Bigelow's First Take on the Cougars

Brett RichinsSenior Analyst IDecember 12, 2010

DENVER - MARCH 18:  Mark Bigelow #2 of the of the Brigham Young University Cougars moves the ball against the Syracuse University Orangeman during a first round game of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at Pepsi Center on March 18, 2004 in Denver, Colorado.  Syracuse defeated BYU 80-75. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Greetings, everyone!

I am excited to join the Deep Shades of Blue team and offer my insights and thoughts on BYU basketball.

I was an avid fan of BYU sports (not just basketball but all BYU sports) before attending the school and have continued to follow them after my time there.

I truly believe we are in a golden age of BYU athletics as both football and basketball teams have men at the helm that embody what the university stands for as well as have the coaching and recruiting ability to produce exceptional teams on a consistent basis.

It’s a great time to be Cougar fan!

Let me echo Jimmy Balderson’s words in saying that I’m not the guy to look to for news reports on the team. I’m just a guy with an opinion who might have a unique perspective on the topic of BYU basketball given my background.  With that said, I hope what I write adds value to the website and to your experiences as a Cougar fan.

For my first post I thought I would share some quick thoughts on the Arizona game last night.

Despite Emery not having the best offensive night, the wings (Emery, little Collinsworth, and Abouo) really impressed me.  They were all really physical, were extremely active on the defensive end, and were active on the boards.

Most impressive of all though, was how much their athleticism disrupted the Arizona flow.  Yes, that’s right.  It was BYU’s athleticism that disrupted the PAC-10 member Arizona and not the other way around.

You could see the disruption in both the man and zone match-ups from shots being altered and passes being tipped. Those are the type of things that happen when defenses get to spots quicker then the offensive player anticipates or is used to seeing on an everyday basis.

If the wings continue to play with the same aggressiveness and confidence as they did on Saturday good things await.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cougars play more zone in the future, especially against tough inside match-ups.  One of the toughest things to do out of a zone is to rebound but BYU proved they were able to do it against a strong rebounding team in Arizona.

Additionally, the team was so active in the zone that they were able to force turnovers through tipped passes.  Such success gives the coaching staff another great option when they find themselves in foul trouble or don’t want to “monster” (double) the post.

Finally, I know it has been said before but I’ll say it again, Jimmer is a really special player.

His performances this past week illustrate not only how gifted he is physically but mentally as well. 

It takes a one-of-a-kind mentality to be able to receive the type of praise and attention he did during the beginning of the week and then come back and drop 33 on the team you dropped 49 on the year prior.

Take this year in because the likes of Jimmer in a Cougar uniform likely won’t be seen again for some time.

I’m always hesitant to get too excited about a team too early because I know how many things can transpire through the course of a season but this team is definitely pushing the excitement meter earlier than most.