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Is BYU Basketball as good as they were last year?: A quick statistical comparison

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Two squads surprisingly similar

USA TODAY Sports

Last March I published a post titled "Will BYU Hoops Get Better Or Worse Next Season?" My conclusion at the time was that it was not likely that BYU would be better this year. In this post we'll compare the stats from the two teams.

The Hartsock-led team last season was 18-5 through 23 games. This Haws/Davies team is a similar 17-6 through 23 games. See the chart below for more comparison stats. (The 2011-12 averages are for the entire season.)

BYU Men's Hoops 2011-12 2012-13
Avg Score 77.9 77.3
Opp Avg Score 67.4 67.2
FG% .465 .457
3FG% .343 .336
FT% .700 .727
Avg Rebounds 38.5 39.4
Opp Avg Rebounds 34.7 35.1
Avg Assists 17.1 16.3
Avg Turnovers 13.5 12.4
Opp Avg Turnovers 15.8 15
Avg Steals 8.5 9
Avg Blocks 4.4 2.9

There are not a lot of glaring statistical differences between the two teams. Last year's team shot slightly better and turned the ball over slightly more. The biggest statistical difference is blocks per game dropping this year but that can be attributed almost entirely to losing Noah Hartsock who was an excellent shot blocker. Overall, the stats seem to slightly favor last year's squad right now, but it is really basically a wash.

What does this mean? Probably nothing. Although these stats put to rest any notions that this BYU team is significantly worse or better than the team last year. BYU squeaked in to the NCAA Tournament last year. The Cougs are going to have to finish the season by winning all the games they are favored to win and a couple of games they are not favored in to do the same this season.

What do you think, BYU faithful? Any stats stand out to you?