PROVO — Since he withdrew from BYU last November, guard Nick Emery has expressed his desire to return to the program through social media.
Late Friday night, Emery announced via Twitter: “Official, I’m coming back.”
When contacted Saturday, a BYU spokesman said he hadn’t received anything official from the university about Emery’s status.
"I'm back, but not only am I back, I'm better!" Emery wrote. "The tiny little ounce of faith I once had, got me through even the darkest and loneliest times. I had to accept God was in control of my life and could see way more than I ever could. Living and experiencing all of that has helped me become such a better person in every aspect of life."
Emery withdrew from school just days prior to the 2017-18 season amid personal issues and an ongoing NCAA investigation.
Emery’s return would be a huge boost for the Cougars. In recent weeks, forward Yoeli Childs declared for the NBA draft, though he has not signed with an agent, which means he could return to BYU. Childs, a First Team All-West Coast Conference selection, has until May 30 to decide to keep his name in the draft or rejoin the Cougars for his junior season.
Meanwhile, guard Elijah Bryant has announced that he is forgoing his final year of eligibility and is hiring an agent.
Bryant averaged a team-high 18.2 points and also earned First Team All-WCC honors last season. He also averaged 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. He shot 49 percent from the floor, 42 percent from 3-point range and 85 percent from the free-throw line.
During BYU’s annual basketball banquet earlier this month, coach Dave Rose talked about Emery.
“We look forward to Nick’s return,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll get him back in the fold and things will work out.”
Later, Rose said “plans are in place” for Emery to return, adding that there was not a timetable in place.
Rose enjoyed seeing his players rally around Emery this season.
“I love this team. As a group, it was so amazing to watch these guys compete, challenge themselves and overcome some real difficult things early in the year. The player with the most experience had some personal issues and wasn’t able to stay with us,” he said. “He’s the best friend of five or six of the guys on the team. Best friends. Watching guys trying to help him, that was something that I will always remember — guys give a little bit of themselves to help somebody else who needed help. With a situation that’s really personal, I was just so proud of these guys with how they reached out.”
As a freshman, Emery averaged 16.1 points and made 97 3-pointers. He set BYU freshman records for points in a single game, 3-pointers in a single game, games scoring in double figures, 3-point field goals, 3-point field goals per game and games with three-plus and 5-plus 3-pointers.
As a sophomore, Emery averaged 13.1 points per game and connected on 75 3-pointers. He was expected to be a key member of the 2017-18 BYU team before leaving school.
The Cougars finished with a 24-11 record, including an appearance in the WCC Tournament championship game and a first-round loss at Stanford in the National Invitation Tournament.
Next year’s roster currently feature guards TJ Haws, McKay Cannon, Jahshire Hardnett, Zac Seljaas and Rylan Bergerson and forwards Luke Worthington, Dalton Nixon, Payton Dastrup, Colby Lee, Braiden Shaw and Ryan Andrus.
Two more forwards, freshmen Gavin Baxter and Connor Harding, are set to join the program this season.