Just as there are different ways to win college basketball games, there are different ways to win introductory news conferences.

New BYU basketball coach Kevin Young didn’t win Wednesday night’s presser at the Marriott Center in the traditional fashion by making bold proclamations about victories and conference titles. He wasn’t the showman that his predecessor, Mark Pope, was at his re-introduction to BYU fans in 2019 at the BYU Broadcasting Building or his attention-grabbing event at Kentucky last Sunday.

“I mean, developing guys has been a huge part of every place I have ever coached at and these guys are hungry to get better. That has been obvious as I have talked to them.”

—  BYU basketball coach Kevin Young

Young took a more humble, understated approach — which befits his personality, those close to him say. But he still pulled it off, impressing the intimate gathering by using the right blend of confidence, humility and, of course, drawing upon his vast NBA experience and ties to the best league and players in basketball to assure BYU fans that athletic director Tom Holmoe found the right guy for the job.

From whence does that confidence spring?

“The fact that I have already been a head coach, that this isn’t my first time doing it, is massive,” the 42-year-old father of three said after the televised portion of the introduction had concluded. “I have a lot more comfort with how I want to do things. I know my voice. I don’t have to find it. I have done it before for years, so that is a big part of jumping out and setting the tone early.”

Of course, Pope was known for his hyperbole, using words such as “super” and “amazing” and “incredible” and “unprecedented” in just about every interaction with media members and fans. That’s not a complaint. The man was good copy, as we say in the newspaper business.

If there was anything that Young said that could be considered a bit over the top, it was that his goal was to make BYU the “best place” to get college basketball players to the NBA.

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That was bold, considering BYU hasn’t had a player drafted since Jimmer Fredette went 10th in 2011. Brandon Davies, Eric Mika, Kyle Collinsworth and Elijah Bryant all appeared in at least one game in the NBA as undrafted free agents, and plenty of former Cougars have found success playing overseas in the past 15 years, but Young will have to recruit better than his predecessors to establish BYU as a pipeline to the NBA.

He assured fans and the media that the ability to develop players is a big part of his repertoire as a coach.

“I mean, developing guys has been a huge part of every place I have ever coached at and these guys are hungry to get better,” he said, having previously noted that he met with BYU’s current players in the locker room before the news conference. “That has been obvious as I have talked to them. They are just dying to get better, dying to have a little specificity and what that looks like for each one of them. And so I will lean into my experience doing that at a high level with these guys as well.”

What was Young’s message to the 2023-24 roster, which has already seen Aly Khalifa, Dallin Hall and Richie Saunders enter the transfer portal?

“I told all of them in the locker room (that) the things you were able to accomplish your first year in the Big 12 were absolutely remarkable,” Young said. “I can’t wait to have every one of you back in a BYU uniform and get to it. Make no mistake about it, my first priority is those guys.”

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Another of Young’s best attributes is his ability to communicate, and that quickly became evident Wednesday night.

“I think where I have been able to make headway there is just how I communicate with the players,” he said. “What I have learned at the NBA level is that clarity is king.”

At the news conference, Holmoe mentioned that he has had Young on his radar for quite some time. Young’s name has been on that list he keeps in the top drawer of his desk at the Student Athlete Building, even if the family man with five siblings seemed out of reach for BYU the past few years due to his NBA pedigree and rapid ascension in the pro coaching ranks.

“Kevin is not someone who just came to us out of the blue,” Holmoe said. “We have had our eye on him for quite a while. … Kevin is a remarkable fit here at BYU. He understands what we’re all about here at BYU.”

One of the bigger surprises of the night was Young answering a question posed by Patrick Kinahan of the KSL Sports Zone about putting “on hold” his perceived goal of becoming an NBA head coach by saying that was never really his ultimate dream.

“As it relates to the NBA, and the dream, and so forth, truth be told it was never actually my dream to be a head coach in the NBA,” he said, while acknowledging he had been on the NBA head coaching interview circuit recently. “I love basketball. I love working with young players. I love developing players. I love building relationships. And again, to be able to do all those things at a place that has the family atmosphere that I so desire for my kids and my wife to be around, it actually became a really easy choice.”

BYU’s new men’s head basketball coach Kevin Young and head football coach Kalani Sitake hug before the official announcement event in the Marriott Center in Provo on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News