January 27, 2010John
I previously wrote about some amazing conference stats. Here’s some of those same stats compared nationally:
The statistics offer plenty of evidence: BYU is first in the country in free-throw percentage, third in scoring margin, fourth in field-goal percentage, 24th in field-goal percentage defense and seventh in scoring offense. The Cougars are in the top 100 in all 18 statistical categories kept by the NCAA, and in the top 50 in 15 of them. -source
That same article says the reason they’re doing so well this year is because of their defense. I won’t argue that the defense isn’t better. However, I think the real improvement this year is the free throw shooting. Chris Miles deserves a TON of credit for his improvement in free throw shooting. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen a big man improve his free throw shooting this much this quickly. I seem to remember it taking Karl Malone about 5 years to improve his free throw shooting. Not only does his improvement in free throw shooting mean more points on the board, but it also means that the other teams defense can’t just hack away at our big men.Tags: BYU Basketball • Chris Miles
January 20, 2010John
I saw this in a Wyoming paper:
“BYU ranks in the top three in 18 of 21 team statistical categories and leads nine of them.”
That’s just amazing! Let’s hope it’s not just all due to cupcakes on the schedule.Tags: BYU Basketball • Wyoming
November 13, 2009John
Check out these videos that were created announcing the various BYU games.
Ronnie Ron and Roscoe’s Introduction
Ronnie Ron and Roscoe Visit the Marriott Center
Ronnie Ron and Roscoe Meet Jimmer Fredette
I also really liked this commercial for BYU Basketball. Got me going and excited for the basketball season.
As a side note, I went to the exhibition game for UNLV against Washburn and they weren’t looking that impressive. They have a bit of talent, but it’s pretty raw. They actually barely pulled off the win against Washburn.Tags: BYU Basketball • Jimmer Fredette • Ronnie Ron • Roscoe • UNLV • Washburn
March 17, 2009John
I must admit that I was shocked when I heard that BYU was matched up with Texas A&M again. I remember the feeling last year and A&M just isn’t a really good match up for us. They just have more athletes. However, we were in the game and so I think we still have a chance. On top of this, I think there are a number of other reasons why I’m still optimistic about BYU’s chances against Texas A&M in the tournament.
Jimmer Fredette – Jimmer is the future of BYU and thankfully he’s here now. He’s the first point guard at BYU in my lifetime (or at least memory) that can take someone off the dribble, get penetration and take it to the hoop. Plus, Jimmer just seems like a big game guy who seems to really get up for big games and I think he’ll do the same on college basketball’s biggest stage.
Team Defense – I haven’t heard nearly enough about BYU’s defense this year. I mentioned this a while back, but I think that BYU’s help defense and rotating to cover the open man is the best I’ve ever seen it. Add in quick hands by Jackson Emery and the JT’s ability to cause steals and turnovers (which is a surprise to me) and I have reason for optimism.
Underestimating Lee Cummard/Jackson Emery – Let’s be honest. If you looked at Lee Cummard and Jackson Emery for the first time, would you be nervous? Sure, they’ll have a reasonable amount of tape and hype on Lee, but he’s so long that I think that it takes teams a little bit to realize what he’s capable of doing. Emery should surprise people even more. Just wait and see if the A&M coach isn’t singing these 2 guys names after the game.
Miles Free Throw Shooting – I’m too lazy to look up the specific numbers, but we’re all familiar with Miles past troubles at the foul line. I’m not sure what has made the difference, but I’m not getting a heart attack every time Miles goes to the free throw line. In fact, he really seems to have some confidence on the line and won’t be the reason we lose the game.
Any other reasons that I’ve left out? I can’t wait for the game!!Tags: BYU Basketball • Chris Miles • Jackson Emery • Jimmer Fredette • Lee Cummard • March Madness • Texas A&M
March 12, 2009David
With the conference tournament really starting today, it merits a few moments to consider what BYU stands to lose, and in turn gain, in the tournament.
In short, I really don’t think the outcome of the tournament will have a tremendous impact on BYU in terms of the NCAA tournament. Of course losing to Air Force in the first round would not be a good thing, but how likely is that to happen. Beyond a first round loss there really is not much damage to be done. Losing to San Diego St. would not be a huge upset, nor would losing to UNLV in their home invitational. Losing in the championship to anyone else would not be terribly tragic either.
In terms of what good can come of it, I also feel it is limited. Lets just say that BYU beats AFA, then either San Diego St. or UNLV who are pretty comparable, and Utah in the championship. All that may do is move BYU up one seed, two at the most. So instead of being an 8-9 seed they are a 7-8. There really is not a huge difference in the long run.
The biggest thing BYU could gain from the tournament is getting on a roll. It is insane how good they are when they get hot. With a shooting team like BYU it cannot be overlooked how important getting on a run can be. When shooters get hot it is hard to stop them. Playing three quality games in a familiar, if not friendly, arena could do wonders for helping them go into the big dance with some momentum.
Either way, I am excited for the tournament to start and the madness that is march to commence.Tags: Air Force • BYU Basketball • Las Vegas • March Madness • Mountain West Conference • Mountain West Conference Tournament • NCAA Tournament • San Diego St. • UNLV • Utah • Utah Utes
March 10, 2009David
The end of the regular season gives me cause to reflect on the events of this year all the way back to the end of last season. The biggest decisions that affected how this season played out were made shortly after the season when Trent Plaisted decided to declare for the NBA Draft, and Lee Cummard decided to stay.
There is no way that anyone could possibly know what would have happened if those choices were changed in anyway. All we can do at this point is look at how those decisions have played out.
First, we’ll consider Plaisted. He was drafted number 46 by the Seattle Supersonics, now the Oklahoma City Thunder, and was immediately traded to the Detroit Pistons. He ultimately signed with Angelico Biella in Italy until he suffered a season ending injury in December.
While there is no telling how his fate would have changed had he stayed at BYU, at the time, I think he made the right choice to enter the draft, and I still do. There is no way you can forecast an injury, and with a full season of development he may very well have cracked into an NBA roster next season.
Now lets consider Cummard. Many so called experts felt he had a good chance to be drafted, but there is little reason to believe he would have gone much higher, if at all, than Plaisted did. The risk you run of staying another season is you may get injured, or you may not have a very good year, and your stock could drop.
While Cummard did not get injured, he did not have quite the stellar season he probably would have hoped for. He obviously did not show that he is a superstar team leader, but that is not all bad. In this day and age of egotistical superstars, there is more need than ever for roleplayers that are willing to do the dirty work.
I look at Lee as more of an Adam Keefe type player. Someone that you know will work their butt off, scrap for rebounds, and in the vein of Robert Horry, may just hit a game winner for you when the game is on the line. He is not an up and down emotional player, but rather someone that will consistently give you all he has. He will probably never put up 20 points a game in the NBA, but he may just be the difference maker in a series like Robert Horry, Steve Kerr, or Jeff Hornacek.
There is no way to know what would have happened if Lee had entered the draft last year, but as a diehard BYU fan, I would just like to personally say thank you to Lee for all of his hard work in his time at BYU. He has been a huge part of building a foundation of success at BYU that will hopefully last for years to come. Best of luck in the Las Vegas Invitational, and the Big Dance, and here’s hoping you find much success in the NBA, you deserve it.Tags: Adam Keefe • Angelico Biella • BYU Basketball • Detroit Pistons • Jeff Hornacek • Las Vegas Invitational • Lee Cummard • March Madness • Mountain West Conference • Mountain West Conference Tournament • NBA Draft • Oklahoma City Thunder • Robert Horry • Seattle Supersonics • Steve Kerr • The Big Dance • Trent Plaisted
If you told me at the beginning of the season that BYU would have a share of the MWC championship, I would have been very happy. Well, I actually am happy for BYU, but it seems to be a kind of empty happiness.
This is one of the oddest seasons I’ve experienced. Usually BYU has one killer marquee win that makes you feel like the team has potential to be really great. Of course, that major marquee win (or two) is almost always paired with some loss which should have never happened.
A quick look at the losses and you see that BYU Basketball basically won the games they should have won and lost the games they should have lost. The only exception was the loss to UNLV at home. However, I don’t think anyone is really all that surprised that UNLV could beat us at home. UNLV always seems to find something extra special when playing BYU and so the loss wasn’t a huge surprise. Disappointing, but not surprising.
I think the hollow feeling I have is related to two losses to UNLV (which makes me really sick since I work at UNLV) and a loss to the Yewts (this is never good). Add in the near marquee win becoming a 1 point loss to Arizona St on a change of call alongside a competitive game against Wake Forest until the last 5-10 minutes and I sit here wondering if this team is for real or not.
The question remains of whether this team can finally do the deed and win the Las Vegas Invitational and then a win in the NCAA tournament. They haven’t given me a reason not to believe, but they haven’t given me a reason to believe either.
My greatest hope lies in Jimmer. We’ve dreamed about having a player at BYU who can take it to the hoop. We finally have him and I believe he’ll be the difference in March.Tags: Arizona State • BYU Basketball • Jimmer Fredette • March Madness • NCAA Tournament • UNLV • UNLV Invitational • Wake Forest • Yewts
March 9, 2009David
Please forgive my lack of posting at this critical time of the basketball season. I would tell you why the site has been down, but my brother handles that. I’m just happy to be writing again. It helps me to deal with the long distance between me and most BYU sporting events. Though I am stoked for the game to be played in Dallas this fall against one Oklahoma. It should be fun.
On to the story at hand. I realize it is only a share of the conference title, but it is nothing to be ashamed of. It says a lot about the program that Dave Rose has established to be so consistently good. Its not like we are Memphis playing in Conference USA and we just tip toe through the conference tulips every year. The conference as a whole has gotten progressively better, and BYU has stepped up to the plate.
There were a couple of missed opportunities, namely against Wake Forest and Arizona St, but they put up a good fight and gained some respect despite the losses. Now the focus turns to the conference tournament and the Big Dance. I never know what to expect when it comes to this time of year, and I hate to get my hopes up, but I feel that this is the best team we have had in recent years.
In a lot of ways I think we were better off without Plaisted. In the past teams were able to focus on him, or one other single player and that pretty much shut us down. Now there are so many more options, and this is much more of a team. It will be far more difficult to shut the whole team down. Between Jimmer, JT, Lee, Jackson, and Miles it will be nearly impossible to keep them all down.
I am really looking forward to the next couple of weeks. On a side note congrats to BYU for cracking into the AP poll for the first time this season. It is well deserved, and hopefully one more step in the right direction.Tags: BYU Basketball • Conference USA • Lee Cummard • Memphis • Mountain West Conference • MWC • Trent Plaisted
February 14, 2009David
BYU’s early season success was due in large part to a few basic basketball principles. They played great help defense, they made the extra pass giving up a good shot for a better one, and along those same lines they played with a team first mentality.
Starting with a Dec. 20 loss at Arizona St., they started to drift away from those basic principles. Their defense appeared to get lazy. Their passing was inaccurate, and in short supply, and the cohesion of the team as a whole was lacking.
It was frustrating to see them come so close to knocking off two ranked opponents only to fall short at the end of both games.
It is hard to understand why teams change their style when it is successful, but it is not usually a concious decision.
No one decides they want to play poorly, they simply drift into bad habits that cost them games at the end. You also cannot discount the ability of opposing teams to impose their style on their opponents. Quality teams play their style no matter what, and whatever team holds true to their gameplan is usually the victor.
Luckily for BYU fans, this team has rediscovered their style and it is working to quite beautifully. In today’s dominant victory over TCU, BYU got back to basics.
Their defense was solid, repeatedly forcing TCU to kick it back out and take challenged shots. Chris Miles has really come into his own this season on both ends of the court, but especially on the defensive end. He was consistently strong on the low block and wasn’t giving up anything easy.
On offense they suddenly remembered how to pass the ball again. They were working it inside and out, and all around the perimeter. They were taking quality shots and giving it up when someone else had a better one. I was also impressed with the guard’s penetration, especially from the backups. The benefit of having such a quick, surehanded guard is immeasurable.
It was also nice to see a little fight back in the team. They seem to be playing with a little more of a killer instinct again. It is coming out at just the right time too. Now is the time for BYU to assert themselves on a national level so that when UNLV steals the most biased tournament in the country, they will still make it to the big dance.Tags: BYU Basketball • Chris Miles • TCU
February 7, 2009David
It has been very nice of late to hear the names of Mountain West teams being mentioned on national sports shows. I have noticed that BYU is almost always mentioned as a quality win for Wake Forest.
Now I realize that being mentioned for losing a game is not exactly the best press you can have, but it says a lot about how far they have come as a program.
A huge part of that recognition is their dominance at home over the years. It is unfortunate that with their first quality opponent outside of the conference in years that they lost, but at least they put up a good fight. In some ways losing may actually have been good because they may be able to entice other quality schools into the Marriot Center and spring a few upsets.
In looking at early predictions for the NCAA tournament, I have also seen that writers are picking as many as 4 teams from the MWC. The four teams are BYU, Utah, UNLV, and San Diego St. It just goes to show that the conference as a whole is improving greatly, and that the balance of power across the country is being spread more evenly.
I also can’t help but think that the conference’s success in football has an impact on it. While having quality football teams does not directly impact your basketball team, it does lead to more attention for your school in general. The MWC is making a legitimate case for being included in the BCS and I can’t help but think that that is helping their case in basketball too.
So as much as it sucks having to go without a game this weekend, take heart in the fact that the conference is gaining respect, and that, more importantly, BYU is being noticed at a national level.Tags: BYU Basketball • Mountain West Conference • NCAA Tournament