I Love / Hate BYU Men’s Basketball

Photo Credit: Daily Herald

Another great submission by R TODD GRAHAM:

Last Tuesday night I was excited for Cougar basketball.  It was time for the Conference Championship game I thought “maybe this is the year”.  My excitement went away quickly.  Every year I try to recommit my love for Cougar basketball and I come away with some hatred.

I’ve been a BYU fan my whole life.  I love Cougar sports, and cheer on the Cougars unconditionally.  A BYU win brings the song “Everything is Awesome” into my mind.  Last Tuesday night I turned on the WCC Conference Championship game on the TV and I turned on the Jazz game on my computer.  I tried to focus on the BYU game, but I kept shifting my gaze to the Jazz game (A Jazz game against the Knicks that didn’t mean anything).

I’ve really enjoyed watching Kyle Collinsworth and Tyler Haws, but the things I hate are more about college basketball as a whole.  Why can I sit and watch any random NBA game and be entertained, but can’t watch a College basketball game without getting bored.

Bleed Blue

I have to support the BYU basketball team or else I’m not a true fan right?  I support them fully.  I like Dave Rose more than I like Bronco Mendenhall, which is a topic for another day.  I was a big supporter, but not a delusional supporter of The Jimmer.  I wanted them to win so bad yesterday and I want them to go to the NCAA Tournament and be successful.  I am very excited for the future recruits coming in/ coming home from missions like Eric Mika, Nick Emery and TJ Haws.

This BYU team would be amazing this year if they had Eric Mika, but they lack that inside presence.  I feel like this year’s team wasted a year of transcendent talent in Haws and Collinsworth because they didn’t have a really good big.  There was no Noah Hartsock, Brandon Davies or Rafael Araújo.  This team, with a decent big, wouldn’t be a bubble team, but a sweet sixteen team.

Too slow

Now some hate, most of the hate is for college basketball as a whole.   Most college basketball games are way too slow.  This wasn’t the case last Tuesday night, but it still makes it frustrating to watch.  They need to adjust the shot clock down to twenty eight seconds in my opinion.   Add on an eight second back court to that too.  Make them move quicker and make it watchable.

The BYU-Gonzaga game actually scored more points than the Jazz game the other night.  So there are other issues as well.

Officiating

College basketball has the worst officials ever.  I’ve seen high school refs do better.  They are very inconsistent and anticipate fouls.  They make the NBA refs look awesome.  The NCAA tournament is better because they select the best officials for those games.  Why not train them so that they are all the best?

That being said I don’t blame the refs for BYU losing to Gonzaga.  I just blame them for making me want to watch something else.  Officiating is never responsible for teams winning or losing despite what others may tell you.  Regardless of the refs, the team that loses puts themselves in the position for the refs to make a difference.

Talent

The one and done rule is ruining College basketball.  It seems like every player that is good right now just goes to Kentucky for a year.  They know they can showcase their talent there and start as a freshmen because all the other freshmen just went to the NBA.

I think they should extend it to two years at least.  When someone is half way done with college it is more tempting for them to stay until they graduate.  They get a rhythm of going to class and playing, and think of more than just their basketball career.  This will also open up more talent for more of college basketball, because teams will have more returning starters.

BYU Basketball heart breakers

Every year BYU basketball breaks my heart.  I go out of my way to watch them in the Tournament and they just lose.  They have their worst games in the tournament.  Am I asking too much for them to at least win one game now and again?  I think not.

2014 0-1 Lost to Oregon in first round, 87-68
2012 1-1 Defeated Iona in opening round, 78-72
Lost to Marquette in first round, 88-68
2011 2-1 Defeated Wofford in first round, 74-66
Defeated Gonzaga in second round, 89-67
Lost to Florida in regional semifinal, 83-74
2010 1-1 Defeated Florida in first round, 99-92
Lost to Kansas State in second round, 84-72
2009 0-1 Lost to Texas A&M in first round, 79-66
2008 0-1 Lost to Texas A&M in first round, 67-62
2007 0-1 Lost to Xavier in first round, 79-77
2004 0-1 Lost to Syracuse in first round, 80-75
2003 0-1 Lost to Connecticut in first round, 58-53
2001 0-1 Lost to Cincinnati in first round, 84-59

Per ESPN (http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/tournament/history/_/team1/5437)

Look at BYUs results since Steve Cleveland turned the program around in 2001.  So many tournament trips and only 4 wins and one of those was the play in game against Iona where they used a historic comeback to win.  Two came in Jimmer Fredette’s senior season.  I’ve gotten to the point where I expect them to lose that first game.  It seems being in the tournament is enough of an accomplishment.

I may be alone here, but I want conference championships and sweet sixteen’s.  I do have faith in Dave Rose to take them there.  It’s the next step and he’s an excellent coach.  I’m getting bored with the one and done.

Like I said, the future is bright with the “Lone Peak studs” coming in.   Hopefully they give us multiple sweet sixteen’s and maybe beyond.  I’m just going to leave you with a positive note and leave this picture of Ivan Drago I mean Eric Mika right here and GO COUGARS!

EricMika
Photo Credit Des News

 

About the author

Alan "Jedi" Zaugg

Alan “Jedi” Zaugg is managing editor of TornBySports and host of the Jedi & Jerms podcast. He’s an avid NBA fan and basketball junkie and passionate sports enthusiast. He enjoys writing and illustrating. He hosts a Star Wars podcast and writes for The Cantina Cast in addition to a myriad of other projects. He also writes fantasy and science fiction in his spare time. You can follow him on Twitter: @jedizaugg