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2010 Basketball Season Preview: BYU Cougars

This is BYU's last go around in the Mountain West and they are determined to go out on top with a conference title. BYU's Jackson Emery feels this years team is very good and believes they have a shot of going unbeaten. BYU has super star guard Jimmer Fredette is a third team All-American choice and is the for preseasonplayer of the year. The Cougars did lose Michael Loyd Jr. who was expected to contribute a lot for BYU this year, but he left school due to getting into trouble with the law. The Cougars also lost Jonathan Tavernari, but some BYU fans will say that is fine because Tavernari was streaky and never all that consistent in his play with ill advised three-point shots and other miscues.

Speaking of that schedule lets take a look at BYU's non-conference schedule:

Day Date Opponent Location TV Time
Fri 10/29/10 BYU 101, Laval 55 (exh.) Provo, Utah   7:00 p.m. MT
Fri 11/05/10 BYU 85, BYU-Hawaii 60 (exh.) Provo, Utah BYUtv 7:00 p.m. MT
Fri 11/12/10 Fresno State @ BYU Provo, Utah   7:00 p.m. MT
Wed 11/17/10 Utah State @ BYU Provo, Utah The Mtn. 7:00 p.m. MT
Sat 11/20/10 Chicago State @ BYU (South Padre Island Invitational) Provo, Utah BYUtv 8:00 p.m. MT
Tue 11/23/10 Mississippi Valley State @ BYU (South Padre Island Invitational) Provo, Utah BYUtv 7:00 p.m. MT
Fri 11/26/10 BYU vs. South Florida (South Padre Island Invitational) South Padre Island, Texas FCS 5:00 p.m. CT
Sat 11/27/10 BYU @ South Padre Island Invitational South Padre Island, Texas FCS TBA
Wed 12/01/10 BYU @ Creighton (MWC-MVC Challenge) Omaha, Neb. 7:00 p.m. CT
Sat 12/04/10 BYU vs. Hawai'i Salt Lake City, Utah BYUtv 4:00 p.m. MT
Wed 12/08/10 BYU vs. Vermont Glens Falls, N.Y. CBS C 7:00 p.m. ET
Sat 12/11/10 BYU vs. Arizona Salt Lake City, Utah BYUtv 4:00 p.m. MT
Sat 12/18/10 BYU vs. UCLA (John R. Wooden Classic) Anaheim, Calif. FSN/FSW 2:30 p.m. PT
Tue 12/21/10 BYU @ Weber State Ogden, Utah   7:00 p.m. MT
Thu 12/23/10 UTEP @ BYU Provo, Utah   7:00 p.m. MT
Thu 12/30/10 BYU @ Buffalo Buffalo, N.Y.   7:00 p.m. ET
Sat 01/01/11 Fresno Pacific @ BYU Provo, Utah   7:00 p.m. MT

This is a pretty good non-conference schedule which will help their RPI for tournament seeding. Going unbeaten would be difficult. That game in Vermont is to take JImmer Fredette back to his home state for a game that is sold out in Glenn Falls, NY.

Back to the team, BYU is expected to challenge for the title with San Diego State, UNLV and New Mexico, and this should make for a great season for BYU with a bunch of good games again in league play. 

Jimmer Fredette is the most talked about player for BYU and he should be even better since he spent this summer in Las Vegas going against the US National team. There he scrimmaged against NBA players while playing with great college players. That experience should definitely come in hand in for hostile road games and come conference tournament time.

Jackson Emery is BYU's most versatile player and was the teams second leading scorer from last years team. He was also second on the team in rebounds and lead the team in steals. His weight is a bit of an issue as he is listed at 6-3 and 190 pounds, so to grab those rebounds he does a great job of being able to get in their while being out sized.

Then there is guard Charles Abouo who will be in the backcourt with Fredette. Abouo is from the Ivory Coast and played internationally with them in 2009, but his best asset is his three-point shot. Abouo played about 12 minutes per game last year, so BYU will see if his numbers translate when he gets at least double that amount of minutes.

The next starter is Noah Harstock who did start 30 games last and is the teams hustle guy. He is in the game for defense and to get rebounds. Last year he played 24 minutes per game and averaged five points, six boards a game and 1.3 blocks per game. His minutes may improve but his rebounding numbers must get better to help out BYU in the transition game and second-chance baskets.

BYU is very well rounded team, but their weakness is in the front court as their power forward and center play is not great. BYU's lack of size allows teams to out rebound them and get a few extra offensive possessions. BYU counters that with a smaller and faster lineup that opposing teams must adjust to, so to avoid being run out of the gym with BYU running all night.

This team has the star player in Fredette to win the league and make the NCAAA's, but the lack of size could be an issue when they take on San Diego State and New Mexico this year. That is their only weakness but they have proven they can counter that. 

This will be a fun team to watch this year.

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