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BYU Will Regroup and Rebound

3 March 2011 Brett Richins 25 Comments

Despite BYU’s devastating 18-point home loss to New Mexico on Wednesday, all is not lost in Provo.

Not yet.

Keep in mind that the Cougar team that took the court last night was still reeling from the loss of Brandon Davies.

It was evident that the BYU players were shell-shocked and struggling with what had just happened to them as a team. It was as if they were collectively a deer in the headlights of the speeding truck that was New Mexico.

It’s also important to realize that Dave Rose had no real time to prepare his team for the game sans Davies, seeing that Brandon had just been suspended the day prior.

It’s true that the Cougars are not nearly the team without Davies in the lineup, but moving forward they will perform much better than they showed last night. The coaching staff will figure things out, the players will come to together and they will execute future game plans at a higher level as they have more time to practice and prepare.

It’s also worth noting that the Lobos, for whatever reason, just seem to have the Cougars’ number. With as well as New Mexico played, having Davies last night may not have of made a difference in the final outcome of the game. The Lobos have now swept BYU in each of the last two seasons and have won five of the last six games.

It’s clear now that BYU will not be receiving a number one seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament, the Cougars could even slide down to a No. 3 or a No. 4 depending on how the Cougars finish out the regular season against Wyoming and how they fair in next week’s Mountain West Conference tournament.

The Cougars may no longer be the favorites to win the MWC tourney or to make deep run at the Big Dance, but they will come back, play harder, play better and with more confidence. Any team that has Jimmer Fredette on it will have to be taken seriously.

Will Cougars fans step up and gut it up as well? Will they still show up and fill the Marriott Center on Saturday and show up in droves to support their team in Las Vegas?

This team and these players deserve such.

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25 Comments »

  • oceanographer said:

    Well said.

    My blue goggles have slipped since last night, but they’re still on.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen Jimmer as down as he was after the game last night. I fully expect things to be different come Saturday.

  • Josh Francis said:

    Not to take anything away from New Mexico, the really played lights out last night, but the cougars have shot better than that with far better defenders on them. I think it was pretty obvious that the problem was shock and that none of them were mentally ready for that game last night.

    This team will rebound and will still has a good couple of weeks ahead of it.

  • Voodohound said:

    From another perspective, BYU is getting exactly what they’ve been looking for – EXPOSURE. That was one of the biggest motives for moving Football to independence, to get more exposure. It’s kind of ironic that the basketball team arguably has received more exposure this season than any other sport in BYU history. This may set the table for the football program, if they do well next year. I’ve never seen so many national articles about BYU, and the love from ESPN is incredible.

    From the mission of BYU, the Brandon Davies suspension may be a benefit – the beliefs of the church are getting broadcast over the entire nation, if not the world. There’s been mixed reaction but it’s getting out there.

    Cougars Rock! They will turn it around and make an incredible turnaround from last night.

  • Fan in Orem said:

    I will be there Saturday, and I will be in Vegas as well. Go Cougs! There has never been a better opportunity for Jimmer to prove just how good he is and how important he is to his team. He can show his POY status now as never before.

  • Seasider said:

    I don’t think lack of effort was to blame for the game last night. They played hard and took plenty of chances but mentally I don’t think they were in it. Why it is that New Mexico can’t beat a bad Utah team at home but can beat us at home and on the road, I don’t know.

  • Brent said:

    I agree with voodohound- I don’t personally use twitter but I looked and BYU, Honor Code, and Brandon Davies were all trending on twitter last night. Every sports website I could find had it as top news. This is exactly what we signed up for by going independent and it is great.

    Now, if we can bounce back and win some games the coverage will continue.

  • Martin said:

    I was there last night and suffered through the whole game. This team has major issues to sort through and I don’t think they will be able to do it in time for the post-season play begins, but I will be there Saturday to support them nonetheless. Jimmer and Jackson have earned my respect to come see them play their final game at the Marriott. Rise and Shout!

  • Ben said:

    As much as we can sip our kool-aid over the possibilities of this team moving forward very far, we need to be realistic. I think the way BYU dismissed Davies and made it a public specticle will go down as the worst decision in the history of BYU sports. Please don’t compare this with Harvey Unga and Mahey. They are totally different. We all know that BYU has no inside game without Davies. Yes Davies messed up yes he needs to be disciplined but not in the public specticle that has insued. This decision by BYU was not well thought out. Since when does the enforcement of the honor code basically destroy the hope and dreams of everybody around that person. It did and will in this case. This decision goes way beyond Davies and way beyond
    the purpose of the honor code. Davies should have been dealt his medicine after the season where his decision did not kill hopes and dreams of everybody around him including teammates, coaches, staff and all the loyal fans who have supported and sustained this team. That is not the purpose of the honor code enforcement. The honor code office was judge, jury and executionor for this great basketball team and all the loyal fans. With this system in place, (where many people are destroyed by the actions of one), the church needs to seriously consider getting out of Div 1 sports or change their enforcement policy to not destroy others along the way. I hope this pathetic specticle of honor code enforcement causes church officials to reconsider things.

  • kiyoshige said:

    I’m going to make an analogy here that some may disagree with. This is like an unexpected death in the family. I’m sorry, but when this happens, the individuals involved get a free pass. You CANNOT expect Jimmer, Jax, Noah, or even the coaches to pick up and move on in a day. Or two days.

    You give them however long it takes. I’ll be right there next to Martin supporting them the whole time. Won’t head for the exits early. Won’t criticize. Will be there to sit, listen and support.

  • Ralph J said:

    Amen and well said. It’s unfortunate that the school couldn’t have waited until after the New Mexico game to take action, out of fairness to the rest of the team. In the grand scheme of things waiting another day wouldn’t have lessened the consequence at all but wouldn’t have served as a punishment to the rest of the team and given them a chance to recover, regroup and prepare for the next game.

    This team has been Facing the Giants all season long and doing what nobody thought they could do when the “experts” made their pre-season predictions that BYU would finish (iirc) 3rd in the MWC because of their lack of an inside presence compared to bigger teams in the MWC (UNLV and SDSU).

    I’m not ready to sell my BYU stock just yet and am willing to give Coach Rose and the team some credit for a season full of overcoming the odds. This has cost us a legit shot at a #1 seed, and may even cost us a shot at #2 but I think they can regroup and get back on track with their winning ways. Go Cougs!!!!

  • Rick said:

    Brett, the officiating has been terrible in the MTW, in both Basketball and Football, do you have any ideas who will be the officials during independence for Football? Whats the reputation of the WCC crews?

  • Rick said:

    Don’t get me wrong, That didnt loose the game for BYU. It was the shooting, rebounding or lack thereof, and ball handling. the only game that had good officiating was the home game against SDSU.

  • Jared said:

    Ben. I think you are seeing things in way to short a perspective. The big perspective says otherwise. There are a great number of national commentators who are now in favor of BYU. And I don’t think for a second that is why they(BYU) did it. But, standing up for virtue, honor, integrity, will always be right. The timing may be bad for a basketball game, but listen to that. It is a basketball game. In the end, it is still only a game. BD is far more important and his development is critical. All things work together for your good, in the end.

  • Brett Richins said:

    Rick,

    I haven’t heard what the situation is for FB officiating as an indy, that’s something I’ll look into. The WCC refs tend to have a generally poor reputation from what I have heard.

  • CR said:

    Is it too crazy to think about putting Abouo in at the 5 spot? Despite his size, he might do fairly well, given his length and athleticism…

  • Denver Cougar said:

    I am also of the opinion that the Cougars will rebound from this. This is a good basketball team with a lot of heart. I think that it is also important to let the team know that we expect great things from them. I for one have not given up on there season. I don’t know if a final four run is in the picture any more, but I still expect them to do good things in the tournament.
    I also just wanted to say how proud I am of this team. From what I have read and heard, the team has been very supportive of Davies. I love it! I don’t know if I have ever been prouder of BYU basketball. Go cougars!

  • Mjergy said:

    Ben,
    The thing you are missing here is it was not BYU that made this a public spectacle. The timing of the issue was what made it a spectacle. And that is the ONLY difference between this and Harvey Unga. Harvey was a bigger piece of our football team than Brandon is to the basketball team, in my opinion.
    The /enforcement/ of the honor code is a necessary consequence of the /breaking/ of the honor code. BYU has always had this honor code. They always have, and always will enforce it. It is not a question of whether BYU messed up and ruined the dreams of all of us, the fans. It is not a question of whether BYU should be in Division 1. Brandon Davies made a choice, knowing full well what the consequences were. He knew that if he got caught, exceptions would not be made. I am the biggest supporter of BD and BYU in this. BD knows better than anyone how his choices affected the whole BYU nation. He will be a better person in the end because of this (although yes, I agree that it is unfortunate that the whole nation needed to find out about this.)
    BYU also did the right thing. The first bullet of the honor code on all the sports websites today is “Be Honest”. BYU could not live up to it’s own honor code if they swept this under the rug, waited for a month after they found out to do anything, or said it was something else. They were required to cut him. Although he still may be able to stay at BYU, he is not going to be given the privilege to represent the university on the basketball team.
    I know that this hurts the chances of our team. I also realize that UNM was not a good measuring stick of what we will be. They already have shown they can beat us, The refs weren’t exactly the best, UNM was as hot as they have been, BYU had not had a chance to regroup or recover from the loss of Brandon, and we were COLD. Wyoming hopefully won’t be a good measuring stick, either. If they are, it can only mean we /are/ as bad as we looked on Wed. I think we will beat Wyoming and then have to wait til the MWT to see how we really are without Brandon.
    Best of luck to Brandon on getting things in his life straightened out.

  • Seasider said:

    Fans are understandably frustrated and anxious about the Davies situation. One major reason is that BYU is having their best season since who knows when and many of us feel like we just missed Halley’s comet. We don’t know how this team’s season will end but I don’t think we’ll have to wait that long for another great season. Coach Rose has built a program that has gotten better and better. Next year we will hopefully have Davies back along with Chris Collinsworth and most of the guys we have now plus some guys coming back off missions, a good transfer, 2 good recruits. We may not see another Jimmer for a while but the future for the program is bright.

  • LanceWArchibald said:

    Ben- Some of the most embarassing things to me were when BYU allegedly waited too long to take action on players. Some accused BYU of waiting till after the season with Michael Loyd and Shiloah Tayo, I don’t know what the timeline was or what exactly happened, but just the thought that maybe coaches or administration made exceptions for athletes or lied about when they knew about the violation makes me sick. The way Jim McMahon was expelled the day after the Holiday bowl is really sad to me, that BYU at that time might have (again, I don’t know the details) prioritized winning over integrity. I am really grateful that BYU didn’t drop integrity to try to win some extra basketball games.

  • Greg said:

    I just hope that the team follows your advice. Step 1: Regroup. Step 2: Rebound. Seriously, rebound. That means chasing the orangish brown ball and trying to regain possession. It’s no real surprise that BYU lost its #1 rebounder and struggled against New Mexico. Go Cougars!!!

  • steve b from az said:

    I have felt the weirdest fruits of the spirit as I have read some of the articles from the national media praising byu. Its a surge of emotion and compassion for brandon, the team and the school. They are doing what’s right. I can only hope that the end result plays out similarly to president monson’s conference talk about Clayton christensen sitting out the championship game to keep the Sabbath day holy. We should be proud of our school and hope maybe pray that our guys can represent how sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven, even if the blessing is not a final four appearance.

  • Ralph J said:

    Brett,
    I guess now I’m ready to start thinking about Spring Football. Any word on the Spring practice roster and who should be back from missions in time to show up, what new recruits will be there, and what players are prepared this spring to make a serious challenge for playing time in the fall, updates on injured players and transfers etc?

  • oceanographer said:

    Lance,

    I totally agree – especially about McMahon.

    The Honor Code Office and BYU isn’t to blame here. Nor is Davies. If there is any blame, well, then I agree with those that say it is the exposure that BYU now has. You can’t tell me that other, small Christian colleges haven’t had similar things happen. However, they are not BYU, a school with a major national brand, the 3rd ranked team, with the likely POY, and were coming off the biggest win in school history.

    My heart goes out to Davies and to the rest of the team. These are hard days for everyone and waiting to suspend Davies would not have made it better.

  • Fan in Orem said:

    Just for the record, McMahon dropped out of school the day after the Holiday Bowl. Whether he was invited to do so or not, I can’t say. He filled out all the ‘dropping out’ papers the week before the game.

  • Seasider said:

    Mjergy,
    Actually BYU has not always had the honor code. The honor code as we know it didn’t come into play until the 1960′s and before that it was mainly focused on preventing cheating and dishonesty. It is true that it is largely the timing of the incident that has made it a media circus and that’s exactly where I find fault with the honor code office. They didn’t seem to consider the media firestorm that this would create for not only Brandon, but his girlfriend also. Heck, the British media is even talking about this and they have pictures of his girlfriend! I mean forget about the basketball season and the stigma that he’ll carry for probably the rest of his life, if the BYU honor code is all about disciplining students equally then it’s only fair they value Brandon’s privacy and confidentiality as equally as that of an English major. No 19 year old deserves an incident in his private life and that of his girlfriend to be plastered all over the media no matter how much of a “public figure” he was.

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