#44 BYU Cougars: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Jimmer Time was a fun ride for all of college basketball last season.  2011-2012 will be a year of transition though for the BYU Cougars as they must replace their All-American guard and also make the switch from the Mountain West to the West Coast Conference.

BYU COUGARS
Last Season: T-1st, 14-2 in MWC, 32-5 overall
Predicted WCC Finish:

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Noah Hartsock (Sr)/Nate Austin (Fr)/Ian Harward (Fr)
PF: Brandon Davies (Jr)/Stephen Rogers (Jr)
SF: Chris Collinsworth (Jr)/Josh Sharp (Fr)
SG: Charles Abouo (Sr)/DeMarcus Harrison (Fr)/Anson Winder (Fr)
PG: Brock Zylstra (Jr)/Matt Carlino (Fr)/Nick Martineau (Jr)/Craig Cusick (Jr)

Gone: PG-Jimmer Fredette, SG-Jackson Emery, F-Logan Magnusson, C-James Anderson, F-Kyle Collinsworth (mission)

jimmer fredette engaged

2011-2012 Outlook:
Not only does BYU lose Jimmer but his backcourt mate for the past three seasons, Jackson Emery is also gone.  That leaves two huge holes to fill at guard.  Replacing Emery will come a little bit easier with Charles Abouo moving from a key reserve to starting shooting guard.  He is not a three-point threat like Emery was, but offers more athleticism.  DeMarcus Harrison is a talented freshman who should be a contributor off the bench behind Abouo.

There are several candidates to take over the point guard position.  UCLA transfer Matt Carlino is probably the most talented of the bunch but he doesn’t become eligible until after the first semester.  Head coach Dave Rose played versatile wing Brock Zylstra at the point on the team’s summer trip to Greece and was impressed by what he saw so he could end up replacing Jimmer in the starting line-up. Seldom used junior Nick Martineau or walk-on Craig Cusick will be the other options.

The frontcourt will provide the stability for the Cougars especially with Brandon Davies back in the fold.  The athletic junior was suspended near the end of last season for violating the BYU honor code but has been reinstated. Steady senior Noah Hartsock returns in the middle and is an inside/outside threat.  Chris Collinsworth only played in nine games last season before undergoing kee surgery. He should be ready for the start of the season and is the favorite to round out the starting frontcourt.

The depth up-front takes a little bit of a hit with Kyle Collinsworth embarking on his mission trip but there are still plenty of options.  Stephen Rogers was a rotation player off the bench last season but will be asked to take on a bigger role.  He is another guy on the roster with good size and ability to shoot the rock.  Wing Josh Sharp originally committed Utah but decided to enroll at BYU after returning from his mission and is another versatile forward who will see minutes.

Nate Austin and Ian Harward return from mission trips as well and will provide more size inside.  Harward is more of a true big man while Austin offers more versatility due to his ability to stretch defenses with his outside shooting.

Unlike the past couple of seasons, balance will be the key for Jimmer-less Cougars.  Having the depth and talent to become a group effort will help BYU turn the WCC into a three-horse race as the Cougars will compete with Gonzaga and St. Mary’s for the conference crown and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Player to Watch: Brandon Davies
Davies’ suspension in early March served as a lightning rod for sports talk shows about the BYU honor code and whether it was fair or not.  More importantly, the absence of Davies may have cost the Cougars a possible Final Four run.  The 6-9 forward has righted his wrongs and is back with the team which is huge since he is their most talented player.  Davies will probably emerge as BYU’s go-to player during crunch time and is also their most aggressive rebounder.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/11 at Utah State
11/25 vs. Nevada (Chicago Invitational Challenge)
11/26 vs. Wisconsin/Bradley (Chicago Invitational Challenge)
12/3 vs. Oregon
12/7 vs. Weber State
12/10 at Utah
12/17 vs. Baylor
1/25 at Virginia Tech

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#45 Kansas State Wildcats
#46 West Virginia Mountaineers
#47 Virginia Cavaliers
#48 George Mason Patriots
#49 Old Dominion Monarchs

#50 VCU Rams
#51 Kent State Golden Flashes
#52 Arkansas Razorbacks
#53 St. John’s Red Storm
#54 Northwestern Wildcats
#55 Georgetown Hoyas
#56 Miami Hurricanes
#57 Nevada Wolfpack
#58 Detroit Titans
#59 UCF Knights
#60 Long Beach State 49ers
#61 Virginia Tech Hokies
#62 Clemson Tigers
#63 New Mexico State Aggies
#64 Tennessee Volunteers
#65 Iona Gaels
#66 Murray State Racers
#67 N.C. State Wolfpack
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#105 Providence Friars
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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