BYU meets Texas A&M in the 8-9 West Region matchup Thursday. The Cougars have an experienced team and a great chance to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
Here is a closer look at the BYU Cougars from the Mountain West Conference:
BYU finished the regular season with a 24-6 overall record and a 12-4 conference record. The Cougars didn’t play an overly impressive non-conference schedule, but pushed Arizona State to the limit before losing 76-75 in Tempe. BYU also lost to Wake Forest 94-87 in January.
The Cougars knocked off NCAA tournament-bound Utah State on the road and also defeated Utah and San Diego State in conference play.
Senior swingman Lee Cummard leads a talented BYU team. He averages 16.8 ppg and 6.3 rpg and can score inside and out.
Point guard Jimmer Fredette has improved his scoring and averages 16.2 ppg and 4.2 apg. He the size to compete against the likes of Texas A&M’s Donald Sloan and UConn’s A.J. Price.
Brazilian native Jonathan Tavernari is a great shooter and averages 15.9 ppg and 7 rpg. At 6’7″, he is BYU’s leading rebounder and 3-point shooter.
The Cougars are a big, strong team and are appearing in a third-straight NCAA tournament. BYU presents matchup problems because off its shooting ability and impressive balance. Although not overly deep, a bevy of experience makes the Cougs an attractive Cinderella.
I think BYU can, and will, beat UConn.