BYU Basketball: Reviewing the Good and the Bad of the 2012 Year
With the new year drawing nearer and nearer, it is always good to take time to look back at your own year.
Well, not only your own, but the BYU basketball 2012 year as well.
The Cougars had their highs and lows, and in the midst of recovering in the post-Jimmer era, here are the good and the bad from those last 365 days.
Good: Establishing a Dominant Frontcourt Early on in the Year
Brandon Davies, Noah Hartsock and Charles Abouo teamed up early on in the year to establish a frontcourt trio that was hard to stop. With issues at the guard positions throughout last season for the Cougars, the "big three" stepped up to lead BYU to a tournament berth.
Davies, Hartsock and Abouo averaged over 43 points per game combined last year, along with 18.9 rebounds.
Bad: Choking Against Gonzaga, St. Mary's Consistently
BYU had one heck of a time against Gonzaga and St. Mary's.
And that may be an understatement.
Apart from a 10-point home win against Gonzaga in early February, the Cougars were tossed like a rag doll by the WCC powerhouses. Posting a 1-4 record against the Bulldogs and the Gaels, BYU lost by an average of 15 points in their losses.
Good: Sneaking into the NCAA Tourney and Setting Records
BYU was able to slip into the NCAA tournament bracket in the spring, and as a "First Four" squad, the Cougars had to do something most of the other tournament teams didn't: They had to play an extra game.
For the Cougars, they had an unexpected challenge against Iona, a team that was expected to provide an easy win for BYU. It was just the opposite, and after trailing by 24 in the first half, the Cougars set an NCAA record for an improbable comeback with a 78-72 win.
Bad: Falling Short in the Jabari Parker Recruiting Race
Jabari Parker, the No. 2 high school player in the country, recently chose to become a Duke Blue Devil, instead of attending BYU, Florida or MSU. Although no one really expected Parker to choose BYU as his college over the perennial powerhouses, it was still a tough blast of reality for BYU fans.
Cougar fans and students alike put in quite the effort to land Parker, as they made thousands of "Chicago to Provo" t-shirts and even made a "Gangnam Style" music video parody to try to sway him.
Good: The Return of Tyler Haws
After a year of missing the uncanny scoring ability of Jimmer Fredette, BYU found that go-to guy in a skinny, returned missionary named Tyler Haws. Only months after coming home from two years overseas, he already leads BYU in scoring and is second in rebounds and assists.
His most dominant performance of the year was just last Saturday against Virginia Tech, where he dropped 42 points (29 in the first half).
In the end, here's to another great year of Cougar basketball and a merry New Year!