If the team had beat Gonzaga that would have been the most important game of the season except for the final one. Assuming the final one is one of those tournament games that ends your season.
However, Pope’s boys are sitting on the brink right now and the game tomorrow if it is a loss knocks the stuffing out of their chances at the NCAA. They need to win.
If they win big enough they may have a shot at improving their seed. Though I think that the the better adjective is not big but well enough. The point is that they have to impress to move their seed line up.
If they lose they will likely not have a seed line.
If they win less than impressively they will be stuck at the 8/9 line most prognosticators say.
If they win impressively a large margin with, most importantly a really good defensive effort and another 1.2 plus points per possession offense, then and only then can they get out of the 8/9 then 1 game. Effectively the hardest way to the sweet 16 in the dance.
If they manage to win against LMU at LMU, then like Pope was saying so much last year. Each new game is the most important one…
Any loss from here on out defines the end of the season. Lose to LMU, SanFran, or SMC and no dance. Lose in the dance and end the season…
How far will the team go?
I think they stand a better than the 50/50 shot Pomeroy gives them of finishing out the regular season with all wins. But if they go dancing…what will the matchups be? and how will they react on an extended road trip. The first extended road trip this year included the debacle, probably Pope’s worst loss at BYU, against Enfield’s boys from USC…Does another debacle await?
The most important game of the year is always the next game. LMU is currently tied with Pepperdine for 3rd place 6-3 in league. They have gotten better so we need to be ready in the cracker box gym.
The league just screwed themselves. They added those games with SF and SMU. Why? BYU is in the Dance. Why did they do that? We can win but there goes money for the league if we don’t. What a bad business decision.
The most important game was yesterday against Pacific, now it’s against LMU, and next week against SF and then SMC. A loss at LMU won’t necessarily dump them from the tourney, but won’t do their seeding any favors. The league should dump the tournament as a COViD casualty. The way the California teams opted to cancel most of their “travel” games should exclude them anyway and Gonzaga and BYU, IMO, are the only teams worthy of the tournament. If I could get my Christmas wish, it would be to have BYU and Gonzaga invited to a better conference, because the REC league is getting old
We should cry Covid19 for next week’s games as a protest. Why dump SCU for SF and SMC? Doesn’t the league want 2 teams in the Dance for ? We can win but BYU is the only other team the committee will take from the WCC.
A loss to LMU on the road would not be a bad loss in the committee analysis. A loss to SF or SMC at home, probably would be. Tournament losses aren’t generally too significant-moral of the story-win the next three games and you are an 7, 8, or 9. Play like they did Thursday against Pacific and it’s doable
The emergence of Lohner, the changes to our pic and role as well as BYU playing top 30ish defense lead me to believe that BYU would stomp BSU, Pepperdine and play USC closely. Our Achilles right now is still when BA has to guard a tall, 6’4 or longer athletic guard. He just gets killed. Our other challenge we at center. Gonzaga sure exposed our inside game…twice.
No doubt BYU could of played all the way to a final 4 with our deep shooting, this year, I would be ecstatic if we played in a sweet 16.
just checked the end of the day kenpom byu now at 20 and purdue at 19 and their most valuable player is all big10 center who took over starting from Haarms last year…we are lucky Matt chose Pope. and my only regret is that he has not developed as quickly as I had hoped…he is improving regularly…if Bax had been around to buy him some extra space things would have been very different…but things would have been very different with many other variable too…
All good points but Haarms can only dominate when the other team has poor big men! When we play elite big men teams, Haarms gets pushed out of his comfort zone and produces very little (Gonzaga as an example). That Timme kid is not thick or powerful but he sure killed ALL of our big men.
We also have BA, a guy that will flat out win games for us when he is not guarding a bigger stronger Point, then his game suffers big time. Just dynamics and what we can expect in the big Dance. We have plenty of guys that CAN fill in when there are tall athletic guards so we should be fine.
I have not watched the Pacific game yet but LMU was down their best shooter and only fielded 7 players so I don’t get too hyped over our mine run here.
At this point BYU should only play the SF or SMC games if they can prove there a Covid free or BYU should just opt out of the WCC tourny and prep for the Dance.
There is too much truth in the statement…But it is not like the B10 does not have solid big men and Haarms held his own against them…
Pope has repeatedly said how difficult it has been to get his team to gel this year…I suspect that part of that has been his hopes for Haarms development…thus I think the injury to Bax has been much more significant than most think about. Pope stated preseason repeatedly that he intended to use Haarms as a 4. Injuries to Bax and Harward’s inability to take starter minutes in the center, combined with Lee’s ever diminishing minutes has meant Haarms was groomed for the 4 and then early to midseason to step back into the middle which is what he had hoped to get away from when he left Purdue…
So my hats off to Pope for getting it done; to Haarms for doing what the team has needed instead of what would have been his preferred path…
incidentally it struck me this morning that 4 of the 5 current starters signed with Power5 teams. The exception being the rawest of them Gideon George.