Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Mild Case of Concern

After all the disappointment surrounding this year's football team there is always that ex-girl friend who will let you come over and make out at a moments notice. Yep, I’m talking BYU basketball. Jimmer’s back and he is no longer anonymous. He is the new media darling, the new Stephen Curry, and now he has a huge bulls eye on his back.

Barring some Tavernari/Bigelow like senior melt down, Jimmer is still going to get his. His range is redic, his crossover is un-white and his free throws are Mark Price-ish. No question about it, BYU will be good this year just because of Jimmer Fredette.

Yeah... Jimmer is kind of like that
However after watching the exhibition game with BYU-Hawaii last night I am a little concerned. The problem I see is one that the Cougars have been dealing with for a long time.

BYU basketball lacks a post scoring and defensive presence.

At some point in the season BYU will be on the road and people will be doubling Jimmer, Jackson may have an off night and the Cougs are not hitting from outside. Throw in some homer reffing and a loud opposing crowd and you will have a major scoring drought.

This is when you throw the ball down to your proverbial horse and get an easy bucket or some free throws. Problem is I don’t see that player on the depth chart for the cougars. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Davies, Hartsock and Collinsworth. They all have upside and certain skills. What they do not have is the ability to go get a basket in the post during crunch time. They also are lacking a major defensive presence. Say what you will about Chris Miles, (and I have said a lot under my breath) but he was a major defensive presence in the lane.

The way I see it this year BYU will live by the 3 and die by the 3. When Jackson and Jimmer shoot well it will open up lanes for easier baskets for the “bigs”. When the Cougars can get out and run they will have an advantage. Most of the season BYU's size weakness will not be a glaring deficiency, because most of thiee league doesn’t have menacing post bruisers to deal with.  But when BYU gets to the tournament and plays a team like a Michigan St. or a UConn it will become very apparent.

My brother and I have talked at length about how sad it was the Dave Rose was not able to get a 6'10 thug to just Millsap around for Jimmer's senior year. Unfortunately Rogers was the closest thing Rose could find and so far you can color me unimpressed.

How nice would it be if the Cougs could get this guy in a BYU jersey...
Anyway the outlook for the season is still good. BYU should win plenty of games and who knows maybe Davies or Collinsworth can surprise. Right now, I think they are the main variables of success for this team.

NOTE: I hope everyone stands and cheers as loud as they can for Steve Cleveland when he comes. He did a lot for the program and was really a great coach. Without him BYU wouldn’t have coach Rose or be where they are today. He truly is one of the good guys in sports and deserves our love and respect.

Steve Cleveland won 128 with the Cougars