SALT LAKE CITY — Questions, questions, we've got questions . . .
So what's a BYU fan to do this weekend? On the same night as the first professional appearance of the beloved Jimmer Fredette, the Cougars are playing perhaps their biggest West Coast Conference game against league-leading Saint Mary's. Both games begin at 7 p.m. Saturday. So what'll it be? A visit to the Marriott Center or EnergySolutions Arena? Or sit at home with the channel changer at your fingertips? At least Jimmer will be back in Utah again, on March 30, which will be open for Cougar fans, unless their basketball team somehow makes it to the Final Four in New Orleans.
How costly was BYU's 14-point home loss to Loyola Marymount last week? As far as winning the West Coast Conference, it was quite costly, since it puts the Cougars two games behind league-leading Saint Mary's at the halfway point of league play. However, the Cougars get the Gaels at home this week and the Gaels must still play at Gonzaga. Also, the Cougars still must play Gonzaga twice this year. As far as NCAA hopes go, the loss hurt, but I think the WCC may get three schools in the Big Dance this year if the Big Three don't stumble against the other five the rest of the way.
Are the Jazz really looking to trade Devin Harris, or is that just an unsubstantiated rumor? I like Harris and believe the Jazz shouldn't mess with what seems to be good chemistry right now. However, if they are going to trade him, how about getting Andre Miller from Denver? The players have comparable salaries ($7.8 million for Miller, $9.3 for Harris) and Miller can't be real happy playing behind Ty Lawson after starting his whole career.
He still has it, as his 28-point, 10-assist, 8-rebound night against Philadelphia last week showed. Of course, he's seven years older than Harris, but if the Jazz aren't planning on Harris as the their point guard of the future, then they might as well use someone like Miller for two or three years until they can find one.
Will Weber State lose any more games during the regular season? The Wildcats are very good this year at 15-3 overall, 7-0 in the Big Sky and the rest of the league isn't very good. Montana looks like the only team capable of beating the Wildcats, and the two teams don't meet again until the final regular-season game on Feb. 28 in Missoula.
Can the state of Utah have the NCAA scoring champion for the second year in a row? Weber's Damian Lillard is hoping to follow in Fredette's footsteps and has led the nation in scoring for most of the season. The latest NCAA stats show Lillard leading the way at 25.1 points per game, a little more than a point ahead of Creighton's Doug McDermott at 23.8
Will Utah State fail to make it to 20 wins for the first time since the last century? It's amazing, but the last time the Aggies failed to win at least 20 games in a season was the 1998-99 season, Stew Morrill's first at USU when they went 15-13. This season, after Saturday's loss, the Aggies are just 10-10 with 11 regular-season games left plus the WAC tournament.
Are there any good teams in the Pac-12 this year? League leader Cal lost Saturday, and previous leader Stanford lost twice last week, meaning every team in the league has at least two losses with the conference season barely a third over. Six schools have a legitimate chance of winning the league title.
Can Utah finish out of the cellar in the Pac-12? It's looking pretty good for the Utes after Saturday's 21-point win, especially if they can beat USC on the road this week. At 2-5 after their convincing victory, the Utes are two games ahead of the offensive-challenged Trojans, who are a woeful 0-7 in league play. Unfortunately for the Utes, they don't get a home game against USC in the unbalanced Pac-12 schedule.
Finally, are there any unbeaten teams left in NCAA basketball? Just one, and if you haven't been paying attention, you might be surprised to learn that it's the Murray State Racers of the Ohio Valley Conference. Looking at the mediocre teams in that league, the Racers may just stay unbeaten until the NCAA Tournament.
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