Former Cougar star Jackson Emery shares insights on the 2011 team, Jimmermania and more
Emery: I think one in particular was the Florida game. I opened off the game with, I think, nine points. I was shooting the ball really well. I had Irving Walker on me so I had a significant size advantage. But then I got three fouls. Coach (Dave) Rose decided to take me out rather than leave me in. And his risk paid off in regard to, you know, we were still in the game. I think we were tied at half. But I sat for 45 minutes to an hour between the first and second halves and I never really got in a rhythm again in the second half.
So, one thing I wish is that I would have played aggressively, but not too aggressively, so I could have stayed out of foul trouble and kept my rhythm into the second half.
Gagon: What do you think the chances are of BYU reaching a Final 4 in the near future? Does anything stand out as far as what they will have to do to make that finally happen?
Emery: I think the pieces are there. I think coach Rose has put together a couple of terrific recruiting classes with my brother’s class (last year’s) and also with TJ Haws’ class this year. I think they have a lot of variety in these new recruits — quickness, athleticism, toughness, scoring, etc.
I think when you look at a Final 4 team, you first look at where they start with the pieces they have. I feel like coach Rose is building good enough pieces to make that jump a couple years from now.
A lot of those guys are going to be serving LDS missions, so it’s going to be interesting to see how it all comes together. They have the talent. Now it will just be a matter of how the guys come back from their missions and how they fit with one another.
I’ve met most of the guys that have committed and they’re all great guys. The future is bright for BYU. I think the future is extremely bright. I think there could be special things happening in the near future.
Gagon: Thanks again, Jackson, for taking the time to talk with me. You were a fantastic basketball player, a joy to watch and the type of guy I would be happy to have my sons look up to. Thanks for that example.
Emery: Thank you for the opportunity, Nate. I'd be glad to talk with you anytime.
Nate Gagon is a published sports, music, and creative writer. He is also a wholehearted father, grateful husband and ardent student of life. He shoots roughly 94% from the free-throw line and can be reached at: email@example.com or @nategagon.
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