Is Popes job safe?

Just curious if anybody knows anything about next season. I would think that BYU rolls with Pope for at least the first year in the Big 12, but based on how I think that first year is going to go, I don’t think that is a fiar situation to put him in. I think BYU could have had more success this season, not enough to really do much more than they did but I think a couple more wins would have been the result with some different coaching decisions. It’s easy to second guess when a team hasn’t been as successful as they probably could have been.

I think he deserves at least another year or two. Hopefully some high level players will want to compete in the new conference, but who knows.

In the meantime I will cheer for UCSB, a small time local program that has some good players and a good coach. Maybe they can knock off Baylor in the first round.

My personal opinion is that Pope will not be coaching at BYU next year because he doesn’t want to coach at BYU. He has plenty of connections so it’s not like he will be out of a job. I suspect he will make his decision known by April 7, although I think March 20th is more likely. If he doesn’t announce his departure by April 7, I will suffer a self-imposed suspension and not post on April 8 or April 9.

I don’t think BYU is pushing Pope out. Who would we get that’s better? It’s not like BYU has an amazing basketball legacy. We sometimes make it to the tourney and typically lose the first round. To me this is a lower than average year, but it’s a retooling year. We had a team full of role players and no stars. If we would have had one star I think this team would have been significantly better. In terms of coaching this season and the x’s and o’s I think Pope outperformed the talent we had. However in terms of recruiting he has underperformed. It’s kind of a wash. Pope really needs to bring in a star next year or it’s going to be ugly or first year. It looks like the 24 recruiting class is really good but they might all change their minds if we have a horrible year.

In terms of Pope leaving on his own accord what has he accomplished? He took a good team with great talent and hasn’t replenished it. Resume isn’t actually looking that good to me. Pope could probably sell anything but I think he would be taking a step backwards if he chose to leave. He could probably pick up a job at a school like UVU and make it look good for a few years and then jump to another top program. Pope often talks about the importance of playing tough teams to get better. If he’s true to his word, going to the big 12 is the best place for him to be because it will be the toughest competition and will give him the best chances of success, both in recruiting and toughening up the team.

I think Pope has the potential to become the Lavell Edwards of basketball. Just consistently get us to the tournament and occasionally to the Sweet 16 maybe an elite 8 and the next name of the Marriott center will be the Pope center.

Robby Combs at Vanquish the Foe wrote a pretty good in-depth look at the BYU program and the ups and downs it has experienced. Concerning Mark Pope he wrote:

"Mark Pope will not be fired. BYU had a disappointing year, but he’s had good success at BYU at this last team was still top 75 nationally (out of 363 D1 teams). This isn’t a Louisville situation where they finished 4-27.

"However, I would not be surprised if Pope sniffs around and takes calls from other schools. Why would he do that? First off, I believe Pope likes BYU and wants the best for the program. I don’t think he takes for granted that BYU has a passionate fanbase that was top 15 in attendance this year despite a mediocre season. That is a real asset in recruiting and for actual games. A big reason Collin Chandler chose BYU over Utah is because BYU fans actually care about and show up for hoops.

“However, Pope is wired to be the absolute best he can. He likes BYU and wants to program and university to succeed, but he didn’t grow up a fan like Kalani Sitake did. If another job presents itself that Pope thinks he can do more, I believe he would consider that. BYU has a lot of benefits working for it, but there also challenges that are unique to BYU. Pope could also see a lot of losing for BYU on the horizon in the Big 12 and may want to get out before his resume is blemished further.”

I didn’t grow up a fan of BYU either. I grew up a fan of USC in football and UCLA in basketball. Go figure.
But I’m not jumping ship like others have acted in here when they are losing.

If you don’t mind me asking, who are some of those who are jumping ship?

I have to admit that I haven’t read every post, but I haven’t read where anyone has written something like, “That’s it. I’ve had it. I’m not supporting BYU sports ever again.”

Well, how many of the usual commenters here aren’t saying anything after they said they didn’t want to follow basketball this year? There’s a handful of us that are fans who stick with BYU even when they are down.

The losing doesn’t faze me. I was a diehard fan, even through the lows of Roger Reid and Steve Cleveland (and the no-defense and huge scoring drought and momentum swing periods under Rose). What makes it hard for me to care much is Pope lazily assembling teams solely of transfer portal castoffs. Every single year. It’s a lot harder for me to care when the players aren’t really recruited and don’t stay and develop if they are.

But then, the shine is off the BYU apple for our family as a school, too. The whole university is a shell of what it used to be.


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Tom and I have talked about this a fair amount…Pope absolutely should be here, he can coach. The two things that really got me down this season was all the games we lost by a point or two…really good coaches win those games. 2- Recuiting. While I have fried Pope on that end, we seem to be slipping there from the 1st two years…NIL and free transferring has decimated college sports. Is it Pope’s fault? NO but how BYU evolves is our coaches as AD’s faults.

You then named the Vanquish the foe source, thank you!! so many posters forget to back up their posts with real data.

Hopper, let me go on record in saying that you have IMPRESSED with your new year’s resolution of being a kinder nicer poster. much appreciated! but as Boise Cougar says, “Who are those that have jumped ship?”

I criticize the coaches or team, I’m on record for calling out Pope for MAJOR coaching blunders or players that mail it in but I also am quick to congratulate them when they overachieve. We did have the talent to do much more this season but it appears that Pope played certain Fr. ahead of veterans to get the team ready for the big 12. That was a mistake and will give notice to transfer recruits, watch out and be aware of any college situation before you sign on the red line.

Your criticism have been very good. Mostly what I think as well. His statement that there is a problem because we can’t just recruit players who will stay isn’t really valid anymore. Or, ever has been. Look at GU and SM for the last 10 years. They always reloaded with transfers, not so much with recruits. It’s just now the transfers don’t have to sit out a year. Pope needs to get real LDS talent and others that are 6’11” and taller to come to BYU every year.

Just saw this in an article in the Wall Street Journal on the Big 12 as the dominant BBall conference:

At the end of the regular season, teams from the Big 12 had an average NET ranking of 28.2. The next highest conference, the Big Ten, boasted an average ranking of 58.1. By comparison, the lowest ranked team in the Big 12 was 66th in the NET.

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Interesting concept. Which LDS recruits are 6’11" or taller at the present time?

Isaac Davis 6’8"
Brody Kozlowski 6’7"
Malick Dialo 6’9" (not LDS but BYU has an in because Dialo and Fouss are very good friends)

Which 6’11" or taller players who are not LDS but want to play at BYU plan to enter the transfer portal?

I didn’t say any were. I said Pope needs to recruit some bigs like GU and SM are able to.

Aimaq now!

Just keep the core and add good big man and another point

Aimaq had a chance to reunite with Pope last year but didn’t. I’d love to have him return to Provo.

That’s called a fair weather fan who only roots for a team because they are winning. Those two schools were dominant in those two sports back in the day. I see your true colors are shining through. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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As a kid? Nope. My brother was a UCLA fan and ended up going there for college. I liked the players as well. With football, it was all about orange juice :slight_smile:
But, I continued to support USC for a long time afterwards too. Ricky Bell was a great RB!