On Tuesday, Utah State head men’s basketball coach Craig Smith hinted there would be a player signing soon and was downright giddy.
When the first day of the spring signing period began on Wednesday, the Aggies didn’t waste any time. Sean Bairstow has made it official, signing with USU.
“We are thrilled to announce Sean Bairstow will be joining the Aggie family,” Smith said on Wednesday. “Sean is a versatile guard that can play all over the floor. He is a stat stuffer, as he can really pass, he’s an excellent rebounder and can score in a multitude of ways. Sean is a legit 6-8 and will bring excellent length and athleticism to our program. Sean embodies our culture and has a bright future as an Aggie.”
Bairstow will be part of the 2019-20 signing class. He is joining the Aggies from Churchie High School in Brisbane, Australia, and will have four years of eligibility.
The 6-foot-8, 185-pound guard averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds a game at Churchie. Bairstow was a member of the U19 Australian National Team and a two-year member of the U20 Queensland team.
He visited USU during the past season and had made positive comments about the Aggies on social media. Many schools were after the Aussie.
Bairstow has ties to both USU and the Mountain West Conference, as his sister Stephanie played two years for the Aggie women’s basketball team during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. Bairstow’s brother, Cam, was an all-conference performer at New Mexico from 2011-14, and was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 2014.
Bairstow joins junior college transfer Alphonso Anderson and freshmen Liam McChesney, Cade Potter and Landon Brenchley, who all signed in the fall. Anderson is a 6-7 forward, while McChesney is a 6-9 forward. Potter, a 6-8 forward, and Brenchley, a 6-4 guard, are expected to go on missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and join the Aggies for the 2021-22 season.
Smith feels Anderson and McChesney will be able to help the Aggies right away next season, along with Bairstow.
USU lost senior forwards Quinn Taylor and Dwayne Brown Jr. to graduation, while guards Crew Ainge and Tauriawn Knight are transferring. All-league center Neemias Queta has declared for the NBA Draft, but has until May 29 to withdraw his name and return to USU.
Smith said he and his staff will continue to recruit and look for the best athletes they can find for the upcoming season and beyond. The head coach did not rule out signing a transfer player, if the right one comes along and can help the Aggies.
“It’s easy to spot a talented player and say we need to get that guy,” Smith said of possible transfers. “It’s more important as a coach and a prospect to build a relationship and do a thorough look.”
The Aggies will also get forward Roche Grootfaam and center Klay Stall back from injury. They both missed the entire 2018-19 season.
“I love the guys we have returning,” Smith said. “We also have Klay Stall and Roche Grootfaam and will have to see how they respond. ... We are at the point now that we are recruiting a lot of different positions. We are looking for the best players we can get that fit our culture and what we are about. We are keeping all options open.”