The BYU basketball program is preparing for its first season playing in the West Coast Conference. How will the Cougars, who will be without guards Jimmer Fredette and Jackson Emery, fare in the new league?
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News is projecting a fourth-place finish for BYU, behind Gonzaga, Saint Mary's and Santa Clara. "A tough team to project without Jimmer and Jackson Emery because of the uncertain status of suspended center Brandon Davies," Wilner writes about the Cougars. "If he returns, the Cougars will push Gonzaga and SMC. For now, I’ll slot the Cougars here with an *."
In terms of the strength of the WCC overall, Wilner writes: "I expect the caliber of play to be much closer to the Pac-12/Mountain West level than to the WAC/Big West level. And it’s fairly easy to envision a scenario in which the WCC is markedly better than the backsliding (Mountain West Conference)."
Fredette's results at last week's NBA combine have been released, and he did much better than many observers expected. KSL's Greg Wrubell breaks down those numbers in his blog.
ESPN.com's Chad Ford has a new mock draft. He's projecting Fredette to slide to No. 15, to the Indiana Pacers.
In football news, there are just 99 days until BYU opens the 2011 season, and plays its first game as an independent, on Sept. 3 at Ole Miss. The Rebels are revamping the gameday experience at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Ole Miss has announced 100 improvements for the upcoming season.