This is that popular time of the year, when your team gets bounced from the tournament and you look back on the season that was. You may even give out meaningless grades that everyone will debate the merit of. If you are really into this whole "movement" you might even breakdown a particular player and try to forecast his future. Since the lovely staff here at Vanquish The Foe has taken us down this road already, I would like to drive the bus forward. I will not let these internet overlords suppress my voice anymore! Let's make our voices heard! Who's with me!?! Let's put the 2011-12 season behind us and plan for our first ever Final Four run!
Addendum: After I started this I realized that Geoff Johnston already did a story somewhat similar to this one... but this is a new day, and I will not let my voice be stifled. (You too can write a fanpost. Just register for a free account!)
Lets first look at the pieces we have to work with for the 2012-13 college hoops season and break those down.
Post players (Center & Power Forward)
Wing Players (Small Forward & Shooting Guard)
There is your 2012-13 BYU basketball roster in all of its glory and eminence. Now it is time to get to know these players.
Brandon Davies. 6'9" Forward. Senior.
You must block out the big fella!
Brandon Davies has shown great improvement over his time at BYU. This past season under the tutelage of resident big man expert, Mark Pope, Brandon has elevated his game to a completely different level. He is the easiest lock in the starting line up next season and will undoubtedly be a team leader next year. Dave Rose will rely heavily on him to step up his game.
Nate Austin. 6'11" Forward/Center. Sophomore.
The infamous Yougurt Dunk!!!!!
Nate was one of the biggest surprises on last year's team. He came off his mission over the summer but wasn't expected to contribute much. He battled with the other return missionary Ian Harward to see who would earn the coveted "fourth big-man award" behind Davies, Hartsock and Collinsworth. Chris C. was never able to fully recover from a knee injury from the previous year and Coach Rose called upon the untested freshman for very meaningful minutes. Nate has a shooter's touch and that showed multiple times as liked to occupy Noah's corner or the three-point line frequently. For next year's team, Nate we need to maintain that midrange jumper he showed most of last season, but develop a back to the basket game... of any kind. If he can at least get one move down that would be a huge improvement. We saw what Noah Hartsock was able to do from his Junior to Senior season, working with Coach Pope. Nate will need to do the same.
Ian Harward. 6'11" Forward/Center. Freshman.
The great unknown!
Ian Harward is tall. Real tall. He is a foot taller than me (I know that does nothing for you, but that is the visual I am getting). There is not much else we know about him. He served a mission in Texas and then sat out the last year. He will definitely be in the mix for our big man rotation next year. I remember listening to Coach Pope talk about him with Greg Wrubell on the coach's radio show. He said Ian was very physical. That he likes to "get after it.' I know this sounds like typical coach speak, but its all we have to go on.
Chris Collinsworth. 6'9" Forward. Sophmore/Junior? (Did he get a second medical redshirt for this year?)
Not shown: Chris Collinsworth's knee
Chris Collinsworth can play with just about anyone down low. Dude has the size and agility needed to move around in the post and dominate the glass. I can see Chris Collinsworth gobbling up rebounds like Taquitos, fresh out of the microwave (or microondas as my friends from Nicaragua would say... Tierra del fuego). But Chris has been unable to recover from a nagging knee nick. His whole goal this off-season has got to be rehabbing the knee to 100% before he even thinks about getting on the court full-speed. If he is healthy, he will be the first big man off the bench (and may even push Nate Austin for a starting spot). We need Chris, but we need him healthy. God speed brother.
Josh Sharp. 6'7" Forward. Sophomore.
Aren't you glad you left Utah Josh?
Josh Sharp was my wife's favorite player last year... (OK, just kidding. She actually didn't like it when he came in. Sorry dear.) I'm not quite sure what Josh's role will be on this team. He has no outside game. He has no inside game. He is kind of in between positions. At 6'7" there isn't much he will be able to do down low anyways, but to compound that he just so skinny. There was a lot of buzz about him over the summer last year because he was coming off of a mission and decided to transfer from Utah to BYU. New Utah coach Larry Kryskoviack (sp?) decided to prevent him from transferring to BYU (something about a rivalry... I'm not to familiar with that). Anyways, Josh ended up at BYU. This off-season, Sharp needs to hit the weights and bulk up. He is scrappy and willing to dive for loose balls. I like that instinct. With Harward coming off of a redshirt, I don't see Josh getting much run.
Tyler Haws. 6'5" Guard. Sophomore.
One. Two. Three... Forty-six. Forty-seven. Forty-eight...
In his freshman season two years ago Tyler Haws set a BYU record with 48 consecutive free throws made. I can still remember hearing the "No. Mission." chants in the Marriott Center. This kid is fo realzzz. He comes back from the Philippines next month (or maybe May) so he will have the entire summer to work his mission legs into shape. I normally do not like to have high expectations for returning missionaries, but I see Tyler as a top three leading scorer for the Cougars next year. With a lot of guards, all with some experience, I think Coach Rose will play a lot of three guard sets with Haws as that third guard (the way he played with Jimmer and Jackson). He has one of the most pure shooting strokes and I think he will be a big reason BYU will up their 3-point shooting percentage next year.
Brock Zylstra. 6'6" Guard. Senior.
Throw up your Z's!!!!!!!!
Brock Zylstra is the epitome of a team player. Whatever Coach Rose asked him to do, he did it. But what will he ask him to do next year? I see a three-way battle for that "other wing" position between Brock, Anson Winder and Raul Delgado. The key for whoever takes that spot is defense. The offense will run through Davies with the second and third options being Tyler Haws and Matt Carlino. Brock lost his starting spot last season to Anson because Anson was a better perimeter defender. If he wants to regain that spot, he must improve his D.
Anson Winder. 6'3" Guard. Sophomore.
Must get to the hoop.
Anson is an excellent perimeter defender. He is also a streaky shooter. His role on this team will be defined by his defense. That is priority number one. That is what will get him on the floor. To stay on the floor he must be able to knock down open shots. Rarely will he be asked to create offense for himself or someone else. If he can focus on those two things he will have an excellent year next year.
Stephen Rogers. 6'8" Forward. Senior.
So smooth. So silky.
As Stephen prepares for his swan song, I hope he like Chris Collinsworth is fully healthy. That knee injury before the Baylor game last year was a huge blow to the team. Stephen provides excellent outside shooting ability as well as length that really disrupts the offense. He is the ultimate sixth man and if he is healthy will be the first man off the bench to provide a scoring spark or contain a hot shooter. I hope he heals up well this summer.
Raul Delgado. 6'2" Guard. Sophomore.
Flying back to Utah County!
Raul averaged almost 20 points and 4 assists for Western Nebraska CC last year. By all accounts he is super athletic. He also shoots 43% from three (that can't hurt). He described Coach Rose's expectations for him this way, to Brandon Gurney of the Deseret News.
This is why I see him in the mix with Zylstra and Winder for the starting shooting guard spot. In all likely hood, he will start out coming off the bench but if either of those guys has trouble hitting shots or stopping their man (which they have shown the ability to do) Delgado will get his chance.
Matt Carlino. 6'2" Guard. Sophomore.
What to do? What to do?
Matt Carlino showed so much promise last season. He also left many a Cougar fan reaching for the Tylenol. Matt has unbelievable range. He has an uncanny ability to get to the basket. He can whip the ball around like a quarterback. But at times his passes were ill-advised (see: jump pass). Many times he rushed unnecessary contested shots. Matt's biggest weakness was his decision making. That is kind of key for a point guard. At times many wondered why is Coach Rose letting Matt do what he is doing? I think there was a method to Coach's madness. I think he will be able to go to Matt this off season and say, "Look at this. And this. And this. If you want to be successful as a point guard, this is what you need to do to get better." Given Matt's experiences elsewhere I think he will buy into what Dave Rose is preaching. This is the big key for next year. If Matt can agree to facilitate the offense, find others (Davies & Haws) and let his opportunities to score come to him instead of search for them, this team can be vastly better then last years edition. It all depends on what role Matt Carlino wants to play. I would compare next year to Jimmer's sophomore season. Jimmer got his but he deferred to Lee Cummard and Jonathan Tavernari a lot as well. They were The Big 3 (for lack of a better word). I think that Matt should the the third member of the big three next year.
Craig Cusick. 6'2" Guard. Senior.
Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.
Craig over-performed any and all expectations last year. He is a very solid back up PG and kind of a "reverse" change of pace PG (typically the change is to speed things up, but he slows things down and has a very calming influence on the team). The biggest change for Cusick is that he needs to be on scholarship. With Demarcus Harrison going on a mission, an unexpected scholarship was freed up. Some fans have talked about bringing in another JuCo transfer, but I think Craig deserves the scholarship. He earned it. All that Craig needs to do next year is continue to be Mr. Consistent. Find the open man and hit open shots. Thats it.
Nick Martineau. 6'0" Guard. Senior.
Greatest BYU basketball achievement... JImmer's freshman roommate.
I hate dogging Martineau, but the one good thing about when he comes in is you know it is over. Nick Martineau is like either the Mariano Rivera of BYU basketball or he is the John Wall of BYU basketball. He won't see any significant time and I wouldn't be surprised if he "graduates early."
So here is the part where I get to project the starting line up and rotation. Based on everything I know (which isn't much) and everything I jut wrote (which is rather shoddy) I would project next year's starting line up as follows:
C - Brandon Davies (Sr.)
PF - Nate Austin (So.)
SF - Tyler Haws (So.)
SG - Brock Zylstra (Sr.)
PG - Matt Carlino (So.)
I think those five guys above will show the consistency needed to maintain starting spots. Where I have trouble is projecting the bench rotation. In past season, Dave Rose has kept a tight rotation. This last year was not one of those seasons. Last year coach went 10 and sometimes 11 deep in his rotation. The question is, who will step up and earn minutes off the bench? So without further ado, I give the order of the rotation off the bench (by position) next year:
1. Chris Collinsworth
2. Ian Harward
3. Josh Sharp
1. Stephen Rogers
2. Anson Winder
3. Raul Delgado
1. Craig Cusick
2. Nick Martineau
I am very excited to see what this Cougar hoopster team becomes next year. BYU will playing the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Brooklyn, NY next fall. That means BYU will play two of the following three teams: Florida St, Notre Dame & St. Joseph's. That will a big early season test to look forward to. They will also play Virginia Tech (and one other game) at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, UT, and pay a visit to the Baylor Bears in Waco, TX. The full schedule will be released at the end of the summer. I can't for it to be hoops time again.