#24 BYU: 2010-11 Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #24
Conference Rank: #2 Mountain West Conference
2009-10: 30-6, 13-3
2009-10 postseason: NCAA
Coach: Dave Rose (127-40 at BYU, 127-40 overall)
BYU has been a regular NCAA Tournament participant since Coach Dave Rose took over in 2005. However, last season they took the next step and actually won a game in March before bowing out to Kansas State in the second round. There are a few pieces to replace, but this is a team that could win another tournament game…or maybe two if the selection committee gives them a break.
Key Losses: G Tyler Haws, G Michael Loyd, C Chris Miles, G Lamont Morgan, F Jonathan Tavernari
The newcomers will not have to contribute too much for the Cougars to be successful, but it would not hurt, especially with the early losses of Michael Loyd and Lamont Morgan. Kyle Collinsworth, Anson Winder and Stephen Rogers should all push for playing time off of the bench. Collinsworth, despite his 6-6 frame, can help out at the point, as can the 6-3 Winder. Collinsworth is the best player in this class and could turn into a very productive player sooner rather than later. Rogers has some experience after spending a year at Mesa Community College in Arizona and that experience could be a big asset early in the campaign.
This team will once again revolve around Jimmer Fredette. The 6-2 point guard earned a whole slew of accolades last season after averaging 22.1 points, 4.7 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals. Fredette is a great scorer from anywhere on the floor. He knocked down 44.0 percent of his attempts from long range, but will also attack the basket and finish tough shots with ease. Most opponents have no choice but to foul him, but he connected on 89.2 percent of his 7.4 attempts per game from the charity stripe, so that is not a good way to slow him down. Nick Martineau, back from his mission, will battle it out with some of the newcomers to back up Fredette during those rare times when he is on the bench. The backcourt has another superstar in Jackson Emery. Emery was completely overshadowed by Fredette, but Emery actually hit more long balls than Fredette and connected on 43.1 percent of his attempts.
With center Chris Miles gone, the BYU frontcourt will be more active and mobile. The lone player back with major starting experience is Noah Hartsock. The 6-8, 230 pound junior is a force under the basket and easily led the team with 1.3 blocks per game. He has the size and skills to play at the five spot, but he has spent most of his career at the power forward position and it would be beneficial to keep him there for now. Brandon Davies has a little more size and is coming off of a solid freshman campaign in which he averaged 5.4 points and 3.0 rebounds. Now he needs to take the next step and be ready to take over a starting role. Logan Magnusson, James Anderson and Chris Collinsworth, who averaged 4.8 rebounds per game in 2008 before heading out on his mission, all have some experience and should do a fine job complimenting Hartsock in the paint.
Who to Watch:
Perhaps the most interesting position to watch is at small forward. Nobody will replace Tyler Haws and Jonathan Tavernari very easily, but there are a ton of choices. Along with all of the newcomers, Charles Abouo and Brock Zylstra will likely battle for the starting job. Abouo is the most experienced option and averaged 4.6 points and 3.1 rebounds in limited action last season. His ability to hit the outside shot makes him a quality replacement, but it is his 6-5 size and ability to hit the glass that will likely earn him the starting nod for now.
The frontcourt will look different without Miles sitting in the paint, but this is a more athletic and active group than BYU had last season. While it will be nice to have some big men who can handle the ball, Miles’ presence under the basket did open up some room for Fredette and Emery beyond the arc. Hartsock is a better interior scorer than Miles ever was, but it remains to be seen if the loss of Miles leads to fewer open looks for the shooters.
Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Jimmer Fredette, Senior, Guard, 22.1 ppg
Jackson Emery, Senior, Guard, 12.5 ppg
Charles Abouo, Junior, Guard, 4.6 ppg
Noah Hartsock, Junior, Forward, 6.5 ppg
Brandon Davies, Sophomore, Forward, 5.4 ppg
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