May 9, 2022: The Day the 2022-2023 Season Hit the Toilet Water

As a very disappointing season comes to an end, I’ve noticed a few posts that mention the words GoTo Guy, identity, leadership.

I can’t help but think back to last spring when BYU was in the hunt for Antoine Davis, the Detroit Mercy guard who is about 100 points away with three games remaining from breaking Pete Maravich’s NCAA career scoring record. BYU had just gotten the commitment from Rudi Williams and all signs pointed to Davis selecting BYU as well. Davis had trimmed his transfer list to five (Maryland, Georgetown, Kansas State, BYU, or a return to Detroit). The week of his announcement Kansas State and BYU seemed to be the final two, but the crystal ball prognosticators had him choosing the Cougars.

But the morning of the announcement, Davis chose to return to Detroit Mercy to continue playing for his father the coach. The main reason: The morning of his announcement he signed an NIL deal with a Chinese company to produce the Antoine Davis Glow Ball. Proceeds from the sale of the balls would benefit not only him but also his teammates. (The balls sell for $75 a piece and can be purchased online. $9.95 for shipping and handling.)

Davis is averaging 27 points a game. His presence would have turned a lot of the close losses this year to victories. He would have been the identity of BYU basketball this year.

You would think with the Jimmer connection with China, that company would have come to BYU and got Davis to go to BYU? Is. Glow ball a balloon? :rofl:

At this point, I have not been watching games. Too painful. Poor leadership. Does Pope not want a player to be the heart of the team or is it that we have no leaders with heart?

Recruiting, This team after 4 years is 100% Pope. With recruiting steadily trending down, how long of a rope does Pope get?

I thought you liked Coach Pope. If I am wrong, please correct me.

It feels like you are turning on him pretty quickly here. Do you not think he is capable of producing a winning team at BYU?

I don’t know, I tend to give a coach a little bit more time than the average fan does. The Atlanta Hawks fired Nate McMillan after a couple of seasons. I think the problem is with management there.

I am not sure what the problem is with BYU. I have not been overly happy with some of the coaching decisions but I think they can be worked through and ironed out. I’m willing to give him a few more years, but I have absolutley no say in the matter.

Ya, I’m willing to give Pope a lot more time. I don’t want BYU to look anything like the post Wooden days at UCLA. One and done coaches is dumb at this level.

I think one of two scenarios will play out this off season:

a. Pope hires one–maybe two–new assistants. Fuegar is the most likely to be gone. During last week’s coach’s show, Pope seemed to be saying goodbye to Fuegar. Pope once again hits the transfer portal hard, but he is also aware of the importance of high school recruiting. Next December’s signing class will say a lot about the future of BYU basketball. BYU needs to hold onto Colin Chandler. Pope has at least two years to be competitive in the Big 12.

b. Pope resigns at the end of this season, within a couple of days after the NCAA championships. BYU hires either Mark Madsen or Chris Burgess as the next head coach. The transfer portal/recruiting cycle plays out as above. The new coach will have at least three years to be competitive in the Big 12.


Unless Pope doesn’t want to coach at BYU, “A” is more likely. Unless Holmoe is out after this year. BYU just doesn’t fire coaches unless there is a discipline problem with the program and the coach isn’t able to control it. I don’t see it. We do need to recruit more elite member athletes for basketball. But, as we have seen, that doesn’t mean there won’t be members disciplined. Anyone know what the 3 players that missed the big game did?

Pope won’t get fired. He’ll resign and leave on his own terms, just as Dave Rose left on his own and just as Steve Cleveland left on his own and just as Roger Reid left on his…(forget the last example).

Insofar as the discipline issue: They broke a team rule and missed one game so I’m sure the fraction was minor. They had low grades first semester or they were late to practice too many times or they went to Starbucks.

As mentioned in my original post, Pope missed on one elite recruit this past off season. That recruit meant the difference between today’s misery and a possible NCAA bid. We have a good core of players but not a goto guy. The one thing that I worry about with Pope’s recruiting is that a lot of his misses last summer other than Davis have performed miserably at their new schools including 6’11"Mo Njie (averaging five minutes and 1.1 points a game for SMU) and 6’10" Federick King (10 minutes and 4 points a game at Creighton). So does Pope have a good eye for talent? I wonder as I do about his ability to develop players as well.

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Missing on transfers and recruits is more than it used to be. NIL stuff will destroyed college basketball. And, we will always struggle with the honor code to get talent ready to play day one. Be thankful for the awesome kids we have at BYU.

I think Tom, Stan and I are all in the same boat.

1 I am taking a hard look at Popes recruiting classes. They are trending down.

2NIL hit him and every coach in America, He really needed some slack here. Nobody was prepared for this

3 all of the above does not exempt the team from losing. They are good enough to win and are not. No team teader, no go to guy to take that last shot. Coaches are to blame when we don’t have an identity or a solid lineup by conference play (twenty games ago) so you tell me? who is to blame?

I’m not sure there is one thing that is “to blame” but that is how things work so that is what is done. They are good enough to win more games than they have. I think they have had some bad luck situations. Had they won either or both of those last second loss games to Gonzaga and St. Mary’s we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

The margin of error is pretty thin.

And that’s my point. In football as well. A young team is hard to stop teams like GU and SM with last second stuff. I think it’s time to lay off Pope at this point. See what happens with recruiting and transfers this next couple of years.

I’m probably too much of an optimist, but if this team is good enough to be a point or shot away from winning all 4 games against GU and SM - especially away - and GU and SM are way up for the games - they have the talent. But “lose” their way too often.
“The margin of error is pretty thin” is correct.
Still say they pull off a big win in the Tourney. Maybe 2.

Agree. He’s not going anywhere for a while. Kentucky won’t be calling after this year anyway! :slight_smile:

Would Kentucky want him now?

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Maybe as an assistant… NOT as a HC.

Come on guys, why would BYU want to start off the Big12 with a. EQ coach and having to orchestrate that mess? It would be better to get our footing with Pope and if he doesn’t move the needle forward in 3 years then make a change. Same with football.

Come on, grassy. You know that people have been known to leave jobs in order to find better employment elsewhere.

BYU admins don’t want to make a change, but that doesn’t mean that Mark Pope doesn’t want a change. Which is the better career move: being head coach of the bottom feeder in the Big 12 or an assistant on a more elite team? Perhaps given the lack of talent coming to Provo, Pope feels he is unable to accomplish his goals in Provo because of location, culture, or honor code.

Insofar as EQ coach. I take it you mean elder’s quorum. That’s such a silly argument, “Oh gosh, there are no lds coaches qualified to lead the BYU basketball team.” Excluding the current assistants (who given the quality of improvement in this year’s team have probably disqualified themselves), I can think of a handful of qualified LDS coaches (though I’m not sure how many would rush to coach at BYU): Barrett Peery, Mark Madsen, Chris Burgess, Alex Jensen, and Paul Peterson.

I didn’t see what auto correct did. Actually, it was supposed to say “a NEW coach…

I am among those who think Pope is the best option as coach for the next few years. The core of players, the incoming recruits–provided Colin Chandler doesn’t go elsewhere–and the LDS class of 2024 are pretty solid. However, I don’t think Pope is a BYU lifer (i.e., It’s not his dream job.).