Blue roundup: Can BYU dethrone Gonzaga as WCC champion?

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  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Nov. 8, 2011 10:02 p.m.

    I'm not sure about de-throning Gonzaga since I am unsure how good this basketball team will be sans Jimmer. I'm thinking they will split with them.

    The WCC has had a few years of getting multiple (two) bids to the NCAA tourney, but those have not been the rule. Adding BYU will increase the chances that it will continue to happen. St. Mary's, with 25 wins last year, got left out when Gonzaga beat them. I don't think BYU needs 25 to get an at-large bid, but they will likely need at least 22-23. Looking at their schedule, that may be a tall task (Utah State, Oregon, Baylor, Gonzaga x 2, St. Marys x 2, Virginia Tech). My prediction: 20-10 (+ 1-1 in the WCC tourney), NIT bid. But without Jimmer, there are still too many unknowns.

    I hope they do well, except against the Utes.

    Good luck, Cougars.

  • KamUte South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 8, 2011 6:08 p.m.

    We realize that our Utes aren't very good this year and will be lucky to win 10-12 games. With that said, if BYU loses to Utah, BYU will never hear the end of it. BYU may have a better now but there are some very good athletes on the Utah squad. As the team learns to play together and play good defense, who knows what could happen. A loss would be devastating. I'll be there to watch it.

  • hoost Walnut Creek, CA
    Nov. 8, 2011 4:27 p.m.

    They've got good size this year, but so far the point has looked really shaky. I think they're going to have a rough start to the season this year (there's just no way they're going into Utah State and stealing a win unless someone steps up and plays out of their mind). When Carlino comes on in December I think they'll improve significantly. He was easily BYU's best looking point guard in the blue/white game of the Cougar tipoff. They're not going to get 30 wins this year, but I expect them to be competing for that top position in the conference with Gonzaga and St Mary's.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:43 p.m.

    @wyoming cougar
    "And, how any ute fan can come on here talking bball trash talk after getting beat at home by adams state is ridiculous. "

    It is rather mind-boggling, then again BYU fans mock Utah in football so... seems par for the course.

    "I'm pretty sure that san fran, st. mary's and most other WCC schools could handle the utes pretty easily this year."

    I want to see a Utah mens' basketball game where the Utah team wins... but unless we schedule an exhibition against the Utah womens' basketball team...

  • Y4LYFE Lubbock, TX
    Nov. 7, 2011 9:42 p.m.

    BYU will dethrone Gonzaga, like Adams St continued to do what we've come to expect to happen to Utah.

    The End.

  • riddlemethis Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 9:04 p.m.


    In the 1998 tournament Utah beat San Francisco from the WCC. From all the chest thumping Ute fans do about their national championship game, it's hard to believe that's something you don't know. Also Utah also played a handful of games against the WCC teams last year, so please for everyone's sanity cut out the hyperbole and quit pretending you don't know what the WCC is. The real question is what conference is Adams State in.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2011 8:58 p.m.


    "So my point was winning a conference championship in a conference made up of San Francisco, St Mary's, etc.... is a joke. At least in the Mt West you had BYU, Utah, New Mexico"

    BYU, Gonzaga and Saint Marys are at least as strong as BYU, New Mexico, and San Diego State (don't forget, SDSU had never won an NCAA tournament game until this past season.

    I hope you were joking about including Utah in the mix of strong MWC teams. Utah lost to two WCC bottom dwellers last season.

    You're obviously clueless when in comes to equating size of arena to quality of basketball program. Cameron Indoor Arena seats less than 10,000.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 8:43 p.m.

    I think byu needs to worry about competing in the top tier of the WCC before they can look at dethroning Gonzaga. BYU is pretty young and weak this year. I think the dnews is getting ahead of themselves. The WCC will be a tough row for BYU as it has proven in recent years to be a competetive conference.

  • rogerdpack2 Orem, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 8:36 p.m.

    maybe, maybe we can split with gonzaga

  • wyoming cougar Green River, WY
    Nov. 7, 2011 7:42 p.m.

    seriously patriot- how can you even lump utah in with BYU, unm, sdsu, etc just because they've hosted the ncaa tournament recently. Their 15000+ seat arena hasn't seen over 5000 for how long now (except for the BYU games anyway).

    And, how any ute fan can come on here talking bball trash talk after getting beat at home by adams state is ridiculous. I wonder what conference they're in?

    btw- I'm pretty sure that san fran, st. mary's and most other WCC schools could handle the utes pretty easily this year.

    Also, as a fan of college bball, I've known very well who the WCC was as I've watched and kept up with Gonzaga. Just like Butler is in the Horizon league. Most true fans of the game, (and not just BYU haters), know a few things about other leagues and teams- unfortunately many of the ute fans are so fixated on BYU that they probably don't know who the Big East or ACC even is.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Nov. 7, 2011 7:40 p.m.

    How did utah do against Adams State? Anyone?

  • NightOwlAmerica SALEM, OR
    Nov. 7, 2011 6:59 p.m.

    Who cares how many people sit in those arenas. I have heard it before from cry baby BYU fans that the WCC plays in small gyms. The bottom line is if you don't win to does not matter how big the arena is. Look at the ACC. Some of those schools including Duke play in a small gym.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 4:43 p.m.

    re:Just the FAX

    not talking about just one team in the WCC - talking about the WCC itself. I know the Pac 12, the Big 12, the Big East, etc... heck most even know the Mountain West but the WCC?? I had never even heard of the conference before and I'm certain - if you're honest about it - neither had you. So my point was winning a conference championship in a conference made up of San Francisco, St Mary's, etc.... is a joke. At least in the Mt West you had BYU, Utah, New Mexico and others that had arena's that held 15000+ and hosted the NCAA tournament many times and multiple teams in the top 20 over the years.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 4:22 p.m.


    With BYU being ranked 47th in the preseason tournament and most experts attributing that ranking in part to a weaker conference, there is ample evidence they have an uphill battle. If BYU loses one or both regular season games to Gonzaga, I believe they will have to win the conference tournament to get into the Big Dance.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 4:19 p.m.


    But the question is can they beat Gonzaga and represent the WCC in the Big Dance? 25 wins won't do it, unless they win the conference tourney.

  • Band Of Roscoes Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 4:11 p.m.

    And so it starts with basketball. A series of DNews articles had the faithful believing that Jake Heaps would win the Heisman, and the Band of Brothers would be playing in the National Championship game after an undefeated season. Now they're spinning up the basketball team to be best-ever.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Nov. 7, 2011 3:43 p.m.

    By the time Dave Rose solidifies his talent, BYU will definitely be capable of dethroning Gonzaga.

  • giantfan Farmington, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 3:43 p.m.


    You may be right. If a CBB fan asks what the WCC is, all you have to say is that it's the bball conference Gonzaga and BYU belong to. Since any CBB fan is very familiar with those two schools--especially after last year--they would most likely say "must be a pretty good conference then".

  • Just the FAX Olympus Cove, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2011 3:22 p.m.


    "How many college sports fans across America even know what or where the WCC is.. or for that matter even care?"

    How many college sports fans across America even know what conference Butler plays in... or for that matter even care?

    Most fans couldn't care less which conference a basketball team plays in, if the team is successful.

    EVERY knowledgeable basketball fan knows about Gonzaga because of their NCAA tournament success over the last decade.

    EVERY knowledgeable basketball fan knows about BYU because of Jimmermania. Jimmer is gone, but fans will be watching to see how BYU does without him.

    Bottom line: BYU will be competing for the WCC championship this season. Utah will be trying to stay out of the PAC 12 basement. Two programs heading in opposite directions since 2005.

    Queue the ancient Utah basketball history lesson...

    but remember,

    only 16 teams made it to the Sweet Sixteen last season
    only one team had the concensus national player of the year

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 3:04 p.m.

    BYU will have to have better guard play but they could come together and be very good this year. They have the front court to play with anyone. Carlino could be the piece that moves them from good to very good. I predict 25+ wins this year.

  • riddlemethis Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 2:27 p.m.


    How did Utah do against the WCC last year?

  • markymark HERRIMAN, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 2:13 p.m.

    NO...they barely beat dixie

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 2:01 p.m.

    Mormon Ute

    "the bigger challenge will be getting into the NCAA tournament, if they don't beat Gonzaga."

    You have no proof that being in the WCC will make it any more difficult for BYU to get into the NCAA tournament. By your own admission, BYU leaving the MWC, weakened the MWC, which conversely means BYU joining the WCC, strengthened the WCC. Saint Mary's was a bubble team last season and the WCC has already had years getting more than one team into the Big Dance. Dave Rose and BYU have already established their credentials with the NCAA, so BYU joining the WCC likely makes the WCC a perennial two- or three-bid league.

    As we've seen many times, RPI is only one factor the NCAA selection committee considers. Past success in the tournament, especially recently, is probably more important.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:51 p.m.

    WCC championship? How many college sports fans across America even know what or where the WCC is.. or for that matter even care? So go for it BYU - become the new big fish in the no-name conference.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:33 p.m.

    Just because the WCC has one team with more of a winning tradition than any other in the MWC doesn't raise the entire conference strength higher than the MWC. In fact, losing TCU and Boise State would increase the MWC basketball strength, if not for the fact that BYU left too.

    Sure, getting past Gonzaga in the regular season and the conference tournament is going to be a challenge for the Cougars, but the bigger challenge will be getting into the NCAA tournament, if they don't beat Gonzaga.

  • TaipeiModerate New Haven, CT
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:23 p.m.

    @ Johnson72:

    Not a ballhog when he is considered one of the 25 best players in college ball history, according the the ranking on yesterday.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:17 p.m.

    "Ute fans know after the bowl is game is played, the only thing they have to look forward to is spring football. "

    We set a nationwide college high school gymnastics attendance record last year.

  • riddlemethis Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:14 p.m.

    Who am I Sir:

    The Cougars are practicing in front of 5240 fans so that they can feel at home in the HC this year.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:03 p.m.


    I'm a little confused by your comments. You said BYU joined the WCC only because Jimmer isn't on the team anymore. But then you imply that Jimmer (I assume that's who you're describing) was a ball hog and that BYU might actually, " as a team this year."

    Does this mean after BYU's current crop of seniors graduate, they'll move to the Summit League? (SUU's conference)

    It looks as though the Ute football team might actually make it to a bowl this year, and Ute fans know after the bowl is game is played, the only thing they have to look forward to is spring football.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:02 p.m.

    I can't say but the Y is doing everything it can to prepare for the season. For instance: Practicing in a high school gym in front of 5240 screeming fans.

    Good lunck, Cougars. Win the WCC. Read about the UNLV, New Mexico, San Diego State games and remember this is a part of the price for independence.

  • Christy B Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2011 12:50 p.m.

    Chris B is too embarrassed to talk about the Run Down Utes on a basketball article, because she knows that the Utes couldn't even beat WCC bottom dweller San Diego.

    WCC bottom-dweller > PAC 12 bottom-dweller

  • AZ Dave Chandler, AZ
    Nov. 7, 2011 12:06 p.m.

    Jenny Craig Arena

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 12:01 p.m.

    "Does Utah even still have a men's bball team? "

    No, in upholding the standards of the Geneva Conventions against torture we have folded our men's basketball program.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 12:01 p.m.

    Probably not. Without Jimmer they aren't going to be nearly as good as last year. That doesn't mean they'll be awful though. I can see them competing with St. Mary's for second in the conference.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:59 a.m.

    I guess we will see. Until then, it's all speculation and means nothing.

    Oh, and the WCC, outside the top 3 - 4 teams is a step down.

  • giantfan Farmington, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    Does Utah even still have a men's bball team? I couldn't find any headlines for men's basketball on the DNews at all, just womens. Is that what it's come down to on the hill? The major sporting attractions will now be football, gymnastics and women's basketball?

  • Johnson72 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    Oh and byu might play as a team this year instead of one playing as a ballhog.

  • Anonymous Infinity American Fork, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    Can BYU dethrone Gonzaga, is the question? The answer is an emphatic no. Take a look at their (Gonzaga's) roster and notice the big people on it. And they are used to playing in high school size gyms. Couple that with the Y's notoriously poor road record over the years versus decent, and even lesser talented teams. They (BYU) doesn't win those games. Remember, this is the post "Jimmer" season. They (BYU)doesn't have experience in the backcourt, and they don't have big enough people up front to guard the opposition in the paint. They need more meat and more overall speed, and better shooters. After saying that, I am ready to see what happens. I am tired of collegiate football at this point. I'm ready for round ball.

  • alternate Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:37 a.m.

    Too many people live in the past. Sometimes you have to because of the disappointments of the current season. So far this year, it is pretty tough to brag about Utah, Utah State or BYU basketball after last week's exhibition games. But all three teams will get better.

    Utah State appears to have the best chance to win a conference championship with BYU having a shot also. Utah is most likely a year or two away from contending in the PAC.

    On topic for this article, the WCC appears to be a stronger basketball conference than the PAC, MWC or the WAC. BYU, Gozaga, and St Mary's all lost key players but return strong teams. Should be a fun year for BYU with three teams going after each other as well as playing the new teams in the new conference. BYU is basically trading SDS and NM for difficult games with Gonzaga and St Mary's.

  • Johnson72 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    Rememeber byu does not have the the Jimmie this year... What they going to do now? Oh yeah they joined the WCC.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:15 a.m.

    While it may not be the PAC 12, I'm excited to follow the BYU men's basketball teams this season as they play in the WCC. I'm especially excited to listen to or watch their games against St. Mary's and Gonzaga.

    Both schools, especially the Zags, will be high quality opponents.

    This is going to be fun! GO COUGS!

  • jarka-rus Layton, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:13 a.m.

    Oh sissy B

    How are those bball utesies going to do this year? LOL

    National championship.
    Heisman trophy winner.
    Super bowl QB's, etc. etc. Wow two BS wins in your whole storied history. A BS mvp who couldn't even play in the UFL. Congrats.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:10 a.m.

    I expect the Cougars to struggle early as they get their guard play figured out, but we'll see significant improvement once Carlino gets into action and Zylsta moves over to his natural position at the 2 spot.

    Tough early match-ups will be Utah State, Wisconsin, Oregon and Baylor (with only Baylor in the friendly confines of the Marriott center).

    In conference play, I'm expecting the Cougs to split with the Zags and St Mary's with each team winning at home. WCC Championship Game will be the Cougs vs the Zags. Cougs will surprise a lot of people by winning the WCC in their first year, knocking off the Zags.

    Cougs line-up seems to be solidifying. Once conference play starts you'll see:

    5: Davies, Collinsworth
    4: Hartsock, Rogers, Sharp
    3: Abouo, Rogers
    2: Zylstra, Harrison
    1: Carlino, Zylstra

    @Chris B - Congrats on your Utes staying so close to Div 2 Adams State. Although you didn't win, it must make you very proud to know you can hang in there with a team like that on your home floor. Good luck against San Diego Christian College. They may be your last chance for a W this season.

  • first2third Elmo, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:07 a.m.

    Not just No but...heck NO!

  • riddlemethis Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    Chris B:

    Why would you be talking about football on an article talking about BYU dethroning the Zags in bball? Oh, I know! Because the Utes can't dethrone Adams State.

    Can the cougs dethrone the zags? As of now: no. But Dave Rose will have this group in position to come WCC tournament time.

    go cougs!

  • Blue Chelan56 Chelan, WA
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    I believe we will see a lot of split wins and loses. The Gonzaga "Kennel" atmosphere is something beyond anything BYU Coaches and athletes have ever experienced before. It is way beyond the Utah Crowd up North or Wyoming in the winter, or UNLV in Vegas. Believe me, it will take some getting used to! West Coast Officiating is another experience at the Kennel Club. It will be a challenge,it will be interesting to say the least. Goooo Cougs !!

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:57 a.m.

    ute alumni,

    why didn't you say right after Utah's goes to a bcs bowl or right after Utah wins a bcs bowl or right after Utah earns a bcs invite?

    LOL. We did those things.


  • payara OREM, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    join the Big East along with Boise. PLEASE

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    sissy b
    right after utah's rose bowl win

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    Until football season is over, I don't care. Whoops, oh yeah it already is.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:34 a.m.

    Right after the big 12 calls

    Or right after you go to a bcs game

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:00 a.m.

    BYU probably won't dethrone the Zags this year, however, they are going to provide Gonzaga another tough opponent.

    With BYU in the league, the WCC won't be nearly as easy a pushover for the Zags as it has been, at some times, in the past.

    Nov. 7, 2011 9:51 a.m.

    If we play defense like we did against Dixie, dethroning Gonzaga, or even beating St. Marys, won't happen. Nothing against Dixie, as I was impressed with their style of play. But that game should not have been as close as it was. Of course, it is early in the season. Go Cougs!!!!

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 9:31 a.m.

    I don't agree with Nutz from Smithfield (he's probably a Cougar hating Aggie) but we'll definately have to play a lot better from January thru March than we did last week to win the WCC. We have to shoot better from the outside and play a LOT better defense.

  • Sports Nutz Smithfield, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 9:19 a.m.