Whoever scheduled this game for NY’s eve is a fool. The Marriot will be a ghost town for this game. Too bad, because 20,000 fans absolutely intimidate teams.
Scouting Portland goes something like this: Early on in the season, Portland was terrorizing teams like Louisville, Michigan St. and North Carolina. They were on fire, then they came crashing back down to earth. Tonight, they lost at home by 20 to a very good Loyola Marymount.
Portland is a lot like Pacific in that they will both live and die by the 3. In our Pacific game, BYU turned the tables and were the hot team from long range while Pacific was 6-23 from 3. If we continue to hit 3s, BYU is very tough to beat. Johnson hit 50% of his long shots augmenting BYU’s long range shooting #s.
BYU is very good at switching off along the perimeter, and that was the key to beating Pacific. Look to see that trend in the Portland game.
The Deseret News calls Spencer Johnson the heart and soul of BYU, I can’t argue their point. He just makes smart plays and defends taller players so it is GREAT to see him back. I would also make the point that Hall is coming along nicely, Williams is also playing at a very high level and just as we start Rec League play, perfect timing.
On paper BYU is the 6th best in the WCC. Gonzaga #15, SMC #6 are top 10 nationally and clearly FAR ahead of the league. Loyola #82 is solid 3rd, San Fransisco #83 and Santa Clara #92 are also well ahead of BYU #97 in the Net. (See what losing to So Dakota and UVU at home will do to you). But I like our team and that we are getting wiser and healthy at the right time.
Good overall look at BYU. There is one glaring stat that still is going to show up against more good consistent teams, turnovers. At this point, we aren’t seeing an improvement. Hall and Williams both had 4 each and didn’t score much. Foos gets flustered when double teamed.
a dramatic improvement from the first calculation.
Winning matters and the quartile of the teams matter .
The UVU and S Dakota Losses will likely prevent an NCAA quality consideration unless BYU can have a winning record against the Loyola, San Fran, SMC, and the Zags…oh and of course as always smother the rest of the league…
One step down 15 to go…
Assuming of course that Pope like Rose cannot coach in tournaments.
I think Pope is doing his best coaching this year by a mile. When Rudi did not work out the first 12 or so games, Pope went to work. We also had to disguise our small team by challenging Waterman and Jax to roll up their sleeves get off the 3 line and muck it up. We were able to develop Hall and Saunders to the point that they are go to guys.
Not going to lie, It will be a tall order to go into SF or LMU and get wins but if we can, BYU will be looking at a 3rd place and solid Net that is NCAA Dance worth looking at. I have us losing both road games.
Keep in mind that BYU was ranked in the #70s before the So Dakota-UVU games.
More on the Portland game tonight.
Portland shoots more 3s any other WCC team. As they should, by the numbers, they have 4 guys that hit over 40% from 3land. as a comparison:
Portland has launched 338 threes so far this season, connecting on 38%,
BYU has shot 362 threes, connecting on 30% and by far the worst 3 pont shooting team in the WCC.
Just for kicks, here is 3 point shooting % of each team:
Portland 38% on 338 tries
SDU 37.6% on 279
SMC 37% on 307
Pacific 36.6% on 314
Gonzaga 36.4% on 258
LMY 36.3 on 376
Pepperdine 35.9 on 287
San Fran. 34% on 440
BYU 30% on 362 tries and Dead Last in the WCC. Also note that SFU also ranks bottom 2 in the WCC and shoots a whopping 440 tries. On Paper, San Diego should be shooting way more 3s as they are ranked 2nd.
Sadly still the worst in the Big12…basketball team has a long way to go to be competitive…
Hope Pope can make it happen; not sure who the other contenders would be other than Mark Madsen…who is doing a solid job across town. But WAC to B12 is a bigger step then WAC to WCC.