Some pre-season predictions

Here are 5 of my all too early preseason predictions:

  1. Collinsworth will have a tough time getting triple doubles this season with Davis and Austin in the lineup. I will predict that Rose takes the other two out in a WCC game or two if it looks like KC can get to the TD and the game is a blowout so that KC can retire with the all time college Triple Double award. But in no way can KC duplicate what he did last year.

  2. Rose’s defense will be light years ahead of last year’s. One way to look at it would be that when you are the bottom, the only way out is up but the truth is that Quinsey Lewis has convinced Rose that they roll with a “Pack it in” type defense as opposed to the guard pressure defense (for cheap steals and transition points) that got our bigs into foul trouble.

  3. BYU will make the dance and advance. Just a gut call, nothing more.

  4. BYU will not be the top ranked offense in the land, we will still put up tons of points but…(refer back to #2) if you play good defense, the offensive production has to go down.

  5. The WCC will be Gonzaga, BYU and Pepperdine in that order with everyone else back in the dust. Hopefully I’m wrong but Gonzaga is loaded at every skill position, Oh: and they play defense. Oh: and they have Coach Few.

Please add your two cents to “predictions” as I would love to hear what you have to say or argue at this point.

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KC will easily break NCAA record for triple doubles
Rose’s defense will be better but not light years
BYU schedule looks like they make the tourney-lose 1st round
Offense and defense more rounded
Class of WCC without a doubt Gonzaga
Sorry not much different than yours Chris but everything looks pretty cut and dried except making the tourney-3rd place in the WCC won’t make imo and 2nd place is far from certain at this point

I’ll bite.

  1. KC doesn’t get so many triple doubles…of course not. can he get one? not likely. a full set of bigs means his rebounds go down. a new defense means his steals go down. he’ll get a few double doubles points and assists but that’s it. I wouldn’t be surprised if his assists go up. Spreading the ball to players other than Tyler Haws will likely result in better assist numbers.
  2. Defense–last year was a very average defense–not for Rose’s teams or for teams that went dancing but of the 350 division one teams it was definitely in the average spectrum.
    This year will be better. Focus on defence and a full set of bigs and CKaufusi’s more experience and Austin’s experience the defence will improve–even without Quincy Lewis and the new defensive plan.
  3. Assuming KD and CK start getting points in the middle a single digit seed and the sweet sixteen are not unreasonable expectations. we haven’t seen CK’s improvement over the summer but if he continues to play as well as he did at the end of the season last year this will just naturally be a few games better.
  4. Efficiency on offense will likely go up. in the middle no question and on the wings. I’ve been impressed with Hartsock, and Seljas and Emery and Toolson and Chatman to go along with Fisher. Whether it will be the second most scoring team in the land, I don’t follow the other teams to know but scoring should go up this year.
  5. BYU beats Gonzaga one game most years: 4 of the last 5 years. To win the conference BYU has to still split with the Zags and cut down on the losses in the smaller gyms. Given better balance, better depth, and better defense, I think they will have a better conference record than any other year. Good enough to challenge for the regular conference crown. questionable, yet still better. Can they beat the Zags in the conference tournament? Front court edge to the Zags, BYU’s improvement doesn’t equal the best front court in the nation. Back court edge…KC, Fisher and the newbies are probably better than the Zags so should be interesting.
    6 Teams BYU will likely lose to this year.
    Utah once
    Gonzaga twice
    So three losses.
    WCC two random losses–just because that’s what Rose’s teams do on the road in the WCC. Why can’t they win on the road as consistently as in the MWC? Smaller gyms, smaller crowds; smaller expectations. Gyms and crowds wont change. Expectations likely will change and with that the wins will start adding up.
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I don’t like to agree to often with Jim Hawks but he’s right about how long it will take to come up with a set rotation. Right now I would go with:

  1. KC
  2. Fischer
  3. Hartsock
  4. Davis
  5. Kaufusi
    You say why Hartsock? My answer is Gonzaga. We need size and scoring ability along with defense.
    I would have the following ready to play 2nd string:
  6. Emery ( also at the 2 )
  7. Toolson
  8. Chatman
  9. Aytes
  10. Hamson (over Austin) I just think he needs to be ready for league and Austin isn’t a scoring machine.

Others can get some time in to keep starters fresh for the final 10 minutes of every game.

I think you mixed up Hartsock and Chatman.
More than one of the coaches has mentioned how impressed the coaches were with Chatman in the four games in Spain.

I’d be shocked if Rose burns Hamson’s post mission year on anything but a red-shirt. KC and Haws had months not days after their missions to get back into basketball shape. Those months put Hamson in games in play shape at least near the end of the season if not later.

Nope. Didn’t mix up anything. Hartsock is healthy and will deliver. Hamson got people’s attention. You will see.

Austin will be over Hamson for at least the majority of the season. We don’t need Austin to be a scoring machine. We need quality minutes holding down the post without bringing over our 4 and getting everyone in foul trouble. If Hamson sees the floor this year (other than late in games) it will be after he has had the opportunity to shake off some mission rust.
Hartsock will not start at the 3. Hartsock is 6-8 and will provide minutes at the 4. As another poster indicated, you may be thinking of Chatman. I think Toolson is a better bet for the 3.
I’m not sure we will be able to count on Aytes. He seemed to be a step slow on defense all game long (although he did rebound well). I was thinking he looked injured prior to the injury. I’m still not convinced he’s at 100%.
My bold prediction is that we will have a breakout year for Kaufusi this year. His NBA body, the fact that we have multiple distributors on the wings and one more year’s worth of experience will combine and it will be a thing of beauty.

I’m thinking that Hartsock will play the small forward (3) and Davis the power forward (4). We don’t need 3 guards against Gonzaga. They go 3 wider for the 3-4-5 positions. We need scorers on all positions. The 4 position needs to score as well. Austin and Hamson can spell the 4 and 5. If Aytes starts playing better then he can rotate in instead of Austin. My logic is undeniable:)

very good assessment. But I still say that our Offensive efficiency suffers as defense becomes better

You did point out that KC’s double doubles should go up with more assists. excellent point there and don’t forget Calvert, he has a years experience over newbies.

logic, you don’t include Austin in your argument and you call that logic? Austin will play as many minutes as Rose can squeeze out of him. He is a team captain, ya know. When Kaufusi is not in, there is 100% chance Austin will man the center.

Hamson is a project. he will not see the light of day in any regular rotation, on the floor, in a gym where a basketball game is being played.

No chance we unseat Gonzaga. I predict a 2nd place WCC finish in regular season and tournament, an 11 seed in NCAA Tourney and a first round loss.

Hawks is right about Gonzaga being the WCC darling. They get away with murder on the perimeter via grabbing our cutters, they hold our bigs inside, and get away with moving screens on offense all game. When refs don’t call 3 in the key on Karnowski, it completely changes the game. Last year when BYU lost 87-80 to the Zags at the MC, Rose was complaining to the refs about Karnowski camping in the key and the ref said to Rose, “Everybody is in the &%$^# key. We’re not calling that *$%# today!” One one possession, I counted to 8 seconds on Karnowski in the paint. Because of the injustice, our coaches and players get spooked and don’t know anymore what’s a foul or a violation.

The Zags’ frontcourt is loaded this year (Karnowski, Sabonis, and Wiltzer) and I’m sure they’ll have good enough guard play to prevail.

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I forget Calvert all the time. Even though I read an article, I think from the post, that interviewed two of the Colorado High School players who knew him well, one an NBA type another an all league type division 1 player who both considered him their superior. Who both thought he will be making a name for himself in college.

Offensive scoring totals may go down as the defensive efficiency goes up, (Though with the faster time clock it likely won’t change much.) Tempo free efficiency, offensive or defensive, is not directly affected by the other end. Last year BYU was 12th in offensive efficiency and 160th in defensive efficiency. This year I expect a top ten offensive efficiency just because of the same basic system with better balance and more experience from the paint players. Defensive efficiency I expect will go up to Rose’s team’s historical averages or perhaps a bit better if Quincy Lewis proves to be the defensive mastermind the Utah punditry claims. I expect it to be somewhere in the 60s. Far from typical top 25 defensive teams with Abouo and Jax but good enough to shut down most of the WCC regularly.

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Kaufusi is more athletic than Karnowski AND Sabonis. If he can improve on his defensive positioning and stay on the ground instead of jumping on pump fakes he can surpass both of those guys as a player. On offense, if he can develop a short jump hook and learn how to knock down a 10-12 ft. shot, he has a shot at the next level. I agree that the potential is there, he just needs to develop it and play smart.

Interesting… were you there for the game? Did you hear this from somebody? I believe what you say and I know I have harped on this ad nauseum but it is so true. The reason BYU beat the Zags in Spokane last year was a result of the league trying to position at least 2 teams to make it to the ncaa tourney and money. It’s too bad when that becomes your focus but that is where we are with society today.

It’s the same every year with BYU when they play the Zags. The bigs get into foul trouble early on cheap calls, the Zags tke advantage and get a lead, then maintain that lead with help from the officials and then the calls go BYU’s way to make it look balanced, but not enough to make a difference in the game.

I know it is frustrating for Rose and co. because there is nothing he can do about it. He knows he has to stay relatively silent. BYU finishes 2nd or 3rd, regardless of their talent and how well they develop as a team. I will go so far as to give them a 9 or 10 seed but they will be one and done after the deer in the headlights disease hits them just before the game.

OK Jim, I would argue that the WCC has been a 2 team Conference for quite some time. When BYU was down, St Marys played in the dance so the argument that these refs have it in for BYU is somewhat useless IF BYU is a bubble team. The same dynamics are in play every year, each conference wants as many teams as possible in the dance.

On another note; You have to look at facts in preseason polls…The nation perceives that BYU is weak on defense. We know that it stemmed from injuries of Aytes and Austin and running a 4 guard system. This year we add both players and a proven near double double guy in Davis. In my mind the defensive problem is old news but nationally they see the same old BYU of the last 4 years or so.

Programs that can’t recruit 5 star talent like BYU almost always have 5 or 6 guys that can hang with anyone but their benches are those bean poles or 2 star talent and when you get to the Dance, your backups need to be seasoned ready for prime time. The reason why I think this year will be a special year is that our key guys are seniors and their backups are Mr basketball for Washington, Colorado and Utah. BYU hoops has never gotten this type of talent, ever.

Jim: Yes, that’s a direct quote from a ref during the game. I have a “source” (that I must protect) who relayed it to me. Don’t worry…it’s not a wishful thinking KC “BYU will be invited to the Big 12” Black quote that never came to fruition.

It’s sad but it rings true. What’s bothersome is that camping in the key wouldn’t have helped our bigs last year as we were a total perimeter team. So the comment about not calling that blankety blank today only helped Gonzaga…not us.

I’m not sure I understand. Do you agree with Craig and I or do you disagree? I think the officials (and the conference) have sort of taken the position that they don’t really care thata much about any team not named Gonzaga. I have been watching wcc games and have paid particularly close attention to the tournament and feel confident that this is the case (BYU is not the only team that has suffered through wcc zag love)… BYU is in the same position as every other team except that they contend for the title so end up being scrutinized a little more. When BYU played GU at home last season they were riding high (only 3 close losses and back to back wins vs. Stanford and UMass) and in a position to make an early wcc statement had they beaten Gonzaga. Like Craig mentioned, they are the darling of the wcc so they get the benefit and favoritism needed to keep them at the top. I’ve been through this discussion numerous times… but I will remind everyone that NO team in college basketball has dominated their conference over the last 20+ years like Gonzaga has. This has translated into national recognition not only for the team, but the wcc as well. The rest of the conference rarely challenges the Zags… and there are more reasons than “they are just so much better”…

So to summarize, when BYU and GU played the first conference game at Provo, BYU was not a bubble team. When they played the second game in Spokane they absolutely were. The conference was in danger of being a 1 team invitee last season. However, BYU’s win (gifted by the wcc and officials) was KEY in helping BYU to move off the bubble, as most every guru said. Winning the conference tournament was important for Gonzaga’s seed in the big dance. For BYU it was irrelevant… they were in, but just barely.

Lastly, what happens this season remains to be seen. They can only play the games and see how it goes. I have a pretty good idea how it will go vs. Gonzaga, regardless of how good the Zags are. BYU could develop into a really good team and they still won’t win the wcc or the wcc tournament. That result is already set in stone.

I expect BYU will lose on the road to the Zags for their first meeting this year.
Unless the BYU team gels sooner than normal and the Zags haven’t got their back court working quite right the revenge motive will more than suffice for BYU’s biggest loss since before last season.

The interesting games are the last meeting, the last conference game for both teams.
By then both teams should be solid tournament teams. So will the conference really care who wins. This is one the home crowd and playing for seed and revenge may combine for a strong enough motive for the Cougs to get their annual win against the Zags.

The neutral court game in what I assume will be the conference tournament final will have both teams playing for seed in the dance. The crowd tends to slightly favor the Cougs in Vegas but I think the rest will be up for grabs. Though assuming the last meeting goes for the home team the Zags will have another revenge motive.

I’m not really sure how good BYU will be. I listened to a lot of you talk about how Davis and Aytes were going to dominate the inside, score in the post etc. So far I haven’t been impressed with Aytes and only slightly more impressed with Davis. Whether this is just rust from sitting and injuries and they are going to get a whole lot better-I just don’t know. As for the freshmen that everyone is glowing over-well I see real potential, but still freshmen who you can’t really depend on every game. I like Kaufusi and I believe he is critical in how this season is going to turn out. Can he keep from making the dumb fouls from a year ago is key, because he won’t help much sitting KC, Fischer, Austin-you pretty much know what your going to get so it’s the x-factors you are going to see determine your season. WCC? Bah can’t stand the league with their high school gyms and rec officials. Sorry about the official dig, but I can’t see these guys working in a major conference.

  1. I think KC will get two. His role is going to change a lot this year.
  2. I think BYU’s defense will be about 5 points better and their offense will be about 3 points better. They will win two more games than last year.
  3. They will make the tournament with an 8 seed and will win one game.
  4. They will be very respectful and a dangerous team this year. see #2
  5. They will split with the zags and there might be a tie in the regular season.
  6. Two of the freshmen who will get a lot of time will be obviously Emery but don’t be suprised to see Shaw getting meaningful minutes. (fly swatter)
  7. I am really entertained will the skills of Bryant for next season… He could be a real bully on the court if he can develope the self control skills and play within the system. I mean developing defensive skills. I see the possibility of having a defensive stopper.