Rogers: Position and playing time

Stephen Rogers isn’t rushing to any snap decision.

The second-team All-American from Mesa Community College in Arizona spent last weekend in Provo on an official recruiting visit to BYU but did not make a commitment to join the Cougars after his time spent with coach Dave Rose and staff.

Rogers, who also made an official recruiting stop in Logan about a month ago, could have pulled the trigger after any of his visits. Instead, he’s doing his best to make an informed decision and not let the immediate emotions created from any individual recruiting visit sway his mind too much.

“I really liked Utah State,” Rogers said after his time in Cache Valley. “I know it’s a great fit for me and for my game. I love the coaches and the program and the atmosphere is great. But just because it’s a great fit doesn’t mean it’s the best fit.”

With that in mind, Rogers declined to accept USU’s scholarship offer at the time and kept his options open.

Eventually, the 6-foot-8 sophomore-to-be trimmed the list of schools he was considering to just Utah State and BYU. Though he said he had offers from New Mexico, Utah, UC Santa Barbara and several other schools, he said he felt best about his two schools finalists and canceled scheduled recruiting visits to a few schools.

According to a source close to the USU basketball program, Rogers is weighing his options and considering where he will fit in best.

“It’s status quo,” the source at USU said after Rogers met with USU coaches in Arizona immediately after he returned from Provo, noting they expect “a decision within a week.”

At Utah State, the source said, Rogers will be allowed to play primarily the small forward position, probably backing up senior Tyler Newbold for a year and then having every opportunity to step in as a two-year starter. Utah State is fairly deep at the post position with Tai Wesley, Brady Jardine, Ben Clifford and Morgan Grim set to play the power forward spot while Nate Bendall, Matt Formisano, Modou Niang and Anthony DiLoreto are currently in place to handle the center position.

At BYU, the USU source said, Rogers may be asked to fill the role vacated by Jonathon Tavernari as an undersized power forward with an outside shooting streak. The Cougars are deepest at the shooting guard and small forward positions and Rogers’ role at BYU would likely be different than it would be at Utah State.

One thing is certain, his length and shooting touch will be a bonus for either school.

Rogers, prior to his visit with BYU, told the Deseret News those factors would be included in his decision-making process. He said he and his father had printed out rosters from schools he was considering and tried to see where his best opportunities to play and develop would be.

“That’s important to every basketball player,” Rogers said at the time. “I think I’d fit in well and like it at BYU and Utah State.”

The final decision, then, likely depends on what type of player Rogers would like to be most.

Both schools have winning traditions, play with tremendous home-court advantages, are frequent participants in post-season tournaments and provide similar social and cultural environments.

The question, the source at USU said, is where Rogers will feel most well-suited — as an inside-out power forward at BYU or an outside-in small forward at Utah State.

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