San Fransisco, please be kind to BYU

BYU can ill afford to lose to San Fran on Sat. With SMC waiting to come into the Marriott set on beating us at home. We have to come ready.

We have to get this TO bug fixed. We did a great job in the 2nd half only had 4. Just hope we can hold onto the ball. SC got 22 points in the 1st half off our TOs.

Keys to a win over SF
1 freakin hold onto the ball!!!

2 Don’t let Shabazz get in a grove, elite speed, he can score in bunches.

3 San Fran is super tall, We have to get a good game out of Atiki or we are toast.

4 on offense, BYU has to get more out of the Post, We did a piss poor job of getting Foos the ball down low in the SC game. traditionally, with road games, you don’t shoot good so you have to drive to the hopp and draw fouls, so we will see if BYU can get the SC massacre out of their craw.

If your TV was not muted you heard the analyst basically yelling into his microphone for BYU to throw the ball into the post last night. But nope. Instead our best player finishes with 3 shot attempts and 2 FT attempts. Pathetic.

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It’s been the hardest thing for me to fathom. I’m not a basketball coach; but it seems to me that if a team is having trouble making 3-pointers but is making a lot of turnovers, that team should slow the pace, work the ball inside, and play tough defense.

The team has had the same problems (poor 3-point shooting, high turnover rate) since the blue and white scrimmage. I believe others on here share my frustration. Here’s an excerpt from the Deseret News following the scrimmage:

On Wednesday, the Cougars combined to make 14 of 53 3-pointers. Williams, Robinson, Hall, Noah Waterman and Tanner Toolson knocked down two apiece.

*Despite the poor shooting performance, Pope said he’s not concerned. *

“It’s a good-shooting group with a long track record of shooting the ball well. I think it was super important just to get out there, wearing a jersey with lights on and people in the stands. It was super great,” he said. “Our shot selection will continue to improve. We need to earn ourselves better shots. That’s something that we’ve been focused on the past couple of days and it will be a big push for us the next 10 days. These guys can really shoot it and I’m excited about their potential there.”

BYU’s shooting hasn’t really improved. I felt excited watching the women’s team play Thursday morning. I wish that had felt excited watching the men’s team play Thursday night.

Stan, you remember last month when I did a break down of 3 point shooting team by team in the WCC?
Youa re right about BYU being down on 3 %. Typical BYU teams are 39% from 3 whereas this team is closer to 32%. SMC shoots 37% as a Comparision.

BUT, that is only part of the reason why BYU is losing

1-we have no talent/playmakers. It bears repeating what I wrote in another link:
on the 2020 team we had 6 professional players:
TJ Haws
Zac Seljaas
Jake Toolson

What have we got in the tank with today’s team?

2 This manifests in several ways:
We have no speed!

On Defense, SF guards just BLEW BY BYU defenders any time they chose. And the loss before that, Santa Clara, elite shooters got great shots all night, BYU could not stop them.

On Offense, We have no one that can create their own shot except for maybe Rudi (who has been plagued with the turnover bug) and our other Point Guard, Hall, had 5 TOs in 10 minutes of play. These are our floor generals. When your point is coughing, the team catches the cold.

You can win without speed and playmakers as Prinston teams were famous for…and for the most part, Randy Bennett teams to today but you have to run precision discipline attacks and never waste a possession.

I can break down the BYU-SF game but i have to confess, I watched maybe 5 minutes of the game, it was too painful but from the stats, I can tell you this…

Waterman got 24 minutes, shot 5 times of which 4 were 3 point shots 100% missed; He scored 1 point.
Saunders got 17 minutes, shot 6 times, made 3 buckets and both his FTs, scored 8 points and you know he defends HARD.

I would pair Johnson and Robinson off in practice and force Robinson to learn the art of Spencer Johnson defense and inside play because Robinson has all the tools, just needs developed.

Rudi is done after this year but can get you 20 points any night so continue to bring him in but I would work Hall with Rudi and get Hall max minutes because he is the future. Those dudes should bunk together, that is how much Hall needs to learn from Rudi.

Pope, go out and get SPEED and PLAYMAKERS

Your post is both insightful and sensible. And this is where the heartache comes in. I really want Waterman to succeed. He seems like such a great kid and has wonderful potential. Still there is no doubt Waterman is getting more minutes than his output deserves.

“This Coach stinks” - Mark Pope referring to himself in post game interviews.

Mark is very interesting in postgame interviews. After a win he is very optimistic. For most losses he is very forlorn. Yesterday, he was in a state I’ve never heard before. He seemed incredibly frustrated. He said that this team is not playing well right now in all aspects of the game. And he blamed himself for the problem and that he needs to do a better job of communicating and following through to reach the team. He said what he’s doing right now is not working and he needs to find a better way. Greg Wrubell tried to find a positive and Mark immediately interrupted him and said how bad of a job he is doing (referring to himself)

A lot of his interviews this year have converted the thought that the team is trying really hard to learn this offense but struggling. I concede that a team does need some time to learn a new scheme, however if it takes too long to learn the scheme because they aren’t smart enough or aren’t talented enough then isn’t it on the coach to choose a better scheme? I don’t think we have a lack of intelligence on our team. But as fish mentioned above I think we have a talent deficit.

Pope has a very hard challenge. He has an under talented team and has to make them believe in themselves and over perform. He spends a lot of time focusing on locker room, toughness, and grit. He can’t say they are under talented publicly. I still believe Pope is our best option, but he has a hard journey ahead of us, especially with Big 12 next year.

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I was talking with Jim yesterday at Stake Conference. We agreed on one thing. The basics are poorly executed. Things they learned in 5th grade.

  1. Passing
  2. Dribbling with vision
  3. Protecting the ball
    How many times has Johnson hung the ball out in front of him to get swatted away?
  4. Screens

I do agree the offense stinks. I hate the weave. We are never in triple threat position with the ball. Someone weaves past Foose or Atiki and it’s always the 2nd guy that they give it to. So easy to defend.

By the way, the defense has gone downhill too. Late reactions.

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Has anyone else wondered by BYU doesn’t full court press? At the beginning of the season, the team would get down by double digits and Pope would full court press to get back into the game. This happened like 5 games straight. The team was good at the full court press but we haven’t seem much of it lately. We have the bodies and length to be good at it so I’m a bit perplexed why Pope didn’t stick with it.

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They tried against Santa Clara and it was a dunk fest.I didn’t watch the end of the SF game. I turned to the volleyball game. Tired of seeing college players making elementary school mistakes. Have I said I hate the weave?

MY answer: Notice that GOnzaga is really struggling right now. It is mid season and everyone has seen your tape 50 times by now. They know what you are going to do BEFORE you do it. In the past, Gonzaga had so much talent, it did not matter. BIGGER FASTER STRONGER wins every time. This year, they are down a little and the WCC is WAY UP from bottom to top, mostly because of Coaching up grades.

BYU’s starting 5 has always been good enough to hang with any WCC team, except Gonzaga. This year, our starting 5 is not as good as about 5 WCC teams.

Having coached my fair share, I have to say that if you are fooling with line ups by the time conference play starts, you are in big trouble. It is one thing to change line ups because of injury but to be fooling around now because you are not getting the results you wanted, breeds insecurity in the players. By conference play, you need to have your 5 starters and your 3 or 4 subs. Last year, injuries just snake bit BYU. This year, none of the Transfers over excelled or played to their potential so Pope had to go with a true Fr. in Hall at the point. Not good. Last time we had a true Fr. starting at the point?? TJ Haws, the ginger mamba. That skinny dude was lethal since about 6th grade. NEVER ever was a TO machine. Gents, we have the perfect storm this season. Johnson and Foos could go overseas and get paid, maybe, and that is about where we stand.

Pay attention to age in WCC teams. We just got buzz sawed by Senior laden Santa Clara and San Fransisco teams and most of these players have been with the same team 4 or 5 years now. BYU, one senior is a new transfer who happens to be our point. ( 4 years of running your team vs. 1st year of a new team). Our other senior, George can pass a lick. His talent is to shoot or drive hard to the basket. I will admit that George has made some tasty passes to Foos these past 2 games, but 50% of the time, if he does not shoot, George turns it over.

I just think that Pope thought he was getting some real good talent in the transfer portal that chose to go elsewhere and Pope got stuck with a 3rd or 4th choice player who was a project at best. BYU puts on a great spin about who we got because you have to.

BYU is going to struggle big time in the Big 12 until Chandler gets back from the mission, then a year to shake off the rust, now youre 3 years out and that is “IF” Chandler chooses to come here.

This is the first game all year I didn’t even try to watch…recorded it but had a feeling it was gonna be more of the same. So we went out to dinner instead; I saw the score and simply deleted the recording without watching it. After 23 games I know what to expect: very low individual talent, incredibly poor ball control, strange offense and game plan (best guy on the team is Fouss and is not a major part of the offense), and unable to stay in front of opposing guards. If we play our very best we can compete with good teams, but anything less and we are fighting to survive against teams who Dance once every 20 years and play in high school gyms in front of 1500 fans. Moving up from the Rec League to the Real Deal will be bloody.


I watched the first 5 minutes and I had also recorded the volleyball game. So, I switched over to the volleyball game. The skill level there has improved dramatically from last year.

I have a fear of what might be happening and I hesitate to say something because it is connected to a life long friend, college roommate and one of the best families you could ever know.

You have heard about Pope hiring and using a team of analysts, correct? The primary guy helping is the son of a good friend. He analyzes and interprets numbers, for everything basketball related. I’m not sure exactly how the numbers are interpreted and utilized but I do believe that Pope is using this information to make decisions coaching. I think they are used in practice, in game preparation and in games themselves. Here is my issue with it.

I know it it good information and can be helpful, but if you spend too much time and energy on analytics, you begin to lose your ability to notice the ebb and flow of a game, to recognize many of the other non analytical aspects of a game. I believe this can create problems.

I can point to one specific example of this in the NFL. The Chargers head coach, Staley I think his name is, uses analytics to exhaustion. I have seen him make some of the dumbest coaching decisions I have ever seen in my 50 years of watching football. It has cost his team winning games IMO, though some may say it has helped them win games… The Chargers are a team that is loaded with talent and underperforms IMO. I don’t necessarily think BYU is a very talented team but I do believe they are underperforming. I just hope the “analytics” are helping them more than hurting them.

I know some don’t think they are under performing. I do also think they are as well. Their main problem is the lack of good fundamentals in games. Analytics can’t see this. If we had better fundamentals we would perform better.

Agree with both. I’ve seen just a few games so limited perspective. But seems like there are moments/flashes of great play and physically gifted and talented players. Williams, Johnson, Robinson are examples (Waterman has rarely shown this. Traore is on the other end of that, he really is good). But just can’t sustain it. Lack of experience? Coach can’t get through to them?
They can play focused tho. Most of Gonz game and first few minutes of sencond half of Santa Clara (I think it was that one). so what is the trick to getting them to be more focused than just some moments? Last two games. Oooff. Just bad.
I suppose all this is another way of saying lack of fundamentals.

But…but…it worked in Moneyball…

I know when the Jazz started using this new process, Jerry Sloan was a bit hesitant for the reasons that you mentioned. I think he found a good balance between the two to be a really good coach.

Stats are great, but I think the best coaches have a “feel” for the game as well.

I am a big stats man. Analytics whatever… As you all know, every team worth its salt gets a stat page after the 1st half on any game from college to the pros, you walk into the locker, everyone has a page and you break down what we are doing right and what is lacking. During the game, you throw that page away and you coach your butt off. After the game, the stats come back out and you look at what you did.

You hear a lot about accountability. These young players have to see it with their eyes, in writing. Here’s the facts. you had 3 rebs in that game, can you get me two more? You took 4 three point shots in that game, hit 1 or none, whatever; can you make sure you are wide open for the next shot, not rushing it or drive and dish rather than sit out there and fire away?

I’m curious as to which analytical stats they used to lose the game to St. Mary’s. That was a game that was obviouisly very winnable. Maybe St. Mary’s decided to foul Hall instead of letting him get a good shot off because they know he is a poor free throw shooter. Well, it worked.

If you are going to miss one of every two free throws, miss the second one for crying out loud, at least they you have a chance to get the rebound. He missed the first of two free throws on 3 separate occasions toward the end of the game and it cost them a win. As well as Hall played, he did not have a great game. Missing all those free throws was poor basketball play and all that fromt he Utah state POY? It’s really too bad…

I agree with all of this. But, the coaching staff has to also be responsible for this loss as well as others. Yes, Hall missed the free throws. So, why not have him start the drive with less time on the clock so SM doesn’t have 10 seconds to bring the ball up and get a decent shot off? Ridiculous! And, coaches, because SM knows Hall is the weak foul shooting link, put Williams in for that last play. Just saying…