5. The BYU men’s basketball team has a very difficult road trip this week with games at Saint Mary’s and San Francisco. Will the Cougars win them both?
DICKSON: While both Saint Mary’s and San Francisco are competing with BYU behind Gonzaga for position in the WCC, none of those three teams are as good as they were last year. The lack of fans on this road trip probably plays into BYU hands and gives them a better chance of winning. It’s difficult in that the Gaels and the Dons are two completely different programs and game prep is wildly different in terms of pace. Having said that, the Cougars haven’t lost two games in a row since Mark Pope took over two years ago, so I’ll say two wins isn’t too much of a stretch for this team.
LLOYD: I think it is going to come down to how disciplined BYU can be. Saint Mary’s plays a style of basketball that makes teams pay for mistakes. While I think the Gaels are still figuring things out this year, any team coached by Randy Bennett is going to be dangerous. The Cougars have had some tough games against the Dons in years past and Darnell made a good point about the challenge of being ready for such different styles. I’m still trying to figure out this BYU team, to be honest. It has moments where I really like what I see and others where I wonder what in the world they are doing. I think if the Cougars can limit their turnovers and shoot reasonably well, they will be in good shape to win both games. But I just sense that there is going to be a game where those things don’t come together and it will result in BYU going 1-for-2 on the trip.