Tyler Haws had a breakout game in Salt Lake on December 29 against Virginia Tech. After being in somewhat of a slump over most of the past month does this spark him heading into conference play starting on Thursday at home against Loyola Marymount?
Carl: “Sparking” is not a term I like to use about player performance, but I hope it can get some confidence back in a fledgling BYU team. Haws is certainly our best offensive weapon thus far. It remains to be seen if he can take center stage in that role and put BYU on his back when necessary.
Matt: Unless your name is Jimmer, one game would not constitute breaking out but it sure could go a long way towards helping Haws get back on track by reaching his season average of nearly 21 PPG. And that is the key heading into conference play. Haws started getting a lot of attention and his contribution in the points column dropped. Keeping that pressure on the opponent will keep them focused on more than one player and will be the ultimate key to success or failure over the next few months.
Does BYU’s win over Virginia Tech qualify as a resume builder or not? They have a win over #10 Oklahoma State but a loss to Georgia Southern and a crushing blowout loss to Colorado State on a neutral site. How do you qualify Virginia Tech?
Carl: The smart answer here is To Be Determined. Currently, it’s not a great win, but it doesn’t hurt the RPI either. Side bar- Can I get a huge WTH for BYU’s #29 RPI with a #27 SOS? Who puts these numbers together anyway? VaTech still has plenty of games to notch quality wins and make BYU’s win look better. BYU needs this to turn in to a decent win and most likely hold home court with Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s to look like an at-large. Without it, losing to Baylor, Notre Dame, FSU, and ISU, with your best win being Weber St. or Utah won’t look good on selection Sunday.
Matt: No. It’s been a while since Tech was relevant enough to consider a resume builder, especially when considered against the rest of BYU’s schedule and it stands as the only win against a potential resume team. Had BYU picked up a win against Baylor, Florida State, Notre Dame, or Iowa State, this would add to it because its never a bad thing to get a win against the ACC, but location and lack of a quality opponent precludes it from being a resume builder come selection time.
How does BYU’s basketball team change with Bronson Kaufusi joining the team?
Carl: To tell you the truth, I’m not sure. Coach Rose may not even put Kaufusi on the floor. If he does, he’s a big body to clog a lane. The bottom half of the WCC would present great opportunities for Kaufusi to dominate alongside Davies. Even still, if Bronson can be formidable on the offensive side, he would provide much-needed breaks for Davies without feeling pressured to keep Davies in for 35+ minutes a game.
Matt: First and foremost, they get some hefty beef in the low post that can add at the very least, five more fouls. But where he can really help the team is he will give Brandon Davies someone against whom he can really practice hard and continue to develop. Kaufusi was a 15 PPG player in high school at Timpview, so he isn’t exactly a slouch. The only downside to this experiment is the possibility that he gets hurt on the hardwood and isn’t available for football. So here’s to hoping against that.
Carl: I’m certainly surprised both of them are coming back. Although undersized, I felt they both had promise to make it in the draft this year. Obviously, I’m not a draft expert. And I’m elated that they’re returning. Those two guys equate to one extra win on the expectations for next year that we discussed in last week’s ATI. Eight wins with that kind of talent should be expected. Just think of it, Hoffman, Williams, Friel and a quarterback not named Riley Nelson! Not a bad nucleus in my opinion.
Matt: I wasn’t ever concerned that Hoffman might declare. I didn’t feel he was high-profile enough with the talent in the west, but in 2013, he should be a top dog to watch and he will be watched. Van Noy shocks me. However, their returns are good for as many as three wins next season. I would safely bet on 7, stretch bet on 8 wins without them. With them, I might be comfortable with betting on 9 wins. In short, the fact that this tandem is returning is akin to getting two of the top recruits at their positions to sign with the team. Bring on 2013!