BYU 2010 NCAA Tournament Preview
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BYU Cougars - Mountain West Conference (29-5, 13-3)
Seed: #7 - West Region
Big Wins: 1/6 UNLV (77-73), 1/9 at UTEP (83-77), 2/24 SDSU (82-68)
Bad Losses: 12/2 at Utah State (61-71), 2/6 at UNLV (74-88), 2/12 at UNLV (66-70)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2009, First Round loss to Texas A&M
Coach: Dave Rose (0-3 in 3 NCAA appearances)
Probable BYU Starters:
Jimmer Fredette, Junior, Guard, 21.7 ppg, 4.7 apg
Jackson Emery, Junior, Guard, 12.6 ppg, 2.8 apg, 4.5 rpg
Tyler Haws, Freshman, Guard, 11.3 ppg, 1.5 apg, 4.3 rpg
Noah Hartsock, Sophomore, Forward, 6.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.4 bpg
Brandon Davies, Freshman, Forward, 5.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg
Key BYU Roleplayers:
Charles Abouo, Sophomore, Guard, 4.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Michael Loyd Jr., Sophomore, Guard, 4.6 ppg, 1.1 apg
Chris Miles, Senior, Center, 4.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Jonathan Tavernari, Senior, Forward, 10.3 ppg, 4.5
Why The Cougars Can Surprise:
Few teams in the nation shoot better than BYU. The team as a whole shoots an amazing 48.8 percent from the floor. Much of the credit for that lofty number belongs to Jimmer Fredette. The 6-2 junior has taken over the shooting role from the departed Lee Cummard and has emerged as one of the best players in the Mountain West Conference, if not the best player. Fredette connects on an amazing 45.8 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and averages 21.7 points per game. But Fredette is more than just a shooter, or even a scorer for that matter since he is equally dangerous attacking the basket as he is shooting the ball, Fredette is also the point guard and dishes out 4.7 assists per game.
Fredette is not the only outside shooter on this team. Jackson Emery and Jonathan Tavernari are also capable outside shooters. Emery averages 12.6 points per game and hits about as many long balls as Fredette, but he is also a superb defender and a decent ballhandler. Tavernari is having a disappointing senior season, but he is still a double-digit scorer. Tavernari is settling for the three-point shot too much and needs to use his 6-6 frame to get to the basket and he will be a star once again or at least a great sixth man.
Why The Cougars Can Disappoint:
The main thing that is lacking on this team is an interior threat on the defensive end. Nobody on this team is a real threat to block a shot and that has made the defense easier to break down than it has in years past. Center Chris Miles has done an admirable job scoring some points and grabbing some boards, but few opponents will be scared to take the ball to the rim when he is patrolling the paint. Noah Hartsock has emerged as a decent option. He is a better scorer and shot blocker than Miles, but the 6-8 sophomore still is not an imposing presence in the paint and most of his offense comes from mid-range jumpers. At 6-9 and 230 pounds, freshman Brandon Davies has a little more girth than Hartsock, but his inexperience has limited his playing time.
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Who To Watch for BYU:
Tyler Haws is often overshadowed by Fredette and Emery. However, Haws averages 11.3 points per game and will use his 6-5 frame to help out on the glass. Haws is one of the reasons that the Cougars are a solid rebounding team despite nobody on the squad averaging over 5.1 rebounds per contest. Unlike some of the other freshmen, Haws has been a consistent player and if he remains a threat to drive the lane, Fredette and Emery will get plenty of quality opportunities to hit the long ball. Haws did miss some action late in the season with an eye injury, but it is not serious and once the swelling subdues, he should be back in the lineup.
BYU By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 83.1 (2nd in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.4 (76, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.8 (10, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.0 (39, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.1 (32, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 42.0 (2, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 77.9 (1, 1)
Rebound Margin: 5.3 (26, 3)
Assists Per Game: 16.2 (18, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.6 (37, 3)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Florida