2007 BYU Cougars Basketball Preview
The BYU Cougars (25- 9 overall, 13- 3 Mountain West) were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament by Xavier 79-77. Prior to the Big Dance, the Cougars captured first place in the Mountain West Conference. Coach Dave Rose (45- 18 in two years at BYU and overall) looks to have another competitive team, as BYU has the potential to go to the NCAA tourney for a second year running.
The Cougars were first in scoring (78.1 PPG), rebounding margin (plus-6.2) and assists (15.9 APG). They shot a league leading 49.1% from the field and 41.5% from downtown. Overall, ball control was good, with the Cougars placing fourth (13.4 TPG). The club allowed opponents an average of 69.0 PPG. Their PA/PF margin of plus-9.0 was second only to Air Force and have been a featured in our college basketball odds.
Center Trent Plaisted (12.6 PPG, 6.2 RPG) is the only returning player in the frontcourt. BYU needs a big year from the 6’11” junior in order to get back to the tournament. Swingman Lee Cummard (9.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG), a junior, can snatch the ball off the rim and has a fine shot. Sophomore Jonathan Tavernari (6.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG) will be asked for consistency in terms of output. Freshman forward Chris Collinsworth and first-year center James Anderson will both be given the opportunity to contribute.
Junior college transfer Lamont Morgan will most likely start in the backcourt. Morgan arrives as a top point guard prospect. The athletic guard makes deft passes and is exceptionally fast. Freshman Jimmer Fredette arrives with a terrific shot, and frosh Michael Lloyd can score, pass and defend.
Coach Rose is just about starting all over with this team. If he can get everyone on the same page quickly and Plaisted and Cummard can take charge, then the Cougars have a fighting chance to get back to the Big Dance. If anyone can do it, Rose can. In each of his first two years as head coach, he’s won the MWC Coach of the Year honors. Three-in-a-row could be the charm. This could be the year that BYU makes its 23rd NCAA appearance. They will be included in our college basketball picks!