Tag Archives: BYU cougars

Higher Learning Week 3

It wasn't pretty but Oklahoma is still perfect.

So it’s been a hectic work week, sorry for the delay but here we go!

What did we learn this weekend?

  1. Oklahoma deserves to be number 1 after a hard-earned victory in Tallahassee this past weekend. Oklahoma’s 23-13 victory was brutal for the normally offensive minded Sooners as they struggled to move the ball past a Seminole defense that was looking for payback from a brutal 49-17 drubbing in Norman last year. Landry Jones overcame two interceptions to find Kenny Stills for the go ahead score while the Sooners defense did the rest including 2 interceptions by Javon Harris. The Sooners defense evoked memories of their national title days a decade earlier as Florida State had trouble moving the ball with or without E.J. Manuel who left the game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. 3 of the next four games should be pieces of cake for the Sooners except their annual Red River Shootout with Texas in three weeks. If they get past that matchup then the Sooners have nothing to worry about until Texas A&M and Oklahoma State come calling.
  2. Stanford is the forgotten team amongst the top 10 and they seem just fine with that title. After an efficient 37-10 win in Arizona the Cardinal sit at #6 in the rankings and are patiently waiting for the crowd to get smaller. Andrew Luck has been his normal spectacular self and he’s been aided by Stepfan Taylor who emerged last week as a threat running the ball adding a new dimension for the Cardinal. Their next five games should be winnable even a matchup in L.A. versus USC. Their true challenge comes November 12th when Oregon comes to Palo Alto.
  3. Staying in the Pac-10 its starting to look like Rick Neuheisel will be out of a job at the end of this year. His UCLA Bruins lost 49-20 to Texas a team that hadn’t scored 20 points in a game this season and looked like a mess. That is until Case McCoy ran on to the field and Texas ran up almost 500 total yards of offense. These are virtually the same two teams from last year’s game at Austin that saw UCLA come away with a victory. Ever since that game the Bruins are 3-8 and it looks like Neuheisel is headed for the chopping block.
  4. It doesn’t matter who is under center for the Ohio State Buckeyes, they just aren’t good. Their 24-6 loss to Miami was embarrassing as Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller combined to go 4-18 for 38 yards… yep, that’s the entire game total. Even when they get all of their suspended players it’s hard to see the Buckeyes playing for anything more than 4th in the Big Ten.
  5. This conference realignment stuff is going to get messy. With Syracuse and Pitt going to the ACC, West Virginia and UCONN looking to move and the entire Big 12 in limbo it’s hard to tell just what the landscape will look like soon. The worst part of all of this is that it makes no sense geographically. Syracuse in the ACC? Texas in the Pac-16? TCU in the Big East? Can’t we just bring back the Big 8, SWC and leave tradition alone?

THE GOOD

South Florida racked up 745 total yards and dropped 70 on FAMU including B.J. Daniels 382 and 4 TD tosses.

BYU and Jake Heaps would like to forget about this weekend.

THE BAD

Maryland’s black uniforms… yeah they’ll be on here all year trust me.

THE UGLY

You expect a FCS team to have a BCS team run it up on them like FAMU, BUT KANSAS ALLOWING 738 YARDS INCLUDING 600 ON THE GROUND IN A 66-24 LOSS TO GEORGIA TECH? C’MON SON!!

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

The Brooklyn Buckeye favorite Kellen Moore. He went 32-42 for 455 yards and 4 TD’s in Boise’s 40-15 win over Toledo.

EMBARASSMENT OF THE WEEK

On their third play from scrimmage versus Utah, BYU center Terence Brown snapped the ball high over QB Jake Heaps head. Heaps then tried to throw the ball away but lost it. Utah defensive end Derrick Shelby recovered it and Utah led 7-0… you figure out the rest of the game.

The top 5 remains the same as last week while Andrew Luck jumps ahead of Landry Jones in the Heisman top 5.

Big games next week include LSU traveling to Morgantown to take on West Virginia, Florida State taking on Clemson coming off of a big win over Auburn, Arkansas takes on Alabama, and the game of the week features Oklahoma State taking on Texas A&M.

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Random Thoughts Vol. 3

OH GOD THERE'S MORE?!?!

Beginning of the month, been watching a lot of sports… yep, it’s time for another round of random thoughts.

Fernando Torres has scored one goal since being acquired by Chelsea in January… one. I always pick the best teams to follow don’t I?

The Yankees wouldn’t trade for Ubaldo Jimenez due to concerns about his velocity. In a possible trade the Rockies would’ve wanted Ivan Nova as part of the deal… Jimenez hasn’t made it past the 5th inning in 3 of his 7 starts with the Indians, Nova hasn’t lost since June… I think Cashman got that one right.

Losing to a FCS school should be like relegation in soccer shouldn’t it? Hi Oregon State.

Me at 8:30 pm last Saturday of the Boise State-Georgia game: “those Georgia uniforms are hideous.”

Me 48 hours  while watching the Maryland-Miami game: “those are the worst uniforms I have ever seen.”

Nyjer Morgan called Albert Pujols “Alberta,” does he realize Pujols is 4 inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than him?

Oregon State should probably leave this out of the recruiting package.

Baylor is mad that Texas A&M is leaving the Big 12 and possibly breaking up the conference leaving them in football limbo. Somewhere Rice, TCU and SMU are uttering to themselves karma is a mother.

Wait a minute, Kevin Durant has tattoos?

At least David Garrard and Byron Leftwich have something in common to be mad about.

The way that analysts were criticizing his QB skills you would’ve swore Tim Tebow was black.

Appalachian wants to join the FBS… after getting drubbed 66-13 by Virginia Tech they should reconsider.

Tom Brady said he would welcome back Randy Moss with open arms. I’m not saying that’s in some way related to Chad Ochocinco… but I’m saying.

So if John Isner wins the U.S. Open is his career a bigger success than Andy Roddick’s?

Utah State almost beat Auburn, BYU beat Ole Miss, and Utah beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl years ago… maybe the SEC should stop playing teams from Utah.

Stephen Strasburg’s back, and he looks good.

(honestly it didn’t matter if the Nats lost that game or not, all that mattered was if Strasburg looked like he was the same pitcher he was before he left or not and he was. His movement and velocity were pretty darn good, he made everything look effortless and dominated a decent Dodgers lineup. If I’m the Nats and I look at a rotation with Strasburg, a rejuvenated Chien-Ming Wang, Jordan Zimmerman and John Lannon at bats like Ryan Zimmerman and Mike Morse then I’m feeling good about next year. that is if Jayson Werth can hit with that $18 million per year salary on his back.)

That Carlos Beltran deal isn’t working out so well for the Giants… shocker.

Who’s the next program to get stung by the NCAA? I’ll take South Carolina.

I’m still blinded by Maryland’s uniforms.

TIki Barber is shocked that no one threw him a bone this offseason. I mean who wouldn’t want a 36 year-old running back that hasn’t played in 5 years with tons of public baggage?

Ndamukong Suh is not dirty, he’s just playing football the way Deacon Jones would like.

It might be time for Tiger Woods to consider new career options.

This hasn't gone exactly as planned.

I will not talk about A.J. Burnett, I will not talk about A.J. Burnett, I will not talk about A.J. Burnett.

Aaron Rodgers called out Mark Sanchez for his GQ pictures. What can Sanchez respond with? Rodgers just won a Super Bowl he can say what he wants.

I think we might actually have a season without Brett Favre.

I have a feeling Luke Fickell might be more conservative than Jim Tressel.

By the way, how does Tressel get a six game suspension from the NFL for his NCAA violations?

(Goodell needs to keep college problems in college. Their penalties don’t transfer to the NFL. Tressel quit/ got fired by the Ohio State University so his 5 game suspension is pretty much obliterated. The fact that Tressel and Terrelle Pryor for that matter have carry over suspensions from college shows that maybe Goodell has too much power when it come to these disciplinary actions and should some of that power stripped. And it will be… in ten years with a new CBA. Good job NFLPA.)

Doesn’t it seem like Lance Briggs and the Bears have been beefing since 2006?

Apparently the NBA is making strides to getting a CBA done real soon. How does Wilson Chandler feel about that?

If the Philadelphia Phillies don’t win the World Series it would be a Greek tragedy.

I have a few choice words for how the Baltimore Orioles handled the makeup games with the New York Yankees and the results of those games. I can’t say them on this blog but I’ll let your mind wander.

After all of the controversy surrounding Ohio State this year how do three more players get suspended for taking benefits? I should’ve went to Ohio University.

I expected more from the Winnipeg Jets jerseys.

Mike Fisher you lucky son of a gun.

At least they weren’t Maryland’s.

(you know what’s even scarier than what we witnessed on Monday night? There are more than 12 color combinations that Under Armour has in store for this year. Under Armour is based in Baltimore, Maryland and I guess they are doing to the Terps what Nike did to the Oregon Ducks… except Oregon’s outfits look extremely cool. Oregon’s designs have flair and eye popping designs, Maryland’s are a horror show. There was way too much of the Maryland flag for any human being to take. A message to UA: emulation is the sincerest form of flattery but leave the flashy stuff to Oregon. By the way Maryland’s football team is going to make some noise this year and you should pay more attention to Danny O’Brian than his jersey.)

What Ana Ivonivic could’ve been.

Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly broke up… hide your girlfriends New York.

NHL training camps start this week…

That mean we’re a month a away from Rachel McAdams shots at Vancouver games and Carrie Underwood at Predators games.

God I love hockey.


The Jimmer Spectrum

Love him or hate him this tournament has been all about Jimmer.

My buddy asked me over Facebook what I thought of Jimmer Fredette the other day; I didn’t answer him because there is a Jimmer max out that I’m at right now with Jimmer Fredette.

I like his game, his fearlessness, his toughness and his never say die attitude. Yet I’m sick of hearing about his fearlessness, his toughness and his never say die attitude. This happens whenever gets a hold of its IT guy for the moment, they run him into the ground so at the end you either love or hate the guy.

I’m trying to watch Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard, Shelvin Mack and all of VCU ball and all I hear is Jimmer Jimmer Jimmer.

So instead of answering I ignored him for a few days and decided to answer it in the only way I know how (thank you English classes at Ohio State) through contrast of course, love and hate.

Love: He’s a New York guy.

Hate: He plays in a weak conference with little competition.

Love: His shot. Whenever he lets one rip you get a good feeling that it’s going in. it doesn’t matter where he is on the floor he can bury that J in anyone’s grill at any spot.

Jimmer's game has a playground feel to it.

Hate: His shots. I texted my buddy Will this tidbit on Saturday during the BYU-Gonzaga game, “doesn’t Jimmer remind you of that guy you play ball with on the playground who chucks up shots without caring who he plays with?” In Brooklyn we would’ve shut him out long ago.

(and I understand that he has no real offensive options on his team, but if he is going to be a point guard in the Association then he’s got to ATTEMPT to make his teammates better. Walker made UCONN better, Kyrie Irving and Nolan Smith make the Plumlees not look like stiffs, Kendall Marshall resurrected UNC, BYU is still a one-man show.)

Love: He more than makes up for his team’s offensive deficiencies. I know I wrote that he should make his teammates better, but watching him find spots on the floor and night in and out hit every shot that he’s supposed too is amazing.

Hate: Jimmer Fredette plays no defense… period.

(that sound you heard was Erving Walker smacking his lips.)

Love: His demeanor. He’s not Tim Tebow. He doesn’t jump around and scream when he doesn’t have to. He is a leader that leads by example and only gets amped when necessary.

Hate: The Tebow-like coverage. There are ten guys in the game that should be getting just as much coverage as Jimmer. He’s a good player from a crappy conference. He’s not Jared Sullinger, Derrick Williams or the Morris who ball out in better conferences to less acclaim.

Love: Dude’s look. He has an NBA ready body. His arms are huge and he looks like he could break me in half.

Hate: I think he needs facial hair… just saying.

Love: … the fact that he has a pretty good skill set besides shooting. He’s not J.J. Redick, Kyle Korver or Adam Morrison, he can get to the rack, he can pass, he has some rebounding skills.

Hate: It’s pretty good, not great. I don’t think he sees the whole floor and I don’t think that he could run a set offense. In transition he could 6-7 assists a game in the NBA. But in the Triangle, ball distribution like how Rajon Rondo exemplifies in Boston, making marginal talent good a la Deron Williams? That’s not him.

Jimmer's future may or may not be a home run.

Love: Him as a college darling. So often we make classifications of a guy based on what his NBA stock when we should look at the present. What Jimmer is doing is leading a so-so BYU team on a run in a weak bracket that could end up taking them to the Final 4 in Houston and put his name down among the greats to ever play the game. In the process Jimmer has improved each and every year that he has been in school. He’s a proficient scorer who can get his any night and at anytime. I love Jimmer Fredette the college player because he gives the game something it misses when every other year guys like John Wall, Derrick Rose and others who dip out early and that’s a dominant figure that captures our imagines over a period of time…

Hate: …but with that said it is hard not to look at the future and what Jimmer will become and he won’t do this in the NBA. Jimmer is a two-guard in a point guard’s body. In order for his game to work and for him to develop into a decent point guard he has to play on an up-tempo team (hi Knicks.). he isn’t a great half-court player and can’t defend either guard spot. His best case scenario is a backup point guard spot, which in actuality would be great for most teams who need energy off of the bench. However, him as a starter? No way. Unless he talks to Stephen Curry and makes the same kind of transition that he made to the point guard spot then he won’t see the floor unless it’s off of the bench or in certain spots.

I don’t hate Jimmer Fredette, but I am critical of his game. Hopefully that answers my buddy’s question.


BYU Sticks To The Script, Like It Or Not

Brandon Davies suspension may seem silly to you and me, but its a big deal to BYU.

Brandon Davies was recently suspended by BYU for breaking it’s controversial honor code last week by engaging in premarital sex with his girlfriend.

Now before we all go into overdrive on how absolutely ridiculous we think this is we should consider a few things…

One is that BYU is a well known Mormon  college. They set standards that follow their belief in the church of Jesus Christ and latter day saints. So while it is an institution for learning and gaining training on certain careers it is a spiritual institution that reinforces it’s beliefs on those that follow the religion.

Two, every athlete that goes to BYU is aware of the honor code, which also prohibits things like the consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Once you sign your letter of intent you understand what your restrictions are and that you will be held to them with no grey areas.

Three, isn’t this what we beg college programs to be like?

In contrast to the Ohio State football controversy BYU actually holds it’s players to the responsibly that it expects from them.

OSU AD Gene Smith acted as if the OSU ballers were victims of ignorance when he knew that his players were regularly informed of the rules and regulations. The folks in Provo know better.

They expect all players to heed to the honor code and live in the presentable manner that is required. The business of the game doesn’t matter to them. They don’t care about BCS games, final four runs or any amount of possible boatloads of cash that could be acquired to benefit their departments. In the end it’s all about the rules plain and simple.

Brandon Davies knew this and shouldn’t be shocked with the result.

The flip side to this is the sheer absurdity of the ruling to people like you and I.

Lacedarius Dunn hits his girlfriend, playing. Cam Newton receives $200,000 to play in the SEC, playing. A.J. Price stole school laptops, played, This kid has sex with his girlfriend and can’t play basketball anymore, talk about unfair.

BYU's way of handling rule breakers should be copied by most institutions.

I understand the honor code and why it’s in place, but it’s silly to punish a teenager for doing what most teenagers his age do.

I could think of one million reasons to kick a kid off his team and engaging in sexual intercourse with your girlfriend is right next to drinking a red bull.

I have to ask BYU do they really think that their athletes and students don’t indulge in an occasional rum and coke or sexual romp? If they do then I got some ocean front property in Nebraska to sell them.

It’s college and their a bunch of teenagers couped up in a few houses across a few acres. Stuff like this happens and to punish someone for it is silly to me.

Does Davies still go to church? Is he planning a mission? Does he still represent the university well in public and in the classroom? If he does, suspending him for this is even more foolish because ‘s a  good hearted guy who has is head on straight and has his priorities on point.

Unfortunately he won’t be bringing his game to the court. Davies and his 11.1 points and 6.2 rebounds a game will sit at home for the season and BYU basketball will suffer.

Without him BYU got trounced by New Mexico 82-64 last night and their dreams of a number one seed and a final four berth are in doubt.

This isn’t the biggest deal to BYU though. To them it’s about sticking to the rules and honoring you word.

While you may not agree with a lot of rules to their honor code,you have to respect how they enforce it.


The Debate: Jimmer Fredette or Kemba Walker

Jimmer Fredette's may make him the leader for the national player of the year.

The player of the year race is a two horse race (sorry Nolan Smith and Jared Sullinger). Jimmer Fredette and Kemba Walker have turned basketball games into their own personal highlight reels ever since November.

 

Both Walker and Fredette have similar skill sets; both are shooting guards in point guard bodies, both can kill you from the outside or get their points in the paint and either way they can score in bunches.

 

They can take over games no matter the situation. Last night versus undefeated San Diego State Fredette took over in the second half by driving the lane and getting to the free throw line at will. Walker struggled mightily against Texas until overtime when he scored seven points including the game winning shot and wore down Texas defenders with his relentlessness.

 

Fredette has scored 40 in 3 of the last 4 games, Walker ad a five game stretch in the early portion of the season where he averaged 33 a game including 30 against Michigan State and Kentucky.

 

Without them their teams are probably still good but not top ten material. So the question is who would you choose, Fredette or Walker?

 

As I said earlier they are basically the same player as far as skills go. They both play without fear and want the ball in every key situation. Both are small, tough and from New York (yeah I threw that in there it’s a pride thing).  So is there anyway to separate them? Well of course there is. If there wasn’t I wouldn’t be writing this now would I?

 

SHOOTING

Across the board the edge goes to Fredette. He shoots 48% from the field including 42% from three and 90% at the line while Walker goes 44, 34 and 83 in the same order. When Fredette gets open you better pray he misses.

 

Advantage: Fredette

INTANGIBLES

Both guys are shoot first point guards that average fewer than 5 assists a game. Walker however has a better feel for the position, as is a better defender. Walker is a great rebounding guard at 5.3 per game, which is third on the team and he leads the Big East in steals (2.1). Plus Walker is always the man with the ball in is hands with the game on the line. Time after time we see Walker with the rock with time winding down and he comes through time after time. We haven’t seen that out of Fredette, which could be due to the Cougars schedule lacking the same competition as the Huskies.

 

Advantage: Walker

SUPPORTING CAST

Which cast could still be competitive without their star? Without Fredette’s 27.4 points per game the cougars still average 58 a game with the rest of their reserves.

 

Fredette gets a ton of help from guys like Jackson Emery, Brandon Davies and Noah Hartsock who all average close to or over 10 points a game and Emery is one of the nation’s leaders in steals (2.7). The team shoots over 46% from the field and pulls down 40 rebounds per game.

 

While the UCONN reserves don’t put up the same numbers they do run very deep on their bench. Alex Oriakhi is close to a double double a game at 11 & 9 plus 2 blocks a game. Plus Walker has guys like Shabazz Napier and Charles Okwandu who are great defenders and plenty of big bodies like Roscoe Smith and Jamal Coombs-McDaniel who help wear down opponents inside.

 

Without Walker UCONN is still a tournament team, without Fredette I think the Cougars don’t have the same punch, which makes Fredette more valuable.

 

Advantage: Fredette.

IMPACT

Both teams were unranked at the beginning of the year and while Fredette and the Cougars were picked as MWC favorites the Huskies were an afterthought after a disappointing season last year.

 

Walker’s opening month including that ridiculous Maui Invitational set the tone for the Huskies season and they haven’t looked back. With the drop-offs by Syracuse and Pitt lately you can make a case that UCONN is the best team in the nation’s best conference.

If there's one guy i want with the ball late in the game it's Kemba Walker.

 

That and his late game heroics give him the bigger impact.

 

CHANCES IN THE PROS

They both have a gift and a curse. They can score in bunches, but they’re too small to do that in the NBA.

 

They’re in the same position as Stephen Curry and that is that they are Shooting Guards who will play the point in the league but need more time to learn the position.

 

While Fredette can score I question his passing skills and can he makes the guys around him better. While he shoots very well his vision is suspect and he can’t really see the floor too well.

 

Walker has a better understanding of the position and I feel can defer to his teammates more such as the Marquette game where he played wingman to Jeremy Lamb putting him in a position to get his shots.

 

Advantage: Walker

So who would I go with? Statistically Fredette is having the better season and is a machine in the open floor, but I go with Walker for player of the year.

 

Walker is averages less points per game than Fredette but there’s one thing he has that I haven’t seen yet in Fredette, that’s more of a will to win and an unshakeable confidence.

 

We’ve seen Walker struggle and have bad shooting nights and yet he still pulls through and leads UCONN to wins, Fredette hasn’t had the same challenges as Walker, which he shouldn’t fell bad about but it should be noted.

 

If there’s one player I want with the ball in his hands late in the game its Kemba Walker. When the game is on the line no matter the situation he has delivered time and time again. In the NCAA tournament, with games on the line in do or die situations that’s what matters most.

 

Either way you can’t lose though. Both men are playing great and are a joy to watch. Whoever has the unfortunate task of guarding these men I feel bad for every night because you will end up on their highlight machine. Both teams are lucky to have them.