Chase has been a guy that is doing exactly what we thought he could do when we recruited him and maybe a little bit more. —Dave Rose
PROVO — After his sophomore season at Wake Forest, guard Chase Fischer was looking for a fresh start.
He found it — 2,000 miles away, at BYU — after opting to transfer in the summer of 2013 with two years of eligibility remaining.
No doubt, it was a mutually beneficial move.
In two seasons in Provo, after taking a redshirt season due to NCAA transfer rules, Fischer has scored 971 career points and is No. 5 all-time at BYU in 3-pointers made with 190. He currently holds the school record for most 3-point field goals per game (3.02), ahead of former Cougar star Jimmer Fredette (2.13).
“Chase has been a guy that is doing exactly what we thought he could do when we recruited him and maybe a little bit more,” said coach Dave Rose. “The one thing about Chase, he’s a great guy to be around. He’s a great teammate, he’s really dialed in on off the court commitment to being great on the court. That’s really rubbed off on a lot of players in our program.”
“Early in my career, I had some definite ups and downs. I’ve really appreciated my time here. I’ve enjoyed my time here,” Fischer said. “Obviously, it’s not over yet so I don’t want to get too in-depth. I love playing for BYU. I’ve met some of my best friends and some great teammates. I’ve had a great second half of my career.”
For Fischer and BYU’s other two seniors, Kyle Collinsworth and Nate Austin, this weekend marks their final two regular-season home games.
On Thursday, the Cougars host Portland (9 p.m., MST, ESPNU), the only West Coast Conference team they haven’t beaten this season. BYU fell to the Pilots back on Jan. 16, 84-81, just two days after knocking off Gonzaga at The Kennel.
Over the years, Fischer and Collinsworth have become close friends. They have been team captains together. They have similar interests, particularly in the realm of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They tease each other about which one has the best skills in the kitchen when it comes to cooking food. Fischer’s girlfriend and Collinsworth’s wife are friends, too, so they spent a lot of time together away from basketball.
“We hit it off from the beginning,” Fischer recalled about the first time he met Collinsworth. “Our personalities match up and I think you can see that on the court. We play well together and it helps that we get along so well off the court We’ll be lifelong friends.”
Fischer, a Ripley, West Virginia, native, was a sharpshooting, high-scoring guard in high school, but he struggled to find his place at Wake Forest. He played in 62 games, starting six for the Demon Deacons. As a sophomore, Fischer averaged 4.5 points in 14.2 minutes per game and, despite his limited playing time, he was a team captain.
BYU, as it turned out, was the right place for Fischer.
“Me and coach Rose have been on the same page from Day One. They told me what they expected of me and it lined up with what I expected of myself,” he said. ‘These three years, I’ve been a good leader, I’ve played well and we’ve been a good team. So it’s definitely been a good fit on both sides. I’ve played at two different colleges but BYU’s definitely where my heart is, where it kind of resurrected my career.”
What has Fischer has brought to BYU's basketball program besides solid 3-point shooting?
“Energy, a good passion for the game. One thing I respect about Chase is his passion and drive,” Collinsworth said. “He’s one of the guys that got me into eating well. We’ll read articles about eating well and share it with each other. He takes everything seriously, all the little things — sleep, weightlifting, eating, stretching — and that’s been my approach, too. I think that’s why we get along so well. He’s made the most of his situation It’s put him in a great spot and that’s why he’s had a great career because he puts everything into it."
The Cougars will miss Fischer next fall, Collinsworth added.
"Next year, they’re going to enter their first practice and say, ‘Where’s Chase? Where’s that energy, that passion and that vocal leader?’ He’s around every day and you notice it but once he leaves, coaches and players are going to realize how big of an impact he had.”