Monday, September 22, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Hold that "never happened"

Hold #1
 Hold #2
 Still Hold #2
 And finally he raises his hands up and tells the official, "I wasn't holding him, I promise!" So he must not have held.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Getting Alexsi ready for some Bball!

So today I decided to make my future daughter a BYU basketball jersey so she'll be ready to watch when she comes! Check 'em out!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fall Preview: QB

This isn’t your typical spring preview position break down. Instead of blabbering about how well he performed in spring ball etc. I’m going to try and use some stats from last year to predict  how well BYU’s Quarterback Jake Heaps will perform against this year’s opponents.  For this preview I’m going to use Passing Efficiency Defense (What QB rating does the defense hold the opposing QB to?)

Ole Miss: Last year the Rebels had the 109th best Opp. QB rating of 151.00 against a SOS of 35th in the country (according to that’s 109 out of 120 FBS teams. Ole Miss is young on defense and lost one of their best LB D.T. Shackelford to a season ending injury. So there may be some improvement due to better team chemistry etc. from last year but nothing drastic so we’ll compare them to an opponent from last year who had an opp. QB rating of about 151.00. New Mexico had an opp. QB rating of 153.17, good for 111th in the nation. Against New Mexico last year Heaps went 18-32 with 2 TDs and 0 Int. and a QB rating of 137.5. Jake has had some time to mature and he returns his whole starting line from last year so (as with the rest of the predictions) I’m going to assume that he shows improvement in each game and as he gets deeper into this season. It is hard to accurately predict this year’s stats because BYU’s offense has changed a lot and has a new offensive coordinator. But if we know that Ole Miss has a New Mexico caliber passing defense  then we can put together a good guess.  Here’s what I think the box score will look like after the game: 25-35 for 300 yards with 2 TDs and 1 int.

Texas: The Longhorns finished 2010 with an opp. QB rating of 118.94, good for 36th in the country. Texas’ strength of schedule last year was 76th in the country.  That number is very similar to BYU’s 116.91 mark. The closest opponent from last year is Nevada who finished 39th with a 119.80 rating. Texas lost their defensive coordinator Will Muschamp who left to take the head coaching job at Florida. I think then it’s safe to assume that their defense won’t get any better than last year, at least not before the second game of the season.  Last season against Nevada Jake went 24-45 for 229 yards, 0 TD’s and 0 Int. and a QB rating of 96.1. Anyone who watched last year’s game against the Wolfpack will remember a certain coach’s propensity to only throw deep fades and run the ball. Under the new regime I expect Heaps to be much more efficient in this game, but Texas will have a very athletic defense. If he gets lax at any point in this game then he could throw a pick or two. 28-41 for 280 yards, 2 TDs and 1 int.

Utah: Utah’s pass efficiency defense last year was only slightly better than Wyoming’s. The Utes ranked 88th in the FBS. Those numbers were compiled with the 22nd SOS in the country.  Last year Heaps went 22-37 for 228 yards, 1 TD and 1 int. against Utah.  The Utah game was interesting because Heaps didn’t really seem to settle in until the final drive where he went 4 of 4 for 50 yards to set his team up for a chance at a game winning field goal. I’m trying as hard as I can not to delve into the poor play calling on that final drive. The only way I’m going to avoid it is to give my prediction now:     22-34 for 250 yards 2 TD 0 int.

UCF: Central Florida had the 18th best Opp. QB rating of 113.00 with a SOS that ranked 84th.  San Diego St.’s numbers compare nicely with UCF’s. SDSU had an Opp. QB rating of 113.41 (20th) and a SOS of 67th. These numbers would suggest that UCF’s passing defense is slightly worse than SDSU’s. BYU did not pass the ball very much last year against the Aztecs. That game was run, run, and run some more with a few short passes sprinkled in. Heaps was very efficient in that game despite the Cougars not stretching the field at all. He went 15-22 for 126 yards, 0 TD’s and 1 int. Jake should fare much better against UCF and BYU will stretch the field which should help him out considerably: 25-32 for 300 yards, 3 TD’s and 1 int.

Utah St: The Aggies opp. QB rating last year was 128.43, 60th in the country. I expect the Aggies defense to continue to improve under head coach Gary Andersen. But make no mistake about this game. The Cougars are out for revenge. They were embarrassed last year by the Aggies and they don’t want that to happen again. Heaps won’t throw 50 passes in this game and his stats will show marked improvement from last year when he went 27-54 for 270 yards 0 TD’s and 2 int. This year he’ll go 25-35 for 295 yards, 3 TD and 0 int.

San Jose St: SJSU has the 90th best opp. QB rating of 138.02 with a SOS of 94th. SJSU’s passing defense is not very good and that will show in the stats. Wyoming and Utah are right around the same rankings as SJSU for opp. QB ratings but with much tougher SOS. Against Wyoming last year Heaps went 10-18 for 81 yards, 1 TD and 1 int. He really only had 1 really bad pass that was picked off and returned for a TD. Fans remember that former offensive coordinator Robert Anae went into hiding after that pass and the Cougars went almost exclusively to the run (which to Anae’s credit was working very well).  Wyoming’s defense is much better than SJSU’s so I think Jake goes  19-25 for 270 yards, 2 TD’s and 0 int. in a Cougar’s blow out.  It will be tough for him to rack up stats in this game because he’ll be on the bench for the 4th Quarter.

Oregon St: OSU ranked 100th in opp. QB rating (142.74) and a SOS of 7th. So their defense is probably better than these numbers show. Wyoming and New Mexico are on either side of the Beavers in the rankings but Wyoming’s numbers are much better and the Lobo’s numbers are much worse.  This would lead me to believe that Heaps performance could lie somewhere between the Wyoming and New Mexico.  He’ll go 20-30 for 280 yards with 2 TD’s and 1 int.

Idaho St: The Bengals ranked 105th in the FCS division with an opp. QB rating of 145.16. I don’t think I can accurately compare them to anyone on last year’s schedule because I don’t think we played anyone this bad. UNLV was BYU’s worst opponent according to pass efficiency defense and they were way better than ISU.  Heaps will put up some ridiculous numbers in 3 Quarters (maybe 2.5). 23-25 for 390 yards 4 TD’s and 0 int.
TCU: The Horned Frogs had the best defense in the country last year. Lucky for BYU they lost some players from last year’s team. Unfortunately they will still be near the tops in the country.  Last year against TCU Heaps was 14-30 for 91 yards, 0 TD’s and 2 int. This year should be much better as BYU’s offense as a whole is much improved. With the ability to stretch the field and an offensive coordinator who is willing to do so, Jake should have an easier time throwing the ball. BYU’s offensive line is very experienced and should allow him plenty of time to operate. He’ll still have a tough game though: 22-35 for 260 yards, 2 TD’s and 2 int.

Idaho: They are FBS that makes them a step up from ISU. Their opp. QB rating is slightly worse than USU’s with an almost identical SOS. Heaps will go 30-40 for 380 yards with 3 TD’s and 1 int.

New Mexico St: NMSU ranked 105th in the country in opp. QB rating. Their defensive ability is similar to New Mexico, Colorado and UNLV. Heaps will be in line for another big game. 25-30 for 310 yards 3 TD’s and 0 int.

Hawaii: Hawaii ranked 52nd in the country and had a similar defense to Utah St. Playing on at Hawaii will be tough for BYU and Jake Heaps but with a full year of seasoning Heaps will be near the top of his game. BYU vs. Hawaii games have always been high scoring this one could be the same.  37-45 for 395 yards, 4 TD’s and 1 int.

Looking at this year’s schedule, if Heaps can minimize his mistakes in the big games vs. tougher opponents, then he will have lots of opportunities vs. weaker opponents to pad his stats. If you add up all the stats from these games, it comes out to an electric year for the sophomore QB. It adds up to 304-367 for 3,710 yards, 32 TD’s and 8 int.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bidding Adieu to "The Jimmer"

I wrote the following blog piece as an application to write for a local sports blog. Let's hope they like it! (I hope y'all like it too)

With seven minutes to go in BYU’s sweet 16 matchup, the Cougars were down 55-61 to the Florida Gators. BYU hadn’t scored in over 3 minutes. Cougar fans across the nation were on the edge of their seats. Three free throws and a layup later, BYU found themselves down just two points. Then after two missed Florida shots, Kyle Collinsworth pulled down his 11th rebound and threw the quick outlet to Jimmer, who quickly sized up his opponent.  The whole arena held its breath as Fredette did what he does best; pulled up on a dime and with a flick of his wrist, drained a 30-foot jump shot to tie the game at 63-63.  Florida called a quick timeout. The Cougars finally had what they looked for all game. Momentum. Fredette finished regulation by scoring 11 of the Cougars final 13 points to send the game into overtime. The extra period began much the way the game did. The Cougars struggled to make shots. The Gators burned up the nets and shot 5-7 from the field and 2-3 from 3pt range. In the waning minutes of the game, Jimmer turned the ball over and then missed a three point shot.  His eyes showed his competitiveness. He wasn’t giving up. After another turnover and another missed 3-point jumper, the wheels to the Jimmer Fredette bandwagon finally wore off. The eventual player of the year skidded to a stop in New Orleans. Coach Dave Rose subbed out Fredette, who left the court to a standing ovation. The final buzzer in The Jimmer’s college career sounded.  

      Four years earlier Jimmer Fredette was just a kid from a small town in New York.  Many fans jumped on the Jimmer bandwagon before he even got to Provo. They hailed his uncanny ability to score and his New York Section II scoring record of 2,404 points. Others were unsure if his abilities would transition into the tougher college game. During his freshman year he proved he could play and BYU fans got their first glimpse of what he would become. He set the stage for the rest of his career when he came off the bench during BYU’s 1st round NCAA tournament loss and played 30 minutes.  His fearlessness kept the Cougars close until the final minutes. This was just the beginning.
            As a sophomore Fredette started 32 of BYU’s 33 games and went on to win 1st Team All-MWC honors, the first BYU point guard to do so since Marty Haws in 1990. Fredette’s status of “just a kid” changed as he wowed fans with games like his 23 point 9 assist performance against nationally ranked Wake Forest. There, he nearly out-dueled feature NBA point guard Jeff Teague.  Later, Fredette would further up his status with 28 point performances against Wyoming and then on the road against SDSU. Jimmer was so new to the scene SDSU player Lorenzo Wade said, "There is no excuse for letting Jimmer Fredette come in here and score 28 points; that's impossible.” Jimmer later showed SDSU and Mr. Wade that not only is it possible, it’s possible to do it multiple times and in SDSU’s own house.
            Jimmer’s junior year was by all means a breakout year. Fredette hit the National scene by scoring a BYU record 49 points at the McKale center in Arizona. Jimmer started the conference schedule scoring 30 points almost every night until his toughest defender of the year, mononucleosis, slowed him down for a few weeks.  On March 11th it looked like he’d regained his strength as he scored 45 points in the MWC semifinal to beat TCU. One week later he captured America’s attention by scoring 37 points in the first round of the NCAA tournament and beating Florida in double overtime, giving BYU its first NCAA tournament win since 1993.
            By the time Fredette began his senior year, the whole country knew name. He was a first-team, preseason All- American.  BYU students camped outside the Marriot center in the freezing weather just to see him play. When he scored 33 points in the first half of a road game against Utah his name became verb. His stoic look as he turned to face the camera after nailing a half-court shot at the buzzer is the stuff of legends.  His 43 points against rival SDSU at home put him squarely atop the NPOY race.  One BYU student dared to accuse Jimmer fans of “idol worshiping” and she was greeted with hundreds of comments on her Facebook wall the next morning.
After beating SDSU again on the road, tragedy struck the Cougars and it seemed as if all was lost. Star Center Brandon Davies was dismissed from the team for honor code violations. BYU fans everywhere thought the sky was falling. The team stumbled through the end of the season, losing to New Mexico at home before recovering against Wyoming.  After a close game against TCU in the MWC quarterfinals, BYU fans found themselves wondering if their chance at the sweet 16 had passed them by. Seven three pointers and 52 points later, Jimmer reminded the fans to “doubt not.” That day in Las Vegas Fredette went from super-star to hero. Later he led his team to the Sweet 16 and cemented his legend in BYU lore by taking home every major Player of the Year award.
            Jimmer Fredette may be a college super-star and even a legend in Provo, but if you happen to see him on the street, he’s just a kid. His humble, kind attitude will win you over in a heartbeat. That’s why Jimmer is Jimmer. Not just because of his super-human ability to can three pointers from the half court logo or break ankles with his cross-over, but his super-human ability to make you like him. It’s his smile when he waves to the camera after getting knocked over on national television.  We love Jimmer because he was the best college basketball player in America and the biggest star to play basketball for the Cougars since Danny Ainge 20 years ago. But we also love Jimmer because he’s still the same kid who stepped on campus 4 years ago. He’s the same guy who works his tail off every day because he loves the game.
      So if you’re still sitting on your couch thinking about the last time you saw The Jimmer put on his Cougar blue and you wonder if it will be another 20 years before you see it again, as the anonymous proverb states, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Good March Omens

If you're superstitious like me then you're always looking for good omens. This is especially true in March, not only because of the NCAA tournament but of course baseball season is right around the corner. So what's the good omen this time you say?
Well in 1979 a white kid named Larry Bird (you might know him) led a small school in Indiana to a Final Four and National Championship game appearance. Indiana St. was a 1 seed that year and BYU is a 3 seed. BYU's first opponent, Wofford, is located in South Carolina, just a couple of states south of Indiana St.'s first opponent Virginia Tech. In 1979 Indiana St. played Michigan St. in the finals, Michigan St.'s mascot is the Spartan, Wofford is located in Spartanburg S.C. . Larry Bird wore number 33. Jimmer wear's number 32.  The 1979 final four was played in Salt Lake City, Jimmer dropped 47 points on the Utes in Salt Lake City.  In Bird's senior season he averaged 28.6 ppg. very similar to Jimmer's 28.5 ppg.
One last good omen, BYU coach Dave Rose's last final four appearance was as a player for Houston's Phi Slamma Jamma, this year's final four will be in, you guessed it, Houston.  So there you have it folks, if you believe in superstition, (and miracles) then you'd better believe BYU is going to the Final Four on the back of NPOY Jimmer Fredette.