BYU - TCU, for the win

Sorry I did not post prior to or during the game but I could not watch it after about the 6 minute mark, These guys are gonna age me.

But BYU may of come back from the biggest margin so far this season.

1 D in the 2nd half was top shelf. Holding Miller to only 15 point was elite.

2 Hall continues to play elite at the point. 7 assists, 6 Rbs and 12 pts, wow

3 Richie and Foos to the rescue. Richie played pretty close to a perfect game. missed just 1 shot all night, 7 Rbs, 2 as, 11 points and just how many disruptions and O Rbs? wow

4 On a night where Waterman and Robinson struggled getting points, Foos and Saunders filled in nicely. 32 pts.

5 Foos was unstoppable down low, 21 & 7 Rebs.

6 There are not many games you are going to win when the other team is over 50% from 3s and 82% at the line. What a 2nd half, BYU DOUBLED up TCU. 58-29, Pope must of chucked a water bottle in the locker room or something but my boys come out on fire.

7 Here is another crazy stat…Foos, Khalifa, Waterman, our 3 big men combined for only 2 fouls. Has that ever happened?

8 As bad as Knell played the 1st half, he was on fire in the 2nd. 20 points.

9 Now there should be some talk about BYU not only as a lock but solid in the rankings. we shall see. They would have to jump up to 20 I would think after the Kansas win.

10 After this week, I guess anything is possible, Let’s go get one at ISU.


We need to watch a game together sometime. I am so on board with your comments it is like they come from my mind a lot of the time. Saunders made such a huge difference with his energy and effort. He drives opposing players crazy but I love that dude’s game. Agree on pretty much everything you said here, nothing to disagree with this time… haha.

Maybe it’s just late and time to sleep.


I think it’s time to start Fouss. We need more scoring threat to start games with. More energy and Fouss gives it. Maybe start Saunders as well. Bring in Khalifa and Waterman off the bench.

Knell was big today. Not only on offense but on defense too. Everyone played well. There were a couple of strange weak passes that we can’t have Wednesday at ISU.

And a bit of Indigestion too. The good kind!

I realize you are defending Knell just because I have pointed out the obvious…When Knell can’t hit a 3, he gives us very little in all other areas, specifically on D. He is an absolute disaster. Tom pointed out in the 1st half that Knell’s shooting slump was atrocious and when that happens, Knell is a big fat liability out there. On the hand, enter Saunders-who finally is getting the attention he deserves as a GLUE GUY.
Richie Saunders was the Catalyst to BYU’s Comeback Win Over TCU (

I want to point out one paragraph:
'Saunders finished the game +19 in just 23 minutes played. That was second to Spencer Johnson who was +23 and tied with Dallin Hall who was +19 as well. When Saunders was on the court, BYU was the better team. And that wasn’t a coincidence. ’

Does it bother me that Knell is mentioned in many articles as having a good night with 20 for the night and Saunders gets 0 love when, in fact, both runs that BYU pulled off AFTER Saunders came in for Knell? Yes! it does because in big boy basketball you win with defense. Don’t believe me? Houston and ISU don’t score like maybe 1/2 of all the Big 12 teams but they are going to be a 1 and 2 seed respectively in the big dance and they are ranked #1 and #2 nationally on D.

Pope is realizing this as we speak.
! will become Capt. obvious for a sec here.
1 On the road, when shots are not falling, you have to get in the muck and draw fouls. Foos has become a monster at this, Richie and Spenc. are also quite good at it. Robinson had one play where he split 2 defenders for an easy layup. We need MORE in order to win Big 12 games from here on out.

2 Defense becomes critical. On paper, Spenc Johnson shows he had a poor TCU game but his defensive stats show Johnson was the absolute leader last night with a +23, Richie and Hall each +19
Knell on the other hand cost BYU back to back possessions on 2 hands fouls and one was while we had the ball!

You and all the media…
Looks like I am cracking on Knell, I am really not, he hit 3 big shots to start the 3 point barrage in the 2nd so he has his place. I am just pointing out the obvious, Saunders and Foos were the real reason why BYU won last night.

Feel free to argue, that is what you do.

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Oh, and you aren’t arguing. I’m not saying that Knell struggles on defense. But, when he’s hitting his 3’s like that, and his 2’s, that slows down teams running against us. When we brick 3’s too much teams figure out they can get out and run. Scoring well for us helps our defense. You seem to not see this connection.
Now, because we shot so poorly in the first half, we weren’t going to end up with 37% three point shooting. We did get up to 32%. But, the key in winning for BYU is high 3 point shooting. It feeds our defense as I mentioned above. It also opens up Fooss down low.
Waterman is playing well. But, I think Saunders and Fouss should start. The way Waterman just buckled I thought it was his Achilles.

Can I say that in context you are both right. There is no point in arguing because what you are saying is correct. If we want to argue points, what Fish said is really the most critical part of what we are seeing. The bottom line is that while Knell helps a lot with his shooting (when he is on) that was not the key factor in turning the tide and winning the game. Yes, it puts pressure on the opponent to match the scoring but that is secondary. The factor that turned the game was defense and the energy and effort on defense that Saunders brings when he gets in the game. Often it is like BYU is stuck in first gear and just going through the motions, standing around and watching, etc. Saunders just doesn’t do that. He makes stuff happen, he shifts the team into second and third gear so they can get to fourth and win the game.

I think when you make a claim that someone “doesn’t see something” that is simply not true Hopper. I am sure Chris sees everything you are pointing out but the argumentative and disputing tone of it makes what you say disappear. You claim that about my perspective all the time… that I don’t seem to see anything. That couldn’t be further from reality. Of course I see it.

So lets try arguing less and seeing the progress that BYU has made in the last few games, particularly the second half effort that had them dominating two very good teams in Kansas and TCU.

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Hmmmmmmmm…Now are you going to elaborate on where I’m correct too? Or just Fishy? Perch?

This is my response on the Knell v Saunders for PT thing:

Those three 3s that Knell hit were big. Of course he had been in a slump for 10 and a half games. Worst shooter on the team for over a month. Period. It’s also a real problem to start our two worst defenders (Knell and Khalifa) and I’m surprised Pope keeps doing it when we seem to fall behind early on EVERY game. In his last 10 conference games he had been 20% from deep, probably THE WORST on the entire team. I’m being hard on the kid but he has been able to go to BYU for free for what feels like 10 years now so tough.

The media acts like Saunders dominating TCU ATHLETICALLY is a revelation, but this is what he has been doing all year. I bet he has the highest +/- on the entire team. His ability to elevate and finish at or above the rim against legitimate B12 defenders is because SAUNDERS IS AN ELITE ATHLETE. He’s not just some “overachieveing hustle glue guy.” He’s all of that and also the best pure athlete on the roster.

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Wild season. We are good enough to beat 3 of the best teams in the league and bad enough to get beat by 3 of the worst teams in the league.

Our true identity was what we saw on the 2nd half of both the KU and TCU games: 1) MAN D, switching to never have to go under screens, play our best athletes to be able to stop ball one on one, and to be fast enough to recover when good teams reverse the ball without closing out too late and fouling. 2) shoot 3s in transition and when we drive and kick—not just tossing them up there to reach some goal to take 35 a night. Those two things work best when we play Fouss over Khalifa and Saunders over Knell. Just like Chris in his post, I feel like Captain Obvious even saying this.

For the first time this season I feel like we truly have a top 25 team and a real shot at making the Sweet 16. We have now beaten enough good teams to convince me we can play with anybody.

I think we lose to ISU and come back home and beat Ok State to finish 10-8 in league. IIRC that is about the best any rational fan could have expected. That should get us a double bye in the B12 tourney and if we win even 1 game in the conference tournament we could get a 4 or even a 5 seed in the Dance. Well done Coach Pope.

Not sure why you keep saying Saunders over Knell. Saunders comes in and plays the 4. He comes in for Worthington. Knell plays the 3.
I’d also like to see Khalifa and Fooss start playing the high low game. Bring in Atiki and Worthington in rotation as well. Start Saunders for Knell.

20%!!??? You saved from doing some research.
Like I said before if Knell - (given all his liabilities like bad defense, can’t drive and draw fouls, struggles to get open/create own shot etc) does not make 44%+ of his 3pt shots then he is liability and his minutes should be greatly diminished. Not 33%, not 37% but 44%+. It’s math/analytics. A cost benefit analysis. Nothing personal. Simply creating the best odds to win games

If he can hit 44%+, play him 20 minutes a game, otherwise….

(I’ll repeat) „sometimes you gotta cut a man loose“

We lose that game without him. And, like I said, he was staying with his man and helping successful. Pope substituted well the last two games.

What I see in Saunders is a guy who can seamlessly sub in for Waterman or Knell. He has done both. He has the athleticism and physicality to
play inside and the quickness and skills to play outside and can guard inside players and quick guards. That is why he is so valuable. Personally I don’t care who starts but I would like to see Saunders getting a minimum of 25 minutes per game. Knell normally should get about 12-15 minutes per game. I see him as a 3 point specialist kind of like the Rose guy who would play limited minutes in Dave Rose’s first two years at BYU.

I think Pope has his rotation set at this point and it is essentially 8 guys playing nearly all the minutes with Stewart giving Hall a rest about 3 minutes a game. Hall and Johnson are the only two who are consistently getting 30 + minutes per game. For the most part it is working real well and the only thing I would change is giving Saunders more minutes and Knell less and maybe give Fouss 25 minutes and Khalifa 15 and that can change if Khalifa is having one of those games where he is nailing 3s like he did against Baylor. Atiki has his moments as well as a third center but using Fouss and Khalifa 40
minutes a game is the norm. Atiki is a guy
you can put in to use up fouls on occasion when one of the other guys is sick or hurting.

Saunders and Knell both played critical roles in the TCU game. Knell shot BYU back into the game and Saunders got BYU over the top. Both were in the game at the same time at certain points but Saunders is clearly the better all around player.


He played well but you’re missing the point.
If he doesn’t play like that every time (on average) then should get very few minutes otherwise he will cost us 10 or so points a game. Equals some losses.

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Saunders can get hot from outside too. But he too has been struggling from distance of late. Saturday, both shot well from 3’s. When your game is to shoot lots of 3’s, you have to play those who are capable of making them. This gets back to what they do in practice as whether they start and play lots of minutes. Also, fouls will dictate the number of minutes with both Knell and Saunders because they foul a lot.

I agree with Fouss and Khalifa. Seems like teams have figured out how to limit our back cuts for Khalifa to make those great passes. And, with him still not 100% he can only give us the 3’s. The thing is with Fouss in we are still getting open 3’s. What I would like to see against ISU Wednesday is both starting and playing high low with Fouss down low playing the 5. Khalifa can also pop outside for 3’s as well. Then start either Waterman or Saunders for a big front line. See what ISU can do with that.

if you want to use the average, then it is an easy decision for Pope, the “shot doctor” has the best 3 pt shooting percentage on the team…including not just the last games when he has been in a horrible funk, but the early conference season as well.

Knell Just being a percentage point or 2 above the next 2 or 3 best 3 point shooters is not good enough. Actually the comparison is really to what Saunders gives the team vs Knell as the question is whether to give knell minutes to Saunders. So if comparing knell playing 25 minutes vs Saunders playing 25 minutes a game:
Saunders defense - limiting his man from scoring and his defensive rebounds and hustle plays to keep the ball alive etc - is probably a plus 10 points or more for the team vs knell. On offense Saunders can drive to the basket (make the shot or draw fouls, offensive rebounds are huge, keep ball alive) much more than Knell. Just open 3 pt shooting is close to a wash (a plus for Saunders given Knells 20% last 10 games or so) so Saunders is probably a plus 4 points for the team a game. So that’s in the neighborhood of total 14 point swing for Saunders.
My point is, given this 14 point advantage for Saunders and even to be generous to knell let’s make it just 10 points, Knell needs to make 44%+ of his 3 point shots versus Saunders 35%. Even that probably does not close the gap.
BYU will win more games with Saunders taking knell minutes.
So there’s no misunderstanding, whenever knell is in I root for him hard, but if he can’t be a 44%+ 3 pt shooter - really the whole reason he is on the team - his minutes make very little sense
It’s up to him. I hope can

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The key is they can’t play 40 minutes each. That includes Waterman because Saunders doesn’t come in for Knell. He comes in for Waterman. Do you understand? Now, Robinson comes in for both Knell and Johnson. The players are very interchangeable. It’s also about matchups too. But most of all it’s what they seem to do before the game in the locker room and at halftime. They did something new at halftime to get the energy up. Do it before the game.

You still don’t read posts that well. Where did I say Saunders comes in for Knell? I ONLY talked about who gets more minutes. Do you understand?
You, and everyone else has said that Saunders should get more minutes. Everyone so far as said Knell should get less minutes. You even said Saunders should start. Whose place is he taking?
Every player’s minutes should be dictated by increasing the chance of winning.

My theoretical allocation of minutes. Center and point guard excluded. So 3 positions is 120 minutes a game. Five players. Of course in game adjustments must be made. That;s what a coach should do.

Waterman 28 minutes
Robinson 28 minutes
Saunders 28 minutes
Johnson 28 minutes If he gets very hot, give him more.

Again, I know they do not play the same position. Duh. The coach figures out the best combination.
And yes I know Robinson plays some point.

This isn’t that hard. Admit that Knell has been the least valuable to the team of the 5 and should get much less minutes - UNLESS (my broken record) he can make 44%+ of his 3 Pt shots.