PROVO — New BYU basketball head coach Mark Pope has been busy putting his imprint on the Cougars' roster.
The day after Pope announced the addition of three players Wednesday, all of whom have ties to Pope’s former school, Utah Valley University, news surfaced that 6-foot-9 forward Bernardo Da Silva, one of former coach Dave Rose’s recruits who signed last November, has been released from his commitment to the Cougars.
“It happened a few days ago,” Wasatch Academy coach David Evans, who coached Da Silva this past season, confirmed Thursday night. “It’s tough. They just decided to part ways. Bernardo is a phenomenal kid. He has a lot of different options and he’s exploring them right now. It’s unfortunate that it didn’t work out with BYU. He’s on an official visit to UC Irvine right now and he has other options he’s looking at.”
ESPN 960 first reported the news Thursday.
Da Silva, a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is the second player who was part of BYU’s November signing class to be released from a national letter of intent. Last month, Shengzhe Li, a 6-foot-10 post player from China, announced that he was moving on from BYU.
UVU transfers Richard Harward and Wyatt Lowell, and American Fork High’s Trey Stewart, a former UVU recruit, have signed financial aid agreements to play for the Cougars, Pope announced Wednesday.
While Harward and Lowell will be sidelined this upcoming season due to NCAA transfer rules, Stewart will join the program after he serves a two-year mission to England for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Another former UVU player, guard Jake Toolson, the reigning WAC Player of the Year, has announced he will join the Cougars this fall as a grad transfer.
Earlier this week, former Lehi High and Utah State Eastern guard Blaze Nield announced on Twitter he has committed to the BYU men’s basketball program.12 comments on this story
While the new players BYU has added to the roster so far this spring have been from within the state, Pope and his staff are traveling far and wide on the recruiting trail.
As the Deseret News reported last month, Pope is planning a recruiting trip to a few European countries to evaluate talent there. Meanwhile, he recently visited Africa to visit the parents of 6-10 Mady Sissoko, a Wasatch Academy forward who hails from Mali, West Africa.
BYU coaches have offered scholarships to three other Wasatch Academy players as well — forward Caleb Lohner (Dallas, Texas), forward Leo Colimerio (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and guard Richie Saunders (Riverton).