This year, this team is a disappointment. I expected this year to be a transition year towards several good years coming up.
I hope that the team goes to the NIT and plays several rounds.
I am worried for next year. Yes, I know, we have multiple high level players returning from missions/coming from high school. However, here is what I see:
We lose Collingsworth, Fischer and Austin.
The easiest to replace is Austin. I am not worried about the Center position. We have Mika and Kaufusi here and even though Kaufusi seems to have lost a step, Mika should be good. In addition, we will have Dastrup who could give us some minutes here.
The 4 also isn’t a problem. We have Davis returning, Childs, Dastrup.
The 3 is where it starts to get interesting. Our current starting 3 is Emery. This works because Collinsworth can take care of the mismatch on defense against taller 3s. Toolson could be an option here if he is healthy. Hartsock might be able to work here as well, but Emery just isn’t a valid option for the 3 unless we have someone to take care of the defensive mismatch. So, maybe this could be an option for 6-5 Elijah Bryant with Hartsock as backup.
At 2 we would have Emery. No real backup, maybe we could rotate Bryant over to 2 when Hartsock comes in to give Emery some rest.
At the point we would have Haws with Chatman backing him up.
Here are the problems.
- We have no depth on the guard line and too much depth at the 4 and 5. This creates a problem for cohesion.
- I have to question whether a freshman straight off his mission is a step up from a senior who is our all time assist leader.
- In my mind, Emery seems to be a serviceable guard, not a dominate guard. His inconsistency makes me question whether he is a step up at the 2 or not.
- I’m not sure about the 3 position. With his size, Bryant looks like he could handle it, however, I don’t know for sure. Maybe Aytes could do it, but I haven’t been impressed this year. I haven’t been impressed with anyone in that size range on this year’s team.
Bottom line, I have question marks at 3 of the 5 spots. It’s possible that if you get Emery into his natural position, he will become more consistent. I see cohesion problems, missionary rust and mismatches in our future. With the WCC stepping back a few steps, we can’t afford to take awhile to come together as a team because we don’t have the opportunity for good wins in conference to compensate for bad losses in conference and the early part of the season.
I have been optimistic that the team was going to turn the corner and step up as a contender. Now I just hope we can remain competitive in a bad conference.
Dark. but probably too accurate.
It is hard to see how the worst team in Rose’s tenure, which is losing the only two consistent players to graduation and a pro league somewhere, lays much of a foundation for a good year next year.
I think your view of the WCC’s future though is a bit too dark. Gonzaga is having a down year, but with the injury their big guy will almost certainly be back and their guard line is shaping up.
St Mary’s will be better on the road; they can’t be better at home.
Pepperdine is improving, I’m drawing a blank on another couple, Dunlap’s team for one, will likely be better as well. It is a down year this year for the WCC but not likely for the next couple of years.
Which frankly makes the Cougar future look a bit bleaker than you’ve painted it.
But of course the Cougs have yet to put their season saving last half of the conference together the way they have the last few years. I really think that with a few more 20+ point blowouts at home along the way the frosh would have been better on the road.
That said I see a good run in the NIT this year without Kaufusi stepping up in the middle and Seljaas and Emery staying hot for the vegas tourney.
Hartsoch and Bryant seem better suited for the 3. Chatman could play the point and Haws can play the 3 also. Emery is a two guard. He can also spell at the point too. Thereby be another guard or two.
At the 5 we have Mika, Kaufusi and Shaw. Hamson is also will be around possibly. We will be fine next year. Don’t sweat it.
We were supposed to be fine this year… and we are already talking about next year.
I see a pattern developing.
We are fine this year. Next year we will score more and possibly have better defense.
There are no other guards except walkons. None.
The 5 is the one position I am not worried about. We will be loaded with big men. The only concern I have about the big men is that because we have so many that have potential to be very good, we may encounter a problem with cohesion due to an effort to get playing time for them all.
The problem our bigs have is when they decide they are going to shoot. They put their heads down and dribble too much. Also, they don’t look for open outside shooters.
Before we get all doom and gloom, just remember that our problems have been at the point. BYU has not a legit point for a number of years now. Start with the Carlino years, talented, in fact he is killing it in the D leagues but so unpredictable during the BYU years. KC, an rare talent but much better at finishing then running the point.
I have not seen Elijah Bryant play but he was the MVP at the Mac and is similar to KC in that he can do a little of everything. Bryant is good from the 3 as well as the FT line, unlike KC. He could play the 1-3.
Here is what I think will happen. TJ Haws is possibly the highest ranked player to commit to BYU. He has the shooting skills of his older brother with elite ball handling skills. TJ well be a true point guard. He will solve a ton of BYU’s woe’s. Add TJ to a confident Emery, who will move into the Fischer roll of the 2 guard, add Mica and these 3 will be making us forget a lot of our angst. With Bryant at the 3 or coming off the bench as the point guard/6th man, this team can hum. Childs will get plenty of time backing up Davis, who is Mr. Double Double.
BYU’s problem over the past 5 years have not been scoring. We are in the top 10% every year…our problem by far is our defense. Some of the problem exists because of Rose’s up tempo game and that leads to turnovers and easy points for an opposing team. The other problem BYU faces is the revolving door a missionaries coming and going, something I won’t go into but it will always be a big problem. Lastly, If you were a ligit talent, why would you ever want to play in WCC gyms? I would think that addressing those last two topics should explain the way Rose recruits and who he can get to come play at BYU.
So it boils down to two questions: Will BYU’s defense get better with the next generation of players and will TJ be a true point guard?
No doom and gloom here! I know some like to say “ratings don’t matter,” but the best teams typically have the most highly rated players. Yes we lose KC (who by the way was a very highly rated player coming out of HS) and Fischer (ditto). But I think we gain more than we lose, and in a big way. KC is one of my all time favorite players due to his toughness, and he is soooo fun to watch finish at the rim, especially in traffic. But his inability to shoot is a really serious downfall for a PG. Like all PGs he dominates the ball (as he should), but when he takes it off the dribble he can’t pull up and shoot, so bigs don’t have to step up and help, so he continues deep towards the rim, and that’s where we often see 6 car pileups, ugly TOs, and shots where he’s getting hit by 3 guys and maybe not drawing calls (see UP game), which are like TOs.
TJ on the other hand, is a pure modern PG. He has a great handle, plays above the rim, has legit size (see in the video below that even as a sophomore he was a good 2-3 inches taller than Emery), and drains 3s in his sleep. I saw him just dominate the best competition he faced–and LP played the best, both in tournaments and in AAU. This is a great clip of the LP/BYU boys from a couple years ago–please watch TJ’s pull up jumpers off the dribble shown at 4:45 (ps the 2nd one could be Tyler and you wouldn’t know it). To be a great team these days, you simply have to have guards who can create their own shots off the dribble on the perimeter, because all the good teams are SOOO athletic and play great team D. http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8867389
BYU 4 star recruits with ESPN top 100 ranking:
Harding and Baxter each 4 stars but not in ESPN 100.
Again, no gloom and doom around here. My simple mind says great coach+better players=better team
I like your analysis. One area that still doesn’t compute is we have lost most games by only a few points. Mainly do to turnovers and very poor shooting. If TJ is the cure for less turnovers and increased scoring, then most of the losses will take care of themselves regardless of the defense. Why does this not compute with you and others?
Now, if our defense also improves, we win all our games and blow out more teams and stop losing to Pepperdine.
Here is a very interesting conversation with Payton Dastrup, before his mission. Pay attention to him talking about playing with the Lone Peak boys and where Pope saw our program headed with this core of 4 star players. Dastrup confirmed that he was 6’10, 260 lbs prior to serving in Panama.
At the 7:40 point he talks about his game as a stretch 4, face up post rebounder with a great jumper.
Funny that he says he will have to practice his 3’s in a big arena like the Marriott Center to get used to the walls not being 15 feet away and closed in. Well, he will feel just fine then at away games in the WCC
At this point, I hope that next year, you can tell me, I told you so.
We are a 4th or 5th place WCC team. The only hope we have is getting hot in the WCC tournament. Ironically, we have the weapons where that could happen, but the odds of it happening are long. To get KC to come to BYU (brother also) I think he was promised by Rose to play pt guard. Unfortunately, KC is not a good point. He has a unique skill level that allows him to fill the stat sheet, but Rose would serve the team better by putting KC at the 3. He scores all of his points down in the paint anyway. He is a matchup nightmare for other 3’s or 4’s. He will undoubtedly have more triple doubles and personal accolades at the pt, but the team will suffer. The player that hurt BYU was the Calvert transfer. He was the quickest at bringing the ball up court and had a much better handle than KC. He also had an outside shoot. He saw the handwriting on the wall with Bryant, Haws and KC. He is gone. But if any of you have watched practice, Elijah B is the animal. Emery can’t guard him (too strong). KC can’t guard him (to quick and equal in strength to KC). Chatman can’t guard him (too strong in the post). He may be our point next year, but if he isn’t, he will be our best scorer of the entire guard line … including Emery, Haws Chatman etc. We won’t miss Frank Jackson. He will also bring the ability to guard quick opposing guards. The issue that Rose has to address this year is a change in playing time. Austin is almost useless on offense. We play 4 on 5 on the offensive end. Shaw needs playing time. Who cares if we lose a game or two giving the young kids playing time? Our only shot is winning the WCC tournament and to do that our young players have to contribute in a meaningful way. If your goal is the NIT, all the more power to playing the younger players. The fact that Austin has had so much playing time in his 5 year career is an indictment of Rose’s ability to recruit Bigs. Great kid, hard worker, but would get 1/5th the playing time in another top team’s rotation. Thanks heavens Kauf grew 3 or 4 inches on his mission and landed in Rose’s lap. Austin is a high energy rebounder and scraper but not a great rebounder or defender and a terrible offensive threat. Put KC at the 3. Hope Chatman finds his confidence on his outside shots and bring in Shaw to replace Austin. Emery at Pt, backed up by Chatman, Fish at 2 backed up by Seljaas, KC at the 3 backed up by Hartsock, Davis at the 4 backed up by Aytes (give him more time), Kauf at the 5 backed up by Austin. Gear the entire remaining part of the season towards getting Chatman, Selj, Shaw, Aytes, and Kauf more minutes and get KC comfortable playing off the ball where he can roam in the paint for rebounds and points.
Bryant is not a 3. He is a 1 or 2 combo. He is the best guard on the team at either position but he as to sit til next year. He can’t be stopped in practice.
I need to ask, how do you get such great insight? Are you able to watch practice? I have to say this post, in addition to those from Larimer and Fish, is very informative and makes me feel better about the future. Am I buying into the hype again? I don’t know yet, I’m going to temper my expectations somewhat, but I like what you have to say about Elijah Bryant for one.
Thanks for the insight.
Haws is going to be the point guard from what everyone else is saying. And, Emery needs to be the 2 guard.