5. BYU men’s basketball discussed what it thinks is possible in 2019-20 at Media Day on Wednesday. What are your expectations for the Cougars this upcoming season?
DICKSON: Man, that’s a tough one. Without the injuries, I saw the Cougars going 5-4 or 6-3 in the nine games Yoeli Childs is missing due to the NCAA suspension, then taking off and challenging for the top of the WCC. Now I see a team that’s really going to be one dimensional, surviving on their 3-point shooting until Childs returns and even then he’s going to really be the only reliable inside presence. I know that Mark Pope has spent a lot of time with this group in electronically tracking 3-point shooting. BYU’s consistency beyond the arc will ultimately determine how well this team performs this season.
LLOYD: I actually only had one expectation for the Cougars prior to Media Day — and now I have doubled that to two expectations. This is the first season for BYU under the direction of Mark Pope, which means there will be a learning curve. But Pope is a high-intensity guy, so I expected from when he was hired that the Cougars would have that translate into high-intensity on the court. So I always expected BYU to play hard, but now I also expect them to play smart. That’s the standard Pope set at Media Day and now I’m going to be looking for that on the court. I won’t gauge the success of that aspiration by statistics and wins as much as by seeing if the Cougars are in the right places defensively, if they are making the right passes and taking the right shots. If so, that will be an excellent foundation for the future.