Alex Barcello’s career mark is deep and impressive. 

He’s approaching legend. Not just for his shooting, but his role as a teamster.

The shooting skill and acumen of this guy is now indelibly etched in the pages of BYU basketball history. It’s a ledger that includes outstanding shooters like Danny Ainge, Jimmer Fredettte, Tyler and TJ Haws, Chase Fischer and Jonathan Tavernari.

Cougars on the air

BYU (19-8, 7-5)

at Saint Mary’s (21-6, 9-3) 

Saturday, 8 p.m. MST

University Credit Union Pavilion


Radio: BYU Radio/1160 AM

This season, Barcello’s excellence from distance is especially impressive because of the burden he carries as the most consistent scorer on the team. The image of Barcello putting this BYU team on his back will be the memory. He does mule work. Packhorse trail labor, indeed.

Cougar basketball fans take note, this is a special kind of athlete that came your way.  Appreciate his abilities as this strange season winds down.

It isn’t every year a blue-blood program like Arizona is going to muff it and let a player like Barcello wander your way.

His career 33 points against lowly Pepperdine last Saturday night in Malibu was remarkable for its efficiency. He scored his first 22 points in the first half with 85% shooting from beyond the arc and finished 9 of 10 from distance. He was 10 of 12 from the floor. At one point in the first half he hit five straight bombs.

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The amazing thing is he had 31 points with 11:39 left in the game and had that much more time to tie or break the school record of 10 threes. He finished by scoring his final two points from the free-throw line in half of a half. If he’d just made one more 3, he’d have tied Fischer’s record set in 2014 in the Maui Classic against Chaminade with 10.

Just one or two more is all he needed. On that night, it would have been a trip to the fridge for a glass of milk.

Coach Mark Pope said he’s never seen a more efficient 33 points in his life. The science behind his shooting was an eye-popping offensive efficiency rating of 232.

“The fact Alex became an All-American by playing basketball the right away, without forcing shots, is nothing short of amazing,” according to former Cougars sharpshooter, the Brazilian Bomber Tavernari.

“His scoring comes from letting the game come to him, not forcing or jacking up shots. I still think if two or three guys can find their groove offensively and they lock in defensively, they can make it to the NCAA Tournament”

Barcello has averaged .471 accuracy from beyond the arc this season, making 74 of 157 shots. That is better than his overall shooting percentage from the field of .469 of 152 of 324 shots.

To put in perspective how impressive his nine made 3s were last Saturday, BYU opponents combined shooting from beyond the arc in games are 11 by Gonzaga in Spokane and Liberty in Honolulu, and 10 by USU, Westminster, LMU and Pepperdine. 

BYU guard Alex Barcello tries to steal the ball in Provo on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, during game against San Francisco. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

“Alex reminds me of watching John Stockton play in that he’s not afraid to take a beating, he doesn’t get rattled, he’s an extremely efficient scorer, and he makes his teammates better,” says Mark Durrant, KSL radio color commentator on game broadcasts.

“He is good enough to get 25-plus a night, but he’s not going to force anything, and he is content to let others excel. With that said, when he’s feeling it like the other night, there is no better shooter in college basketball. On top of all of that, he is one of the best leaders I’ve ever seen come through BYU. He is a superstar player and person. BYU is so lucky to have him.”

I too Iike Barcello’s style.

He plugs in and plays.

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He’s getting double- and triple-teamed, as opponents who have scouted the Cougars know very well he is the key cog. He’s been hounded, chased, hacked, pushed, bumped, scratched and bullied.

It doesn’t seem to impact his focus — like there’s an inner fire raging inside of him and nobody’s going to extinguish.

Pretty remarkable figure for the program.

His kind doesn’t come around often. Not at all.

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