I’m going to shoot a lot more 3’s this year and I’m going to make a lot more. Hopefully, I can help the team in that aspect. —Chase Fischer
PROVO — There are at least two things that BYU coach Dave Rose expects guard Chase Fischer to bring to the Cougar basketball program this season — consistent 3-point shooting and leadership.
Fischer, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound junior who sat out last season after transferring from Wake Forest, is eager to contribute.
“I’m ready to really lay it out for BYU this year,” he said. “I think I’m a leader on this team, a vocal guy, and I think I can really score the ball, and I can handle it. I feel like I’ll be a real contributor to this team. It’s a long season. We’ve got to practice hard right now and prepare. That’s what we’re doing.”
When it comes to outside shooting — an area in which the Cougars have struggled in recent years — Fischer said he can make an immediate impact.
“That’s what I do, that’s what I’m known for,” he said of his 3-point shot. “I’m going to shoot a lot more 3’s this year and I’m going to make a lot more. Hopefully, I can help the team in that aspect.”
“Chase Fischer’s a guy that was one of our best 3-point shooters in practice last year on the scout team,” Rose said. “Now we’ll integrate him.”
A couple of weeks ago, Rose announced that Fischer had been named a team captain this season, along with senior Tyler Haws and junior Kyle Collinsworth.
“What I really like about Chase is that he fits in with everyone. He has a relationship with every player on the team,” Rose said. “That’s where he can really bring a lot of positive things to this team, with his ability to relate to each guy. He’s a guy with a lot of experience. He was an All-American in high school, played a lot of minutes as a freshman. As a sophomore, he had some challenges. We’ve got guys that are going to go through those types of things and he can help them.”
Fischer is never at a loss for words.
“When Kyle talks, everyone listens. Chase never stops talking,” joked Haws.
When the Cougars opened practice on Oct. 6, perhaps nobody was happier than Fischer.
“If you talk to Chase, he’ll tell you (that was) the best practice of his career since he’s been here,” Rose said. “You could see the excitement in his eyes as far as his chance to be able to play. We had a long talk the other day about how he used his redshirt year, with the improvement of his game, improvement of his body and his confidence and how he’ll fit in here. He felt it might have been one of the best years of basketball that he’s had. It was as good as any redshirt we’ve had.”
Before landing in Provo, Fischer starred at Ripley High in Ripley, West Virginia, where he led the state in scoring as a junior (32 points per game) and as a senior (37 ppg). He finished his prep career with 2,210 points — 10th all time in state history.
Fischer enrolled at Wake Forest, where he averaged 6.3 points in 26.1 minutes per game and shot 32 percent from 3-point territory. As a sophomore, he served as team captain, but his playing time diminished as the coaching staff opted to play a different style. He averaged 14.2 minutes and scoring 4.5 points while shooting 42 percent from 3-point range.
When he decided to leave Wake Forest, he looked into his options, and picked BYU over Ball State, Valparaiso, Florida Gulf Coast and Ohio.
Though he’s not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Fischer was drawn to the atmosphere and the coaches at BYU.
“It’s been great. BYU is a unique place and it’s a great place,” Fischer said. “The coaching staff’s awesome, some of the best in the nation. We’ve got great guys here.”
During the offseason, Fischer underwent minor knee surgery and now he feels 100 percent healthy.
“It wasn’t that severe. It was just a lingering thing,” he said. “I decided to get it checked out and fixed. I recovered in three or four weeks. I’ve never felt better because I’m playing with no pain. I’m a lot more explosive. It was a great thing to get that done and feel really good and healthy going into this season.”
BYU hosts the annual Cougar Tipoff on Oct. 29 and opens the exhibition schedule Nov. 1 against Colorado School of Mines. The regular season tips off Nov. 14 at home against Long Beach State.
After sitting out last year, Fischer is looking forward to providing 3-point shooting and leadership, among other things, to the Cougars.
“I’ve never been more ready to play a basketball game in my life,” he said. “It’s made me a lot more hungry and ready to play this year.”