White, Jaxon Myaer

Washington: Elston Turner, Clarence Trent

Washington State: Xavier Thames, Michael Harthun, Anthony Brown, John Allen, James Watson

Weber State: Franklin Session

Pac-10 loses another transfer

May, 13, 2010
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Freshman forward Victor Rudd has received his scholarship release from Arizona State, becoming the fourth player on the team to transfer.

The 6-foot-7 Rudd averaged 6.2 minutes in the 15 games he played. He's the second player in the Sun Devils' recruiting class from only a year ago to depart.

Here are the rest of the players on the West Coast known to be transferring, including a bevy leaving behind the Pac-10:

Arizona: D.J. Shumpert

Arizona State: Demetrius Walker, Taylor Rohde, Brandon Thompson, Victor Rudd

Boise State: Tyler Young

BYU: Michael Loyd Jr.

Cal: D.J. Seeley , Omondi Amoke (dismissed)

Fresno State: Brandon Sperling, Taylor Kelly

Gonzaga: Grant Gibbs, G.J. Vilarino

Hawaii: Jeremy Lay, Aleksandar Milovic

Loyola Marymount: Kevin Young

Montana State: Austin Brown, Colt Idol

Nevada: London Giles

New Mexico: Nate Garth

Oregon: Drew Wiley, Matthew Humphrey

Pacific: Royal Edwards, Sterling Carter, Everson Lacerda

Pepperdine: Andy Shannon

San Francisco: Kwame Vaughn , Nikola Stojiljkovic

Santa Clara: Troy Alexander

UC Davis: Julian Welch, Adam Malik

UCLA: J'mison Morgan (dismissed), Mike Moser

UC Riverside: Lateef McMullan, Konner Veteto

USC: Leonard Washington (reportedly dismissed)

Utah: Carlon Brown, Marshall Henderson, Jordan Cyphers, Matt Read

Utah State: Anthony DiLoreto (dismissed), Modou Niang, Tyrone White, Jaxon Myaer

Washington: Elston Turner, Clarence Trent

Washington State: Xavier Thames, Michael Harthun, Anthony Brown, John Allen

Weber State: Franklin Session

New Mexico loses an unsurprising transfer

May, 7, 2010
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New Mexico has announced that Nate Garth will transfer after the sophomore guard asked for and received his scholarship release Thursday.

Attrition was expected since the Lobos, with Arizona State transfer Demetrius Walker set to arrive, had run out of scholarships. If Darington Hobson were to withdraw from the NBA draft, the Mountain West champs could very well see another player leave the program.

Garth, meanwhile, is expected to transfer closer to home in California.

On with another updated West Coast transfers list:

Arizona: D.J. Shumpert

Arizona State: Demetrius Walker, Taylor Rohde, Brandon Thompson

Boise State: Tyler Young

BYU: Michael Loyd Jr.

Cal: D.J. Seeley , Omondi Amoke (dismissed)

Fresno State: Brandon Sperling, Taylor Kelly

Gonzaga: Grant Gibbs

Hawaii: Jeremy Lay, Aleksandar Milovic

Loyola Marymount: Kevin Young

Montana State: Austin Brown, Colt Idol

Nevada: London Giles

New Mexico: Nate Garth

Oregon: Drew Wiley, Matthew Humphrey

Pepperdine: Andy Shannon

San Francisco: Kwame Vaughn , Nikola Stojiljkovic

Santa Clara: Troy Alexander

UC Davis: Julian Welch, Adam Malik

UCLA: J'mison Morgan (dismissed), Mike Moser

UC Riverside: Lateef McMullan, Konner Veteto

USC: Leonard Washington (reportedly dismissed)

Utah: Carlon Brown, Marshall Henderson, Jordan Cyphers, Matt Read

Utah State: Anthony DiLoreto (dismissed)

Washington: Elston Turner, Clarence Trent

Washington State: Xavier Thames, Michael Harthun, Anthony Brown, John Allen

Weber State: Franklin Session

Former Ute Brown looking at NBA

April, 30, 2010
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Carlon Brown opted to transfer from Utah after his junior season, and now he's entered the NBA draft while also looking at options on where he might play his senior season.

Brown, a 6-foot-5 guard, led the Utes in scoring with 12.6 points per game and apparently is drawing some NBA interest.

He has reportedly explored Colorado and Kent State as possibilities in the likely scenario that he removes his name from the draft.

On with the rest of the updated West Coast transfers list:

Arizona: D.J. Shumpert

Arizona State: Demetrius Walker, Taylor Rohde, Brandon Thompson

BYU: Michael Loyd Jr.

Cal: D.J. Seeley

Fresno State: Brandon Sperling, Taylor Kelly

Hawaii: Jeremy Lay, Aleksandar Milovic

Loyola Marymount: Kevin Young

Montana State: Austin Brown, Colt Idol

Nevada: London Giles

Oregon: Drew Wiley, Matthew Humphrey

Pepperdine: Andy Shannon

San Francisco: Kwame Vaughn , Nikola Stojiljkovic

Santa Clara: Troy Alexander

UCLA: J'mison Morgan (dismissed), Mike Moser

UC Riverside: Lateef McMullan, Konner Veteto

USC: Leonard Washington (reportedly dismissed)

Utah: Carlon Brown, Marshall Henderson, Jordan Cyphers, Matt Read

Washington: Elston Turner, Clarence Trent

Washington State: Xavier Thames, Michael Harthun, Anthony Brown, John Allen

Weber State: Franklin Session

A stunning transfer from BYU

April, 29, 2010
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Michael Loyd Jr. was expected to have a breakout season playing for BYU in his junior season, but instead he will transfer, according to a school announcement that sent shockwaves throughout the Mountain West Conference.

Loyd, a speedy 6-foot-1 guard, impressed while filling in for an ailing Jimmer Fredette during the season and then scored a career-high 26 points in an NCAA tournament first-round win against Florida.

The loss of Loyd is a significant blow to BYU's chances at the MWC crown next season, with guard Tyler Haws leaving for a mission and Fredette no guarantee to pull his name out of the draft.

For now, we are left with this statement to digest:

"Michael and I have met several times and we have mutually decided he will continue his education and basketball career in another program," coach Dave Rose said.

UPDATE: The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Loyd was not a fit for the program:
Loyd wasn’t forced out, but he was given some ultimatums in regards to behavior, dress and appearance that he apparently decided he just couldn’t abide by.

Let’s put it this way: showing up on national television with a mohawk haircut for BYU’s NCAA Tournament games, or playing against Utah with a tongue piercing, probably didn’t help his cause.

Wow. Shouldn't the Cougars have all been required to sport mohawks after what Loyd did in the Florida game?

UNLV beats BYU

March, 13, 2010
3/13/10
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LAS VEGAS -- UNLV made it a second semifinal upset with a 70-66 win against BYU to advance to tomorrow's title game against San Diego State.

Jimmer Fredette scored 30 points on 7-of-20 shooting to lead BYU, but the Rebels got big contributions out of Tre'Von Willis (18 points) and Chace Stanback (17 points, six rebounds).

Trailing by three, the No. 2-seeded Cougars watched as Michael Loyd Jr.'s floater missed with 14. 7 seconds left and Willis hit all his free throws in the closing seconds to seal it.

Playing on their home floor, the No. 3-seeded Rebels grabbed a seven-point halftime lead, led by as many as 11, and for the game shot 55.6 percent from the field. Last month, they beat BYU here by 14 and played with confidence.

More importantly, UNLV added another win against a ranked team in collecting its 25th victory overall.

BYU, meanwhile, hopes to earn its 30th win in the NCAA tournament.

Halftime: UNLV 41, BYU 34

March, 13, 2010
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Some notes from halftime:

  • UNLV is looking for the second upset of the night at the Mountain West Conference tournament and is hitting big shots against BYU. The Rebels are 8-of-11 from beyond the arc.
  • Tyler Haws is in street clothes and unavailable to play with an eye swollen shut after getting poked in the eye last night. He was replaced in the lineup by Michael Loyd Jr., who has five points.
  • Jimmer Fredette has 12 points and is 4-for-8 from the field. He's coming off a 45-point game against TCU, and during this game, has quietly done some lobbying with the refs about calls that didn't go his way.
  • Chace Stanback leads UNLV with 11 points, with the UCLA transfer hitting 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. He's also the team's leading rebounder thus far with four.

Previewing the Mountain West tournament

March, 10, 2010
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The Mountain West Conference is all grown up, and the proof is in the real possibility that it could send as many as four teams -- New Mexico, BYU, UNLV and San Diego State -- to the NCAA tournament.

“There’s no doubt there’s four teams that have played well enough this year to be invited,” BYU coach Dave Rose said.

At the UNLV Thomas & Mack Center this week, scenarios exist where all four of those teams shine and get to dance. Or will they wilt under the bright lights of Las Vegas?

Storylines

New Mexico is having a dream season with a 28-3 record and the MWC’s regular season title. Can Steve Alford coach his team to a tournament title and maybe even a No. 2 seed in the NCAAs? The Lobos have a lot of weapons, including Darington Hobson, Roman Martinez and Dairese Gary. If they're all clicking, look for them to run away with the championship.

San Diego State coach Steve Fisher said he told his team a month ago not to pay attention to bracketology. The Aztecs are 22-8 and of course could end the bubble talk with a tournament championship. Billy White and Kawhi Leonard present matchup problems for a potential semifinal showdown against New Mexico, a team San Diego State beat at home and lost to overtime on the road.

BYU star guard Jimmer Fredette has been nagged by health issues all season long, and of late, a stomach virus limited him minutes-wise and caused him to lose weight. Backup Michael Loyd Jr. has impressed, but Fredette getting back to his old self (49 points against Arizona) would do a lot for the team's tournament chances and momentum heading into the NCAAs as well.

Players to Watch

Darington Hobson, G, New Mexico, Jr. -- Hobson, a junior college transfer, burst onto the scene to lead the Lobos in scoring (15.8) and rebounds (9.1) and take home MWC player of the year honors.

Kawhi Leonard, F, San Diego State, Fr. -- Leonard nearly averages a double-double and leads the conference in rebounding. Pretty good for a guy who the Pac-10 essentially passed on.

Derrick Jasper, G, UNLV, Jr. -- The Kentucky transfer hasn't played since January due to a knee sprain, but has resumed practice and could return. His 4.9 rebounds per game are second on the team and have been sorely missed.

Team to Watch

UNLV -- The No. 3-seeded Rebels have already beaten New Mexico, BYU and San Diego State and now have the luxury of playing on their home floor, needing a good showing to possibly grab an at-large bid. They’ll first face No. 6-seeded Utah, which swept the season series.

Game I’m Looking Forward To

BYU-New Mexico III in the final on Saturday would be a sight to see. UNM swept the season series by a combined margin of six points. The last game between the two ranked teams got so chippy that in the handshake line, Alford exchanged words with Cougars forward Jonathan Tavernari that got the Lobos coach a reprimand from the conference. And Fredette could be extra fired up, with Hobson getting the nod for player of the year.

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