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BYU Basketball Media Day: Notes and takeaways

Takeaways from the interviews on BYU Sportsnation

Jake Toolson and Corbin Kaufusi defend the post.
Jake Toolson and Corbin Kaufusi defend the post.
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The main thing I took away from the interviews with Coach Dave Rose, Kyle Collinsworth, and Jordan Chatman (Chase Fischer also spoke but my internet wasn't working very well so I didn't hear it) was that the theme for this season is going to be "Balance."  The hosts, Jarom Jordan and Spencer Linton, asked about the balance of the team to each interviewee.  Each person answered in a similar way saying that to move on from the loss of Tyler Haws, this team will be much more balanced.

Now, obviously, you cannot just replace the guy who is the all-time leading scorer at BYU.  You can't just replace 21.9 points per game (and lets not forget that you also graduated your jack of all trades Anson Winder too).  The individual players were obviously coached in their answers as they almost answered the question the exact same way, but it is important to note that this is actually the way that BYU will have to replace such irreplaceable players.

Not only will BYU have more players that can actually play minutes, but there will be many more big men that can play.  Coach Rose mentioned this when he said in his interview that it was very difficult to replace a 6-11 Nate Austin with Anson Winder and Skylar Halford.  This year the team not only has Austin back, but Corbin Kaufusi returns while Jamal Aytes and Kyle Davis have completed their redshirt years and should help immensely.  The team also has three freshman post players, Braiden Shaw, Jakob Hartsock, and Alan Hamson who could redshirt or contribute in spot minutes behind the main post players.

The guard lineups is going to see returning starters Kyle Collinsworth and Chase Fischer, but the main question is who will fill the opposite wing from Chase?  According to Coach Rose and Kyle Collinsworth there are multiple players capable including touted freshman Nick Emery, Jordan Chatman, Jake Toolson, and Zac Seljaas.  You also have Cory Calvert,who played a decent amount before his mission as well as Cooper Ainge back from missions.  I will point out that I, as a coach (I'm the head girl's coach at a high school in Utah) would not send a kid to answer questions who I did not think would be contribute heavily to my season.  I am referencing the Jordan Chatman interview.  I'm not saying that I think he is going to be that main cog with the two seniors, but it wouldn't surprise me either.  This would allow Emery to come off the bench and provide a spark of offense off the bench, which was lacking due to injuries last year.

Hopefully this newfound depth will allow the players to stay fresh and compete throughout the season.  Also having some extra bigs to run with the Gonzaga frontline will be nice as compared to last year when Corbin Kaufusi just seemed to get worn down trying to handle the Zags frontline.

Don't miss the action as the Cougar tip-off is October 28th and the regular season starts November 13 against Utah Valley University.