Ryan Teeples: BYU basketball's NCAA tournament performances defy historical averages

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  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    March 28, 2014 1:36 p.m.

    As a Ute fan I'm happy that BYU fields a good team, because the competition between us and them is better served when both teams are playing well and there is more on the line. BYU was one of the bright spots in an otherwise hum drum pre-season for the Utes this past season. My take on the reason BYU struggles so much in the NCAA tournament is lack of defense. Under Dave Rose BYU has never consistently played tough defense. I am puzzled by this, because at times, even this past season, they have shown the ability to clamp down defensively on other teams. I know Coach Rose has acknowledged his team's poor defense at times and it seems when he does that they make temporary corrections, but those corrections never last. To me this is the missing piece to the puzzle. Until BYU develops consistent defensive play and toughness, I think they will continue to struggle in the NCAA Tournament.

  • Old But Not Stupid Moorpark, CA
    March 26, 2014 2:23 p.m.

    "But as of today, Utah 2013 class had a 5-star NBA prospect who was first-team PAC-12 offense and defense. How's your 2013 class doing?"

    So #65 on the NBADraft.net Big Board is a "5-star NBA prospect? Or do the best NBA prospects have 8-10 stars?

    Wright was fortunate that the PAC-12 honors voting was done before the Arizona and St. Mary's games. Otherwise, I doubt he would have been a first-team selection.

    Yes, your program will get better, but I don't see it surpassing UCLA, Arizona, or Stanford (all currently in the S-16!) any time soon.

  • autahmanami Lehi, UT
    March 26, 2014 12:48 a.m.

    Re: "The good news for BYU basketball is that the so-called “law of averages” says that the Cougars are due for wins in the NCAA tournament, even as lower seeds."

    Ask Weber State about the law of averages. The only way to change the law of averages is to change the odds. The way to change the odds is field a top 15 program for 10 years running.

    Until BYU (And any other Utah school for that matter) can do this, the will remain in the bowels of NCAA tourney mediocrity. One sweet sixteen (with Jimmer) and one Elite 8 (with Danny Ainge) appearance in the last 60 years. Their remaining 25 tourney appearances have been none and done or one and done.

  • autahmanami Lehi, UT
    March 26, 2014 12:00 a.m.

    @warren - BYU did try to recruit both Jordan and Dallin Bachynski (7 footers from Calgary) but dropped the ball as they did not offer either brother a scholarship. BYU was trying to hold out to see how missions might impact the number of available scholarships (see my other post on missions impacting recruiting. The delay in offering scholarships cost them the signing of either brother, but especially Dallin whose heart was originally set on attending BYU.

  • autahmanami Lehi, UT
    March 25, 2014 11:49 p.m.

    Full disclaimer, that I am a Utah fan through and through. This is my honest assessment, as one who has followed college basketball closely for years.

    I think that BYU has a better chance at getting a football national championship game than to a final four, or even an elite 8 during the next decade.Five star recruits simply don't see BYU as a basketball school. BYU could not even land Jabari Parker, who many thought would be a shoe-in to join the cougars based upon his deep connection to the LDS faith. and let's not sugarcoat reality, missions do hurt recruiting. (see Rob Dauster SI article)

    Conversely, BYU football has a long and storied tradition, and as an independent with an ESPN contract gets a great deal of airtime during football season. BYU also has history of landing top recruits, and many not of the LDS faith.

    I think that cougar fans are putting way to much stock in the incoming basketball recruiting classes. They are over-hyped, and the cougars will be lucky to break into the top 25 over the next few years.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    March 25, 2014 8:53 p.m.

    When 2014 football season start? I love basketball too and hoping for another good year 2014/15 season too. Go Cougars!

  • 81Ute Central, UT
    March 25, 2014 8:41 p.m.

    This article really has me confused. What I take away is that BYU should be invited to the dance because we are BYU. BYU always gets the seed that they deserve. BYU always loses to better teams or at least to teams with a better seed. BYU will win until we actually play a good team with a worse seeding and then they beat us too. Therefore, BYU should get better seeding so that BYU can win a game against an autoqualifier that really shouldn't be there anyway. Interesting, considering that the WCC is one of the conferences with dubious autoqualifiers.

  • Warren ,
    March 25, 2014 8:05 p.m.

    How far away from the Utah circle does BYU look. 2 --7 footer brothers from Calgary, Alberta- both returned missionaries, and they are at Utah and Arizona State. Did BYU ever look at them?

  • Tilka PORTLAND, OR
    March 25, 2014 7:17 p.m.

    Nice article and spin. I am a huge BYU fan but here are the facts - based upon total appearances of the top 40 teams in in NCAA tournament history (minimum 21 appearances and through this week) BYU is second to the last in winning percentage. BYU's winning percentage is 32.61% and the only one lower is Princeton with 31.71%. The team just above BYU is Penn with a winning percentage of 34.21%. At that point the next highest winning percentage above Penn is 45.24% by Western Kentucky!

    As far as qualified LDS players there are a lot of them out there who aren't going to BYU, like the kid who had his scholarship pulled (while on his mission!) and is playing at Clemson, and several others at schools around the country. It appears to me that BYU is more dedicated to promises made to some players to make sure they are stars instead of having a deep bench of kids who all have average statistics. It is fairly rare to see disproportionately high average scorers on national championship teams.

  • Nate R La Jolla, CA
    March 25, 2014 6:10 p.m.

    Re: "The good news for BYU basketball is that the so-called “law of averages” says that the Cougars are due for wins in the NCAA tournament, even as lower seeds."

    This is the gambler's fallacy, namely the expectation that b/c of a string of losses there is a higher probability that the next time will be a win.

    So no, the "law of averages" does not lead us to expect that the Cougars will do better next year. (Sorry to disappoint you BYU fans!)

  • cy1951 Arlington, VA
    March 25, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    Gonzaga made a national name for itself and propelled its BBall program into national discussion by winning games in the NCAA as underdogs. Until BYU does the same thing, it will be the team no one respects at Tourney time. And the only way to get upsets is to get better players. Sorry to be down on Utah high school BBall, but having a team dominated by Lone Peak and Utah high schoolers will not get BYU to the promised land in the tourney. Maybe the transfers of Fischer and Ayate, both of whom will suit up for the Cougs next year (Ayate after the end of the fall semester). Two non-LDS kids who did not play high school ball in Utah. I thought that the one thing Mormon kids from Utah high school could do was shoot. Not so. The Oregon TEAM made 74.4% of its foul shots during the year. One -- repeat one - BYU player made more than 74% of his foul shots. if they can't shoot foul shots they can't shoot field goals. And that is a formula for disappointment against good teams.

  • Truebluecoug Park City, UT
    March 25, 2014 4:38 p.m.

    The Year of the Cougar is 2018! You heard it here first.

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    March 25, 2014 3:42 p.m.

    CougFaninTX -

    Please outline for me BYU's incoming 2015 class (new players that will actually be on the roster and not on missions)

    Then compare that incoming class to Utah's additions Brekott Chapman, Kyle Kuzma, Isaiah Wright, and Chris Reyes.

    Now, just for fun, let's look at who is leaving the BYU program this year that played significant minutes - Erik Mika (and whoever Rose decides to cut to free up scholarships). and compare that to who Utah loses -- Renan Lenz (and one other scholarship to free space for Reyes).

    I think it is great that your recruiting class is set for 6 years with the best talent Utah County can produce. However, the next couple of years might be pretty dry.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 25, 2014 3:32 p.m.


    And no other school in Utah has the recruiting pipeline for the next 6 years as BYU. BYU has a legit shot at Sweet 16 or higher in a fewer years. No other school has the incoming talent to even dream about that.


    Your Lone Peak recruiting pipeline?

    BYU's 2013 and 2014 classes were ranked higher than Utah.

    But as of today, Utah 2013 class had a 5-star NBA prospect who was first-team PAC-12 offense and defense. How's your 2013 class doing?

    Utah's on its way up, just hold on to your Sweet 16 dreams.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    March 25, 2014 3:11 p.m.

    While not a BYU fan I am impressed by their history of fielding a good team most years. Given their honor code and religon they are challenged to recruit from the pool of NBA potential athletes. Coach Rose has done a great job getting great student athletes to come and compete at BYU. I expect that to continue.

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    March 25, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    The team has to address the defense to make it further in the tourney. It's really that simple. Yes, the recruits coming up in the next couple years make a deep run seem possible but it all starts with getting tougher on D. If they do that, even the Jimmer/Emery year will get beat out for success.

  • BeaMeUpScty HEBER CITY, UT
    March 25, 2014 2:17 p.m.

    There will surely be those who scoff at all of BYU's one and done's, but the simple fact of the matter is that BYU actually GOES to the big dance, and they do so regularly. Sure, it would be great to win more, but what a great accomplishment and compliment to regularly get invited to play. You certainly can't win a tournament you aren't invited to. I say, congratulation to this year's young men for a great and entertaining year and we look forward to your likely inclusion in the years to come.

  • jarka-rus Layton, Utah
    March 25, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    NCAA tourney >>>>> NIT simple math

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    March 25, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    As BYU fans, let's be honest. With Honor Code and Church, our recruiting pool is very small. We do amazingly well as it is. The best chance for a Final Four was three years ago, before Davies was removed from the team. We may go another 20 years before we can do it again.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    March 25, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    I'm not too intested in ancient history. The most recent decade and the upcoming recruiting class is plenty to look at.

    Even though there are no final fours on the resume, no other team in Utah has come close to BYUs success the past decade. Utah State has had the 2nd most success. After that it's debatable whether UVU, Weber State or Utah are third.

    And no other school in Utah has the recruiting pipeline for the next 6 years as BYU. BYU has a legit shot at Sweet 16 or higher in a fewer years. No other school has the incoming talent to even dream about that.