Dick Harmon: Underdog Cougars head to Vegas hoping to bring an edge to WCC tournament

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  • cal cougar camarillo, CA
    March 7, 2013 9:34 p.m.

    I have been saying this for a half of a season about Kaufusi. I am just so glad that Dave Rose has come around with getting a physical presence in the game. I think this has held back many very good Dave Rose teams in the past. We have the WCC to thank for showing Dave the light. I would like to think some of our comments helped, but that would probably not be the truth. But you never know.

    March 7, 2013 9:31 p.m.

    Every conference has different styles of play and the WCC is more physical while the refs call things a little different so we need to adjust, especially since we really don't have a center (#5). Davies is good, but he is a power forward, not really a center. Kaufusi is the best we could do on short notice and he actually plays better than I thought he would. Don't think for a minute that opposing players don't know what they are doing when they charge him, they know it is likely he will get the foul. A few of those opposing players have been surprised at how solid he is which has made them think twice about charging in against him again.

    Admittedly he is a little awkward which is to be expected for someone so large. It would probably take at least a couple years of hard work to turn him into a center and he IS a good athlete. Normally I wouldn't expect him back next year but I haven't noticed a recruit to replace Davies and Kaufusi unless Mika doesn't go on a mission right away.

  • Star Bright Salt Lake City, Ut
    March 7, 2013 8:31 p.m.

    Well, it seems like my comment was not posted.
    So go Cougs. Please, just hit all your free throws.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    March 7, 2013 6:00 p.m.

    @rafinsure - "Cougar basketball needs to change its style of play and begin recruiting outside the Wasatch Front."

    Why? Do you like watching schools like Utah pass it around for 30 seconds and score 50 points? And as for recruiting, the #1 high school team in the nation is from the Wasatch Front, and the top 3 players on that team are coming to BYU (Mika, Emery, Haws).

    But just for balance, BYU also has the #1 high school player from Washington (Chatman), #1 from Idaho (Shaw), #1 from Colorado (Calvert) and will likely get #1 from Arizona (Dastrup). Along with top players from Oklahoma (Hartsock), Wisconsin (Worthington) and California (Nielsen). And still hoping Chapman (another Utah player) commits.

    Just curious, who is BYU missing out on? I'm sure Mr. Rose would love your insight.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with BYU recruiting or their style of play. This year and next year could be a little down (if you call 23 wins a down season), but look for the Cougs to dance deep into the NCAA in 2015 and beyond with some more 30 win seasons.

  • NightOwlAmerica SALEM, OR
    March 7, 2013 5:51 p.m.

    Tom in CA
    Vallejo, CA
    " ..... I'd say Utah has a better chance of winning the Pac 12 tournament than you guys do of beating both St. Mary's and Gonzaga ..... "

    Chrissy - that is pretty profound. Says a lot about your weak bcs conference Chrissy.


    Since Coug fans enjoy stats, here is one. All but one school in the PAC has made it to the final four. BYU has never been there. Stop losing at home to the bottom feeders of the WCC. And then come back and talk with us.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    March 7, 2013 4:09 p.m.

    " ..... I'd say Utah has a better chance of winning the Pac 12 tournament than you guys do of beating both St. Mary's and Gonzaga ..... "

    Chrissy - that is pretty profound. Says a lot about your weak bcs conference Chrissy.

    Re: Kaufusi:

    I like it when the defender hits the floor, and Kaufusi looks down on him like a sacked QB.

  • So. Cal Reader San Diego, CA
    March 7, 2013 3:42 p.m.

    Re: Spokane Ute- "BYU will end up in the NIT, and that's not all that bad." I don't care much for your colors, but I couldn't agree with you more. The Cougs go into every season with the NCAA Tourney as the goal. NIT is not looked at as a "goal." But, under the circumstances of how they've played, that's the best they can realistically hope for.

  • rafinsure Elk Grove/U.S.A., 00
    March 7, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    Let's stop blaming the officials. WCC ball is very different from Mountain West ball. It's more aggressive and up tempo. It's more East Coast/LA/Bay Area style. BYU fans need to stop moaning and groaning, and just realize that Cougar basketball needs to change its style of play and begin recruiting outside the Wasatch Front. Cougar basketball can recruit some non LDS players from the West Coast, East Coast, or Europe who are willing to live the university's standards. The football team does it all the time. Finally, I love the Cougars, but their chances of winning the WCC are pretty slim. A third place finish and a NIT invitation are more reasonable. It's time to call this season a wash and move onto football. :0)

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    March 7, 2013 2:22 p.m.

    Normally I'd be pulling for BYU up until they play Gonzaga (assuming). But after watching Kafusi thug his way through the Gonzaga game, and Rose leaving him in the game; I hope the Cougars get knocked out early. Kafusi has no business on the court; he's hockey's equivalent of an enforcer; he knock opponents down; than stands over them and taunts them. He needs to stick to football, where his opponent can punch him back. BYU will end up in the NIT, and that's not all that bad.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 7, 2013 1:46 p.m.

    Kaufusi needs to learn the art of flopping like Olynck does when Kaufusi guards him. Drive willy nilly to the basket, drop your shoulder into the chest of your opponent and then flop to the floor and act hurt and the refs will always bail you out with a "flagrant foul".

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    March 7, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    Why am I not surprised that Chris B would show up here with another derogatory BYU comment and as always, bring up the Utes, who have absolutely nothing to do with this article? Your MO is getting old, Chris. But just to set the record straight, and as one commenter just mentioned, the Y's 4 percent chance is higher than Utah's zero percent chance in their PAC tournament.

    Kaufusi is a stud! Certainly more-so than being a dirty player. Plain and simple, basketball is a very physical game... especially in the paint. Kaufusi is a great answer to opponents that start playing the Cougs a little too physical in the paint. He sometimes fouls hard, but never intends to hurt anyone, nor has he. Nor does he ever taunt his opponent afterwards. He seems to have the right combination of physical play, intimidation and class.

    I really believe that, even though the odds are very much against them, the Cougars will give a better showing than most people, including many fans, are expecting.

  • But seriously folks! Pacific Northwest, WA
    March 7, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    Utah has 0% chance of winning the PAC10.2 tourney because they won't even be invited. There's the PAC 10.2 cellar and then there are two teams that are even lower than the cellar. Unfortunately you are one of them. Enjoy your BCS membership as long as you can.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    March 7, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    I have no problem with playing to the crowd or engaging in a little bit of theatrics, but only if you're a big-time player. When Lebron James passes the ball back to a fan after the fan has retrieved the ball and tossed it to LBJ, that's kind of cool. He have the guy a little thrill and showed he's having fun while torching the league.

    If you're Brock Zylstra? Maybe you just get back on defense. He mugs and celebrates after every made three like it's the greatest moment of his life. I guess when you get so few highlights, you exaggerate them. I'm sure the fans he high-fived will be telling their grandkids about it. "When I was in college, Brock Zylstra touched me!"

  • binghamalum South Jordan, UT
    March 7, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    whats up with all the harsh words cougar fans??

    Im a byu fan as well, but have come to the conclusion, from about game #10, this is not as good a BYU team

    No Jimmer,
    Lost two big guys collinsworth and the tall wing player to season ending injuries.
    They stil have won 21 games people. They are clearly mismatched against Gonzaga
    Saint marys won on a half court shot.

    I mean yes they havent looked great, but who else will shoot the ball if haws, carlino, and davies doesnt...
    Cusick? Airball remember?
    winder... no
    sharp... no
    zylstra... streaky
    austin.... nope.
    kaufusi... nope

    So I mean be happy they have won games, and still be in alot of games as well.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    With a 1-8 record against St. Mary's and Gonzaga the past 2 years, I think I know where my money will be.

    I'd say Utah has a better chance of winning the Pac 12 tournament than you guys do of beating both St. Mary's and Gonzaga!

    March 7, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    "There needs to be a difference and there will be a difference,” said Zylstra. “It started with the Saint Mary’s game and that is what it needs to be, to have an edge, when nobody expects us to win.”

    The problem is that BYU played very well against SMC and Gonzaga, but came away empty. Giving everything you have, coming so close, and still losing is tough in the psychie. I think BYU has a chance if they play those teams as well as they did with one exception. They have to be able to score field goals in the final minutes of the game. That means Davies must play smart and avoid foul trouble because nobody else on this team is as good as he is at creating their own shot.

  • dbrbmw Orem, UT
    March 7, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    Love my Cougs but this team doesn't have the basketball IQ or the heart to win the WCC tournament. But go Cougs!

  • So. Cal Reader San Diego, CA
    March 7, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    “Somebody told us our chances of winning the tournament was 4 percent,” said senior forward Brock Zylstra. “That motivates us to get going. Nobody thinks we have a chance to win it.” If our Cougs play like they have in conf. play, there is no chance they'll win the tournament.

    So, Zylstra also says "There needs to be a difference and there will be a difference,” said Zylstra. “It started with the Saint Mary’s game and that is what it needs to be, to have an edge, when nobody expects us to win.” And what difference or edge is that? Since their first game against St. Mary's, we've gone 7-6; since the 2nd game? 1-2. Yep. Some edge.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 7, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    If the refs do it right for the first time, then we win it all.

  • MSA lehi, UT
    March 7, 2013 7:45 a.m.

    I'm not a fan of dirty play, but Brock is right they need to be more physical. Kaufusi is given 5 fouls a game, make them count. Not dirty fouls but hard fouls at the right time can take their opponents away from their game plan.

    March 7, 2013 7:29 a.m.

    I hope that the officials call it closer in the Tourney. BYU players, and especially Tyler Haws have been getting mugged all year, without fouls being called. I think tighter calls from officials, will actually help BYU, especially against St. Mary's who are constantly grabbing and holding Haws at every turn. Go Cougs.

  • sls Columbia, MO
    March 7, 2013 6:33 a.m.

    Cougars would not have needed to play more physical if the WCC officiating were a little better. It was obvious in the Utah State game that BYU is a decent team, when the refs are involved in protecting players who get fouled. Kaufusi's recent aggressiveness is a response to all the non-calls coming from WCC officials.

  • fireonthemtn Reno, NV
    March 6, 2013 10:03 p.m.

    I find it ironic that Zylstra would be making comments regarding Kaufusi's behavior on the court. I guess I'm old school; when you hit a three pointer you get back on defense. Giving high fives to the fans at courtside doesn't impress me; playing hard and winning the game gets my attention. As far as the theatrics go, check out the drama club if that's what you're interested in. If I want to watch theatrical sports, I'll tune into pro wrestling...

  • fireonthemtn Reno, NV
    March 6, 2013 7:45 p.m.

    Kaufusi will not be able to get away with flagrant fouls and physical intimidation of opponents in Las Vegas. The conference officials are aware of his behavior and won't tolerate it. He may have to resort to basketball skills on a neutral court.

  • Goooo Cougars Spokane, WA
    March 6, 2013 7:35 p.m.

    Similar articles a few weeks ago with byu players saying they need to play with more urgency, but that never happened and they really struggled the last few weeks. I am a big cougar fan but they will be lucky to win one game, better luck next year cougs and maybe rose will play talent over seniority.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    March 6, 2013 5:49 p.m.

    I want to know what happened to the Cougar team that was picked to challenge for the conference championship at the beginning of the season? did they simply go home?

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    March 6, 2013 5:13 p.m.

    Zylstra: "...We are sharing the ball and are more happy in each other’s successes, which was not the case earlier this season.”

    What? By my observation, the same 3 players who played selfish at the beginning of the season, are playing selfish still, at the end of the season. And we all know who those 3 players are.

    Maybe a miracle will happen, but I just don't think this team has it.

    4%? "So you're sayin' there's a chance..."