Monday, November 26, 2007

Cougars In Final Four?

I know, it is extremely early to start this kind of talk, but BYU's basketball team just took out the #6 team in the country, and went toe-to-toe with the #1 team for all but the last two minutes of the game.

Given that this squad is considerably different from last year's, it shouldn't be nearly this good yet. But it also seems likely that the team will get much better as the year goes on, just as any team with new pieces (and new roles) normally does.

Coach Dave Rose is still finding out what he has with this group. Jonathan Tavernari will probably learn to choose his shots better. Coach Rose will ensure that the team won't rely exclusively on three-point shots at the end of a game when they are tired--missing all of them essentially handed the game to North Carolina at the end. Jimmer Fredette and others will find their places on the team.

And when the team comes together in late-season form, I don't see them being inferior to many teams at all in the country. I do anticipate a little bumpiness as their identity is forged--I can't say that I expect them to go entirely undefeated in conference play. But I believe that this year's version, as early as it is in the season, is very close indeed to the level of team that finished last year, which had a winning record on the road and was undefeated at home.

Finally, Coach Rose demonstrated that he knows what to do with his team when playing a reputedly superior opponent, including calling timeouts to get them to regroup when Louisville appeared in position to pull away from them. And we know what happened to Louisville.

BYU in the Final Four this year? That might not be considered Madness when March arrives.


Jason Katzenbach said...

In order for BYU to make it that far in the tournament Plaisted is going to have to learn to completely take over a game. Otherwise they'll be stuck with living and dying by the 3 which might win them a game or two, but won't get them all the way to the final four. I'd like to think Trent could become that player this year, but I don't think he'll really be able to take over a game until next year. Look for them to win their first tournament game in a long time this year, but I wouldn't expect a final four (not saying it wouldn't be nice if it happened, I just don't think it will)

The Passionate Cougar said...

Well said. I think that if Plaisted could have dominated the Carolina game at the end, Coach Rose would have instructed the team to pound it inside instead of launching bomb after bomb.