College basketball: How Utah's NCAA D-1 men's programs finished

Published: Monday, March 18 2013 2:58 p.m. MDT

BYU COUGARS Next » 1 of 6 « Prev

Record: 21-11 (10-6, West Coast Conference)

Conference tournament: Lost in WCC quarterfinals to San Diego

Where they ended up: NIT, No. 3 seed

How they got there: Everyone knew the Cougars' biggest challenge was keeping up with WCC powers Gonzaga and St. Mary's, but conference losses to San Diego and San Francisco certainly didn't help.

BYU struggled in non-conference play as well, dropping nearly every game featuring a significant opponent (Baylor, Notre Dame and Iowa State among them).

With the conference tournament as their only remaining lifeline, BYU floundered, falling to San Diego for the second time this season.

The result was a high seed in the NIT, ending the Cougars' string of six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

Where they go from here: The Cougars are in an awkward spot. Brandon Davies' career at BYU is over, and the much-hyped recruit group from 5A state high school champion Lone Peak is spread out. Big man Eric Mika will provide a one-year jolt of much-needed muscle before going on his mission, but Nick Emery is already slated to leave for his two-year mission this summer.

Meanwhile T.J. Haws, younger brother to sophomore standout Tyler Haws, doesn't graduate until 2014.

The elder Haws will surely improve, but he'll be relying on a revolving door of freshman recruits and Matt Carlino & Co. improving their consistency for the team to do likewise.

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Bountiful, UT

You left out the return of former starter Kyle Collinsworth who will bring a lot of stability to the guard/small forward groups and even some to the PG role. He is the "glue" guy that was missing last season and will be the guy next season that seems to always be in the right place at the right time.

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