If it feels like Kevin Young has BYU basketball on the uptake on roller skates, it is because he does. This offseason has been filled with un-BYU-like success in the recruiting game.

You can’t recruit and get two four-stars and a five-star lottery pick in a matter of weeks and ignore that Young has plowed over BYU’s status quo.

You don’t hire your rival’s chief recruiter (Chris Burgess) and sign his stud center (Keba Keita) if you don’t have a new magnet.

Former players love it.

It has a kind of Gonzaga and Creighton feel to it.

It’s a new game, a different era.

Not that BYU is going to be Gonzaga, but it is doing Gonzaga-like things with recruiting, going international, going big, hitting private prep schools like Wasatch and Brewster academies, and doing international in a big way.

When Young got a commitment from 6-8 Russian guard Egor Demin earlier this week, he got a player John Calipari at Arkansas wanted. At Kentucky, Calipari was used to going after and getting just about anyone he wanted, and now at Arkansas, he expected the same with Arkansas money.

Related
Big week for BYU basketball begins with big news

Former BYU star and second-round NBA pick Travis Hansen, who played in the EuroLeague with Real Madrid and in Moscow, knows Demin and has had contact with his family.

Hansen says BYU has been working on Demin for weeks, if not months, and the addition is big-time.

“Egor is the best Russian player since Andrei Kirilenko,” Hansen said. “He has the size, skills, character and IQ to be a lottery pick.”

“Egor’s parents both played basketball,” he continued. “They understand it on a high, high level. We spoke many times with Egor and his parents. It came down to a team effort but mainly Kevin Young’s presentation to Egor (I was there) and his reputation around the NBA won Egor and his family over.

“Egor needs strength training and development but I’m bullish that he will be one of a kind here at BYU,” said Hansen.

Here’s what Jonathan Tavernari, no stranger to EuroLeague and international basketball, had to say about Demin choosing BYU:

“Egor choosing to leave Real Madrid, arguably the best European club in producing talent and one of the most established basketball clubs in growing players in the planet, to go to BYU and play for Kevin Young is THE highlight of the offseason for the whole college basketball world,” said Tavernari. “Having watched him multiple times during the EuroLeague this year, he reminds me of a Hedo Turkoglu type of player: tall, long, skilled, shooter, great passer, court vision, can play multiple positions. Yes he’s 6-foot-9, but he’s more of a guard than a three-four forward.

“I am still in unbelief we have landed him. Is he a Luka Doncic type of player? No. But that’s the environment Luka grew up in, and to have someone of that potential leave such a place for Provo? Hats off to Kev.”

Former BYU forward Kevin Nixon, no stranger to playing a versatile role for the Cougars when he came out of Iowa, said the Demin addition signals a new era for BYU basketball with Kevin Young.

“It’s unbelievable to me, actually. If anyone had any doubts about KY and his global reach, this will put that to rest,” said Nixon.

“Egor is a big guard that brings versatility to BYU’s lineup. We are talking about a super-skilled player who will likely come to Provo, play a year, and then get drafted into the NBA. I’m fairly certain that KY laid that vision out to him in detail.

Related
How BYU landed a potential NBA lottery pick — and what it means to the program

“For BYU to be able to dig deep into their NIL pockets to pull one of the great young prospects in the world, speaks to their commitment to creating and maintaining a top P5 program in America … not just the Big 12.”

Nixon predicted: “NBA scouts will flock to see Egor play in Provo and elsewhere. With that, comes more potential exposure for other BYU players. What an amazing opportunity for all our guys.”

Earlier this week, Young was a guest on a podcast by Jon Rothstein, “College Hoops Today.”

Young explained how player development was a key cog in his plans at BYU, one that would appeal to a young player like Demin.

“I think internal player development is something that I’m extremely adamant about bringing to Provo and helping our players get better and also helping to retain our players, with the way that guys can get into the portal,” said Young.

“That’s something I learned really early: guys want to feel like they’re getting better where they are. And so we’re putting in a lot of time, energy and effort. We feel like we offer a really unique situation in Provo — obviously me and a few other coaches I’m bringing in have pro backgrounds, too.

“And the reason I’m saying that is because player development is going to be a massive part of what we do as we try to help, not just guys get to the NBA, but guys stay at BYU because they know they’re gonna get better while they’re there.”

Young has yet to coach and win a game at BYU. That time and season will come.

But right now, the time is recruiting and development.

He has that first one down.