BYU Basketball 2011: A Look at Dave Rose, the Mastermind Behind Jimmer Fredette

Jeff HansenContributor IMarch 22, 2011

Dave Rose has been an inspiration for the BYU basketball team all year long.
Dave Rose has been an inspiration for the BYU basketball team all year long.Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

All year long we've heard about BYU basketball. The local media has built Jimmer Fredette's reputation as big as it can get in Utah. The national media has slobbered over Fredette's long-range shots and high-scoring games.

The entire nation had some sort of an opinion when Brandon Davies was suspended from the team for a violation of the school's honor code.

And now we hear constant stories about how BYU is making a run in the NCAA tournament. How far can they go? Can Jimmer keep carrying the team? Will Davies' absence ultimately catch up to them?

Whether you are a BYU fan or not, you've heard more than ever about BYU basketball.

But one story has been lost along the way, and honestly, it's the biggest story from BYU all year.

It was just less than two years ago that head coach Dave Rose was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. At the time Rose was diagnosed, doctors gave him a five-in-one-million shot of surviving his battle.

Two years later, Coach Rose has his Cougars in the Sweet 16.

As good as Fredette and the Cougars have been this year, they couldn't have gotten to where they are without the leadership of their head coach. Rose is the only person in the BYU basketball program that has any Final Four experience. He played in the Final Four for Houston in 1983.

The Cougars hope to be able to keep winning and help Rose return to the Final Four and give BYU its first Final Four appearance in school history.

In just six years at BYU, Rose has completely revolutionized the program. The year before Rose took over, BYU finished a dismal 9-21. Since taking over the head coaching duties in 2005, Rose has an outstanding 159-44 record. He has yet to have a season where his team has won less than 20 games. 

The team's most important member this year is their leader and coach.

A win in a tough battle against Florida would be huge for the BYU program, but Dave Rose has already won the biggest battle of the year, as he overcame the odds and beat cancer, and that victory is the biggest victory for the BYU basketball program.