2008 BYU Cougars Basketball Preview
In 2007- 2008, the BYU Cougars (27- 8 overall, 14- 2 Mountain West) proved to be competitive once again. Head coach Dave Rose has a penchant for making sure that each successive Cougar team shows improvement. Last year, they were consistent in two ways—they won their second straight Mountain West crown, and they went one-and-out in the NCAA Tournament (where they have not won a game since 1993). Is this the year that the drought ends?
The frontcourt lost junior center Trent Plaisted and his 15.6 PPG and 7.7 RPG to the NBA. The good news is that swingman Lee Cummard (31.5 MPG, 15.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.5 APG), now a senior, decided to forego the draft. Cummard led the Mountain West in field goal percentage (56.9) and free throw shooting (85.7). He was also in the top 10 in blocked shots and assists. His three-point accuracy came in at 47.2%. Six-foot-eleven Chris Miles (8.6 MPG, 2.5 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 0.6 APG) takes over at center for Plaisted. Senior Gavin MacGregor will backup. He did not play last year due to injury. Junior swingman Jonathan Tavernari (27.6 MPG, 13.1 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.5 APG) will start at forward, offering fine rebounding and scoring skills.
The backcourt has talent but little experience. Sophomore guard Jimmer Fredette (18.5 MPG, 7.0 PPG, 1.1 RPG, 1.7 APG) will start at guard, replacing senior Sam Burgess and his 8.7 PPG. Fredette is flexible enough to play both point and shooting spots. Sophomore guard Michael Loyd, Jr. (8.8 MPG, 2.0 PPG, 0,9 RPG, 1.2 APG) will see important minutes.
This season expect the Cougars to see competition from UNLV for
the league title. BYU, a club in transition, will find it difficult
winning its third straight Mountain West championship. Still, they
will be good enough to get an invite to the Big Dance. They’ve
been to the tournament five of the last eight years. In the past,
they’ve always been a low seed. This will be the case once
again this year. The Cougars will be eliminated in the first round.