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 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
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
November 4, 2006John
BYU basketball season is upon us. I always seem to get lost in the football season and forget that basketball is starting up soon. Here’s a look at some key players we’ll have this year.
• Trent Plaisted, C, freshman all-American, all-MWC
• Lee Cummard, F, 4.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg as freshman
• Keena Young, F, leading rebounder, all-MWC
• Rashaun Broadus, G, second in MWC in assist/TO ratio
HOPE TO RELY ON …
• Austin Ainge, G, team leader as combo guard
• Jimmy Balderson, G/F, 10 points a game off bench
• Fernando Malaman, F/C, forward scored 7 ppg
• Vuk Ivanovic, C, post play could move Plaisted to forward
• Mike Rose, G, outside shooter
• Brock Reichner, G, 10 ppg, team leader
• Jackson Emery, G, serving LDS mission
• Derek Dawes, C, discontinued playing due to injury