Pay special attention to what McCombs says about dancing chances.
BYU Basketball Mailbag: Recruiting, Big 12 Outlook, Roster, and More - Vanquish The Foe
BYU will be able to “compete” year one in the Big 12 — if by compete you mean be reasonably competitive in most games. How that translates to wins and losses is another story. Still too early for me to predict what BYU’s record year one, but I think out of 18 Big 12 games my prediction will fall somewhere between 3 and 7 wins. 7-11 in Big 12 play is likely what BYU will need to get in the bubble conversation.
If you’re mapping out BYU’s quest to get in the NCAA Tournament, it probably looks something like this: 11-2 in non-conference, 5-4 at home in Big 12 play, and 2-7 on the road for a regular season record of 18-13. That will be VERY difficult. Last year, Oklahoma State went 8-10 in Big 12 play and was one of the first four teams out due to lack of quality wins in non-league play; they had zero Q1 wins in non-conference and Sam Houston at home was the lone Q2 win.
West Virginia went 7-11 in non-league play, but received a 9 seed in the tournament due to quality non-conference wins over Pitt, Florida, and Auburn.
BYU’s non-conference schedule won’t be loaded, but there are ample opportunities to rack up sheer number wins and get a couple of quality wins. BYU hosts San Diego State in Provo, plays at Utah, and will play two of Vanderbilt, Arizona State, or NC State in the Wooden Legacy in Las Vegas. If BYU can split those four and go 11-2 heading into Big 12 play, then 7-11 in Big 12 play can get you in the tournament. BYU went 7-9 in WCC play last year, and while I fully expect the team to improve next season, getting 7 league wins again — but this time in the Big 12 — will be HARD.
The Marriott Center will allow BYU to steal a few games, but progress in year one may not be fully measured by win-loss record; if BYU can improve its KenPom ranking and be competitive in most Big 12 games and compete for a NIT bid, that may be considered a success in Year One.
My take: Pope has not performed “Above Average” during actual games, does not ever run inbounds plays after a timeout. It has cost him several wins. Just how many losses did BYU chalk up by losing by a point or 2 in the WCC last season, has to be over 10 if I remember correctly. Going to be difficult to Dance in the Big 12 until Chandler puts on a jersey