Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Bittersweet End to the BYU Basketball Season

I'm calling it right now.
Two years from now, Tyler Haws
will be BYU's #1 all-time scorer.

As difficult as it is to come so close and fall short, I'm generally happy with the way the 2012-2013 BYU basketball season ended. To go from a first-round exit in the WCC Tourney against a team that we were supposed to beat easily to turning things around and making it all the way to the NIT Final Four is definitely something to be proud of. We were one of the last 8 teams in the country to still be playing basketball in April-- awesome! Despite all the heartbreaks that happened in the last few months, the Cougs' post-season NIT run really saved the whole season.

The 2012-2013 season certainly wasn't without highlights. I still get all tingly inside when I watch Craig Cusick's putback against USU, and I loved the show the boys put on against LMU on my birthday. We ALMOST beat the #1 team in the country (it obviously would have been much sweeter if we had actually pulled it off, but it was sweet nonetheless), and we did beat a really, really good team on the road like it was child's play. Tyler Haws started smashing records, Brandon Davies made his way into the top-10 Cougars of all-time in several different categories, Brock Zylstra finally came out of the woodwork to end his career on a great note, and Matt Carlino, despite his frantic play and inconsistency, saved the day more than once. There were a lot of great moments and some great successes this season. But that definitely doesn't mean there's not room for improvement. 

Nate Austin showed a glimmer of hope toward the end of the season, but he has a long way to go before being able to carry the team in the post. We also have 2 incoming freshmen to help in that area (Eric Mika & Luke Worthington), but it's yet to be seen how their games will transition to the college level. I think that's gonna be the most difficult task in the off-season-- figuring out how to make up for losing Brandon.

The #2 task is going to be putting a leash on Carlino, but I actually don't think that's going to be super hard because there's an easy solution-- put Kyle Collinsworth at the 1-guard position and move Carlino to the 2. BAM! Problem solved. Carlino is soooo much better at the 2 because it allows him to get better looks at the basket without having to concentrate on running the show, but we just haven't had anyone else at the 1 to replace him. But with Collinsworth coming back from his mission, that's definitely the logical thing to do. He can run point and let Carlino take a backseat, where he's more productive and less frantic. Hopefully Dave Rose thinks so, too. It would also help to get Anson Winder fully healthy again so he can make up some slack defensively that we will get with losing Cusick.

I'm really looking forward to next season. I think we'll have a better, more mature guard line and hopefully can get Brandon's replacements in the post up to snuff before conference play.

So, now I enter my 7-month period of mourning where there is no BYU basketball to be seen . . .  :( I'll try to wipe my tears now and look forward to another great year. Go Cougs!

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